The importance of home surveys

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Whether you are buying a home on your own or with a partner, it will be a major investment which should not be taken lightly. By taking the time to do your research and ensure you are properly prepared, you can greatly reduce the risk of any surprises after you move in.

A key step before buying a property is to pay for a professional survey of your prospective home; this could be a mortgage valuation, homebuyers report or building (or structural) survey. The type of survey you choose can depend on the type of property you are looking to purchase. For example, if you are buying a property that is of unusual construction or has been extensively altered, you should consider a building survey to find out whether the property will need further structural changes after you buy.

By paying a professional to undertake a thorough survey of your prospective home, they will be able to highlight any serious faults or structural issues. If you decide to take the risk and not pay for a survey, these problems could end up costing you thousands of pounds to repair after you have moved in. Highlighting any problems before you make a purchase can also be helpful when it comes to negotiating a price for your property.

When you are ready to move home, it is important to get a home moving survey from your removal company, to ensure you are given an accurate move quotation. Pickfords provides free, no-commitment moving surveys to get a clear understanding of your requirements, discuss your packing options, identify any items that need special attention, and answer any questions you may have about your move.

West London customers raise over £4,500 for the NSPCC

Pickfords’ West London customers have together raised £4,596 for the NSPCC through clothes collections!

Customers are offered a free collection service to fill collection bags with their unwanted clothes and paired shoes on move day. Clothes Aid, the UK’s leading clothing collection fundraiser, turns the goods into funds for the NSPCC.

Pickfords have been tracking clothes collections for the last 12 months, and can confirm that West London have raised the most funds in that time, from 11 tonnes of clothes donations.

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In second place was Milton Keynes, raising £2,325 from 5.1 tonnes of clothing, followed by Birmingham with £1,443 from 3.9 tonnes.

To date Pickfords have collected 37 tonnes of clothing from customers’ kind donations, raising £14,417 to help prevent child cruelty in the UK through the NSPCC.

A different standard of moving

For customers looking for more than a move, Pickfords Gold, the premium move management service, offers a different standard when they move home.

Specialising in complex, large property relocations, high specification properties and the packing of fine art, antiques and high value goods, Pickfords Gold is designed to take care of every detail and deliver beyond expectations; ideal for customers looking for something extra.

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Our services include:

  • Fine art and antiques packing
  • White glove service for fragile items
  • Specially-designed packing materials for high value items
  • Furniture and clothing recycling
  • Gold standard maid service
  • Research and advice about your new location
  • Parking permits arranged

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Dealing with the details:

  • Connecting white goods
  • Lock changing
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Piano tuning
  • Grandfather clock and chandelier cleaning

Click here to find out more about Pickfords’ gold standard of moving.

How to manage an office downsize

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With the growth of home-working, hot-desking and virtual offices, more and more companies are choosing to consolidate their office space, both as a cost-saving exercise and as part of a shift in corporate culture as technology increasingly allows employees to carry out their work using remote digital environments, without the need to be physically present at their office.

Downsizing can improve a company’s efficiency and, ultimately, its bottom line, but will inevitably present its own set of challenges.

Keep your employees informed
If your company persues an office downsize, it’s important that the situation is managed carefully. Even if the physical downsize isn’t the result of economic challenges, staff may feel nervous, leading to rumours and assumptions that moving to a smaller office means the company is in trouble and therefore their jobs may be in jeopardy. Such anxiety can lead to increased stress levels and reduced productivity, and even potentially employees looking for jobs elsewhere.

In this situation, communication is key. Don’t keep your employees in the dark; create a communication plan, detailing your key messages and the positive reasons behind the change.  Explain to your staff as early as possible why the downsize is happening, focusing on the positives that affect them, such as increased flexibility, efficiency and remote working. Encourage opportunities for two way discussion so they feel their questions are being heard.

Whether your downsize involves consolidating your existing office space or moving into a new building, consider how this will affect your employees and give them plenty of notice, particularly if a new building means additional commuting time for some.

Make the most of your new space
When preparing for an office downsize, it’s important to carry out a detailed space plan to help you save money in unnecessary rental of redundant office space while identifying any under-utilised areas and maximising the space you intend to use.

Pickfords Business Solutions offers a detailed space planning and interior design service to help you best utilise your office space for the needs of your business.

Carefully plan your IT
Getting your new infrastructure right is vital to ensure minimal disruption to business operations during an office downsize, particularly if upgrading or installing a new virtual office environment.

To help you manage a potentially complex IT relocation, Pickfords Business Solutions works with your IT supplier or internal department to ensure a seamless infrastructure move, including disconnection and reconnection services, server and data relocation, network patching and auditing services, portable appliance testing and cable management.

Consider storage as an option
While planning an office downsize, you may find it necessary to store certain furniture, equipment or filing, either as a temporary solution between office moves or a longer-term option to save on the costs of property rental.

Pickfords Business Solutions has a national network of storage centres for any length or size of business storage.

Meet your CSR objectives
Consolidating your office space normally results in an excess of furniture and IT equipment. Use this opportunity to meet your CSR targets by opting for environmental disposal of your unwanted goods, which can help raise thousands of pounds for local charities and causes while proving a cost effective alternative to landfill.

Pickfords awarded ‘Superbrand’ status

Pickfords has once again been voted a Business Superbrand by Superbrands UK, an independent research programme which identifies the UK’s strongest brands as voted by an expert council.

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The Superbrand survey, now in its 20th year, defines a Superbrand as having established “the finest reputation in its field”, and is deemed to offer “significant emotional and/or tangible advantages over other brands, which customers want and recognise.”

With a 400-year history, Pickfords is a long-established brand; one that is synonymous with moving. Pickfords is unusual among historic brands in that it still bears the name of its founder.

Pickfords has consistently been voted Superbrand status since the programme’s inception in 1995, and is the only removal company to feature in the 2015 Superbrand list.

Southampton branch helps gather 5,000 Easter eggs for disadvantaged children

A big thank-you to Gary Casey and everyone at Pickfords’ Southampton branch for all their hard work this Easter, delivering and installing dozens of Easter egg collection points throughout Hampshire before collecting and distributing the donated chocolate eggs to disadvantaged children across the area.

IMG_0907Southern radio station Wave 105’s ‘Cash for Kids’ Easter Appeal saw a record 5,000 Easter eggs delivered to under-privileged children across the south, giving each of them a little bit of happiness during the Easter period.

11074439_845902712112542_2462751180267445015_nLocals were encouraged to buy one extra chocolate egg during their Easter shop this year and donate it to a collection point at their nearest Sainsbury’s, FJB hotel or Partridge of Hampshire BMW Dealer. Gary and his team worked tirelessly to ensure collection boxes were delivered in good time and the donated eggs distributed in time for Easter.

Gloria Hill, Charity Manager at Wave 105, was quick to thank the team for their efforts:

“A big thank you to Gary and all the staff for supporting our 2015 Egg Appeal; we raised 2,000 eggs over last year’s target. Please pass on our thanks to Laurie and all the guys in the warehouse and office.”

Well done to all involved.

Pickfords and College of Policing raise £13,000 for British Heart Foundation

A big thank-you to College of Policing for helping Pickfords raise up to £13,670 for British Heart Foundation from over 270 items of furniture donated during the College’s recent office relocation.

College of Policing appointed Pickfords Business Solutions to move and environmentally dispose of various office equipment and furniture from multiple office sites, in the process of relocating to a new building in Sunningdale, Berkshire.

Household appliances and furniture were donated to British Heart Foundation, totalling 276 items, to help fund pioneering research in the fight against heart disease.

A portion of the remaining furniture was donated to LAM Action for remodelling, gym and canteen equipment was donated to Office Clearances for reuse by a school in Senegal, and the office furniture donated to the Hook Village Halls charity. Any remaining items were recycled.

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