The vendor has mentioned that there is a risk of asbestos lagging in the maisonette we are buying in Preston. What is asbestos, and why is it such a big problem?
Asbestos is a very dangerous, fibrous, and harmful substance, with three of the over sixty types often used in British building products (chrysotile (white), amosite (brown) and crocidolite (blue)), before it was given an outright ban in the UK in 1999. Its high-tensile strength, fire-retardant and sound-proofing qualities, as well as its ability to repel chemical attack made asbestos a kind of miracle product before the true extent of the deleterious effect on health was understood. As a consequence, it was used in a wide variety of construction goods, from soil-pipes to loft-lagging, paint to ceiling panels.
Technically, all forms of asbestos are dangerous and might lead to lung cancer or asbestosis if you are subjected to prolonged exposure, but, contrary to common perception, inhaling a single fibre is not fatal.
If it is discovered, you must be careful never to displace or break asbestos, and professional advice should be sought immediately. Getting rid of it will probably be costly but absolutely must be completed by trained experts and should never be attempted by you.
Surveyors do not verify the presence of asbestos on a Preston HomeBuyer Report, but they will highlight the risk of asbestos, informing you of the options.
For professional advice on asbestos removal, Weldlag, 16a Boxer Place, Preston, PR26 7QL (Tel: 0800 849 1041) should be able to help.
For your free, instant Preston Home Survey Quote, try our online generator by filling in the form at the top of this page, or call Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 to talk to one of our advisers.
We found that there is a 20mm gap between the sitting room wall and the doorframe in the cottage in Preston; is this likely to be subsidence? What related issues will the surveyor report on?
Subsidence is defined as the movement of the foundations of a home, which then compromises its structural integrity, but it should be differentiated from settlement. Most homes experience minor cracking that will not affect the building's structure. New buildings in Preston, and properties with new structural alterations will be particularly susceptible to settlement. In contrast to subsidence, heave can occur when a tree has been removed, allowing water to collect in the ground, which causes the soil to swell, forcing the foundations above upwards, and the result can be as destructive as subsidence.
New cracks wider than 3mm to the external brickwork, or noticeably widening cracks that have remained stable for some time, may indicate subsidence. Inside the property, keep an eye out for rippling wallpaper that isn't caused by dampness.
The root cause of any subsidence must be found before the specific repairs can commence. Any further movement, or risk of it, must be halted. Specialist geological and drain surveys may also be required as the movement of soil can sometimes crack drains or water mains.
For more advice, why not give Surveyor Local a call on 0800 038 6667 to talk to a member of our team of advisers?
Will it be necessary to upgrade to the full structural survey before buying a ‘doer-upper’, Edwardian home in Preston?
For your interest, the Full Structural Survey has been renamed by the RICS to the Building Survey, which is an easier-to-understand and -read evolution of the report.
The HomeBuyer Report has enough detail if you are buying a mid-century (or later), unmodified house of normal building materials (i.e. brick and tile). If you are looking into purchasing an unusual home (for example, that unloved house in Preston), the Building Survey is the most suitable choice. Two to three days after the surveyor has carried out an exhaustive inspection of the accessible areas of the house (both inside and out), a formal report is delivered to the client detailing comprehensive and frequently critical details on the standard of construction and repair of the house.
There will be certain provisos with the survey to bear in mind insofar as the RICS chartered surveyor will not be able to open up the fabric of the of the Preston property (e.g. lifting up floor coverings).
Eager to get one of the best chartered surveyors in the country working on your survey? Call our advisers at Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 and they will be happy to get your survey under way.
Does a Preston HomeBuyer Report include a valuation and reinstatement cost estimate (including costs for rebuilding a retaining wall)?
The Homebuyer Report contains valuation by a surveyor (who is an RICS-registered valuer), and a reinstatement cost as a standard part of the offering, which includes any outbuildings, retaining walls and any other permanent structural features.
To calculate the valuation, your independent surveyor will combine their knowledge of Preston and its property market with other things relating to the property (e.g. style of architecture, or whether it’s overlooked), the materials used in the construction, access to amenities and proximity of transport links, connection to mains utilities, key assumptions (for example, there being no serious defects, and no significant outstanding legal issues affecting the sale), and environmental considerations (such as proximity of a major thoroughfare).
A Building survey does not include a valuation as standard, but we can add one for a small additional fee by request. Alternatively a Property Valuation Report (PVR) can be carried out. Give us a call to understand which of the choices best serve your needs, or you can contrast Surveyor Local’s products by going to compare the surveys, or you can call Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667.
Is rain an issue in Preston, and does our building survey mention it? If there is necessary work, will the issues be troublesome to fix?
The impact of climate change is regularly and widely reported, with devastating reports of problems caused by the rainy weather, yet damp weather and the effect it can have on a residence are rarely considered properly by house-purchasers.
If you have only seen the residence in warm weather, issues may have been hidden. For instance, there may be gushing gutters in heavy rainfall indicating a blockage somewhere. Other signs that gutters are under-performing include flaking or efflorescence on external walls.
That is not to say that drainage problems should cause you to reconsider a purchase. They are usually a simple matter to remedy. However, the damage caused, where not unblocked on a regular basis, will be expense to remedy and resulting damp and mould could become a health-risk.
Worried about your survey and how to deal with any of its findings? Our chartered surveyors at Surveyor Local are experienced and trained to talk to their clients throughout the transaction so you’ll always know what’s going on and what your options might be. Call us now on 0800 038 6667 to get your survey moving.
Will our Preston building survey look for flood damage, or whether flooding has affected neighbour's houses?
It is estimated that over two million houses and flats are at risk of flood-damage, and house-buyers cannot know that insurance against flooding will continue to be economically viable as insurance companies boost the premiums to cope with the frequency and severity of claims. A flood-alert service, with regular updates, is operated by the Environment Agency, and it also publishes details of previous flood warnings.
A property surveyor will advise on repairs or preventative measures, if there is sufficient risk to deem such work necessary. The GroundSure Flood Report is one of several risk-screening reports designed to provide an overview of whether a house in Preston lies within an area of potential or previous flood-risk, which is used by the surveyor.
If you are still concerned, give our team a call at Surveyor Local to discuss it on 0800 038 6667.
There is a semi-detached house in the PR2 postcode area priced at £150,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Preston?
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 Preston.
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in Preston in June 2018 was £143,356, which is £6,644 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Preston were:
Information © 2018 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 24 August 2018
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 Home Survey 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.
In the HomeBuyer Report, can you give some examples of a red-light rated defect for the section 'E4 - Main walls'?
RICS HomeBuyer Reports are designed to be transparent, detailed surveys of a residential property, unlike some other, more complex survey reports. Colour-coded ratings are used to communicate to what extent each defect requires attention. A condition rating of three (or red) is used to emphasise the most crucial repairs. Such defects marked in red may also need further inspection by an expert (for example, where asbestos is suspected to have been used in the Preston residence's construction).
In some cases, an element covered under Section E may be marked as NI, or 'Not inspected'. RICS have mandated a specific format for the HomeBuyer Report to aid the creation of a useful and comprehensive report for both surveyors and home buyers. As a result, some sections may not be relevant to every property, such as reporting on the condition of the roof of a ground floor flat.
Specific examples of defects to be found in the section governing the external walls include cracks to non-structural walls, or a failure of the damp-proof course. All visible issues relating to the outside elevations and foundations are checked. If hidden issues with the walls or foundations are suspected, a more comprehensive structural survey may be advised.
If you want to see what is in the report, Surveyor Local provides some sample reports on their site, including the HomeBuyer Report, or, if you want to discuss the detail, you can call our team of advisers at Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667.