A building can be a costly responsibility and you should know its condition and potential drawbacks before purchase or agreeing to lease. A survey report will give the information that you need and can be used as a basis for negotiation with the vendor or landlord.
It is important for you to be aware of any deficiencies in the building and how these affect future use and any liabilities you might have during, or at the end of, the lease.
Our house and flat surveys are tailored to your requirements to take account of the proposed use and commercial needs. Reports can be prepared for pre-purchase, condition and disposal uses.
A detailed inspection of the property is made by a Chartered Building Surveyor. All visible defects will be reported upon and, where possible, the cause diagnosed and recommendations for repair given. If you want to extend or alter the property, tell us about your plans before we carry out the survey and we can give advice on the proposals.
You might be purchasing the freehold of a property either for occupation or investment, taking over an existing lease or negotiating a new lease.
As part of Carter Fielding’s service, we:
Failure to maintain buildings often has significant consequences on condition and performance resulting in expensive and disruptive emergency maintenance. We have strong technical knowledge of building construction, component failures and appropriate repair techniques. Our inspections diagnose defects, specify repairs and give maintenance advice on which cost effective decisions can be made.
The areas of a building that often cause concern relate to chimneys, roofs, flashings and guttering; defects which can result in water penetration into the building. Early diagnosis and repair can prevent more serious problems occurring.
Similarly, water penetration around window and door openings and as a result of bridging or defects in the damp proof course can be identified and the most appropriate repair method specified which might include areas of re-plastering.
Where dry rot is discovered, again appropriate repair techniques can be specified in order to prevent recurrence and to minimise the damage to the existing building and structure.
Subsidence and structural movement can be caused by many factors, the most frequent causes being clay shrinkage as a result of dry weather and proximity of trees and leaks from drains causing degradation of the underlying subsoil. The severity of the movement is assessed and, if necessary, monitored over a period of time.
Further investigation such as drains tests and excavation of trial holes might be required in order to more precisely establish the cause and once the cause or causes are identified suitable repairs such as strengthening walls, replacing drains or underpinning walls can be designed.
Superstructure repairs such as re-plastering, repairing or replacing lintels and beams and associated plastering and decoration would also form part of a Schedule of Work.
We no longer undertake RICS branded reports. We have developed our own Home Purchase Report that identifies major problems with and comments on overall condition. Our report does not include a valuation. We consider that these reports are more suited to houses and flats built since 1950.
A detailed snagging list is often prepared to highlight defects in a new property, which can then be given to the developer for them to rectify or in order to renegotiate the price of the property.
For an extra charge we can provide an estimate of building reinstatement costs for insurance purposes with a Building Survey and Home Purchase Report. Separate Reinstatement Cost Reports can also be prepared for any building.