If we are purchasing in Cardiff, what recommendations will a property surveyor make for properties built with Fletton brick? Is age a factor?
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, come 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, from the common and simple stretcher, Flemish and English bonds to the more complex Della Robbia Weave bond.
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, spalling, efflorescence or staining, sulphate attack, wall-tie failure, weathering and disintegration, or mortar deterioration.
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:
- AJW Construction (Wales) Ltd. located at 40 Richards Street, Cardiff, CF24 4DA (Tel: 029 2022 1823)
Talk to our team of advisers on 0800 038 6667 to find out what Surveyor Local can do for you, and to receive your free quote, or you can fill in a handful of details in the form at the top of this page.
When investing in a derelict, period cottage home in Cardiff, should I order a full structural survey?
What was formerly known as the Full Structural Survey has been rebranded by the RICS and is now called the Building Survey. This product is a comprehensive inspection by a chartered surveyor, and it provides an inspection of the building(s) at the property, a full survey report of the findings, and a property valuation can be added at an additional cost.
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
The duration of the assessment of the property depends entirely on the type of construction, its location and its size, but generally, it will take about a day to carry out the inspection and up to two weeks to receive the report, although Surveyor Local works hard to minimise this time where possible without impacting the quality of the service provided.
The price of the Building Survey is dependent on the location, size and construction of the property, but the cost usually comes in between £500 and £1,300.
If you’re concerned about what each type of survey provides for you, Surveyor Local has a few examples of the reports available for you to look at, such as the Building Survey, or you can compare the surveys.
Ready to choose your survey with Surveyor Local? You can either contact us on 0800 038 6667 or fill in a few details in the form at the top of this page to receive your immediate survey quote. Paying 10% of the quote now online will secure a surveyor for your house.
When we were shown the home we are planning to buy in Cardiff, the agent said that there could be corrosion of the wiring; will the surveyor report any faults with the electrics?
One of the areas that your 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), which are properly called the Electrical Installation and Wiring Safety regulations and cover domestic, commercial and industrial properties, as well as marinas, fairgrounds, external public swimming pools, caravan parks, and other areas where electricity may create a potential hazard for any occupants.
For the residential properties, it covers all wiring, the circuit-breakers, residual current devices (RCDs), sockets, and so on, while special areas such as bathrooms (e.g. heating or shaving sockets), swimming pools (internal or external), ponds, or portable outdoor equipment will also be assessed thoroughly.
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.
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.
Want to appoint an astute and experienced chartered surveyor for your move? Then you should choose Surveyor Local. Call one of our friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667 to set a suitable date and time.
We saw evidence that windows in the sitting room did not line up when we last viewed the house in Cardiff. What subsidence issues will the HomeBuyer Report consider?
Subsidence is defined as movement of the house’s foundations, but this can give cause for unnecessary concern, because some degree of movement will always occur within a building, regardless of its age.
Recently-built homes, for example, will need to settle beneath the structure's own weight. In some older houses cracks become apparent when temperatures rise, which will close again as the weather cools when the materials soak up water, but, in most cases, these are of no concern.
New cracks wider than 3mm to the external walls of the property, or cracks which were stable, but are showing signs of fresh movement, may indicate subsidence. In serious weather conditions, movement can worsen, leading to dropping of the structure.
Restoration work cannot begin until the original source of the movement is found. Removing or even pruning any trees causing subsidence may be enough to halt any further movement. Damaged but non-structural elements should be filled and re-weatherproofed.
Chartered surveyors should be able to identify a subsidence problem, while structural engineers may also be required to establish the appropriate solution.
Want an experienced chartered surveyor with deep local knowledge, who knows what to look for during their examination of a property? Then choose one with Surveyor Local. You can get an instant quote by filling in some simple information in our form (scroll to the top of the page to get started). Or, if you want to set up an appointment with a surveyor, call one of our advisers on 0800 038 6667 now!
I am buying a 16th-Century farmhouse in Cardiff, so will maintenance costs be higher?
There are many buyers who would really love to own 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.
Call our waiting team of advisers at Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 to find out what we can do for you.
Does a surveyor look at the condition of the gas mains supply in a Cardiff apartment?
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 is 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.
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.
Looking for an efficient survey examination at a low cost but without compromising on the quality of service? Get your immediate quote from Surveyor Local by filling in a handful of details in the form at the top of this page, or, if you’re ready to appoint a surveyor to visit the home, call one of our advisers on 0800 038 6667.
Should we choose a HomeBuyer Report, Full Structural Survey or Building Survey on a home in Splott, and which one is cheaper?
The RICS HomeBuyer Report replaced the original HomeBuyer Survey and Valuation in 2010, and, since 2016, the option of choosing the HomeBuyer Report without the valuation has also been on offer, making the service a little cheaper.
The HomeBuyer Report is specifically designed and laid out so that clients can find what they want easily and, more importantly, understand what the report is saying. In summary, the product provides:
- a clearer layout, so that the information within it is obvious and can be found easily and swiftly
- an energy performance rating, bringing it in line with current legislation
- modern design broken down into the clear areas of the inspection (e.g. about the property, inside, outside, services, etc.)
- colour-coded condition ratings using a traffic-light system for instant visual understanding (1 (green) – no repairs required; 2 (amber) – needs repair or replacement but not immediately urgent; 3 (red) – needs urgent repair, replacement or financial investment)
- performed by a skilled chartered surveyor, such as the thorough and focused surveyors we have available at Surveyor Local
- less comprehensive and detailed (and therefore cheaper) than the Building Survey, but significantly more detailed than the Condition Report
- written in plain English with no technical or jargon terminology for easy understanding of the condition of the building
Each HomeBuyer Report will provide the client with detailed information on:
- the current market valuation of the property (this is optional, so ensure you ask for it in your quote if required)
- background information and issues on the general property and its location
- structural problems (such as evidence of subsidence or heave)
- estimate of the cost for rebuilding (for insurance purposes)
- suspicion of the presence of hazardous materials (e.g. asbestos, although this will not be investigated in any detail)
- assessment of the damp-proof course (DPC), the drainage and the home’s insulation (but note that drains themselves are not tested)
- condition of the timbers throughout the property (where accessible), specifically identifying existence of woodworm or rot
- test results for damp in all walls
- details of any urgent defects that will need specialist inspection prior to signing the contract
- details of any major defects that will have an impact on the property’s value
Boston and Bridgend live
- planning and control issues for the attention of your conveyancing solicitor
If you need further guidance, you can have a look at Surveyor Local’s handy reference that defines the difference between the surveys.
The HomeBuyer Report costs an average of £400, although this is dependent on the size and location of the property. Surveyor Local offers a quality survey product for a very competitive price, so it makes sense to try our online quote calculator (simply fill in a few details in the form at the top of this page) or call us on 0800 038 6667.
There is a detached house in the CF11 postcode area priced at £395,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Cardiff?
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 Cardiff.
This means the average price of completed transactions for detached houses in Cardiff for November 2018 was £388,201, which is £6,799 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Cardiff were:
|£207,976||All property types|
Information ©2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 8 February 2019
An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a HomeBuyer Report, which includes a Property Valuation Report (PVR) for an extra fee. 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 Cardiff 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?
On a Cardiff HomeBuyer Report, what might a an red light rating mean for chimney stacks?
Red, or condition rating three, indicates particularly concerning issues. In some cases, such a rating may indicate further expert opinion is needed before an accurate statement can be given. In some cases, an element covered under Section E may be marked as NI, or 'Not inspected'. Irrelevant subsections of the HomeBuyer Report, like an assessment of a conservatory where the home in question does not have one, are disregarded. Possible defects will be checked thoroughly from ground level. A chimney which is noticeably leaning, for example, would be reported here.
There is a detached house in CF11 in Cardiff priced at £204, 156. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Cardiff ?
There are a huge number of issues which 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 in Cardiff for similar properties.
This means house prices completed between Jul and Oct 2012 was £186, 556, which is £17, 600 less than the asking price. The average for houses and flats was £168, 537. 9, Conway Road, Cardiff, Cardiff, Cardiff, CF11 9NT a detached home sold for £435, 000 .
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.
A qualified RICS surveyor will go to the property as well as considering the wealth of area items that have a bearing on the value of property.
We are buying a loft-conversion in Cardiff. What will our Cardiff property surveyor keep an eye out for during the investigation?
Residential property in Cardiff that are otherwise ideal can often hide difficulties with the roof, for example, bad drainage. All parts of the roof must be considered during the survey. This can include anything from ceiling joists to sheeting, and any defects addressed as soon as possible.
Repairs to a dilapidated roof can be the cause of serious accidents, which is why modern contractors refuse to work without scaffolding. A quote for the work could be sought from a reliable builder. Call Cardiff Roofing & Building of 11 Clos Y Gwyddfid, Radyr, Cardiff, CF15 8EX on 07978 746917 for a quote.