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  • FIRST POST
    • EddyBaloch
    • By EddyBaloch 15th Sep 17, 3:55 PM
    • 51Posts
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    EddyBaloch
    Drainage issue - house movement?
    • #1
    • 15th Sep 17, 3:55 PM
    Drainage issue - house movement? 15th Sep 17 at 3:55 PM
    Hi all,

    I am a first time buyer in process of buying a 1950s semi detached house. Being new to all this and having no friends or family who own houses in UK, I really need some advice from your experiences.

    The RICS building survey pointed that there were signs of slight movement on the front left corner of the house (internal cracks on first floor ceiling plaster etc). It recommended a drainage survey which I have done and revealed cracked pipe in the same part of the house. The quote is about £2500 to dig it up and fix it.

    Is there anything else I need to consider here?

    P.S. The house is on top of a slope. I spoke to a few neighbors and they said that the construction of all the houses in the area is extremely good. There are no cracks on the outside of the property. Neighbors said that all I need to do is to just get the crack fixed.

    Thank you in advance for all your help.

    Eddy.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Sep 17, 4:44 PM
    • 41,077 Posts
    • 47,195 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 4:44 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 4:44 PM
    I wouldn't be concerned.

    You could try askng for a price reduction on the basis of the drain cost - might /might not work.

    Who quoted the £2500? Once you own you could shop around. I bet you'll get a cheaper quote. Depending what kind of drain the water company might even do it free - they often do one free repair per property, though that might only be to supply pipes....

    Other alternative to digging up is to get a sleeve inserted into the drain to cover the crack. Again, if feasibl, likely to be cheaper.
    • EddyBaloch
    • By EddyBaloch 15th Sep 17, 5:00 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    EddyBaloch
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 5:00 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 5:00 PM
    Thanks very much. Do I need a structural engineer to review once drain is fixed?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Sep 17, 5:37 PM
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    G_M
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 5:37 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 5:37 PM
    The indications of movement (internal cracks on first floor ceiling plaster etc) are so minimal that I wouldn't.

    Why not ring your surveyor for an informal chat and get his opinion?

    But the choice is yours.
    • EddyBaloch
    • By EddyBaloch 15th Sep 17, 5:56 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    EddyBaloch
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 5:56 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 5:56 PM
    I spoke to the surveyor (thanks for excellent advice). He was not definitive and said I could look at the property myself or get opinion from structural engineer. He said he can't say because it might be that the drain was cracked for a long time and might have washed away some of soil underneath. The only definitive way to know is to employ a structural engineer.

    Subsequently I spoke to a structural engineer who has agreed to visit a property to give his opinion (I am awaiting cost estimate of how much he'll charge- money is really tight so hoping not much)

    Any comments or advice would be much appreciated.

    Internal cracks on first floor ceilings are 1 to 2mm but long (run on corners). Outside there are no signs of cracks.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Sep 17, 7:35 PM
    • 41,077 Posts
    • 47,195 Thanks
    G_M
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 17, 7:35 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 17, 7:35 PM
    .......it might be that the drain was cracked for a long time and might have washed away some of soil underneath. The only definitive way to know is to employ a structural engineer.

    ......
    Originally posted by EddyBaloch
    My prediction - the SE will visit, and bill you £1-300, and then suggest the only way to tell is to get builders in to dig exploratory holes and examine the soil below ground level.......
    • EddyBaloch
    • By EddyBaloch 15th Sep 17, 8:04 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    EddyBaloch
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 17, 8:04 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 17, 8:04 PM
    My prediction - the SE will visit, and bill you £1-300, and then suggest the only way to tell is to get builders in to dig exploratory holes and examine the soil below ground level.......
    Originally posted by G_M
    Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate it.

    To be honest, I am 90% satisfied that it is non issue. Mainly because of the slope. Seems like everyone is giving vague answers. The surveyor sits on the fence on every matter. The drain surveyors did the same. My neighbor who lived in that house for 40 years is the only one who seemed confident that there are no issues. He said he has not seen a puddle ever in his life in this property. I will only give ahead is structural engineer is willing to visit for less than a couple of hundred quid.

    The surveyor said that I could ask sellers to go via their insurance? Do you have any comment on this? Does this cause an issue when I come to resell if there is an insurance claim?
    • Blakey74
    • By Blakey74 18th Sep 17, 10:27 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Blakey74
    • #8
    • 18th Sep 17, 10:27 AM
    • #8
    • 18th Sep 17, 10:27 AM
    We are buying at the moment and surveyor was unsure of the reason for a crack on the internal party wall in the dining room. He valued the property at nil until a Structural Engineer was instructed to advise the reasons for the crack.

    Structural Engineer advised that the crack was due to settlement as property built on chalk. Property in poor condition and soakaways not up to standard and water had softened the chalk.

    Ideally you need to find out what the cause of the crack is and if the surveyor is sitting on the fence you may need to get a structural engineer out which costs about £500.

    Your problem with insurance is that many insurers may not be willing to quote without knowing what the cause of the movement is and confirming that it is no progressive.
    • EddyBaloch
    • By EddyBaloch 18th Sep 17, 3:53 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    EddyBaloch
    • #9
    • 18th Sep 17, 3:53 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Sep 17, 3:53 PM
    We are buying at the moment and surveyor was unsure of the reason for a crack on the internal party wall in the dining room. He valued the property at nil until a Structural Engineer was instructed to advise the reasons for the crack.

    Structural Engineer advised that the crack was due to settlement as property built on chalk. Property in poor condition and soakaways not up to standard and water had softened the chalk.

    Ideally you need to find out what the cause of the crack is and if the surveyor is sitting on the fence you may need to get a structural engineer out which costs about £500.

    Your problem with insurance is that many insurers may not be willing to quote without knowing what the cause of the movement is and confirming that it is no progressive.
    Originally posted by Blakey74
    Thanks for your response.
    In my case, as it stands it is not certain that there is any movement. Valuation survey didn't highlight anything. RICS building survey said internal need to be further investigated. Drainage issue identified and will be rectified by paying directly.

    The concern I have is whether the drain might be leading to a bigger issue. The internal cracks are easily fixeable. No outside cracking on the house noted at all
    • EddyBaloch
    • By EddyBaloch 18th Sep 17, 6:26 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    EddyBaloch
    If the RICS building survey says that there is possible movement and I do not act of it (because I think he is just covering his back), does it affect my future insurance?
    • Blakey74
    • By Blakey74 19th Sep 17, 8:22 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Blakey74
    If the RICS building survey says that there is possible movement and I do not act of it (because I think he is just covering his back), does it affect my future insurance?
    Originally posted by EddyBaloch
    Insurers normally ask questions about structural movement and subsidence. You would be expected to declare the suspected movement and insurers would normally want an definitive answer regarding the cause of the movement and that the movement is no longer progressive.

    You may struggle to get cover for subsidence if there is a question regarding the cause of any movement.
    • Blakey74
    • By Blakey74 19th Sep 17, 8:26 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Blakey74
    Thanks for your response.
    In my case, as it stands it is not certain that there is any movement. Valuation survey didn't highlight anything. RICS building survey said internal need to be further investigated. Drainage issue identified and will be rectified by paying directly.

    The concern I have is whether the drain might be leading to a bigger issue. The internal cracks are easily fixeable. No outside cracking on the house noted at all
    Originally posted by EddyBaloch
    Unfortunately I suspect only a structural engineer will be able to give you the answers you are looking for.
    • EddyBaloch
    • By EddyBaloch 19th Sep 17, 6:04 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    EddyBaloch
    Got a structural engineer over. Seems like a case of surveyor covering his back by listing everything possible.

    Overall I am relieved.The structural engineer cost was around £300 plus VAT in total. This was the cheapest I could find.
    Last edited by EddyBaloch; Yesterday at 10:53 AM.
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