Should I go for the more comprehensive RICS Level 3 Survey before investing in an extended, sixties cottage close to Banbury?
You can choose this type of survey for any property that you are planning on buying, but the RICS recommends that the RICS Level 3 Survey is most suitable for:
- 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
Usually within two to three days after a thorough survey of any accessible parts, a written report (a pdf and written copy) will be sent to the prospective buyer providing any frequently critical information concerning the construction and uses of the house. There are certain limitations with any residential survey, because a qualified RICS surveyor won't be able to force or open up the fabric of the Banbury building (e.g. undoing electrical fittings).
To clarify the differences between Surveyor Local’s products, click on compare the surveys, or talk to one of our advisers on 0800 022 4428. You can get your instant Banbury home survey quote by filling in the short form found at the top of this page.
What kind of problems will your chartered surveyor consider on a stuccoed, Regency home in Banbury, 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 Banbury RICS Level 3 Survey 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 022 4428 to organise a visit to your planned purchase in Banbury?
My partner and I are purchasing a farmstead in Banbury. Will the structure's age be a problem?
For many buyers, they dream of owning an old, characterful home purely because of that character and the romanticism of its charm and appeal, particularly if it’s coupled with a great location.
With such a dream, though, comes the consideration of the construction and what it means in terms of ongoing maintenance and remedying any existing problems as part of its purchase. This is because such properties are likely to have been built employing the older construction methods and materials, and this might occasionally give buyers second thoughts as a result of the stress and worry about its upkeep.
The obvious traditional (or ‘vernacular’) techniques in the construction include cob (a mixture of clay soil, straw, and sand), wattle and daub (limestone and horse-hair), straw bales, timber beams for wall construction, thatched roofs, adobe, and hemp, all of which can be very challenging to maintain.
You should be aware that expert knowledge may also be needed before buying so that the condition of the materials and structure can be fully checked out and estimates provided for any remedial work. In addition, certain materials suitable for the work may be required to be sourced, particularly if the building is listed or is in a conservation area, which might be expensive.
Get your instant Banbury home survey quote by completing the form at the top of this page: it only takes a few moments. Call our waiting team on 0800 022 4428 to be assigned to one of the best chartered surveyors available in the Banbury area.
What should I be aware of when buying a maisonette in the region of the Alkerton Waste Disposal Site, and landfill sites generally?
Sites used for landfill take many forms, including non-hazardous rubbish and recycling centres. There are thousands of sites affecting many thousands of people throughout the UK including Banbury, such as the Alkerton Household Waste Recycling Centre. Concerns might include methane gas generation, while health worries such as Downs Syndrome have been linked to proximity to landfill sites.
RICS Level 3 Survey and valuations in Banbury will examine structural defects resulting from being close to the site. Your legal representative will commission environmental searches of the Environmental Agency database as well as Cherwell Local Authority and advise you of any issues arising in the report on title.
Want to get your survey under way and in the chartered surveyor’s diary? Complete the form at the top of this page for your instant Banbury home survey quote and call our waiting team of advisers to get a date set for an inspection at your proposed property.
Will there be any potential pitfalls I would be advised to be conscious of when planning to buy a house in Banbury near a conservation area?
According to the Historic England website (retrieved on 30 January 2019), conservation areas are typically so designated for these types of locations (not an exhaustive list):
- centres of historic villages, towns and cities
- fishing and mining villages
- 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century suburbs
- model housing estates up to the late 20th century
- country houses set in their historic parks
- historic transport links (sections of canals, railways, and airfields)
- industrial heritage sites
Surveyors in Banbury are required by the RICS to possess sufficient and detailed knowledge of relevant local area issues and the effect they have on the property. Prices will be significantly higher due to them being largely unspoilt; however, many conservation areas have fallen into disrepair (e.g. badly maintained and potholed roads and pavements). English Heritage reviews the state of monuments and buildings and their locations annually. To see how Banbury fares in the latest reports, go to the Heritage at Risk register. As of 26 February 2019, there is one conservation area managed by the Cherwell local authority, Banbury Grimsbury, which is registered as being in very bad condition, with a low vulnerability but deteriorating significantly.
RICS surveyors will advise whether the property might be in a conservation area and Section I Issues for your legal advisers of the RICS Level 2 Survey will advise additional questions to be carried out by your conveyancer. Unapproved adjustments to the building may be reported in the survey, but these are really more a concern for your legal adviser.
Line up one of the most thorough and experienced Banbury chartered surveyors by calling Surveyor Local’s friendly advisers on 0800 022 4428. You can get your instant home survey quote by filling in a few short details in the form at the top of this page.
I want to buy a terraced house in Banbury (OX16 postcode), and the vendor is asking £245,000. What will a Banbury surveyor consider when carrying out a professional valuation?
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 Banbury (Cherwell local authority area).
This means the average price of completed transactions for terraced houses in Banbury in December 2018 was £238,657, which is £6,343 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Banbury 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 RICS Level 2 Survey, 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 022 4428?
Does a local surveyor check out the serviceability of the gas heaters at a maisonette in Banbury?
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.
Worried about any aspect of the survey and what it might reveal? Call Surveyor Local on 0800 022 4428 now and we’ll take away your concerns by talking you through the process and assigning you to a great chartered surveyor. Get your instant home survey quote by scrolling to the top of the page and completing the form there.
What warnings would the surveyor give for a Banbury house constructed with Sussex bond brick? Does the age of the property matter?
A number of designs and materials of brick-building have been used across the country for centuries. Maintenance work may be more time-consuming and costly than you assume. If the surveyor does raise concerns about a brick wall defect or structural issue, it may be wise to speak to a builder before completion to assess the extent and cost of the work.
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. Some of the more typical issues are:
- frost attack and damage, where water gets into the brick’s pores and expands as it freezes
- spalling, where the brick flakes and crumbles, usually precipitated by other problems or the poor original construction of the brick
- efflorescence or staining, where salts, metals or other impurities are brought to the surface as the wall dries out
- sulphate attack, which is a serious issue causing instability, where the bricks are subjected to long-term water saturation causing the mortar to cease bonding
- wall-tie failure, where the wall-tie either rusts or wasn’t embedded in the mortar properly, resulting in the walls pulling apart
- weathering and disintegration, a particular problem where the brick is open to the harsher elements and weather
- mortar deterioration, where the bond between bricks breaks down; repointing will fix the problem if caught early enough
In all cases, your Surveyor Local chartered surveyor will inspect the condition of the walls (where the brick is visible) and check for issues, highlighting the state in the report, and making recommendations for remedial action (long-term or immediate) depending on what has been found. It is always worth getting a selection of quotes from accredited and recommended builders for any of the work that has been identified. Local builders include:
- Greenwood Builders UK Ltd., 2 Beaumont Close, Banbury, OX16 1TN (Tel: 01295 261656)
- Banbury Builders, 38 Hardwick Park, Banbury, OX16 1YF (Tel: 07848 910928)
For more advice, why not try out our instant survey quote generator available by completing the form at the top of this page? Call our waiting team of advisers on 0800 022 4428 to get an appointment in the diary with one of the best chartered surveyors in Banbury.