If you’re purchasing a property, then you are more than likely to require a property survey. A HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey can be invaluable and will ultimately identify key defects before committing to the sale. It could make or break the deal or give you an opportunity to renegotiate the price.
For this week’s blog, I will highlight some of the most common issues I found on recent Homebuyer Surveys, to illustrate how prudent a pre-purchase property survey is and why you should always consider your Surveyor’s recommendations. Here are some of the most common issues found in a house:
One of the most common defects we pick up on our Surveys is the awful damp. There are two basic sources of damp: water outside trying to get in and water inside trying to get out. Older homes at some stage experience ‘damp problems’ that can eventually lead to timber decay. Properties with damp might experience damp smell and damp patches on the walls with peeling plaster. In worst cases, the internal joineries will begin to rot and mold, making unhealthy living conditions and contribute to costly repairs.
Damp is one of the most misdiagnosed defects, with things like Rising Damp being blamed for other causes such as condensation, plaster contamination or water seeping under window sills. This results in costly and pointless injected Damp-Proof Courses, which are recommended buy so called damp specialist companies. It is imperative to get an experienced and qualified team of Surveyors on board to give you independent advice to address the issue at its root.
The roof is a part of the house that is often least considered, which is easy to do so when you’re inside and it’s out of sight. The last thing you want is the roof leaking after particularly adverse weather conditions. The roof is one of the first areas a Surveyor will look at when inspecting the property.
There are few very common roof problems where they can be overlooked or unbeknown to a property owner. The flashing could be weathered or inadequately sealed, roof could be sagging caused by overloading or weakened timbers, and tiles can be slipped, broken or reaching the end of its useful life.
Overlooked roof maintenance can end up causing the new property owners thousands of pounds, depending on the extent of the damage, and can lead to further problems like rotten wood within the loft of the property.
Structural movement is a common sight in many of our surveys, particularly those of period properties, which have decorative features like cornices, quoins, string courses, brick arches, bay windows and lintels.
Structural movement can come in different types of forms – cracks in the wall, thermal movement, initial settlement, heave, subsidence, and expansion of building components. With solutions potentially being the installation of wall plates, brick stitching with steel rods, underpinning and even replacement or rebuild. Identifying the precise causes for cracks can be challenging due to the amount of possible causes, however, this is something our qualified surveyors are pretty good at diagnosing.
All homes will eventually face some sort of defect during the course of its life, whether it is inherent, structural or workmanship defect. Our Surveyors specialise in identifying and diagnosing the causes of such defects aiding you in your decision to purchase a property.