Is it best to choose a Full Structural Survey, Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report for a house in Islington and which would be cheaper?
The Full Structural Survey has been renamed by RICS as a Building Survey but is basically the same the same comprehensive survey.
If the Islington property is an apartment, or is a period property, or has been structurally modified, or is of non standard construction, RICS advise the cheaper HomeBuyer Report.
If you are thinking about whether to carry out any works or an extension, you should you go for a Building Survey. This option is not as cheap as a HomeBuyer Report but it will give an in-depth analysis of the Islington property's general condition along with information on defects and maintenance options .
For more information you can get a Islington Survey Quote on our site or call 0800 038 6667 to speak to one of our advisers.
The seller's agent said there might be asbestos boards around windows at the building. What is asbestos, can it be treated and will the building survey look at this?
Concerns about asbestos are commonplace. Asbestos is a potentially deadly fibrous mineral. There are over 60 types, 6 of which were used in the UK and were commonly found in the building materials for example garage roofs. Its use is widespread, for example - as it has very good resistance to chemical damage properties, it may be found in shed roofs. Most of it was sourced from South Africa. Technically all forms are hazardous and may lead to lung cancer following prolonged exposure. Contrary to common perception, inhaling a one fibre will not kill you.
If found, care should be taken never to move the asbestos and professional advice must be taken urgently. Getting rid of it can be dear but absolutely must be conducted by experts. Islington Surveyors cannot test for asbestos on a survey. However, surveyors will note suspected asbestos risks and will suggest experts are consulted.
For further help on asbestos, Asbestos Survey & Removal Consultants, Kemp House, 152-160, City Rd, Islington, London, EC1V 2NX may be able to help - Telephone: 020 3195 3850
In the HomeBuyer Report, what impact can a Condition rating 2 have on windows?
The format of the RICS HomeBuyer Report is clear and easy to read, unlike less prescriptive surveys. These may offer more complex detail, but they are also less useful for house purchasers deciding whether or not to purchase a house. Three colour coded ratings give an understanding of the impact on the property individual defects may have. Defects which need some attention are rated 'amber' or condition rating 2, but this may not be urgent. Where practicable, all windows are to be opened and closed, but not forced open, and vulnerable areas closely examined. The surveyor should make notes and advise the client whether it is possible to operate the window transoms/openings satisfactorily. Deformation to a doorway or window frame is an example.
The property we plan to purchase is built on clay soil. Can we expect the Islington Home Survey to mention this? Does the chartered surveyor give maintenance advice?
The adverse impact clay soil can have on a house can be significant, with subsidence being a common example. Buyers should be vigilant for signs of clay soil subsidence or heave. Signs like a sticking door in the kitchen or cracks along the kitchen ceiling can be early indications of very serious structural issues.
Taking precautions, such as avoiding planting trees too near the house, and pruning where necessary, can make long term maintenance easier, and keep repair costs manageable. If soil water levels must be kept stable, uniform spread of the moisture is also important. Your surveyor may be able to offer practical suggestions as to how this can be achieved.
What will the Islington Surveyor examine on a spar dash rendered (stucco) regency period home in Islington which we wish to buy.
Stucco is really dense render. Normally stucco is applied to underlying red brick that dries to a smooth and attractive finish. The finish is highly attractive and is often found on Victorian properties. It is very similar to plaster in its constituency. It used to contain lime (to make it workable) in it in addition to plant fibres to help prevent cracks. Stucco is often prone to defect and Surveyors in Islington can discover issues e.g. trapped moisture resulting in problems with damp. Other issues could include when the stucco is taken down to ground level and bypasses the Damp Proof Course. Re-applying problems with stucco can be surprisingly expensive as craftsmen are becoming harder to find.
For a local expert speak to Angel Painters & Decorators, 14, Old Royal Free Square, London, N1 0YH Tel. 020 7870 1662 or 07782 212046
Do we need to look into downspouts, and does our RICS surveyor mention it? Are repairs going to be expensive?
As a frequent surveyor of homes in the region, I find it strange that this issue is usually overlooked by house purchasers. Signs that downspouts are worth a closer look include spattered mud around the bottom of downspouts. Poor drainage can lead to lasting damage to the fabric of a home.
Luckily, problems with drains are usually easy to resolve, if caught early. If not maintained, however, the damage can be very costly and time-consuming to remedy.
We are purchasing a house in Islington, does the home buyers survey check for indications of flooding, or if nearby homes have been affected?
The Law Society estimate that 2.2m residences are in danger of flooding, and the value of a residence in an at-risk area may be impacted. It is easily possible to assess whether a house is susceptible to flooding via any of a number of routes. Flood water can enter a house through a number of routes, including air bricks, poorly fitted doors and windows, and seepage through external walls. Details relating to signs of flooding may be reported in Section J of the HomeBuyer Report. Also included on Environment Agency's flood danger alert are details of local rivers and other bodies of water prone to flooding.