Should we book a Full Structural Survey, Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report for a house in Hartfield and which one would be the cheapest?
The Full Structural Survey has been renamed by RICS as a Building Survey but is basically the same the same comprehensive survey.
If the Hartfield property is a flat, or is over 100 years old, or has been substantially modified, or is of non standard construction (i.e. not brick and tile), then RICS recommend the cheaper HomeBuyer Report.
If you are thinking about whether to do any substantial modifications, RICS advise you select a Building Survey. This survey is not as cheap, however it will give a thorough analysis of the Hartfield property's condition along with information on defects and maintenance options .
For more detailed advice you can get a Hartfield House Survey Quote or call us 0800 038 6667 to speak to our survey team.
A local builder suggested subsidence has been a concern affecting the apartment. What can be done to remedy subsidence if subsidence is found during the house survey?
Subsidence is the movement of the foundations of a building which compromises its structural integrity. Most buildings experience some minor cracking, especially new homes or recent extensions or major alterations. In contrast to subsidence, $heave$ can occur when a tree has been removed moisture builds up in the soil, causing the soil to swell, forcing the foundations above upwards, and can be as destructive as subsidence.
New cracks wider than 3mm to the bricks or render outside the property may indicate subsidence. A sudden, severe shift in weather can also impact a house susceptible to further settlement, either because the structural integrity is already compromised, or due to the use of cheaper materials.
Finding the cause of any subsidence is key. 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. Place pine, birch and cherry trees, for example, at least 10m away. Even with professional help, a definite diagnosis can take months.
A local warned us about vermin affecting properties nearby. Will a residential surveyor look into this?
Hartfield purchasers should know that is not a requirement that the vendor to mention a pest issue. Pests quite literally come in all shapes and sizes, and can be more difficult to treat than many buyers realise. An affected property may not always be easy to identify.
For example, bed bugs do not live in mattresses, as in commonly thought, but in cracks in the bed frame, or around the room, and will feed on the host at night. Treatment for pest problems may include removal of infected furniture. Your property surveyor may report on signs of infestation, but if you have specific concerns they can be taken into account.
Does a local surveyor inspect the state of repair of the gas flues?
Your will visually inspect the accessible parts of the gas system. The surveyor will look at the mains gas installation as part of the survey, in addition to gas related installations such as fireplaces. The external fittings or housings will not however be removed. Gas is potentially hazardous and if there are any concerns about gas fittings, contact a gas safe engineer.
The regulations ensure that landlords have to carry out appliance and installation inspections every 12 months. Non compliance penalties are harsh .
We are purchasing a converted cow-house. Will the house's age be a problem?
Some buyers in Hartfield hope to own a home with character. Older construction methods and materials, however, can often be problematic. Property constructed with traditional methods can be unexpectedly hard to maintain. It is often the case that expert knowledge is necessary. Traditional materials may also need to be sourced, particularly in the case of listed buildings. This may make the final cost hard to predict. If you plan to make alterations to a period home, discuss options with your chartered surveyor for further advice. Constructed in the 16th century, Yew Tree Cottage in Hartfield is a good example of a Post Medieval house.
Is there a flood risk in Hartfield, and will the building survey check for possible flooding damage?
Burst dams, tidal activity and inadequate drainage can all result in extensive flooding. Both property buyers and home owners in areas exposed to flooding are right to be worried.
As with many aspects of home ownership, flood prevention is better (and cheaper) than a cure.
Flood water can enter a home through a number of routes, including air bricks, poorly fitted doors and windows, and seepage through external walls. The home survey will also include details of any evidence of historical flooding, and may comment generally about the area's propensity to flood. The house surveyor will usually recommend that the property buyers seek legal advice on any related information mentioned in the report.