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Keeping sites spick and span

Up keep and maintenance of buildings is essential to ensure that your showroom adheres to legally binding regulations as well as making it a welcoming place for customers to visit.

Everything from the heating and air-conditioning systems to fire alarms and the roof need to be kept in top condition. It is paramount that a business is aware of all aspects involved.

Geoff Hunt, director of building surveyors S20, says: “The majority of maintenance work is essentially preventative and is carried out in conjunction with health and safety law.

“Statutory checks such as those for fire extinguishers, fire alarm testing, electrical equipment and fall restraint systems on roofs need to be carried out annually.”

Hunt says that for workshops and spraybooths it is especially important that dealers carry out regular testing to ensure that extraction and ventilation are working properly.

Mike Short, managing director of Motor Design Group architects, says that it is often in these areas that dealers cause problems.

“I have seen showrooms where there is dirt around the heating tiles and this is as a result of filters that need changing,” he says.

Large plcs will often have a property division that is in charge of the maintenance and repair of its buildings.

It is a different type of task for independent dealers who need to keep their sites in top condition, either through a sub-contracted maintenance partner or on a needs basis.

Clive Fletcher, dealer principal at Specialist Cars, Stevenage, which has a three-month old BMW/Mini dealership as well as a Sixties build for Mini in Luton, says: “It’s a constant battle to keep our older sites looking spick and span. Our new sites conform to all up-to-date regulations and it’s easier to keep on top of things.”

Fletcher employs specialists to carry out maintenance work as needed to ensure that all work is professionally done and adheres to current legislation.

As energy costs continue to rise, maintenance of heating, insulation and air conditioning systems has become a priority.

Short says: “By ensuring that these systems are working as they should, dealers can reduce their power consumption and their running costs, saving money in the long-term.”

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