In a Watford RICS Level 2 Survey, what is an example of a red-light-rated defect affecting rainwater pipes and gutters?
Matters which require urgent action are highlighted with a 'red' or condition rating of 3. In some cases, such a rating may indicate further expert opinion is needed before an accurate statement can be given (e.g. if hazardous materials need to be assessed and removed). ‘Not inspected' is used to indicate those subsections of Section E (which encompasses the external aspects of the property) that do not apply to the home. The structured format for the Watford RICS Level 2 Survey is intended to produce a useful and comprehensive survey for any buyers. As a result, some sections are omitted where they do not apply to the surveyed property.
Areas covered by E3 are inspected visually with the aid of binoculars where appropriate. This section does not include possible defects with the entire drainage system, such as blockages in sewer pipes, but missing downspouts would be reported here, for example.
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Our agent warned us that access to the roof could be something to worry about, and we are sensitive to the cost of roof repairs from past experience. What should we investigate as part of the survey?
Residential property in Watford that is in otherwise good condition can be blighted by roofing woes, like ponding, or bowing trusses. All aspects of the roof will be reviewed in the survey, from clay tiles and fascias to wind braces and flashings. Factors like a slope of less than twelve to fifteen degrees are particularly troublesome for flat-roofed property, and this will also be checked, assuming that there is suitable access without risking the surveyor’s safety.
It may be inconvenient to put up scaffolding to perform repairs, especially in the busy parts of Watford, but it is a health and safety necessity for those working on the roof. A quote (or several) for any necessary work should be acquired as soon as possible, so that you know what the financial outlay for the remedial work is going to be. Local roofing experts include Lee Brockwitz Roofing Ltd., 61 Cherry Hills, Watford, WD19 6DL (Tel: 07958 236116), or Shults Construction, 4 Fairview Drive, Watford, WD17 4ST (Tel: 01923 609642).
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There may be pests at the property we're buying in Watford, but we aren’t certain; is a Property Survey advisable?
Scare stories about home pest problems are plentiful, yet it is tempting to treat signs of pests, such as wasps, as minor annoyances. Regrettably, pest problems can be very expensive to resolve, and they might even affect the health of the residents.
In addition, it may not be obvious that a home is suffering from a severe pest problem, as evidence can be overlooked. For example, dust-mites make they habitation in furnishings and bedding, and are a common source of allergies, but are so tiny that they are not immediately obvious.
Treatment for insect infestation may include use of insecticides, while affected parts of the house could be excised and replaced.
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There is a semi-detached house in the WD18 postcode area priced at £462,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Watford?
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 Watford.
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in Watford in June 2018 was £453,389, which is £8,611 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Watford were:
Information © 2018 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 24 August 2018
An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a RICS Level 2 Survey, 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.
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The estate agent in Watford mentioned that traces of blue asbestos may be lurking in the boiler cupboard at the property. What are the issues with asbestos?
Asbestos is a potentially deadly material that has been identified as a primary source of health problems, particularly with the lungs, where prolonged exposure has led to cancer, asbestos and other critical pleural issues. The three main types of asbestos that were used prolifically in the UK, before its outright ban in 1999, are blue, brown and white. Because of its high-tensile strength, its resistance to chemical attack, and its famous fire-retardant and sound-proofing qualities, before its deleterious effect on health was fully understood and accepted, asbestos was treated as a miracle substance that subsequently found its way into all manner of construction products, from guttering and soil-pipes to paint, ceiling tiles, and even wallpaper.
Should you find asbestos, you must be careful never to remove or break it, and professional advice must be sought urgently. Getting rid of it will probably be expensive, but it absolutely must be conducted by professionals, so do not be tempted to tackle it yourself. Surveyors cannot verify the presence of asbestos on a survey, but they will mention any suspicions of its presence, and will inform you of the options.
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We are planning to buy a flat in Watford and saw cracks across the render on the outside walls. Is this a serious risk, and what subsidence-related defects will my house survey reveal?
Movement of the foundations of a building is what is called subsidence, but this must be distinguished from settlement, which exhibits very similar symptoms. For instance, many homes in Watford are constructed from a range of materials, and these will contract at different rates.
Subsidence is not always easy to identify, due to the fact that the usual signs could easily be caused by a number of factors. Organic material, such as peat, is usually stable if it’s kept moist by the water level, but, if the soil dries, it will rot. The weight of the foundations will then compress the subsoil.
Restoration work cannot begin until the original source of the movement is found. Repairing leaking drains, water mains or broken downpipes, which have been identified as the cause of the subsidence, should be all that is needed to stabilise the home, with no underpinning required. In serious cases, unfortunately, the only option may have to be underpinning, which is usually a last resort due to the cost and inconvenience. A surveyor will be able to tell you if there is subsidence in your home or not, and what is causing it.
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Is it the right choice to upgrade to full structural survey before buying a thirties cottage in Watford in poor condition?
For your information, Full Structural Surveys have been superseded by the evolved RICS Level 3 Survey, although it is essentially the same report as its predecessor. The RICS Level 3 Survey is the correct choice when you are buying a modified house (for example, a neglected Watford house, like the one you cite in the question).
The written report sets out in-depth and often critical insight into the property's construction materials, as well as any maintenance needs, following a thorough visual inspection of the accessible parts of the house (both inside and out). For more on the different RICS Level 2 Surveys and RICS Level 3 Survey, visit this page.
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As well as reporting on the condition of the Watford house, will I get a valuation and an estimate of rebuild costs for insurance purposes (including additional costs such as site clearance)?
RICS Level 2 Surveys include an independent valuation and a reinstatement cost as an integral part of the report.
To ascertain the value of the property, your chartered surveyor will combine their knowledge of the Watford housing market with other aspects of the property (for instance, general condition, or size of the garden), its construction materials and architecture, key assumptions (such as there being no serious defects, or that there aren't any serious legal problems (e.g. the tenure being as indicated)), connection to mains utilities, proximity to amenities and public transport links, and environmental considerations (e.g. how close the house is to a main thoroughfare).
A RICS Level 3 Survey 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 commissioned. For more advice, and to help you choose the appropriate valuation product, call Surveyor Local on 08000327649.