Are there any considerations we should know about if we are purchasing a building in Crawley inside a conservation area?
There are over 10,500 conservation areas in the UK, which are overseen and managed by the local councils to ensure that the integrity of their historical or architectural interest is maintained.
Surveyors in Crawley must have in-depth knowledge of local area factors and any connection they may have with the home and its value. Property values are, more often than not, enhanced, which is down to them being preserved.
Surveyors are trained to establish whether the home could be is in a conservation area, and the Section I Issues for your legal advisers of a HomeBuyer Report will recommend additional enquiries to be raised by your legal adviser. Unsympathetic adjustments that do not have Local Authority approval will also be reported; however, these should be investigated by your legal adviser.
Historic England also reviews and assesses the state of the conservation areas on an annual basis, creating the Heritage at Risk register, which can be viewed online to assess whether the council’s management plan is effective, and what is happening to remove the conservation area if it appears on the register.
Conservation areas, by their nature of being protected from significant change and managing conformity, are an attractive location in which to buy a house, but the owner should be aware of their responsibilities and, before buying a house, being aware of any changes that don’t have planning consent since this may require expense to reverse them. This information is highlighted in the survey and will also be directed to your legal representative for further investigation and analysis with the local council. The responsibilities incumbent upon any owner underlines the importance of appointing a focused and thorough surveyor like those we have at Surveyor Local.
This also means that houses in designated conservation areas naturally come at a premium, so potential buyers should be aware that properties will likely be more expensive than similar homes located outside the boundary of the conservation area.
Get your instant home survey quote for the home you’re planning to buy in Crawley by filling in the simple form at the top of this page. Call our team of advisers on 0800 038 6667 to set up an appointment with a great chartered surveyor; our lines are open 7 days a week.
I am going to buy a terraced property in Crawley (RH10) for an asking price of £282,000. What things does a Crawley qualified RICS surveyor consider on a Home Survey?
A qualified RICS surveyor will go to the property as well as considering the wealth of area knowledge and factors that have a bearing on the value of property. There are a huge number of issues that could affect house prices (for example, the quality of nearby schools, or whether the garden is overlooked). It can help to benchmark selling-prices recorded for similar properties in Crawley.
This means the average price of completed transactions for terraced houses in Crawley in December 2018 was £274,106, which is £7,894 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Crawley were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 26 February 2019
An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a HomeBuyer Report, which includes a Property Valuation Report (PVR) as a core component. A qualified RICS surveyor will be part of the Valuer Registration Scheme, which reinforces professional standards.
If you need further guidance, why not try our online instant quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information) or call our team on 0800 038 6667?
What will a Crawley surveyor look out for on a stuccoed, Victorian home in Crawley, which I am thinking of purchasing?
Stucco is simply a kind of smooth plaster render that is applied to brick or masonry, where it hardens to form a smooth, flat finish, or it might be used in making decorative mouldings to complement the rendered finish.
Comprising aggregates and binder to harden the mixture and water, stucco is durable, weather-resistant and is applied in thin layers, and is common on some Regency-period, Georgian and Victorian properties.
However, it can be problematic, and Crawley Building Surveys focus on issues such as lateral hairline cracking revealing the underlying mortar joints, or where dampness below flashings or where the render has been applied to ground level has resulted in detachment or delamination from the brick or underlying substrate. Problems need to be sorted out as soon as they are identified because they will worsen quickly the longer they are left. Wire mesh is often used, but this is not advised since it can hasten deterioration should the metal rust. And the damp-proof course may be left inoperative should the render be applied over the top of it and below its level.
Remedying significant problems with stucco may be expensive as the skills are becoming harder to find, but it is not recommended for the homeowner to attempt repairs themselves. Hairline cracks or other minor issues may be solved by applying another layer of stucco, or even simply a coat of paint.
Our chartered surveyors are familiar with all types of structures and building methods, so why not give us a quick call now on 0800 038 6667 to organise a visit to your planned purchase in Crawley?
Does a RICS chartered surveyor look at the serviceability of the gas supply in the bungalow in Crawley?
Everyone is aware that the volatility and the highly inflammable nature of natural gas make it a very dangerous substance if not regulated and checked by qualified experts. It is also for this reason that, where there is a gas supply to a property, your chartered surveyor will inspect the system.
All work on gas appliances and connection to the mains must comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, while any new heat-producing gas appliance installed (e.g. a cooker hob, or gas fire) requires the Local Authority to be informed so that it will comply with building regulations in order to gain the requisite approval.
A certificate of works will be provided by a qualified Gas Safe engineer, and this will be sought and checked for validity and status by the surveyor during the inspection. Regulations legally require landlords to complete appliance and installation inspections annually. Non-compliance penalties include heavy fines and possible criminal records.
As part of the survey, the chartered surveyor will visually check all the accessible parts of the gas system, such as the meter location and position and any gas-connected fixtures like chimney breasts or flues. However, if there are any fittings, they won't be dislodged for inspection, and neither will they remove covers or piping since they are not qualified to do so.
Where the surveyor identifies any area for potential concern, they will note this in the survey report, with recommendations for any remedial action to be taken, alongside a measure of severity. Where a problem is deemed critical, if only for a qualified engineer to check and assess the situation, any significant cost can be used to open up conversations with the seller about the possibility of offsetting such a cost by reducing the asking price.
Gas is potentially hazardous and, should you have any concerns about it, call a Gas Safe engineer. If you smell gas, call the free national Gas Emergency Services number immediately on 0800 111 999.
Local highly-rated Gas Safe engineers in the area can be identified or located at the official Gas Safe Register site.
Anxious to get your survey completed so you know what remedial work is required? Fill in the simple form at the top of this page to receive your instant home survey quote and call our team of friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667 to be assigned to one of the most experienced chartered surveyors in Crawley.
What input does a surveyor in Crawley give for a property with a chimney constructed from brick? What impact do Crawley environmental conditions have?
Of all the building materials used across the centuries in the UK, by far the most popular, and the most durable, has been the use of brick. Brick is made of a variety of ingredients, comes in different shapes and sizes and colours, and are made for specific purposes from being resistant to acid or chemicals to simple building projects, as well as being either solid or having a variety of hollows deliberately built into their structure, depending on the purpose to which they’ll be put, the budget for the construction and a number of other factors which will come into play.
Because brick has been used for constructing homes and other buildings for so many centuries, bricklayers and designers have devised a wide variety of designs for how the bricks are placed together, like common bond, which is made up of stretchers (long-faced bricks) with headers (the short face of the brick) every six courses or rows, to the rarer styles, such basket-weave bonds, with alternating groups of vertically and horizontally arranged bricks.
What the bricks and the way that they are laid all have in common is that they all have their susceptibilities, which your Surveyor Local chartered surveyor will analyse and inspect as part of your survey.
For more advice on what the survey can reveal for you, why not get an instant home survey quote by completing the form at the top of this page or call our advisers on 0800 038 6667 to get your chartered surveyor booked into the diary.
What effect can rainfall have on a Crawley home? Are repairs going to be expensive?
It is quite extraordinary, given how prevalent rain is in and around Britain, that the effect that wet weather has on Crawley houses is not given enough thought. If you have investigated the house on a clear day, defects may not have been obvious. Signs that downspouts are worth a closer look include "gushing" gutters. Blocked rainwater goods can result in water damage.
Fortunately, this is usually easy to remedy, if not neglected. Where this is untreated or poorly maintained, the damage becomes increasing costly to remedy.
Worried about your survey? Want to see just how competitive Surveyor Local’s quotes are? Try our online quote calculator by completing the form at the top of this page and call our advisers on 0800 038 6667 and they will talk you through the process and allay some of your fears.
We are purchasing a house in Crawley and found that the kitchen floor dipped in one corner; could this be evidence of subsidence? What can be done to fix it if it is identified?
Movement of a house on a structural level is defined as subsidence. Most homes in Crawley are constructed from a range of materials, each of which will contract at varying rates. Many buildings develop superficial cracks in a wall surface. This could be due to changes in temperature and humidity. Note that the rarer ground heave (with soil swelling and forcing the foundations upwards) may also exhibit the same symptoms as subsidence.
Organic material such as peat is usually stable if kept moist by the water level, but if the soil dries, this organic matter will decompose. This causes the volume of soil to reduce so that foundations can crush the subsoil causing the familiar subsidence.
The root cause of any subsidence must be found before repairs can commence, so that the appropriate solution may be implemented. Though tree roots are often the cause, removal of this plant-life may make the problem worse, so professional advice should be sought. Trees must be well-managed, and new trees should be planted at a safe distance from the exterior walls of the property. Maple, lime and horse chestnut trees should be planted no closer than 20m to the property itself. You may need to monitor (and measure) the cracks for as much as a year before the picture becomes entirely clear, keeping in mind the effect planting can have on neighbours’ property.
Talk to our team at Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 for advice on the survey process, particularly with respect to subsidence.
Is it best to upgrade to the more comprehensive Building Survey prior to acquiring a substantially-modified, period house in Crawley?
The RICS advises that the HomeBuyer Report should be adopted for what is described as “conventional properties in reasonable condition”. Specifically, this means:
- properties built less than 50 years ago (including new-builds, which are just as susceptible to minor issues as an established home)
- properties with no significant change made to them in recent years
- properties with no plans for significant change in the next few years
- properties of a standard construction (i.e. not of an unusual construction or built with non-standard materials)
The RICS also recommends that the more detailed Building Survey is most suitable for the following types of property:
- Listed buildings and some properties in conservation areas
- Properties that were built more than 50 years ago
- Properties that you want to extend, change significantly, or update in an integral way
- Buildings that have been recently subjected to such change
- Properties of an unusual construction, or built with unusual materials, irrespective of their age
Shortly after a thorough visual inspection of the inside and outside of the main building and permanent outbuildings, a written report (digital and written copy) will be emailed and posted to the prospective buyer setting out in-depth and far-reaching details on the standard of construction and repair of the property. There are several provisos with a Building Survey because a surveyor is not able to open up the fabric of the of the Crawley property (e.g. removing roof space contents).
To check out the differences in the products offered by Surveyor Local, click on compare the surveys.
Get your instant home survey quote in a matter of moments by filling in the form at the top of this page. When you’re ready to organise one of the best chartered surveyors in the Crawley area, call Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 and one of our friendly advisers will get an appointment in the diary.
Does a RICS chartered surveyor look at the serviceability of the gas supply?
The chartered surveyor will visually check the accessible parts of the system. The surveyor will look at the condition of the meter where relevant, as well as gas related fixtures such as fireplaces. External fittings will not however be taken off. The system won't be tested at all. Needless to say, gas can be dangerous and if there are any worries relating to gas installations, contact a gas safe engineer.
West Sussex based local firms include N V Plumbing and Heating of 12, Hopkins Court, Crawley, West Sussex Tel. 07905 880805 and D Tremayne of 16, Crosspath, Crawley, West Sussex Tel. 07903 353796.
We are purchasing a home in Crawley and noticed that there is a 2mm crack above the windows in the garage. What subsidence information does the Crawley HomeBuyer Report include?
Subsidence is defined as movement of the foundations of a home, but some degree of movement will always occur. Recently built homes, for example, will need to settle beneath the structure's own weight. Most homes are constructed from a range of materials, each with a different shrinkage rate.
Subsidence can be caused by a range of factors. For example, water leaking from a broken drainpipe or mains pipe will clear away soil which supports the structure. This can effectively reduce the volume of the soil surrounding the structure, meaning it can no longer support the weight of the building. A sudden, severe shift in weather can also impact a house susceptible to further settlement, either as a result of poor construction, materials or existing damage.
Identifying the cause of subsidence is the first step to its solution. The removal of trees may make the problem worse, however, so professional advice should be sought. Existing trees must be well managed, and new trees should be planted at a safe distance from the exterior walls of the property. Maple, lime and horse chestnut trees should planted no closer than 20m to the property itself. Damaged but non-structural elements should be filled and re-weatherproofed. Specialist geological and drain surveys may also be required as the movement of soil can sometimes crack drains or water mains.