CHAS-Contractor

Safety First, Safety Second with Chas Accreditation

Here at Danford Brewer & Ives we want to give you the highest quality service we possibly can. In a nutshell, that means offering our expertise and experience in performing basement conversions and a competitive price to both private households as well as partners, such as building contractors, architects and property developers, who require a specialist sub-contractor.
It stands to reason that Health and Safety matters to us, and its requirements are met as a consequence of our expertise and experience. When it comes down to it, it’s a matter of simple common sense: since we’re not going to cut corners to compromise our own health and safety, we’re not going to do anything that compromises our customers’ health and safety either. But, of course, there’s much more to it than that.
For starters, there’s the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) to consider. This places a duty on us to have a commitment to health and safety in the first place, not to mention an understanding of the legislation.
And now there’s more: a CHAS (Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) accreditation – a system of health and safety procedures specifically for the construction industry that Danford Brewer & Ives are now proud to have in our possession.
The advantages of holding a CHAS accreditation are manifold. But what it basically offers is evidence of an even higher knowledge of health and safety, coupled with less of the necessary paperwork – a double whammy for those in the building industry that take part in the scheme, and for their customers too.
In explaining how it works – and before outlining the advantages it offers – it’s best to, as they say, go back to the very beginning.
Our history lesson starts in 1997, when a group of health and safety and procurement professionals from across Great Britain started working with the Association of London Government (ALG) to develop CHAS.
Their main aim, naturally, was to improve health and safety standards nationwide. And in doing this, they created a system of ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers’. In case you were wondering, we’re classed as a seller and if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a buyer. The buyers have health and safety requirements that the sellers must meet.
The role of CHAS is to ensure that the seller’s health and safety standards are to the satisfaction of their buyers, and to others as well.
That last bit is particularly important, since the ‘others’ in question are, by definition, those of you who might be interested in using DB&I’s services but who aren’t CHAS members yourselves. Private households are the most obvious examples; but since CHAS buyers tend to be large organisations like councils, housing associations, NHS trusts, as well as a growing number of large private companies, then that might also mean the builders, architects and property developers we also sub-contract to.
Arguably the biggest advantage of all is the fact that CHAS buyers, because of their size and the likelihood that large numbers of their employees and others might come into contact with building work while it is ongoing, adhere to stringent health and safety protocols.
And since sellers like us must therefore adhere to them too, it has the effect of upping the H&S ante to the benefit of ALL concerned.
Then there’s the other advantage for us – but one that, we think, also benefits our customers. No-one likes paperwork, do they? It’s onerous and tedious and as dull as the English summer can be…but it’s also an inevitable consequence of health and safety.
And yet membership of CHAS cuts down on paperwork, since membership implies that the requisite health and safety standards have already been reached. Speaking of paper, it’s also worth pointing out that the system has been web-based since 2001.
How might that benefit the customer? Well, there’s necessary paperwork and unnecessary paperwork. Site surveys, project assessments, method statements, risk assessments and references might fall into the former category; but health and safety can also create plenty of duplicate paperwork.
This would take time to complete. But if we can cut down on such duplication, as we can with CHAS, it means instead that we can start – and finish – the job more quickly.
So the advantages of CHAS membership can neatly be summed up in terms of giving an improved level of health and safety but with less of the bureaucratic shenanigans. But there’s more to it than that. Here are a few more considerations for you:

  • It shows that we comply with current health and safety laws. Not only that, however, the accreditation also demonstrates that we have a commitment to improving our health and safety procedures over time.
  • As part of this process, CHAS offers guidance and commits us to consider our procedures in more detail, changing them wherever and whenever necessary. This means that households and businesses we sub-contract to will ultimately benefit from the application of higher standards and greater rigour.
  • When we undertake larger projects for CHAS buyers, it means that they can monitor us as we go about our work – an important consideration when one considers that, in such cases, it’s likely that employees or others might well be in close proximity to our work.
  • Accreditation cuts down on inconsistent decision-making, whereby one supplier might, for example, be judged compliant by one buyer but not by another. Moreover, since a lot of business is now won through tendering, CHAS has increasingly become a prerequisite as part of this.

More than anything, CHAS accreditation underlines that, here at Danford Brewer & Ives, we have the ability, experience and resources to do the job for you. The bottom line is that it will improve our business, and we also hope it will help us win more business – all the while offering our customers greater peace of mind.
A better business will always offer a better service. If we sound like one you want to do business with, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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How to treat damp in Listed Buildings?

At Danford Brewer & Ives we specialise in treating damp problems in buildings, usually old buildings and sometimes listed buildings.  The oldest and listed properties often provide the most interesting work for us.

Our usual jobs are often in Victorian, brick or stone terraced houses located across Yorkshire & Teesside.  Older properties in general often haven’t been well maintained or have been regularly ‘renovated’ and ‘improved’ on tight budgets. Damp and condensation are recurring problems.  We also see a lot of mid-twentieth century traditional family houses, often brick, semi-detached.  Some of these are now having problems with the failure or breaking down of original, often bitumen, damp proof courses.  Many have been altered, extended and have had walls removed.  We see a lot of damaged and bridged original damp proof courses.

Most older houses would originally have been draughty, poorly insulated places, possibly with outside toilets and certainly no fitted bathrooms & showers.  Heating would have been solid fuel open fires which draw air for combustion and provided good ventilation. We now close up these same structures, double glaze & seal the windows, block up air vents, turn up the central heating and use gas fires.  Showers, baths, cooking and breathing produce lots of moisture into the atmosphere of a home and some older properties don’t cope well with this high humidity and poor ventilation.

Traditional lime-based construction mortars and plasters need a property to ‘breathe’, modern cement and gypsum don’t react in the same way.  We see lots of old houses with solid external walls that have had plasterboard bonded with porous adhesives and now show patches of damp, condensation and mould.  Some modern methods are not compatible with older properties.

Danford Brewer & Ives have many years’ experience of working with a wide range of buildings and many different types of construction.  To be able to diagnose and treat damp problems you need to understand how the building was put together.  We have worked on thousands of properties. We carry out initial surveys with the homeowners and builders to discuss and investigate areas of concern.  We consider the type of construction and the condition of the structure.  We also take moisture readings and sometimes temperature & humidity readings, to help diagnose the causes of damp.

Usually, we can then provide a solution or choices of solutions to deal with the problems and quote for all the necessary works.  Most of our specialist works would carry long term, independent insurance-backed guarantees giving you total peace of mind that the damp problems have been solved.  We are a small company that can offer a personal and professional service and these guarantees mean that we can offer the security provided by some of the larger firms within our industry.
We have a range of solutions to damp and timber problems, some are modern chemicals and plasters which may not be suitable in all instances and may not be right or allowed in some listed buildings.  Sometimes we suggest silicon injection damp proof courses, sometimes electro-osmotic provides a much better answer and we have liquid tanking coating, cavity drainage & lining membranes.  We are also happy to work with conservation officers, listen to any concerns and try to find solutions.  The solutions may sometimes be maintenance, ventilation or undoing earlier ‘improvements’ or a combination of new and old techniques.

More and more of our structural work is carried out below ground level with basement waterproofing, converting cellars to dry, usable spaces sometimes for dry storage or sometimes to extend habitable areas, create a gym or a cinema, a kitchen extending into the garden or a self-contained flat.  This type of work is possible in some listed buildings with the correct planning and conservation consents.  We are happy to look at any of this type of project.
Danford Brewer and Ives are damp proofing and timber treatment specialists.  Based from our Head Office in Ripon, North Yorkshire, we provide a first class service which our customers appreciate.

“Thank you for the quality of the work and all your support with the project...incredibly helpful and accommodating....no hesitation in recommending” Mr & Mrs Griffiths North Yorkshire

If you own an older property and need some professional advice from the county’s leading Damp Proof & timber treatment company, then please contact one of our team who will be only too happy to help.

We'd love to hear from you. To speak to one of our team please contact our Head Office on 01765 804050 or submit your enquiry online.


basement

September 2015 News

New starters
Carl Newton – Operations Supervisor – Carl has been in the building and construction industry since 1985. As Operations Supervisor he is responsible for overseeing works on site, including stock regulation, preparation and health and safety.
Jamie Bell – Plasterer – Jamie is our newest recruit! He has over twenty years’ experience in the construction industry, including plastering, pointing, rendering and joinery.
Steve Flack – Plumber – Steve has worked as a sub-contractor for Danford, Brewer & Ives for the last four years. He has recently been employed as a full time member of staff and has over twenty years’ experience in plumbing, tiling, kitchen fitting and bathroom fitting.


August 2015 Update

Once again we are exhibiting at the Harrogate Homebuilders & Renovating Show from the 6th- 9th November 2015.Harrogate Homebuilders & Renovating Show
We have just started our new customer referrals scheme, giving our customers the chance to receive a £20 Marks & Spencer gift card if you recommend us to friends and family, who go on to give us an instruction. 
We are in the process of updating our literature to include an eight page colour booklet, detailing our range of services and contact details. Currently in the early stages of design, these should be ready for the show.


May 2015 Update

Recent Basement Projects
Ripon – At this property, we provided a full tanking system to a cellar conversion and extension, to allow a fully fitted kitchen, wash room and bedroom to the space.
Thorner & Ilkley – At these properties, we converted the cold, wet basement into a new dry and clean room suitable for storage.
Property renovation
We recently completed a full renovation to a property in Ripon to adapt into a wheelchair friendly home. This also included external ramps, paths, bathroom adjustments, kitchen fitting, new insulation, improvements to the electrics and alarm systems.


January 2015 Update

January 2015 News
Following the success of the Homebuilding and Renovating Show in November, we will be exhibiting at The Listed Property Show in Harrogate. It’s the first time the show has come to Yorkshire, and we are really looking forward to being there; come and see us between Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th March!
The whole team have taken part in further Triton Systems training, keeping us up to date with the latest and best products on the market.
Office staff are keeping busy with lots of enquiries from new clients and returning customers with a wide variety of jobs for the team to tackle, including shop fitting, timber treatments, garage floors and a large 7 room basement conversion! Roofing and fencing works have also been at the top of the list over the past few weeks, following the stormy weather and wild winds!


Summer Update

It appears the Great British Summer is here…time for us to enjoy Pimms, Wimbledon and trips to the seaside! 

Our operatives can offer a wide range of services for you this summer, from roofing and maintenance to fencing and paving, so that you can enjoy the sunshine while it is here… 
Damp proofing works are still keeping us busy, with jobs in North, East and West Yorkshire, including one with a sea view! 
Keep your eyes peeled for our vans in and around Harrogate, Middlesbrough, Burley In Wharfedale and Thirsk, where we will be busy on site in the next few weeks. 

Richard Douglas and Michael Gillman are attending health and safety supervision courses next week, to achieve SSSTS. 

In the office, we have been treated to some shiny new computers and an all singing, all dancing scanner/photocopier to help us improve our administration service to customers. Following the inspection carried out by our surveyor, we aim to have all paperwork sent out to the client within seven days. 

Changes to personnel: 
We say farewell to Karl and Brian, and wish them the best of luck in new ventures. 
Joining the team is plasterer Steve Murray, who is experienced and qualified in modern and traditional/lime techniques.


Spring 2014

It's spring - let's hope it brings some sunshine!
A lot has been going on at Danford, Brewer & Ives since the start of the New Year.
Some of us have been down to the Triton Head Office in Dartford to attend training courses recently. Between them, they completed courses in:
Isola Cavity Drain Systems, Triton Waterproofing - The Use, Application and Installation.
Triton Chemical Damp Proofing, Timber Preservation and Associated Products - The Use, Handling, Application, Health and Safety, PPE, and COSHH.
A bit further north, we have been very busy with damp proofing and basement works, as well as a flurry of reroofing jobs since the storms at the beginning of the year.
The guys have also found themselves in South Yorkshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, and Derbyshire carrying out a variety of building works for a nationwide shopfitting firm, including structural alterations, concreting, paving, access ramps, and making changes to shop fronts.
New recruits and changes of personnel:
We have said goodbye to Gilly, Owen, Michael and Yvonne, who have moved on to pastures new, and we wish them all the best for the future.
Say hello to our new recruits; Audrey Wood - Administrator and book keeper, Mike Gilman - previously a construction tutor at Harrogate College, now working for us both on site and in the office, Jimbob Hinchliffe and Karl Brown - experienced plasterers who will be carrying out more of our damp proofing works, and Lee James - builder and ground worker. Dan Ash has started this week as an office apprentice, to help in our increasingly busy office, and will attend college to further his development in Business Admin.


Autumn 2013 news

It’s that time of year again- the dark nights are closing in and the leaves are starting to look a little less green – safe to say, the hustle and bustle of the summer holidays are over…
We’re still keeping busy here at Danford, Brewer & Ives though; members of the team are putting the finishing touches to our display for the Harrogate Homebuilding and Renovating Show in November. We will be there to give tips and advice, meet potential clients, and promote our new online shop, which is almost ready to go live!
To get tickets for the Show, visit www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/northern ... we hope to see you there!
Out in the field, the guys have been all over the country doing what they do best. Contracts with a large shop-fitting firm have taken them to Coventry, Southend and Birmingham where they have been doing everything from fencing, improving accessibility by creating wheelchair ramps, and laying flooring, to opening up doorways, building internal walls, and rendering.
Damp proofing works have kept us busy, working in Middlesborough, Darlington, Ripon, Northallerton and York. In Fulford, we have been replacing old floor boards in the social hall with brand new oak flooring, and treating and preserving the original joists.
Top tips for a dry home during the wet seasons!
It is during this time of the year that damp and condensation can cause a real problem in the home. Condensation is the most common cause of dampness in buildings, the first visible sign being black mould growth.
To help control condensation problems in your home during the autumn and winter months, try not to dry wet clothes on radiators, and regulate the heating on the thermostat to a constant, but lower, temperature. Where possible, maintain a flow of fresh air through the property by opening one or two windows slightly, and put those kitchen and bathroom extractor fans to good use!