What warnings and advice would a Fareham surveyor give for houses with brick walls?
There are several styles and designs in the brickwork used to construct houses across the town of Fareham, with a particularly popular one being Monk bond, which is similar to Flemish bond, but with two long bricks between every short one. A quick walk around the town will identify a number of different and varied styles and designs.
Brick-built houses have several benefits over those constructed from other materials. However, they can also be affected by a range of defects that can be quite serious and could be anything from badly-applied render to lack of a damp-proof course, from spalling (flaking of the brick) to wall-tie failure. An especially severe issue is sulphate attack, which results from a cement-mortared-wall suffering a prolonged period of damp: It is effectively impossible to treat.
The advice of a brickwork specialist should be sought before attempting repairs. A local builder should be able to assist with advice on any remedial work required. For a quote for repair work that you could then use as a bargaining tool with your vendor before exchange of contracts, you could try calling a local builder, such as:
- Barnetts Professional Builders, 87 Southampton Road, Fareham, PO16 7EA (Tel: 07964 007007)
- P. Surridge Ltd., 28 Hill Head Road, Fareham, PO14 3JJ (Tel: 01329 668903)
For a clear and thorough survey performed by one of the best chartered surveyors available, call Surveyor Local’s waiting team of advisers on 08000327649, and they will get you in the diary.
Should I spend a bit more on getting a RICS Level 3 Survey before acquiring a derelict, sixties cottage in Fareham?
You should commission a RICS Level 3 Survey if you are contemplating the house described in the question, since 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 RICS Level 2 Survey, by comparison, has enough detail for a non-period, unmodified Fareham property constructed from conventional construction materials and methods (i.e. brick and tile). You should be aware of one or two caveats that exist with the survey as the Fareham-based surveyor will not be able to open up the structure of the house (without the agreement of the owner), or assess the serviceability of a boiler, because of gas-safety protocols.
The RICS Level 3 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
To get your instant quote, try Surveyor Local’s Fareham home survey quote generator by filling in the simple form at the top of this page, or call our waiting advisers on 08000327649.
Will there be any potential pitfalls we would be advised to be aware of if we are purchasing a flat in Fareham near a conservation area?
There are now over 10,000 designated conservation areas in England and Wales, which are overseen and maintained by the local councils.
A RICS Level 3 Surveyor needs to possess relevant and in-depth knowledge of the local area and the connection these factors have with the building and its value. The price of property in a conservation area tends to be inflated because they retain their original features, and owing to the constraints applied to owners of the buildings as to what changes they can make. However, a large number have fallen into poor condition (for example, badly maintained and potholed roads and pavements).
English Heritage regularly reviews the conservation areas, keeping an annual register of the state they are in. To find more information on Fareham conservation areas and if they are on the ‘at risk’ register, have a look at Heritage at Risk, and search for Fareham (which, as of 18 February 2019 has no conservation area reported).
RICS surveyors can be expected to inform you if the home is classified as being in a conservation area, and Section I (Issues for Legal Advisers) of the Fareham RICS Level 2 Survey will advise additional due diligence and enquiries to be performed by your legal representatives. Unsympathetic changes to the property should be reported in the Fareham survey; however, these should be a concern for your conveyancer to deal with.
Want to see just how competitive our quotes can be? Fill the simple form in at the top of this page for your instant Fareham quote. Ready to get your survey in the appointment diary? Call our waiting team of friendly advisers on 08000327649; we’re open 7 days a week for your convenience.
The next-door neighbour told us that there had been a problem with damage to the parapet, so we are particularly concerned about the state of the roof. Will access to the attic be difficult to arrange?
Of all the parts of the house, one of the most common concerns expressed by homebuyers is focused on the state of the roof. All aspects of the roof will be reviewed by the surveyor, from the rafters to the collar ties. There are also numerous flat-roofed properties in Fareham, including many apartment blocks. In these cases, the chartered surveyor will look for a range of signs, including whether it is literally flat, as opposed to being on a small incline so that water can drain correctly.
The maintenance of a roof can be the cause of serious accidents, which is why modern contractors refuse to work without scaffolding. It may be advisable to source an estimate for any work prior to exchange to help with any renegotiations if the repairs are likely to be expensive. However, buyers should endeavour to compare a number of quotes to find the best deal. Try talking to JS Roofing, 53 Cottes Way, Fareham, PO14 3NQ (Tel: 01489 579716) for an initial quote.
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I want to buy a terraced house in Fareham (PO13 postcode area), and the vendor is asking £242,000. What will a Fareham surveyor consider when carrying out a professional valuation?
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 Fareham.
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in Fareham in December 2018 was £235,997, which is £6,003 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Fareham were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 18 February 2019
An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a RICS Level 2 Survey, which could include 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 Fareham home 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 do I need to bear in mind when purchasing an older property in Fareham? What impact will the rafter roof have on repairs?
There are many buyers who would really love to own an old, characterful home in Fareham 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 in Fareham 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.
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Will a RICS surveyor inspect the condition or the safety of the gas heaters in the Fareham bungalow we are buying?
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.
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.
Regulations stipulate that landlords must commission appliance and installation inspections on an annual basis. Punishments for any failure to comply are criminal and costly.
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We are purchasing a 1979-built home in Fareham and saw evidence that the living-room floor dipped in one corner. What are the risks, and what can be done to resolve subsidence if it is identified?
Subsidence is generally defined as the movement of the home’s foundations, but you should be aware that there is a difference between subsidence and benign settlement. Where the home is of very recent construction, the builder will usually return to the new house after a few months so that they can make minor repairs caused by the settlement.
Subsidence is not always easy to identify because most of the tell-tale signs could easily be caused by a number of different factors. Organic material such as peat is usually stable if it is kept moist by the water level in the ground, but if that level falls and the soil dries out, the organic matter will rot. This causes the subsoil to be compacted as its volume is reduced by the sheer weight and pressure of the building above.
Restoration work cannot begin until the original source of the movement is found. It is vital to arrest any further actual movement, or the risk of it. If the load-bearing parts of the property have been damaged, these may be repaired with steel rods, fixed into place with cement to restore the structural integrity of the building. Chartered surveyors should be able to identify a subsidence problem, while structural engineers may also be required.
For further advice, you might want to contact a reputable builder, who can also offer you a quote, or why not call Surveyor Local’s advisers on 08000327649.