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You are here: News » Archived News » ABC+ Warranty - providing the perfect cover

ABC+ Warranty – providing the perfect cover

Adele Reid

Dark Pink More ButtonAdele Reid is the Managing Director of ABC+ Warranty which has been supporting the property and construction sector since 1989. The business offers a range of services to the construction sector but specialises in Structural Warranties and Professional Consultant’s Certificates (PCCs).

Adele – please tell us about your journey in what is viewed as a male-dominated business sector?
“Achieving success wasn’t a result of magical shortcuts or established procedures. Coming from a working-class family, my ambition was fuelled by the desire to do better than my parents – something they were very keen to instil in me from an early age. They worked long, irregular hours, and luxuries like holidays or dining out were beyond our reach.

“From 13, I juggled three paper rounds, delivering to morning, evening, and weekend readers. Competitiveness was in my nature, leading me to enjoy various sports at school. During my A-Levels, I balanced extra hours at Deep Pan Pizza, where I became one of the youngest supervisors – it was hard work balancing the hours with my studies. My first full-time role post-school was as an Insurance Administrator, where I really enjoyed the busy office environment. I recall the mostly male senior managers and directors of the 1990s, with only one female among the senior team. So to advance my career, I knew outstanding performance was essential.

“At 18, I bought my first house, eager for independence. Shortly after, I qualified as an Insurance Compliance Officer and at the same time realised my true passion: houses!

“By 23, I was married with a baby and had completed my first barn conversion, followed by a house renovation as an investment, all while maintaining my full-time job. Childcare was challenging, especially during school holidays, as my parents lived in Yorkshire and local schools didn’t have the range of pre-school and after school clubs available nowadays. Anticipating the birth of my second child, I studied childcare qualifications and established an after-school and holiday club in High Legh, bringing a great business opportunity alive for the hard-working Mums in the local area. The housing bug was still there, and a year later I completed an eco-friendly new build. I was ready for the next venture!”

Tell us about the start of ABC+ Warranty – how you recruit and guide your team?
“My background in insurance and property development led to the creation of ABC+ Warranty. I assembled a team of Chartered Building Surveyors and property specialists, providing national inspection services. When I started the business 12 years ago, I already had a breadth of insurance experience AND had successfully renovated, developed and converted a range of different properties myself. Although I had hands-on experience and viewed myself as a professional it didn’t make me an expert.

“Recognised industry qualifications are key to building your reputation as a business, and should never go overlooked, however I found ‘people’ skills and intuition in the form of empathy are crucial attributes for building your team around you. Since the inception of ABC+ Warranty, I have trusted my instincts and employed staff that had great customer service skills and showed potential over GCSE or A-Level results. A sound knowledge of Maths and English undoubtedly goes a long way but that’s only the starting blocks.

“Traditional ‘female superpowers’ are important to how we run our business offering growth opportunities for our colleagues and creating strong customer service experiences.

“Having worked from a young age whilst still studying at school, I naturally developed life skills. Working within customer-facing environments provided plenty of opportunities to work on my confidence and engage with people of all ages and diversities. This is something I try and guide my team to utilise – people naturally develop skills as they progress through life, and sometimes it’s easy to forget those lessons, especially within a job that may rely on established ways of working. I try and encourage everyone to use those skills to not just excel in their roles, but to enjoy learning about themselves in the process. Self improvement is so important and also so rewarding for everyone – particularly in a business environment.”

What services do you offer?
“Our services cater to builders, developers, and self-builders, offering a choice between a 10-year or 12-year Structural Warranty, also known as Latent Defects Insurance. We can also provide a Professional Consultant’s Certificate (PCC). Both types of certificates meet the requirements of mortgage lenders in the UK, and are necessary for all mortgage lenders after completion of work on UK properties and buildings. ABC+ Warranty presents a solution for claims related to significant structural issues, which otherwise could impose a substantial financial burden on the homeowner or end user. Additionally, our certificates are compatible with government-supported home purchasing initiatives like the Help to Buy scheme and are also suitable for Housing Associations.”

Tell us more about Structural Warranties?
“A Structural Warranty provides a 10-year or 12-year insurance coverage against structural defects in your property resulting from poor craftsmanship or substandard materials. Should any structural damage arise, this policy ensures you are financially compensated to assist with the repair expenses. The duration of this policy is either 10 or 12 years, starting from the date listed on the Building Control Completion Certificate. If you are a self-builder, developer, or part of a Housing Association, and you’re planning to start a new housing project, considering converting an old barn, or transforming an existing property into multiple flats, it’s important to think about securing a Structural Warranty provider. Even if you’ve already completed properties without valid certification, it’s still possible to appoint a Building Surveyor after the construction work is done.”

“Having either a Structural Warranty or a Professional Consultant’s Certificate (PCC) is a requirement for lenders. Should you wish to sell or remortgage the property in the future, you’ll find it necessary to have one of these certificates in place.”

You also offer a Professional Consultant’s Certificate (PCC) – how does this work?
“A 6-year Professional Consultant’s Certificate (PCC), also known as an Architect’s Certificate, validates that the finished construction complies with established building standards. This certificate remains effective for six years and is provided after a qualified surveyor conducts a final inspection confirming the satisfactory completion of the project. It’s important to note that a PCC differs from a warranty. For broader protection, a 10-year Structural Warranty is recommended. Additionally, there’s an option to upgrade from a PCC to a Structural Warranty if needed later.”

ABC+ External New Build

What is a Retrospective Warranty?
“This type of Structural Warranty is available for properties that have already reached the completion stage of construction. Opting for this warranty at the completion stage is generally costlier compared to engaging a warranty provider from the start though. The increased cost is due to the fact that the project hasn’t been seen from the start of construction, which presents a greater risk to the insurance company underwriting the warranty. Moreover, most mortgage lenders favour warranties where the provider has been involved in monitoring the construction work right from the beginning, rather than just at the end.”

Why Choose ABC+ Warranty for these services?
“We are an acclaimed Structural Warranty company, recognised with multiple awards, and we offer the most economical warranties available in the UK. Our coverage extends to all property types, be they residential or commercial. Our particular approach sets us apart from other providers such as NHBC, Premier, LABC, Protek, Checkmate, BLP, or Advantage Warranty because we don’t require holding bonds or charge renewal fees, giving us a competitive edge.

“For those working within a tight budget or facing cash flow challenges, we provide flexible payment options to facilitate efficient project management. Additionally, we are capable of issuing our certifications rapidly, often within hours, as opposed to the weeks it might take others.”

ABC+ Building Internal

How important is ESG to yourselves as a business?
“Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) are terms now recognised for ethical business practices, principles that we as a forward-thinking company, have been implementing for many years. It’s insufficient to merely adopt internal policies aimed at enhancing environmental sustainability and ethical business conduct. Our approach has been to actively lead and promote best practices within our industry. For instance, we were among the first in the UK to establish a COVID-secure office during the pandemic. The guidelines we developed for safe client services were subsequently adopted by the UK government as a national standard for safe office operations.

“Our commitment extends to championing diversity and equality, especially in the traditionally male-dominated sectors of property and construction. I have been an advocate for this cause, speaking publicly at construction events throughout the UK, such as Grand Designs Live, the Home Building & Renovating shows, and UK Construction Week. Furthermore, we have contributed insights and recommendations to the New Homes Ombudsman service. Sharing our specialised knowledge is vital for the industry, and I believe that over the past decade, there have been significant positive shifts within the sector that are almost certainly the result of petitioning from strong female leads within the sector. Our work is making a real difference”

What has ABC+ got planned for the future?
“Building on gender equality and diversification within the sector is really important, and the positive gains so far need to be extended. There is still a lot of work to be done, and it’s something I’m very passionate about on an ongoing basis, by public speaking, and delivering thought leadership pieces to the media and through social media. As a business we are constantly improving our procedures via automation, which now includes using AI – using artificial intelligence. We’ve invested in a new website with some fantastic new features, and the site has so far been very well received.

“In addition, we’ve now added specialist developer finance for lending to developers of medium to larger building projects. This includes bridging loans, residential mortgages, developer finance for all sizes of projects and exit finance for those unexpected snags and last minute improvements. These have definitely enhanced our comprehensive suite of services and allowed us to review and develop further services in the future.”

Find out more about the certificates and services that ABC+ Warranty provide to the construction and property sector:
0161 928 8804
architectscertificate.co.uk
abc@architectscertificate.co.uk

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