A builder friend noted there is a risk of asbestos insulating-board affecting the house in Derby we want to buy. What is asbestos and why is it considered so dangerous?
Asbestos is the general name given to the group of six fibrous materials that are now known to be harmful to organisms, when the dust or fibrils are released into the environment (by any number of processes including abrasion).
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.
Of the other types:
- brown asbestos (amosite) was used in in cement sheets, ceiling tiles and pipe insulation
- blue asbestos (crocidolite) was used in spray-on ceilings, insulation, and plastic and cement products
- green asbestos (anthophyllite), although limited, was used in insulation and general construction, and
- tremolite and actinolite were not used commercially
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.
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 removed 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. The register of expert contractors can be found here: the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association.
For this reason alone and your peace of mind, it makes sense to get a survey ordered, and Surveyor Local is your most cost-effective option. Go to the top of this page and fill in a few quick details in the form for your instant quote. Or, if you’re happy to assign your chartered surveyor now, call us on 0800 038 6667.
If I am buying a run-down, Edwardian bungalow home, is it best to 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, 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 Building Survey report itself covers the following details:
- Any defects, their criticality and what they mean (structurally and financially)
- The results of the tests for the presence of radon gas
- Evidence of subsidence or heave
- Proximity of any large trees that might impact the foundations
- Evidence of the presence of any hazardous materials (such as asbestos)
- The impact of any changes to supporting walls
- Specific damage to any masonry (inside and out)
- The results of the tests carried out for damp
- Any renovations, extensions and changes without the requisite planning consents
- Specific damage to the roof and chimney stacks
- Condition of the damp-proof course (DPC) and state of the insulation
- Damage to timbers (particularly in the roof-space)
- Evidence of woodworm, dry or wet rot in timber
- Advice on drainage that hasn’t been tested
- Details of materials and construction methods used at the property
- Recommendations and advice for any further investigations that might be required, in addition recommendations for immediate remedial action
- specific matters in relation to planning and control for the attention of your conveyancing solicitor
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. Use Surveyor Local’s online home survey quote generator (scroll to the top of this page to fill in the form there), or, if you prefer to talk to someone about the particular options best suited to your needs, why not call our team of advisers on 0800 038 6667?
Poor roof maintenance brings up bad memories for us, and we are sensitive to the cost of roof repairs. What aspects of the loft in the semi-detached Derby house will be reported on?
If the roof at a property you are buying has a major issue that needs to be resolved, your Surveyor Local chartered surveyor will easily identify it and its cause, providing recommendations for remedial courses of actions.
Because of the structure of the roof (especially if it’s not flat), the walls of the property need to be able to take the load of what will be a heavy structure, and the surveyor will look for signs of either the roof bowing (indicating that the material covering the roof is too heavy for the supports) or the walls billowing (showing that the roof is too heavy for the wall to support it).
The 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, leaking skylights, mould and rot, timber pests and rot, blocked drainage, roof sag, and ponding or pooling.
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.
Concerned that your survey will throw up problems? Why not talk to Surveyor Local’s friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667 and they will be happy to talk you through the process and assign you one of the best chartered surveyors in the country?
Is it best to get a HomeBuyer Report, or Building Survey on a home in Derby and which is the cheapest?
If the Derby property is an apartment, or is over 100 years old, has been substantially modified, or is of non-standard construction, you should choose the cheaper HomeBuyer Report.
If you are thinking about whether to carry out alterations, you should then opt for a Building Survey. The Building Survey is not as cheap, but it will give an exhaustive analysis of the Derby property's condition along with an opinion on defects, and maintenance options. You can compare the surveys, although our advisers will be happy to assist you with finding the most appropriate product for your needs.
For more detailed advice, why not obtain a Derby home survey quote via Surveyor Local (scroll to the top of this page to get started on the form), or call us on 0800 038 6667 to speak to our survey team?
What defects will my chartered surveyor look for on a stucco, regency home in Derby 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.
However, it can be problematic, and Derby Building 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.
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 038 6667 to organise a visit to your planned purchase?
The survey process doesn’t need to be an anxious time, and our chartered surveyors at Surveyor Local will keep you apprised of findings and progress at each stage so that you always know what’s going on. Ready to assign your surveyor to look over your planned purchase? Give us a quick call on 0800 038 6667 now.
There is a semi-detached house in the DE5 postcode area priced at £162,500. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Derby?
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 Derby.
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in Derby in November 2018 was £157,988, which is £4,512 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Derby were:
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) 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 Derby home 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?
Will vermin affect the purchase price of a Derby home; is a HomeBuyer Report advisable?
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.
In addition, evidence of an infestation of pests is not always easy to find. Some obvious examples of common pests include:
- rodents – gnawing through electric cables (causing fire risk), timber, pipes and brickwork, coupled with their ability to produce many offspring very quickly and the risk of transporting harmful bacteria around the home makes mice and rats a significant pest to remove
- cockroaches – multiplying very quickly and spreading disease through food (primarily) and their ability to hide in crevices and difficult to find places makes cockroaches a major source of concern and difficult to remove
- death-watch beetle – their characteristic tapping to attract a mate leads to sleepless nights (the vigil for dying people being the origin of the name), while their propensity for boring through wood threatens to destroy the supporting beams in ceilings, roofs and floors
- woodworm – another woodboring pest that turns wood into dust and can seriously and quickly undermine the structure of a property
- carpet beetle larvae – textile-destroying pests
- woodlice – although not a major pest themselves, they are a potential indication of damp within the property
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.
If you’re at all concerned about the property you are planning to buy, now is the time to book an experienced chartered surveyor with Surveyor Local simply by calling our friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667.
What should we be worried about when buying a building in Derby that’s near to Shardlow Quarry Landfill 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.
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.
Surveyors will find any structural issues linked to the landfill. At the same time, your conveyancer will conduct environmental searches of the Landmark datasets (or other specialist firms) as well as the Derby Local Authority, providing you the results of the search in the report on title.
If you choose a surveyor with Surveyor Local, you’ll get years of experience, plus a friendly, low-cost service with compromising on the quality of what we provide. Call us now on 0800 038 6667 to book up an appointment for a survey examination.