What is a survey and why should I have one?
Charters-Reid Surveyors Ltd offer property valuations the whole of Yorkshire
A standard property valuation is not a survey and will not spot any potential or current problems with the property. If you are getting a free valuation “survey” from your mortgage provider, this will not be sufficient to find any damp, window frame decay, roof problems, pest infestations, subsidence or building cracks. You should give us a call to look at getting a good value survey on the property directly, as we may be able to reduce the price you pay for the property, and save you having to pay to fix these problems later.
Valuations are very different from other types of home survey because the value of the property is mainly based on its location, current condition and size. We can provide property valuations in York, Scarborough, Harrogate, Wetherby, Leeds and the rest of Yorkshire for the following circumstances:
- Private valuations
- Matrimonial valuations
- Bank valuations
- Probate valuations
- Pension valuations
- Retrospective valuations
- Mortgage valuations
How can you tell what your property is worth unless you have it checked over for defects?
Call today for free advice: 01904 468881
As a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Engineer and a joiner by trade and having spent all of his life in the building industry and surveying industry, Jon Charters-Reid goes on to say: Almost 95% of the time it is because of human error that buildings go wrong, fail or malfunction. Progressively over the years buildings have a number of defects built in to them. As the construction industry reduces the amount of apprentices and skilled labour in the industry defects are becoming more and more prevalent in modern homes. A number of these defects are also brought about by ignorance of designers. If you look at a Georgian house, a Victorian house or even just a common semi-detached house you will see there are a number of quirks, twists and turns by the designer that have all been brought about when defects were taking place. So for example literally for the last two thousand years we have been building houses in the world with an overhang at the roofs.
This is for a particular reason. It shields the walls from getting completely wet as wet or moist walls emit heat. Furthermore the overhang serves to protect the lower part of the house that is in contact with the ground and it prevents rainwater from running directly straight down onto the damp proof course which through a number of issues can ultimately lead to bridging. Overhanging roofs also prevent a type of shading which have a cooling effect in the summer. You will also see on much older properties windows are recessed back by at least 100mm. Part of the reason used to be to protect the timber, but also we have found when carrying out sound tests that it has a more positive effect on noise transmission from the external environment to the internal. The early builders knew this. Like me, my Grandad was a time-served joiner and the pedigree of joiners and tradespersons in houses over the years are set to serve a particular purpose. Older buildings tend to last much longer because quite frankly there is more care and attention gone into them and they are much better built. Nowadays it is decided that buildings are constructed for monetary value and really developers work out how many units they can get on a site and often have little disregard for the occupants of the buildings or indeed how they would use it.
In our opinion 95% of defects are caused by people. These people are often called builders, allegedly tradesmen, or poor DIYers or simply the uninformed person taking a chance on a DIY repair. All these issues lead to defects in buildings. The list of defects is exponential and endless. We recently had a client who decided that he didn't need a survey because the house had been renovated. If the house has been renovated there is more reason to make sure the work has been carried out correctly. Builders in the United Kingdom are not licensed. Did you know that builders in the United Kingdom do not have to go through any shape or form of training or registration to call themselves a builder? It turns out in a lot of instances that you are letting an unqualified inexperienced person deal with the most expensive thing that you will ever own. We have seen this time and time again when we have acted as expert witness for property owners against builders where they have not carried out work correctly. Modern versus Old So, for centuries chimney stacks have been built from brick. They have been constructed from brick and mortar with a terracotta or more recently a concrete pot on top. The top of the stack has been flaunched (a blob of cement which holds the brackets in place). Now we are seeing chimney stacks made from fiberglass with imitation bricks or still quite a lot of wooden-framed chimney stacks with bricks cut into thin slips and stuck on the side. As you can imagine by the very sound of this, these constructions make our nose curl up and we know for a fact that they do not work. Yet builders across the land still continue to fit these chimney stacks laden with potential defects. We are of the opinion that builders should be licensed and approved by property professionals such as Chartered Surveyors, Chartered Engineers or primarily Architects. You need a license to practice as an electrician and as a gas engineer. Building work that can lead to structural collapse, subsidence and put life at risk needs to be managed and supervised correctly. What are some of the common defects that we come across?
Double-glazing has a number of particular defects apart from the obvious which is mist in between panes. There is a lack of opening windows at first floor level. We are finding that up t0 30% of properties that we look at do not have an opening window which prevents access and egress in the event of a life threatening fire. There are still quite a few windows fitted in the early 1980s with a PVCu frame and single-glazing. These are often misconstrued as being double-glazing; something else to watch out for. The list of defects with double-glazing continues to be endless. Dampness Dampness is one of the primary problems in buildings. It can actually lead to dry rot and wet rot of timbers. In our opinion almost all dampness and dry rot is caused by human error. If the conditions for wet rot and dry rot are correct it can occur very quickly in only a matter of months.