We want to put in an offer on a place in Darlington with Flemish Diagonal Bond design in the brickwork; what impact do Darlington environmental conditions have?
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, 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.
Why not give our advisers at Surveyor Local a quick call on 0800 022 4428 to discuss what a survey can do for you? You can instruct one of the best surveyors to work on your move today!
When we saw the mid-century Darlington home, we think there were some damaged electrical sockets; does a surveyor report anything on the electrical system?
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, which are susceptible to moisture, such as bathrooms (e.g. heating or shaving sockets), swimming pools (internal or external), ponds, or portable outdoor equipment, are given particular focus.
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 Darlington 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 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.
The IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) suggest that a periodic test be completed every 10 years (or every 5 if you are renting out the property). Always seek advice from a local certified electrician, such as R.J.G. Electrical Contractors, 21 Lakeside, Darlington, DL1 5TN (Tel: 01325 246535).
Looking to get your survey in the diary right now? Call our friendly advisers at Surveyor Local on 0800 022 4428 today and we’ll get you moving.
We are purchasing a modified, Edwardian, detached home; is it necessary to get a full structural survey?
What was formerly known as the Full Structural Survey has been rebranded by the RICS and is now called the RICS Level 3 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, 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
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 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.
Try our instant Darlington home survey quote by filling in a few details in the short form at the top corner of this page or call our waiting team of advisers on 0800 022 4428 to find out what Surveyor Local can do for you.
Can houses built with stone generate high upkeep costs for buyers? What related issues should we be aware of, and what does the survey cover?
The sturdy appearance of stone walls may hide serious concerns. The problems which can plague poorly-maintained stone vary considerably. While irregular stone often has a more rustic appearance, the mortar used may be susceptible to a higher rate of decay. In addition, lime mortar may feature in the building's construction. Advice for better upkeep will vary according to the needs of individual property, such as repointing mortar with a suitable material on a regular basis.
Ask your surveyor for clarification if you are in doubt as to likely maintenance, particularly if the house in question is listed or located in a conservation area.
Anxious to get your survey under way quickly so that you can appreciate what you’re taking on? Fill in a few details in the form at the top of this page to get started on your fixed-fee survey quote or call our waiting team of advisers on 0800 022 4428 to appoint your chartered surveyor with Surveyor Local.
We are planning to buy a house in Barmpton and saw evidence of a 27mm gap between the sitting-room wall and the door frame; what will our surveyor inspect?
Subsidence is defined as sudden or gradual shrinkage in the soil that surrounds foundations of a building, forcing a downward settling of the building as the weight becomes too much for the subsoil to support as it once did, and it usually occurs with little or no movement along the horizontal.
The primary causes of subsidence are both natural and man-made: clay soil drying out, dissolution or wearing of underground layers, removal of subsoil fluid, oxidation of soils where they comprise a significant organic construction, mining and other extractions, washing away of soils, location of trees and other vegetation sucking up the moisture from the soil causing shrinkage, damaged drains washing soil away from the foundations, vibration from nearby heavy traffic, or nearby construction works.
The Institution of Structural Engineers don’t recommend underpinning for the large majority of subsidence issues; rather this is treated as a last resort, where piles are dug and filled with concrete to support the existing foundations. Since the biggest percentage of subsidence issues are caused by trees and other plants in the vicinity draining the soil, judicious pruning or evening removal may be enough to rectify the problem (but note that such activity may also create other issues, so an expert’s advice should be sought). And, of course, if the drains are broken, then these should be repaired as soon as possible.
The opposite, but rarer, condition is known as ground heave, where the subsoil surrounding the foundations expands and, because it usually can’t move sideways, it is forced upwards. Note that the symptoms are quite similar to subsidence in terms of cracking or sticking windows and doors, but there will probably be other symptoms such as raising of patio slabs or lifting of decking.
For guidance on repairs of this nature, you could try contacting: Howard Builders Ltd. (15 Clarks Yard, Darlington, DL3 7QL) or J. & R. M. Richardson Construction (Darlington) Ltd. (Trinity Hall, Portland Place, Darlington, DL3 7BP).
Your surveyor will be able to recommend who to speak to about the best course of action to remedy both the causes of the subsidence and the resulting damage to the property itself. Why not give our advisers a call on 0800 022 4428 to discuss your concerns further and to receive your survey quote?
Does a RICS Level 3 Survey in Darlington include a valuation and reinstatement-cost estimate, and how is it calculated?
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. Typically, a Property Valuation Report will be required in the following circumstances:
- loans and mortgage applications, to verify the true value of the property to guarantee sufficient equity remains in the building to pay off the mortgage or loan should the buyer default on payments
- probate and wills in order to establish the amount of inheritance tax owing from the legacy
- Help to Buy to establish a loan redemption figure
- buying or selling a property to ensure that the price being asked is a fair one
- shared ownership to confirm the share of equity figures
- matrimonial ownership, which follows the same design as that for shared ownership
- Capital Gains Tax to confirm the tax amounts due to HMRC
- Buy-to-Let rental value confirmation and assessment of loan or mortgage affordability
- dispute resolution to assess the financial share in the property
- immigration for the valuation of any immovable assets
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!
Is there a risk of flooding in Darlington, and can a Darlington home surveyor consider indications of flooding, or if other houses on the street have been affected?
The Environment Agency has estimated that around 1 in every 6 homes around the country is at risk from some sort of flooding, with more than half of those susceptible from surface water alone. The risk of floods needs to be taken seriously, since ingress of water to a property can threaten safety as well as causing major damage and disruption in the aftermath. It also has an impact on the property’s value and its insurability and the premiums that will be required to be paid. So, it makes sense to get your survey carried out by an experienced firm like Surveyor Local.
There are many causes of flooding, and, even if your home is not anywhere near a body of water, this is no reason for complacency. These include surface water from prolonged and heavy downpours, groundwater from heavy rain, rivers which can’t contain higher levels of water flow, coastal areas where high tides meet with low pressure storms, burst water main, or a burst water tank, radiators and other plumbing issues.
Because of the increasing likelihood of flooding in the UK and the problems it causes, it becomes an essential part of looking for a new home to establish its history with flooding and the risk to the local area. There are several steps that can be taken:
- use the Environment Agency’s flood information service for the current situation
- search for your location on the Environment Agency’s flood map for planning service to establish the level of risk of flooding (based on historical and geographical information)
- appoint a specialist search provider to identify the position in more detail (you can talk to your conveyancing solicitor about this option and costs)
- check with the sellers to confirm anecdotal evidence of prior flooding issues
The chartered surveyor will check the likely impact of any flooding on the property and its contents, providing recommendations to reduce or even eliminate the effects should it occur. Want one of the best surveyors in the country to inspect your planned purchase? Simply call Surveyor Local on 0800 022 4428 right now and one of our helpful advisers will get you set up today.
We are buying in Darlington, and think we saw signs of pests in the lounge; will a surveyor look into this?
The issue of pests in and around the home is often seen as a small or minor, even irrelevant, inconvenience or annoyance that simply needs to be accepted and managed. However, the threat of many pests is very real and, with certain examples, will have a risk to the occupants’ health or destroy the fabric and structure of a building.
Your chartered surveyor will look out for evidence of the common problems, such as droppings or holes in wood, and make recommendations based on the severity of the problem and how recent the infestation appears to be. Solutions may include the use of poisons, insecticides and traps, but more humane ways of removing pests are available. It’s always worth obtaining a number of quotes from companies qualified to handle such issues so that you can request a reduction in the asking price from the seller.
Because there are so many different pests, the chartered surveyor will not be able to test and check for every single type other than the common instances. If you suspect that a specific issue with pests exists, then you should bring it to your surveyor’s attention and they will be able to focus on finding the particular evidence, should it exist.
All of our surveyors at Surveyor Local are experts and thorough in their inspection and analysis. Want to appoint one of the best for your property? Get an instant quote within seconds by filling in a handful of details in the form at the top of this page or call us on 0800 022 4428 to talk to one of our friendly advisers.
The agent said there might be an asbestos tank in the flat. Why would there be asbestos?
Property constructed before the 80's may conceal any number of asbestos based materials. Asbestos is a pernicious fibrous structured mineral. The 3 main types are Blue, Brown and White and they were commonly used in building materials such as wall panelling.
Asbestos was commonly used as it has a range of useful characteristic resistance to chemical damage qualities and it may be found in toilet cistern. Most asbestos was imported from the US.
All forms are carcinogenic and may lead to lung cancer or asbestosis following prolonged exposure. In fact inhaling a single fibre will not kill you.
If found, care should be taken on no account to move the asbestos. Professional advice must be taken ASAP. Getting rid of it will likely be costly but absolutely must be completed by experts.
Surveyors do not tell you whether there is asbestos during a Darlington RICS Level 3 Survey. However they will mention the risk of asbestos and will suggest experts are consulted.
We want to put in an offer on a place in Darlington. Is there any Flemish Diagonal bond repair tips we should be aware of?? What impact do Darlington environmental conditions have?
Brick-constructed houses feature several advantages. However, they can also experience several common problems. For instance, thermal movement, particularly on longer walls and should be taken very seriously. A local builder should be able to assist. Call Ministry Of Brickwork, 78/78/Beaumont Hill, Darlington, DL1 3ND on 0844-875 4019 for a quote for repair work.
Styles of brickwork can range from the relatively common, like Monk bond, which is similar to Flemish bond, but with two long bricks between every short one, to the rare, such basket weave bonds, with alternating groups of vertically and horizontally arranged bricks. It may be appropriate to renegotiate the price of a property if a survey reveals even superficial brick wall problems.
We are intending to purchase a building near Barforth Bridge , will this affect the property's value?
Barforth Bridge is a scheduled monument considered to be of national importance. Places of local interest can enhance the attractiveness of an area. Other monuments of interest are Coniscliffe Road Waterworks, Ketton Bridge and Legs Cross.. Your RICS surveyor will include many regional criteria when conducting RICS Level 2 Survey in Darlington. See the English Heritage site for more details on Barforth Bridge.
I want to buy a house in Darlington (DL1). The vendor is asking £157, 987. What will a Darlington chartered surveyor consider in the process of a Home Survey ?
Any number of issues which could affect property values ranging from the tenure to the architectural style of the property. It may help to set against house prices achieved in Darlington at the same time for similar properties.
The average house price registered at the Land Registry between Jul and Oct 2012 was £134, 287, which is £23, 700 less than the amount you are paying and the flat/house average was £134, 790. 34, Glaisdale Court, Darlington, Darlington, Darlington, DL3 7AD a detached house sold for £415, 000 .
The most cost effective way for you to get an accurate and professional house valuation is with a RICS Level 2 Survey in Darlington which includes a formal valuation as part of the service. Your chartered surveyor will be part of the Valuer Registration Scheme, which reinforces professional standards.
The chartered surveyor should visit the building in addition to considering any other influences that have a bearing on property values.