We are acquiring a dilapidated, Edwardian, detached home in Grays; do I need to get a the more expensive Building Survey?
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; see below)
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 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. If you want to add a valuation, this will be a fixed price of £249, inclusive of VAT.
To compare the types of survey that Surveyor Local offers, you can do so at our website by clicking compare the surveys.
Want some help with sorting out what is best for your plans? Call Surveyor Local’s friendly team of advisers and they will help you reach a quick and appropriate decision and assign you to one of the best chartered surveyors.
What warnings and recommendations would a Grays surveyor give for a 50s house constructed with Dutch bond brick? Are brick walls hard to repair?
Of all the building materials used across the centuries in the UK, by far the most popular, and the most durable, across the centuries has been the use of brick. Brick comprises a variety of ingredients, and they come in different shapes and sizes and colours.
Because of this widespread use of brick, 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 bricks and the way they are laid 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.
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.
To find out more about what type of survey is best for you, call Surveyor Local’s waiting advisers on 0800 038 6667, and obtain a free quote for your choice.
What sort of issues will your chartered surveyor look for on a smooth stucco, Victorian house in Grays 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.
Comprising aggregates and binder to harden the mixture and water, stucco is durable, weather-resistant and is applied in thin layers, and is common on some Georgian and Victorian properties.
However, it can be problematic, and Grays 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?
I am purchasing a warehouse conversion in Grays. What should be budgeted for repairs?
There are many buyers who would really love to own an old, characterful home 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 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.
Worried about any specific aspect of your planned purchase? Call our waiting team on 0800 038 6667 and one of our advisers will help you come to a decision at a competitive price.
I want to buy a flat in Grays (RM17 postcode area), and the vendor is asking £190,000. What will a Grays 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 Grays and the Thurrock area.
This means the average price of completed transactions for flats in the Thurrock area in December 2018 was £182,369, which is £7,631 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Thurrock were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 13 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 Grays 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?
What should we be worried about when purchasing a house near to Medebridge Road Landfill on Medebridge Road in Grays, and landfill sites generally?
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.
Your Surveyor Local surveyor will have a deep knowledge of the local area and will therefore be aware of where landfill sites have been closed and built over. In some instances, movement in what has been buried may be a cause or start of subsidence, and they will be able to advise accordingly.
Why not see what we mean by getting your instant quote by filling in a few short details in the form at the top of this page? You can call Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 at any time to get your survey in the diary with one of our best chartered surveyors.
Does the RICS chartered surveyor in Grays go into detail on the safety of the gas flues?
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 all landlords are legally required to commission appliance and installation inspections annually and punishments for failure to comply are severe.
When considering everything in a property, you want to know your inspection will be thorough while keeping an eye on the budget. So, call our waiting team of advisers at Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 now!
Will there be any issues we need to consider when purchasing a converted flat in Grays, which is located in a conservation area?
According to the Historic England website (retrieved on 30 January 2019), conservation areas are typically so designated for these types of locations (not an exhaustive list):
- centres of historic villages, towns and cities
- fishing and mining villages
- 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century suburbs
- model housing estates up to the late 20th century
- country houses set in their historic parks
- historic transport links (sections of canals, railways, and airfields)
- industrial heritage sites
Historic England also review and assess the state of the conservation areas on an annual basis, creating the Heritage at Risk register, which can be viewed online to assess whether the council’s management plan is effective, and what is happening to remove the conservation area if it appears on the register. In 2018, 502 conservation areas (of around 9,300) were added to the list.
Conservation areas, by their nature of being protected from significant change and managing conformity, are an attractive location in which to buy a house, but the owner should be aware of their responsibilities and, before buying a house, being aware of any changes that don’t have planning consent since this may require expense to reverse them. This information is highlighted in the survey and will also be directed to your legal representative for further investigation and analysis with the local council. The responsibilities incumbent upon any owner underlines the importance of appointing a focused and thorough surveyor like those we have at Surveyor Local.
This also means that houses in designated conservation areas naturally come at a premium, so potential buyers should be aware that properties will likely be more expensive than similar homes located outside the boundary of the conservation area.
All of our chartered surveyors at Surveyor Local have a breadth and depth of knowledge of the local area and have a long experience of dealing with issues arising from a conservation area. It makes sense then for you to choose us, especially since we are competitively priced. See what we mean by calling 0800 038 6667.