There’s a possibility that there may be vermin at the Halifax building we're buying, but we aren’t certain; what advice should we get?
Be aware that your solicitor's forms may not ask about this issue during the conveyancing process, and it is not a legal requirement for the vendor to confirm the existence of any infestations that might have previously or are currently affecting the property.
Unfortunately, although many would perceive such problems as relatively minor, the impact of pests and infestations can put your health in danger, and it could also affect the value of the property.
It may not be obvious that a property is suffering a severe pest problem, as evidence can often be overlooked. As an example, skin irritation or spots of blood on bedsheets may indicate the presence of bed bugs.
Treatment for a serious infestation may include insecticides or destruction of tainted materials, which might be cause for concern as well as being seriously disruptive. If you have any concerns about pests, please mention them to your surveyor so that they may focus their attention on the issue and look for specific evidence.
For your instant Halifax Building Survey Quote, you can use Surveyor Local’s easy-to-use quote generator (scroll to the top of this page to get started), or call 0800 038 6667 to talk to one of our advisers or to appoint one of our surveyors.
The property we plan to buy in Halifax is built on clay soil. Does a Home Survey report consider the soil composition and does the chartered surveyor provide any advice on maintenance?
Factors from Japanese knotweed to environmental conditions can cause increased costs and inconvenience for a property-owner, because they all impact the soil and potentially a building’s foundations.
Clay-rich soil, for example, is a potential source of various issues, because it is naturally lower in volume and, in the case of new-builds, will compact over several months. This settlement is predictable and an expected part of buying a new-build property.
The real concern comes from the contraction in clay soil caused by changes in the local water table, both in terms of increase and decrease in the available moisture. Signs like a difficult-to-open sitting-room window can be an early warning of problems, suggesting severe underlying structural deficiencies caused by heave (expansion of the soil) or subsidence (contraction of the soil) pressuring the foundations.
A Halifax surveyor will take into account any clay-soil-related concerns, and they will advise accordingly. If you are particularly concerned about a crack or other sign of movement, the surveyor can also report on whether it is recent, or if it’s an indication of much earlier subsidence.
Talk to Surveyor Local’s advisers on 0800 038 6667 to confirm what the survey can provide with respect to potential subsidence, and how our experienced and pragmatic surveyors will work with you to identify solutions.
We are buying a house in Halifax that’s built with stone walls; what should we be particularly aware of, and what will the survey reveal?
If left in a poor state of repair, stone walls will suffer from structural issues caused by various influences, including erosion of the pointing joints. Buyers should also be aware that the potential severity of issues like this will vary with the particular type of stone and fixative agent that has been used.
Irregular stone walls are not uncommon in the structure of homes in Halifax but dressed (or cut) stone may also be used for the framing of windows or doors, both types being subject to different issues.
Buyers should consider that stone can have a great effect on the long-term viability of a property or extension, resulting in potentially higher repair costs in future. For example, slate is far more water-resistant than many other stones.
Property surveys from Surveyor Local will give some repair guidance, like the clearance of ivy-like plant-life and weeds attached the stone. If you are planning to renovate a stone-built property, you might like to be aware that a stone-matching service is operated by the British Geological Survey, as part of the Building Stone Assessment GeoReport, which is priced at £500 (including VAT, and correct as at 9 August 2018). Locally-mined or -quarried stone may also be available, in addition to assistance from stone merchants, who might be able to help with sourcing the stone.
If you’re at all concerned about the survey and what’s best for your needs, why not give Surveyor Local’s friendly advisers a call on 0800 038 6667 now? If you want to secure the services of one of our experienced surveyors, you can also pay 10% of the quote today!
Will the homebuyer’s survey search for possible water damage in Halifax, or whether flooding has affected the garden?
The lives of many homeowners in Halifax and across the UK have been seriously affected by floods, particularly in the last couple of decades as extreme climatic events increase, and purchasers and owners are understandably concerned.
As with many aspects of home-ownership, flood-prevention is better (and cheaper) than a cure, and a property surveyor will advise on repairs or preventative measures in their report.
Deep familiarity with characteristics of the local area likely to affect homes in Halifax enables the property surveyor from Surveyor Local to assess whether flooding may be a risk or not, even if the property has not itself flooded before. Note that proximity to large bodies of water is not the only cause of potential flooding. The Environment Agency estimates that almost 3m homes around the country are susceptible to flooding from surface water alone.
This is why a survey is so important to understand what flooding has already occurred and its impact. To find out more about your Halifax Home Survey, call Surveyor Local’s waiting team on 0800 038 6667.
The agent said there is a brown-asbestos coating sprayed on the beams in the flat in Halifax. What is asbestos, and can it be removed easily?
Asbestos is a deleterious, very harmful, silicate material that was principally mined in South Africa. Until its physical danger was understood and then banned from use in the UK in the mid-eighties, its soundproofing and fire-retardant properties, and its resistance to chemicals made it a miracle material that, unsurprisingly, found its way into many different construction materials.
Technically speaking, all forms of asbestos are pernicious, and may lead to lung cancer or fibrosis if inhaled over sustained periods. However, to avoid any worry, inhaling a single fibre will not be fatal, contrary to popular belief.
If asbestos is discovered, care should be taken not to displace or break it, and professional advice regarding its removal must be sought as soon as possible. Because of the high cost of its elimination, you may be tempted to carry out the task yourself, but you must leave it to qualified professionals, who have the necessary protection and tools to achieve a safe extraction.
Surveyors cannot tell you for sure whether there is asbestos present as part of a Halifax home survey, but they will mention any risk of asbestos, and will recommend professional testing.
If you’re at all concerned about your property and what the survey will reveal, particularly with regards to the existence of asbestos, call Surveyor Local’s helpful team of advisers on 0800 038 6667, and you can also appoint your surveyor.
When we were shown the mid-century home we are interested in acquiring in Halifax, it looked like there is deterioration in the wiring and RCD unit; will the surveyor report on the state of the wiring and electrical system?
When conducting a Halifax HomeBuyer Report, the surveyor will comment on the overall electrical system if it is apparent that it is in an unsatisfactory condition, which will cover accessible wiring and the residual current device (RCD). They should also review any possible problems relating to things like the condition of any fitted appliances (e.g. storage radiators or examining the condition of a sample of light fittings and switch gear).
Verifying the existence of any documents from any recent Periodic Inspection Report (PIR), as authenticated by a qualified electrician, will also form part of the survey. For information, the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) suggests that an electrical system check needs to be completed at least every ten years on a residence (or every five, if you are letting the house out), so, in most cases, the PIR should be current.
Eager to get your survey under way? Call Surveyor Local’s advisers now on 0800 038 6667 to discuss your needs, or, if you’re keen to secure your surveyor, you can pay 10% of the quoted value online.
How will we know what impact damp weather will have on our new Halifax house? Also, where there are established issues, what should we do?
Regular rainfall is common in Halifax as it is across the country, but the impact rain can have on your home is not given anywhere near enough thought by house-purchasers, who are desperately focused on moving quickly into their new home.
Signs that rain-management system is at risk include rotten wooden gutters, which may lead to damage to foundations. In most cases, such problems are generally easy to fix, and they are also relatively inexpensive. However, at the other end, if the drains are not unblocked on a regular basis, the resulting damage can lower the value of the property and become increasingly harder to repair. In the worst-case scenario, deterioration of a building's foundations can become fatal to its structural integrity, risking collapse.
This makes it essential for you to order a survey as soon as possible so that you can be sure of the structural integrity of what you’re planning to buy.
For your instant Halifax Home Survey quote, you can use Surveyor Local’s quote generator (scroll to the top of this page to get started), or call 0800 038 6667 to discuss your needs with one of our advisers, or to get your survey booked.
On a Halifax HomeBuyer Report, what does 'E6 - Outside doors' include?
The main part of a HomeBuyer Report is divided into twelve sections, with Section E (Outside the Property) being further subdivided to cover all external aspects of the building.
Outside doors will be opened and closed, assuming that keys are available to do so, but they will not be forced open, if not. Generally, where doors have obviously been replaced, relevant issues are considered, such as the overall quality, whether the frame provides adequate support, and that building regulations have been met (e.g. certified via organisations such as FENSA and Certass). Delamination is a common example of a defect that would be noted in Section E6 of the survey.
The HomeBuyer Report is intended to be easy to read and understand, using simple English rather than technical descriptions and jargon, unlike other, less prescriptive surveys. These may offer more complex detail, but they are also less useful for homebuyers trying to decide whether to purchase a residence.
A simple 'traffic light' system of colour-coding is used to confirm the severity of any defects or points of interest included in the report. Surveyor Local provides a few example survey reports on their website (such as the HomeBuyer Survey), if you are interested in seeing what the finished product will look like.
Try Surveyor Local’s easy-to-complete form for your immediate survey quote (available at the top of this page), or, if you want to secure your surveyor, you can pay 10% of the quote now online. Or, if you need to talk to someone about your survey, call Surveyor Local’s advisers on 0800 038 6667.