I suspect there may be a risk of asbestos sealant present in the flat in Blackpool. What is asbestos, is there a danger, and what does the surveyor do?
Asbestos is the general name given to the group fibrous, silicate materials that are now known to be harmful to organisms. Commonly called asbestosis, the curly or needle-shaped fibres usually caused mesothelioma (attack on the lining of the lungs, causing cancer). However, breathing in a single fibre will not be injurious, nor will it risk death.
Often considered to be a ‘miracle’ material before its deleterious effects were understood, asbestos was chosen for its resistance to fire and electricity, its tensile strength, and its sound-proofing qualities, coupled with its relative cheapness to produce.
The most common type found in the UK is white asbestos (chrysotile), which was often used in roofs, floors, ceilings, walls and insulation, thereby appearing in all manner of construction materials. From 1986, it was only white asbestos that remained in use in the UK for construction purposes.
During a survey, your chartered surveyor will not be able to confirm the existence of asbestos, since they will not investigate further than visual inspection because of the dangers highlighted above. However, they will be experienced in looking for it and will report their suspicions in the survey, recommending that it be checked out thoroughly.
Although you are legally allowed to remove asbestos yourself, this practice is thoroughly resisted by experts because of the danger that amateur removals may incur on yourself and your neighbours. Therefore, it is recommended that you appoint an expert to confirm its presence and to safely remove it.
For more advice from Surveyor Local regarding the survey, please give our advisers a call on 0800 022 4428, and to get your free quote, you could take a few moments to fill in some details in the simple form at the top of this page.
When we viewed the home we are intending to move into in Blackpool, it looked like there is old wiring; does a surveyor review the wiring and electrical system?
One of the areas that your Blackpool chartered surveyor will look into when they’re inspecting the property you are considering buying is the electrics, reporting on any findings where they suspect any part of the system to be in hazardous condition.
All new electrical work needs to be covered under the British standard regulations (BS 7671) and this covers all domestic, commercial and industrial properties. For the residential properties, it covers all wiring, the circuit-breakers, residual current devices (RCDs), sockets, and so on, while also focusing on special areas such as bathrooms (e.g. heating or shaving sockets), swimming pools (internal or external), ponds, or portable outdoor equipment.
As part of the building regulations approval in an extension or new-build, or where the electrical circuits have been updated, an electrical certificate, signed off by a qualified electrician, needs to be supplied to comply with the requirements. This document will be sought and checked by your Surveyor Local surveyor.
In addition, the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) recommends that a periodic inspection be completed every 10 years on private residential property, or every 5 years if you are renting out the property to tenants, or you own a commercial building. Again, your Surveyor Local chartered surveyor will identify the Periodic Inspection Review document’s existence and confirm its validity and status.
When preparing a Blackpool RICS Level 3 Survey, an RICS surveyor will inspect all accessible parts of the electrical system, noting the location and likely age of the fuse-board, and includes a visual assessment of the superficial parts of the wiring, without taking anything apart for safety reasons. In addition to verifying areas connected to the mains (e.g. the whereabouts of the meter or consumer unit), the surveyor will also choose a selection of sockets and light-switches to ensure they are operating normally.
In the survey report, the surveyor will highlight all of the findings, including identifying those areas that they are unable to access, which might need further investigation by a qualified electrician. Where there are areas of concern, particularly where the electrical circuits and wiring don’t conform to the British standard, the surveyor will recommend that immediate action be taken. It is wise to obtain a couple of quotes for any major rewiring activities, as this can be used to enter into renegotiations over the asking price with the seller.
Get your competitively-priced quote quickly from Surveyor Local (go to the form at the top of this page to get started). Ready to appoint your chartered surveyor? Call our advisers on 0800 022 4428 now.
Poor roof maintenance brings up bad memories for us. What does the Blackpool property surveyor investigate as part of the survey?
Blackpool properties in otherwise fine condition can be hiding serious roofing woes, like torn or punctured damp-proofing. From concrete tiles to ceiling joists, all aspects of the roof must be reviewed by the surveyor as part of their assessment. Factors like being literally flat, as opposed to on a small incline so that water can drain correctly are particularly troublesome for flat-roofed properties.
Given the high cost of major roof repairs, like replacement tiles, some homeowners may defer maintenance indefinitely preferring not to think about it. This makes both the cause and the consequences harder and even more expensive to treat when repairs do take place. A quote for the work could be sought from a reliable local roofing contractor in the area and might be a useful bargaining tool with your seller.
Your chartered surveyor assigned by Surveyor Local will have years of experience in all aspects of the survey process and is best positioned to provide you with the best service. Call Surveyor Local on 0800 022 4428 now to get your survey under way.
What will the surveyor consider on a stucco-coated, Victorian home in Blackpool that 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 Blackpool 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?
Get your instant quote covering your most cost-effective survey option from Surveyor Local by filling in a few short details in the form at the top of this page. Or call us on 0800 022 4428 if you’re ready to appoint your chartered surveyor.
Should I get a separate valuation and an estimate of rebuild costs for insurance purposes (including additional costs such as site clearance) for my Blackpool maisonette, and how does the surveyor work it out?
A Property Valuation Report is not a survey per se, although it is an associated product that chartered surveyors can offer, on the proviso that they are also a Registered Valuer. This is something that Surveyor Local can add to your choice of survey, and, if required, you only need to pick up the phone to us on 0800 022 4428 to discuss your particular needs and we’ll get the right service set up for you with the minimum of fuss.
A Property Valuation Report is requested when a definitive answer on the value of a property is required. Note that it’s not the same as a market appraisal, which is a guide or estimate to the property price that has absolutely no legal standing.
The report looks at the location of the property, its features, size and age, while it considers the identified problems and issues within its boundaries. The approach that the registered valuer will adopt is:
- Research: market research to identify similar properties of age, condition and size in the near environs and check how much they were sold for most recently
- Inspection: an assessment of the actual property across its boundaries, inside and out, where accessible and safe to do so
- Analysis: a translation of all the findings into a meaningful report, always written in plain English, for the client with the headline valuation
The price of a Property Valuation Report starts from £249, which includes VAT and is fixed), dependent on the size of the property being valued. If you would like a Property Valuation Report added to either your RICS Level 3 Survey or RICS Level 2 Survey, please contact one of our team of friendly advisers on 0800 022 4428 and they will be happy to get things set up for you so that you are ready to get going today!
Will the surveyor inspect the condition of the gas mains supply in the detached house we are buying in Blackpool?
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.
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.
Get your instant quote from Surveyor Local by taking a few moments fill in a handful of details in the form at the top of this page. Or call us on 0800 022 4428 to appoint a surveyor and get your survey under way.
There is a flat in the FY2 postcode area priced at £75,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Blackpool?
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 Blackpool.
This means the average price of completed transactions for flats in Blackpool in December 2018 was £68,933, which is £6,067 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Blackpool were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 16 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 Blackpool 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?
Should I opt for a RICS Level 3 Survey or RICS Level 2 Survey on a home in Blackpool, and, of the three, which one is the cheapest?
If the Blackpool property is a flat, or is 100 or more years old, has been substantially modified, is of non-standard construction (i.e. not brick and tile), the RICS recommends the cheaper RICS Level 2 Survey.
The customer can choose this type of survey for any property that they are buying, but the RICS recommends that it 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
If you are thinking about whether to do any works or build an extension, it would be better that you choose a RICS Level 3 Survey. The RICS Level 3 Survey is not as cheap as a RICS Level 2 Survey, but it will offer comprehensive details of the Blackpool property's state of repair in addition to information on defects, general repairs and maintenance options.
For more information, get an instant Blackpool survey quote from Surveyor Local (scroll to the top of the page and fill in the form that’s there) or call us 0800 022 4428 to speak to one of our advisers.