We found the driveway surface is broken and uneven at the house in York, but is this subsidence? What are the risks, and what can be done if it is identified?
Subsidence is defined as the movement in a house's foundations that compromises the structural integrity. However, the difference between subsidence and settlement should be distinguished, because most homes in York are built with a variety of materials, and these will contract at different rates. Fortunately, subsidence can be remedied relatively easily once the source of the problem is diagnosed.
Subsidence-related cracks are, in most cases, thinner towards the bottom of the crack, if it runs up a wall. Organic material, like peat, in the subsoil is usually stable if it’s kept moist by the water level, but, if the soil dries out, it will decompose, causing the volume of soil to reduce so that foundations crush the subsoil.
Identifying the cause of subsidence is the first step to establishing its precise solution. It has been estimated, for example, that around 70% subsidence cases are caused by tree-roots drawing moisture from the soil. In serious cases, underpinning may be required, which is a lengthy process used to stabilise the foundations of a property and is required in around a quarter of subsidence matters. A surveyor will be able to tell you if there is subsidence in your home or not, and what is causing it.
To obtain your instant York Home Survey quote from Surveyor Local, try our online calculator by filling in the form at the top of this page, or call us on 0800 022 4428 to talk to one of our waiting advisers.
When buying an abandoned, Victorian, detached home in York, should I upgrade to a full structural survey?
For your information, the Full Structural Survey has been superseded by the RICS Level 3 Survey, which is basically the same technical report but modernised.
You should certainly choose the RICS Level 3 Survey for the house you are thinking of buying in York, because a RICS Level 2 Survey will only suffice for a mid-century (or later), unmodified York house of normal construction materials (i.e. brick and tile). With all surveys, there are a few limitations that exist insofar as a surveyor is not authorised to force or open up the structure of the York house, nor can they inspect any part that could risk personal injury, nor can they run physical tests on electrical or gas supplies.
To understand the differences between the surveys, and what’s in or out, click on compare the surveys.
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Can I get an independent and professional valuation and reinstatement cost estimate in York, and how is it calculated?
York RICS Level 2 Surveys automatically come with an independent surveyor valuation, and it will also include a reinstatement (rebuilding) cost estimate as a standard part of the survey, incorporating retaining walls, outbuildings and other important structures other than the main building.
To fully determine an accurate value estimate, the registered valuer will combine their knowledge of the local property market with specific considerations about the property (e.g. state of the kitchen units, or size of the garden), the construction and architecture, key assumptions (such as there being no cause to alter the valuation revealed by subsequently inspecting parts not inspected, or that the property is insurable), proximity to transport links and amenities, connection to mains utilities, and environmental issues (like being under a flightpath).
A RICS Level 3 Survey does not include a valuation as standard, but Surveyor Local can add one for a nominal fee. Alternatively, a Property Valuation Report (PVR) can be carried out. If you call us on 0800 022 4428, we can help you understand which option is best for your needs.
What should I be fearful of when buying a flat close to Drome Farm near York Road, and landfill sites generally?
Sites operated for landfill come in many shapes and sizes, including non-hazardous rubbish disposal, or household recycling. There are thousands of these sites that affect many thousands of people throughout the UK, and that includes York, with worries including complex organic chemicals leaching into the environment, and health issues (for example, spina bifida) having been linked to landfill sites.
RICS Level 2 Surveys in York will find any structural issues linked to the site, and your legal representative will order environmental searches of the Environmental Agency databases, as well as talk to the York Local Authority, addressing any concerns you may have.
The most cost-effective solution to your survey needs come with Surveyor Local, who will assign you an experienced and accredited chartered surveyor at a low cost and high-quality service. To get started, call our friendly advisers on 0800 022 4428.
Would our York surveyor investigate indications of flood damage at the property we want to buy?
Flooding has blighted the lives of thousands of homeowners in York and across the country. Those planning to buy in affected areas should weigh up the risk of their exposure, and it is easy to assess whether a house is susceptible to flooding via any of a number of routes.
Flooding can increase the likelihood of water entering a house in York, such as via seepage through walls. Section J of the survey report contains details, where applicable, of flood-risks found within the boundaries of the house in York or on adjacent sites. The house surveyor may ask the agent about historical floods, although the result of these enquires should be treated as a guide only.
If you are still concerned about your survey and what it might reveal, why not call Surveyor Local’s team of advisers on 0800 022 4428 and they will talk you through what you can expect?
There is a detached house in the YO2 postcode area priced at £405,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in York?
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 York.
This means the average price of completed transactions for detached houses in York in June 2018 was £391,704, which is £13,296 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in York were:
Information © 2018 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 20 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.
If you need further guidance, why not try our online 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 022 4428.
On the York RICS Level 2 Survey, what impact can a Condition Rating 1 have on the section titled 'E1 - Chimney stacks'?
A 'green' condition rating of 1 confirms that no repairs are required, but it should not be taken that it means that no future maintenance is necessary. Regular upkeep may still be appropriate or even important.
RICS created the RICS Level 2 Survey to give house-buyers in York a clear and easy-to-read report on the condition of the home they plan to buy, unlike some more complex survey reports. Colour-coded ratings are used to communicate the severity of any defects or points of interest included in the report.
Elements of the property reviewed by Section E (which looks after all the external aspects of the property, including any permanent outbuildings) will be checked thoroughly, using binoculars if the roof is hard to access. As an example of what would be reported in subsection E1, a chimney without sufficient structural support would be an obvious defect.
Surveyor Local has a number of sample reports, which are available online, including the RICS Level 2 Survey, or, if you want to talk to an adviser about any specific concerns regarding the surveyor, call us on 0800 022 4428.
We're purchasing a house in York, and we expect to budget something for roof maintenance. What should we investigate during the survey?
The vexed question of the state of the roof is often asked by house-purchasers who know that homes can be hiding serious roofing woes, like cracked and loose slates or tiles that let in water. From valley gutters to gables, every part of the roof must be reviewed in the survey, and any major defects addressed as soon as possible.
It may be inconvenient to employ scaffolding to perform repairs, especially in the busy parts of York, but it is a health and safety necessity. A quote for the work could be sought from a reliable roofing specialist, such as GS Roofing, 94 Centurion Square, Skeldergate, York, YO1 6DE (Tel: 07871 427022), or GT Roofing, 38 Nunnery Lane, York, YO23 1AJ (Tel: 07780 237240).
For your free, instant York Home Survey Quote, try our online generator (scroll to the top of this page to fill in a few details in the form there), or call us on 0800 022 4428 to talk to one of our survey specialists.