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Carmarthenshire Homes Standard

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It's obvious that Carmarthen County Council has invested a lot of money and effort to bring council and private houses up to a very high standard.
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West Wales

Since 2008, we have been working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council to carry out home improvements to the 9,300 council houses throughout the county. To set a standard for the upgrading process, the council created the Carmarthenshire Homes Standard (CHS), a minimum standard for the condition of council-owned homes within Carmarthenshire. This standard is higher than that expected by the Welsh Assembly Government, with all home improvements having to be completed by 2014.

We have been responsible for improving over 550 homes throughout Carmarthenshire since striking up a partnership with the council. CHS works include providing homes with modern kitchens and bathrooms, double-glazed windows and doors, mains-powered smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors - as well as being fuel-efficient to reduce fuel poverty.

As well as the aforementioned installations, we have upgraded central heating and done rewiring work on homes. Our efficiency is typified by the development of a building programme that enables us to complete all works within a home in seven working days, causing minimum disruption to the tenants' lives.

No home is left without central heating or electricity overnight, and old kitchens and bathrooms are taken out and new ones installed the same day. We have been able to work efficiently over a number of years due to our established workforce and partnership with suppliers. As a result of our successful works for the council in relation to the CHS, we have been able to offer employment to local people, as well as develop and train a number of apprentices. We are proud to be able to say that all our workforce on the CHS come from Carmarthenshire, enabling us to support the communities in which we work.

Our work on the CHS has been commended not only by official bodies -having been awarded the '2011 Construction Excellence in Wales Award in Collaboration' for not only economic, but environmental factors- but also by the tenants whose homes we have been improving. Even former Welsh rugby international and television pundit Jonathan Davies, who grew up in Carmarthenshire, had praise for the project:

"It's obvious that Carmarthen County Council has invested a lot of money and effort to bring council and private houses up to a very high standard."

We are also working for the council in Pen y Groes - an ongoing external plastering programme involving re-rendering or re-decorating external walls with new fascias, gullies, and so forth.