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Didn't get survey, now house falling apart!! Advice welcomed

I bought a property 12 years ago, when I was quite young and inexperienced. Anyway I didn't get a survey at the time!!!!! I don't know why.
Fast forward 12 years, and its just been pointed out to me that the walls down the side of the house are bowed. They are :-( I never would of spotted this, now I can't unsee it.  Together with a few loose bricks around the front door, one of my friends said he thinks the house is subsiding, another said he doesn't think so however it does look like some underpinning work has been carried out, but it just needs repointing.  A few of the bricks at the very bottom are loose.  There is nothing in my paperwork about underpinning.  There are no cracks in the bricks.  There are a few hairline cracks in the house, nothing to worry about.

I know how long its been like this  but I don't know what to do now.  Do i call the insurance now? What do i say? I've looked in my policy wording and its says it will not cover against loss or damage caused before this policy started.

Worried and anxious. Any advice welcomed please.



  • Tanya2711
    Tanya2711 Forumite Posts: 7
    First Post
    EDIT: I DON'T know how long its been like this but i don't know what to do now.
  • Sunsaru
    Sunsaru Forumite Posts: 737
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    Personally, I would get a building surveyor round to have a look and then go from there.
    Nothing is foolproof to a talented fool.
  • WoozieSioux_tse
    WoozieSioux_tse Forumite Posts: 52
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    How old is your property? Do you not do at least an annual walk around outside to check for any maintenance? When you bought the property, was it not mentioned in anything you read about house buying that you should have a budget for on-going maintenance? 
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Forumite Posts: 13,555
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Got any photos of the affected areas ?
    They may give clues as to what the problem is, and then we can give you some indication as to the repair costs.
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  • moneysavinghero
    moneysavinghero Forumite Posts: 1,761
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    First you need to get a builder or a surveyor round to have a look at it and give you their opinion on what needs doing. Maybe it won't be as bad as your friends thought.
  • stuart45
    stuart45 Forumite Posts: 3,622
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    FreeBear said:
    Got any photos of the affected areas ?
    They may give clues as to what the problem is, and then we can give you some indication as to the repair costs.
    I would do this to start with. Although photos are not as good as a site visit they can be helpful to give you a few pointers. 
    Also a rough idea of it's age and the walls construction if known eg cavity, solid.
  • pbartlett
    pbartlett Forumite Posts: 1,397
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I would just caution about getting a builder around and not informing your insurance company

    itis almost certainly in the policy terms and conditions that you notify the insurance company of any material changes and you could find that if you dont do this and eg your house burns down you won't get a penny
  • youth_leader
    youth_leader Forumite Posts: 2,368
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Stoptober Survivor
    I hope you can get a surveyor/builder to have a look quickly, don't listen to non expert friends. 

    I do understand your anxiety.  I was on the market when my semi detached neighbour said 'have you seen the damage at the front of your house, it's really going to affect your price'.  One side of the front walls of my house was in their front garden,  I had never looked before because they'd had bushes planted there.  They'd just dug them all out and there were huge, huge gaps where the lime and mortar had gone from between the sandstone blocks.  Luckily I'd commissioned my own survey,  so my surveyor was able to confirm it was a skim layer to support the stairs and wasn't affecting my structure. 

    I hope you have a good outcome.  Someone somewhere said to budget about £2K per year for routine property maintenance. 
    £216 saved 24 October 2014
  • Tanya2711
    Tanya2711 Forumite Posts: 7
    First Post
    The house was built in the 1960s
    Thanks, i shall get a surveyor/builder out first, before getting the insurance involved, just so i know what i'm dealing with.
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