What will the Carmarthen surveyor examine on a stucco-rendered, Victorian house in Carmarthen that we wish to buy?
Stucco (also known as pargetting) 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 Carmarthen RICS Level 3 Survey and RICS Level 2 Surveys 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.
For advice on render repair, contact a reputable local specialist such as:
- A. J. Building and Plastering Ltd., 9 St. Peters Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1LN (Tel: 01267 231675)
- D. W. Elias Dry-Lining and Plastering, 82 Abergwili Road, Carmarthen, SA31 2HJ (Tel: 07884 958450)
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Is it best to commission a RICS Level 3 Survey prior to investing in a shabby, Edwardian, top-floor flat near Carmarthen?
The RICS Level 3 Survey 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, both good and bad
- A property valuation (if specifically requested and carries 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
For more information and a breakdown of what each survey type includes please read our survey comparison table.
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Does an RICS surveyor provide details on the safety of the gas installations at our bungalow in Carmarthen?
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.
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What does a property surveyor in Carmarthen look for in a 90s home with a brick chimney? What impact do environmental conditions in Carmarthen have?
Of all the building materials used across the centuries in the UK, by far the most popular, and also 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. In addition, if you are a novice at repairs, you could worsen any problems that might already exist. Some of the more typical issues are frost damage, spalling, efflorescence or staining, sulphate attack, wall-tie failure, and 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 recommended builders include:
- Bassett & MacGregor, Royal Oak Meadows, St. Clears Road, Johnstown, Carmarthen, SA31 3JF (Tel: 01267 230995)
- A J Building & Plastering, PO Box 27, Carmarthen, SA31 2YB (Tel: 01267 231675)
- S. I. Evans & Sons, 81 Lammas Street, Carmarthen, SA31 3AY (Tel: 01267 236253)
For more advice, you can get your instant Carmarthen home survey quote from Surveyor Local by completing the form at the top of this page, or you can call our advisers on 08000327649.
What effect can rain have on a Carmarthen house, and does our RICS surveyor mention it? If there is remedial work that needs to be done, will it be expensive?
Rainfall is a fact of life in the UK and especially in certain areas of England Wales; however, the effect that wet weather has on houses is often overlooked by purchasers anxious to complete on their desired property.
To this end, your Surveyor Local chartered surveyor will be looking for evidence of potential issues in the way that rainwater is managed away from the property. The Environment Agency estimates that almost 10% of all properties in the UK are at risk from surface water alone, so it makes complete sense to get peace of mind by ordering your survey through us at Surveyor Local.
One indication that drainage is ineffective, for example, is rusted iron elements, which can lead to overflowing or blocked sewage. Another is sunken flagstones, which might show that the underground drain has been ruptured, which could then mean that water is not being taken away from the home effectively.
Whether you are buying in Carmarthen or elsewhere, difficult drainage does not necessarily mean that you need to pull out of your transaction. Such matters are often simple to repair, although if the drains are not unblocked on a regular basis, the resulting damage can lower the value of the property and become increasingly harder to repair.
Worried about your survey? Want to get yours booked and ready to go? Call Surveyor Local’s friendly advisers on 08000327649 and they will get you assigned to a great chartered surveyor. Complete the form at the top of this page to see just how competitive the prices of our services are.
The estate agent mentioned that subsidence may be worth checking impacting the property in Carmarthen. What subsidence-related matters will the chartered surveyor identify?
Subsidence is defined as movement of a structure’s foundations, but some degree of movement will always occur in every building. Recently-built homes, for example, will need to settle beneath the building's own weight. In some older houses, cracks are revealed in warmer weather, that then close up in the winter when the materials contract absorbing more moisture.
There are several causes of subsidence, such as collapsed drains, which washes away or loosens the subsoil (this is also known as groundwater subsidence). In some cases, the presence of buried peat or other organic material, which then decomposes if the water level drops, can also destabilise the structure, by causing the soil beneath and around the foundations to collapse.
Restoration work cannot begin until the original source of the movement is found. Any further movement, or risk of it, must be halted as soon as is practicable. 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 identifying the extent of the problem and the appropriate course of remedial work.
To find out more about what your Carmarthen home survey can do for you, talk to Surveyor Local’s waiting advisers on 08000327649. You can also get an instant quote for your chosen survey by completing the form at the top of this page.
We are planning to buy a detached house in Carmarthen (SA32 postcode), and the vendor is asking for £214,995. What things does a surveyor consider when valuing houses in Carmarthen?
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 the Carmarthenshire local authority area.
This means the average price of completed transactions for detached houses in Carmarthen in December 2018 was £198,019, which is £16,976 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Carmarthen were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 27 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.
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The seller in Carmarthen said that damage to the parapet had been a concern. Which issues relating to the structure's roof will be checked during the survey?
Questions about the roof are among the most frequently asked because some house-buyers know that homes may be exposed to difficulties with the roof, such as mould or bowing, regardless of the state of the rest of the building.
From collar ties to fascias, inside and out, the whole roof will be considered during the survey. After the examination, your surveyor may then recommend that some faults need urgent attention.
The chartered surveyor may find, during the inspection, a number of relatively minor issues that, without remedial work, may become a more serious – and expensive – problem to resolve. These include missing, loose or cracked tiles, blocked gullies and gutters, worn or cracked flashing, mould and rot, and timber pests and rot, amongst several other issues.
Most roofing work, unless you are planning a major extension, won’t require planning permission, but may require building regulations certification. Your surveyor will be happy to advise. Since most roofing work, other than simple maintenance tasks, will likely cost a lot of money to resolve, obtaining a number of quotes for any work might be a useful bargaining tool to renegotiate the agreed price with the seller. Local roofers include:
- G. J. Isitt Roofing, Lan-fawr, Carmarthen, SA33 6HN (Tel: 01267 253425)
- A1 Terry Gravell & Son Roofers, Bryndawe, Felingwm, Carmarthen, SA312 7QA (Tel: 01267 290972)
For your instant Carmarthen home survey quote, try Surveyor Local’s easy-to-use generator by filling a few details in the form at the top of this page, or give us a call on 08000327649 to talk through your requirements with one of our friendly advisers.