If we are purchasing in Chester, what input does the surveyor give for homes with rat-trap bond walls?
A good selection of methods and styles of brick building have been used across the country for centuries. As an example, Flemish bond, featuring alternating long and short faces of bricks.
Brick-built houses certainly have a number of benefits over those constructed from other materials, but, because of the types, styles and the way they are laid together, they can also experience various issues and defects, such as spalling (flaking and disintegration of the brick), wall-tie failure (essentially allowing the walls to come apart), or mortar decay. Or you might witness diagonal cracks that widen as they move upwards; these may result from ground movement, or where a timber element of the wall has rotted away.
Such problems should be taken very seriously, and you should seek advice and a quote from a selection of reputable local builds, which will help you in your contract negotiations.
You can get your instant and competitively-priced survey quote from Surveyor Local by filling in the form at the top of this page. Or, if you want to appoint your chartered surveyor today, call us now on 08000327649.
I am acquiring a neglected, Regency, mid-terrace home in Chester; is it best to opt for a RICS Level 3 Survey?
A RICS Level 2 Survey is detailed enough for a post-1950s unmodified home of typical construction materials and methods, while a RICS Level 3 Survey is the proper one to go for in relation to the house you have mentioned.
Approximately five working days after a thorough site survey of the inside and outside of the main building, the surveyor's formal report is dispatched to the client detailing comprehensive and significant insight on the materials used for the construction of the home and any issues unearthed. There are certain limitations that exist with any survey insofar as an RICS surveyor is not authorised to open up the structure of the property, or comment on non-permanent outbuildings. Permanent external structures or buildings that are part of the purchase will typically be reported on as part of the survey.
The chartered surveyor will investigate and inspect all accessible parts of the structure, as well as those areas visible by other means (e.g. through binoculars). This includes:
- Roofs, walls and floors
- Chimneys (inside and outside)
- Cellars and attic spaces
- Garages and other outbuildings and permanent structures
- Retaining walls
- Fixed or inbuilt cupboards and manholes
- Services coming into the property (but without removing covers, etc. for safety reasons)
- But not any concealed or enclosed areas that cannot be accessed safely or without the permission of the owner
The price of the RICS Level 3 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 have any further questions, you can call Surveyor Local’s team of advisers on 08000327649, and they will help you choose the appropriate product and give you a free quote.
We are buying a loft-conversion in Chester; what advice would the Chester surveyor give in their report?
Chester property in good condition can still be subject to roofing problems, such as rotting roof timbers or cracked soffits. From gables to collar-ties, all aspects of the roof will be taken into account by the surveyor, giving the roof a thorough inspection. Flat roofs are also known for the trouble they can cause, often the result of holes or cracks in the waterproof layer, or because the slant is insufficient to let the rain run off freely.
Replacement of tiles and other roof repairs can be the cause of serious accidents, which is why modern contractors refuse to work without scaffolding. A builder with a recommendation from a friend or family member should be able to assist with a quote, which you can then use in your negotiations with the seller.
Worried about the findings from the survey and what to do about them? Our friendly advisers at Surveyor Local are waiting for your call on 08000327649.
Can property that is partially constructed with stone cause issues for owners? Are there any related issues that need to be investigated, and what will the survey reveal?
The two main forms of mortared stone wall construction found in Chester are regular (geometrical shapes created by a stonemason) and irregular (the more rugged appearance). Dry-stone construction is used in garden walls and field boundaries, but is rarely employed for inhabited structures. Ranging from Portland Hard Blue Limestone to Broadway Dark Cream Limestone, the stone used in a home's structure will have an impact on its maintenance. Issues that include staining affect many stone-walled buildings.
Maintenance tips include the use of traditional methods to maintain older walls. Stone walls can be problematic for buyers interested in extending or altering their new home, because matching stone may be hard or costly to source. You can contact a local stone quarry or supplier for more assistance with the cost and availability of such materials.
Need to know more about what the survey entails for stone walls? Call our advisers at Surveyor Local on 08000327649 to discuss your options. To get your free quote, scroll to the top of this page and fill in a few details in the form there.
I am purchasing a 17th-Century cottage in Chester. What impact will the wooden structure have on maintenance?
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.
Want one of the best chartered surveyors in the country without having pay a lot of money? Call our advisers at Surveyor Local and they will be happy to get your plans under way.
There is a detached house in the CH2 postcode area priced at £320,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Chester?
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 Cheshire West and Chester area.
This means the average price of completed transactions for detached houses in Chester in December 2018 was £312,468, which is £7,532 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Chester area were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 15 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 Chester survey quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information) or call our team on 08000327649?
What should we be wary of when buying a maisonette close to Golden Nook Dredging Landfill Site, and landfill sites in general?
A ‘landfill site’ is the generic term given for specialist locations licensed by the government (and the Environment Agency) for any material that won’t be recycled or reused to be dumped, buried or collected in one place. Because of the shortage of new locations for landfill, and the reduction in available space at existing ones, this explains the drive for better recycling options.
However, be aware that recycling areas can present as much of a hazard as the familiar dumping sites, with noxious chemicals spilling into the environment, either in the ground, through the water-table, the drains or airborne, especially where waste is burnt.
Specialist licenses are required for those companies operating such sites, and these are inspected to ensure that all legal measures are being correctly enforced and complied with.
Whether it’s a local authority tip, a recycling centre, or a true landfill site, no-one would willingly wish to live in close proximity to one (although the large majority of the British population do). For this reason, it makes complete sense for your surveyor to check out the environmental and structural impact of such necessary waste management sites on the property you are wishing to buy, not only from the environmental side of things but also from the traffic passing in and out of the site and how the vibrations might be impacting the foundations and the environs.
Where there is cause for concern, or if there appears to contamination that is attributable directly to such sites, your surveyor will note this in the report and highlight the severity for remedial action, often placing it in the section for consideration by your conveyancing solicitor to look into with the appropriate authorities.
Your Surveyor Local surveyor will have a deep knowledge of the local area and will therefore be aware of where landfill sites have been closed and built over. In some instances, movement in what has been buried may be a cause or start of subsidence, and they will be able to advise accordingly.
Meanwhile, your conveyancing solicitor will conduct environmental searches of the British Geological database and the Cheshire West and Chester Local Authority to address any concerns you may have, compiling the information into the report on title.
Time to line up your experienced chartered surveyor with Surveyor Local! You can do so by calling us on 08000327649 and talking to one of our waiting advisers.
Does the surveyor check out the condition or the safety of the gas supply to our planned Chester home?
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. 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 with Surveyor Local for one of the cheapest options around (scroll to the top of this page where you’ll find the form to get started). If you want to talk to someone, you can call our advisers on 08000327649.