I am intending to put in an offer on a conversion built with stone in Gloucester. What problems should we be aware of, and what will the survey reveal?
Stone walls are often ignored by homebuyers due to their apparent strength and solidity. Faults common to poorly-maintained stone walls can include cracks.
Stone walls are either regular (cut) or irregular in structure, each of which will provoke concerns. Both regular and irregular stone can be stuck together with a lime-based mortar, though the advent of Portland cement made lime mortar somewhat redundant. These walls, though, will need frequent upkeep.
Ask you surveyor for details, but the report may specify resolution of underlying problems, like damp, before work on the wall starts. The sheer variety of stone materials can make it difficult for purchasers to correctly identify the particular stone used in the building of a home. Quarries and stone stockists in Gloucester should be able to supply any local stone.
If you are undertaking repairs, and require matching stone, get in touch with a local firm, such as Morgan Supplies, 143 Painswick Road, Gloucester, GL4 4PF.
For further assistance in choosing your Gloucester home survey, try Surveyor Local’s instant online quote by completing the short details in the form at the top of this page, or call 0800 038 6667 to talk to one of our team of advisers.
When buying in Gloucester, should we be anxious about the flood-risk, and will the homebuyers’ survey consider signs of flood damage, or whether flooding has affected the garden?
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. The sources of flooding include:
- surface water from prolonged and heavy downpours
- groundwater after heavy rain
- rivers breaking their banks
- abnormally high coastal areas
- burst water mains
- burst water tanks, 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
- If practical to do so, it is also worth looking at the house in both wet and dry weather to see if there are any obvious differences.
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.
Concerned about what the survey will reveal and what to do about any identified issues? Why not give our friendly advisers at Surveyor Local a call on 0800 038 6667 today to alleviate your worries?
I am worried that there may be asbestos pipe lagging affecting the flat in Gloucester. What is asbestos?
Until it was banned completely in the UK in 1999, because of its fire-retardant and sound-proofing qualities, and its imperviousness to chemicals, asbestos was understandably seen to be a miracle material. Consequently, asbestos, of which there are three types used in houses and homes (white, blue and brown), was used in all manner of construction goods from gutters and soil-pipes to loft insulation and paint, and everywhere in between.
Commonly called asbestosis, the curly or needle-shaped fibres usually caused mesothelioma (attack on the lining of the lungs, causing cancer). However, breathing in a single fibre will not be injurious, nor will it risk death.
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.
Contact Surveyor Local’s waiting advisers on 0800 038 6667 to talk through your surveying options and to be assigned one of the most thorough and experienced chartered surveyors available in the Gloucester area.
When I viewed the home I intend to buy in Gloucester, it appeared that there is an old fuse-board still in use; does the surveyor report on electrical defects?
When performing a HomeBuyer Report in Gloucester, the surveyor will report on the overall electrical system if it is obvious that the electrics are in a hazardous state. This should include an overview inspection of the superficial areas of the wiring, fuse box etc. and other possible problems relating to things like checking the type of any electrical fittings in bathrooms or reporting on the condition of any visible wiring a sample of light fittings.
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 Gloucester Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report, 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 include:
- B. W. Crowhurst & Son, 180 Elmbridge Road, Gloucester, GL2 0PH (Tel: 01452 531630)
- Gulley Electrical Ltd., 4 Corinium Avenue, Gloucester, GL4 3HX (Tel: 01452 524524)
- DMX Electrical, 115 Reservoir Road, Gloucester, GL4 6SX (Tel: 01452 533233)
Your chartered surveyor with Surveyor Local will know exactly what to look for and examine, so choosing one with us is a really smart move. Want to get your surveyor assigned? Call our friendly advisers now on 0800 038 6667.
We noticed that the bathroom floor dipped in one corner when we last viewed the home in Gloucester. What subsidence-related matters will the surveyor reveal?
Subsidence is defined as the movement of the building’s foundations of a building, but some degree of movement will always occur, so may be benign. Newer homes, for example, will need to settle under the home's own weight. Additionally, most homes are erected with a variety of materials, each with a different shrinkage rate.
Collapsed drains, including mains drains, can cause subsidence by washing away or loosening subsoil (which is known as groundwater subsidence). Organic material in the sub-soil can create issues: Peat is normally stable when sitting below the water table, but if the soil dries out, this organic matter will rot, causing the soil beneath and around the foundations to collapse.
Restoration work on subsidence cannot begin until the original source of the movement is found. This is not always as costly as some buyers fear. Though tree roots are often the cause, removal of this plant-life may make the problem worse, so professional advice should be sought. Existing trees must be well-managed, and new trees should be planted at a safe distance from the exterior walls of the property. Beech and sycamore trees, for example, should be planted at least 15m from a property (and you should consider not planting them close to your neighbours’ property either). You may need to monitor (and measure) the cracks for as much as a year before the picture becomes entirely clear.
For more advice on the best Gloucester home survey to choose, try out Surveyor Local’s instant quote generator by scrolling to the top of this page and filling in the form, or talk to one of our representatives on 0800 038 6667.
For the Gloucester HomeBuyer Report, what effect can a Condition Rating 1 have on roof-coverings?
The HomeBuyer Report is specifically designed and laid out so that clients can find what they want easily and, more importantly, understand what the report is saying. In summary, the product provides:
- a clearer layout, so that the information within it is obvious and can be found easily and swiftly
- an energy performance rating, bringing it in line with current legislation
- modern design broken down into the clear areas of the inspection (e.g. about the property, inside, outside, services, etc.)
- colour-coded condition ratings using a traffic-light system for instant visual understanding (1 (green) – no repairs required; 2 (amber) – needs repair or replacement but not immediately urgent; 3 (red) – needs urgent repair, replacement or financial investment)
- performed by a skilled chartered surveyor, such as the thorough and focused surveyors we have available at Surveyor Local
- less comprehensive and detailed (and therefore cheaper) than the Building Survey, but significantly more detailed than the Condition Report
- written in plain English with no technical or jargon terminology for easy understanding of the condition of the building
A rating of 'green', or 1, means that the element of the property being investigated is in good condition, but regular upkeep may still be required. Quite a common example of this is a blistered or 'alligatoring' roof covering. As part of Section E2, these elements are checked, if these parts of the property are easy to view or easy to access. If access cannot be arranged, e.g. the property is a flat, the surveyor will be unable to include this in the report.
Looking for one of the best chartered surveyors available but with a cost-effective quote? Look no further than Surveyor Local. Call us now on 0800 038 6667 and talk through your plans with one of our advisers.
Should I spend a bit more on the Building Survey prior to investing in an extended, fifties, first-floor apartment near Gloucester?
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
Approximately three days after a thorough survey of any accessible parts of the structure, a report (set out in the surveyor's individual format) is dispatched to the client summarising thorough and crucial information on the construction and uses of the house.
There are certain limitations with any survey insofar as a RICS surveyor will not be able to (unless safe to do so) open the fabric of the of the Gloucester property for example undoing electrical fittings.
See the survey differences article for more about what is and is not included with Surveyor Local. When you’re ready to appoint your chartered surveyor, call us on 0800 038 6667. You can get an instant Gloucester home survey quote by completing the form at the top of this page.
There is a detached house in Gloucester priced at £340,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices?
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 Gloucester.
This means the average price of completed transactions for detached houses in Gloucester in December 2018 was £333,858, which is £6,142 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Gloucester were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 26 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 instant Gloucester 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?