The estate agent has mentioned there may be white asbestos ceilings in the building we are buying in Folkestone. What is asbestos and will the survey look at this?
Asbestos was predominantly mined in South Africa and, of the sixty varieties, six were used in Britain, with three being primarily favoured in construction: Chrysotile (White), Amosite (Brown) and Crocidolite (Blue).
For many, when it was first discovered, asbestos was a miracle material, because it was fire-resistant, was impervious to chemical damage, and had sound-proofing and high tensile strength properties. As such, it was used in many building materials, such as loft insulation, roof-tiles, soil-pipes, shed roofs, paint, radiator housings and a whole host of others.
A potentially deadly silicate material, technically all forms of asbestos, including white, are ultimately deadly and can lead to lung cancer or pleural disease if inhaled over sustained periods. Its existence does not necessarily pose a risk to health.
If asbestos is found, though, great care should be taken never to displace or break it, and expert advice must be sought as soon as possible. Never be tempted to try to handle it yourself as it is essential that trained experts remove it. Surveyors cannot test for asbestos on a Folkestone home survey, but they will mention if it is suspected, and will inform you of the options.
Get your instant Folkestone home survey in a matter of moments by filling in the simple form at the top of this page. Call Surveyor Local’s waiting team of friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667 to be assigned to one of the most thorough and experienced chartered surveyors in the Folkestone area.
When I saw the thirties house I want to purchase in Folkestone, there were some doubts as to the safety of the electrical system; will a surveyor report on the wiring and 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 also focusing on special areas such as bathrooms (e.g. heating or shaving sockets), swimming pools (internal or external), ponds, or portable outdoor equipment.
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 Folkestone Building 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 addition to verifying areas connected to the mains (e.g. the whereabouts of the meter or consumer unit), the surveyor will also choose a selection of sockets and light-switches to ensure they are operating normally.
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.
Local highly-rated electricians in the area, who will be happy to provide quotes for remedial work, include:
- Coopson Technologies Ltd., Unit 6, Earlsgate Business Centre, Floor A, 11 Earls Avenue, Folkestone, CT20 2HW (Tel: 01303 377169)
- Bright Idea Electrical, 76 Shorncliffe Crescent, Folkestone, CT20 3PG (Tel: 07855 431330)
- Mr. Electric Kent, 148 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, CT20 2HS (Tel: 07426 043123)
For more information and advice, call the friendly advisers on Surveyor Local’s team on 0800 038 6667. Receive your free, instant Folkestone home survey quote by filling in the form at the top of this page.
I know that subsidence in Folkestone is a concern, so what can be done to fix it, if it is identified at a property we want to buy?
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, and the more familiar symptoms of subsidence are:
- the appearance of new cracks more than 3mm wide in the walls; however, not all cracks are an indication of subsidence and may be natural settlement. This is why it’s so important to get a chartered surveyor, like those available from Surveyor Local, involved to check it out and give you their expert opinion and advice
- cracks forming in obvious weak spots, such as the corners of window- and door-frames
- windows and doors beginning to stick where they haven’t before
- new extension parting company with the rest of the property
- sinking of patios and other hard structures in the garden
The Institution of Structural Engineers doesn’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.
Because of the severity of these issues, it is imperative that an expert chartered surveyor from Surveyor Local looks at the property in order to report on the condition, the diagnosis and recommendations for any immediate action to be taken to resolve the situation.
Restoration work cannot begin until the original source of the movement is identified. It is vital to arrest any further movement, or even the risk of it. In some more serious situations, underpinning may be necessary, although this is usually a last resort due to the cost and inconvenience. Structural brickwork may need to be dismantled and rebuilt, while more cosmetic areas can effectively be repaired with resin-filling in the cracks. This can also be time-consuming, and inconvenient.
Try out Surveyor Local’s instant Folkestone home survey quote generator by scrolling to the top of this page and filling in the simple form there. If you want to talk to one of our advisers, give us a call on 0800 038 6667.
I want to buy a maisonette in Folkestone (CT18 postcode area), and the vendor is asking £170,000. What will a Folkestone 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 Folkestone (in the Shepway local authority area).
This means the average price of completed transactions for flats, apartments and maisonettes an in Folkestone in December 2018 was £162,342, which is £7,658 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Folkestone were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 25 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 instant 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?
Is it necessary to order the comprehensive Building Survey before buying a derelict, forties house in Folkestone?
The Building 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
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 in-built 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 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 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, and 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
For more assistance with your Folkestone Building Survey, get an instant quote by filling in the short form at the top of this page, or call the Surveyor Local advisers on 0800 038 6667.
We have made an offer for a home with a converted attic in Folkestone, but we are very sensitive to the cost of roof repairs. What aspects of the roof will be reported on when the survey is performed?
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 importance of the roof to the long life of the property, the surveyor will thoroughly inspect all aspects of the construction (assuming they are readily and safely accessible), from trusses to purlins, from flashings to cladding.
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 (internally and externally), timber pests and rot, and roof sag, among other problems.
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.
It may be inconvenient to employ scaffolding to perform repairs, especially in the busy parts of Folkestone, but it is a health and safety necessity. A quote (or several) for any necessary work should be acquired as soon as possible, since this will give you a strong bargaining tool with the vendor prior to exchange of contract. Local reputable roofing contractors include:
- Roofing and Home Insulation, 51 Linden Crescent, Folkestone, CT19 5SB (Tel: 01303 980086)
- D. Kirby Roofing & Building, 27 The Meade, Hawkinge, Folkestone, CT18 7NJ (Tel: 01303 892705)
- D. J. Gardiner, 89 Downs Road, Folkestone, CT19 5PS (Tel: 01303 245536)
Get your instant Folkestone survey quote very easily and quickly by scrolling to the top of this page and filling a few simple details in the form there. Call Surveyor Local’s friendly team of advisers on 0800 038 6667 to be assigned to one of the best chartered surveyors in the Folkestone area.
As well as reporting on the condition of my Folkestone purchase, will I get a valuation and reinstatement cost estimate (including costs for rebuilding a retaining wall) and what does it include?
A HomeBuyer Report in Folkestone will include a (registered valuer) surveyor estimation and a reinstatement cost as a standard offering, although it’s worth mentioning that to your Surveyor Local adviser when you book your survey appointment.
To calculate the valuation, the surveyor will combine their in-depth knowledge of Folkestone with other aspects relating to the property:
- points pertinent to the building itself (e.g. number of bedrooms)
- materials used in its construction
- certain key assumptions (e.g. the building connected to mains services such as electricity)
- other considerations (such as any cost of repairs being shared amongst tenants or the property being insurable)
- environmental issues (like proximity to industrial buildings, or flightpaths)
A Building Survey, though, does not include a valuation as standard, but we can add one for a small additional fee. Alternatively, a Property Valuation Report (PVR) can be performed if you are solely interested in the valuation.
For more information and guidance on your Folkestone home survey choice, try our instant quote generator by filling in the form at the top of this page, or call Surveyor Local’s waiting advisers on 0800 038 6667.
My husband spotted signs of insects in the bedrooms in the house we want to buy in Folkestone. Do we need a chartered surveyor to help us identify the issue?
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 cockroaches, rodents, death-watch beetle, and woodworm among many other different types.
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 and remedies to eradicate pests 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.
If you are at all concerned about your survey, let Surveyor Local alleviate some of the worry by calling our team of friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667. You can get your instant Folkestone survey quote in moments by filling in the form located at the top of this page.
We want to put in an offer on a place in Folkestone. Is there any Monk bond advice we should be aware of?? Does brick decay faster in Folkestone weather?
Brick-constructed property feature several advantages. However, they can also be subject to distinct issues, ranging from cracks to efflorescence. Your chartered surveyor should report on these, with feedback. One particularly serious issue is patchwork cracks caused by tie failure. This cracking may only be visible internally, and is accompanied by an irregular wall surface. GTB (Northwest) Ltd should be able to provide an estimate for repair work. Contact them at 55 Market St, Wirral, CH47 2BQ or 0151-633 2112.
Styles of brickwork can range from the relatively common, like English bond, featuring alternating rows of long and short faces of bricks, to the rare, such basket weave bonds, with alternating groups of vertically and horizontally arranged bricks.
Consider the advice of both the surveyor and a builder or other specialist if potential structural defects arise during the survey.
Does a Folkestone building survey check for possible water damage?
2012 was the 2nd wettest year on record, and house buyers cannot know that insurance against flooding will continue to be available.
As with many aspects of home ownership, flood prevention is better (and cheaper) than a cure.
Flooding can increase the likelihood of water entering a home, such as via door frames. Less expensive preventative measures include the installation of air brick covers. The RICS surveyor will usually recommend that the house buyers seek legal advice on any related information mentioned in the report.
Is heavy rainfall an issue in Folkestone? Also, if there is necessary work, will they be disruptive to fix?
Despite England's reputation for wet weather the impact wet weather can have on property in Folkestone is rarely considered properly. If you have visited the house you are buying in good weather, defects may not have been obvious. Signs that downspouts are blocked include flaking or efflorescence on external walls.
Fortunately, drainage problems are quite easy to resolve, unless they are left untreated. The damage will steadily get harder to remedy, so do not be tempted to ignore the signs.