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    • mazibee
    • By mazibee 25th May 19, 1:41 PM
    • 173Posts
    • 14Thanks
    mazibee
    Building Survey Report - Areas of concern
    • #1
    • 25th May 19, 1:41 PM
    Building Survey Report - Areas of concern 25th May 19 at 1:41 PM
    Building Survey Report / Issues

    We have received or building survey report and has some serious issues, Its a 42 page report and I am only including some parts which show areas of concern

    (a). Electricity

    http://prntscr.com/nt6xz2

    Hallway, Two Reception Rooms and a Kitchen
    CONDITION SUMMARY: The property is connected to mains electricity. The electricity meter and consumer units are in the cupboard under the stairs. The consumer units do not have residual current device protection and this is a safety hazard and will not meet current regulations.
    There is no evidence of mains connected smoke and heat detectors in the property and this is a safety hazard as it increases the risk of being trapped in the event of a fire.
    It is not possible to fully assess the condition of electrical installation on the basis of a visual inspection only. There are many factors relating to the adequacy of electrical installations which can only be identified by a test which covers matters relating to resistance, impedance, and current, etc. It is therefore essential that the purchasing legal adviser checks to see whether recent test certificates are in place. The IET wiring regulations state that installations should be tested every 10 years or a change of ownership/tenancy. Without such proof, we are unable to comment
    fully on the installationís serviceability and therefore, an Electrical Installation Condition Report should, therefore, be obtained, prior to purchase, from a qualified electrical contractor and all recommendations implemented.
    CONDITION RATING: Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.
    ASSUMED REPAIR COST: £1000
    1st Floor: Three Bedrooms and a Bathroom Similar type and condition as described above.

    GAS Meter

    http://prntscr.com/nt6yan
    CONDITION SUMMARY: The property is connected to mains gas. The gas meter is in a cupboard under the stairs.
    You should ask your legal adviser to check with the gas supplier for evidence the gas meter is properly located, properly installed and safe. If evidence is not available, you should ask an appropriately qualified person to inspect the gas meter and supply and provide you with a report.
    CONDITION RATING: Serious or urgent and should be repaired as soon as possible.
    ASSUMED REPAIR COST: £500
    CLARIFICATION NOTE: This estimate includes the safety checks to the central heating system, gas appliances and gas meter installation by a Gas Safe registered contractor.

    Sub floor ventilation

    http://prntscr.com/nt6ykm

    EXTERNAL ELEVATIONS
    SUB-VENTILATION DESCRIPTION: There is adequate provision of air bricks to the rear and side elevation walls.
    CONDITION SUMMARY: Alterations have been made to the property without the appropriate provision of cross ventilation to properly ventilate the subfloor voids within the property.
    The grounds alongside the front elevation wall are high and appear to be either covering the existing air bricks or none is present. Alterations will, therefore, be necessary to add/uncovered air bricks to the front wall to comply with Local Authority Building Regulations. Restricted ventilation can result in noxious gases and/or condensation that can cause dry rot to affect the floor timbers and other components of the building. We would be unable to confirm the full effect of this issue without a subfloor inspection within the building and further investigation is required.
    Therefore, we recommend that the timber floors are inspected by a PCA registered timber treatment specialist. This will require removal of floor coverings and floorboards from the ground floor rooms to allow thorough inspection.
    CONDITION RATING: Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.
    ASSUMED REPAIR COST: £1500


    Floors
    Hallway, Two Reception Rooms and a Kitchen
    FLOOR DESCRIPTION: The floors throughout are a combination of solid and suspended timber construction and covered with fitted carpet or vinyl flooring.
    CONDITION SUMMARY: The floorboards are creaky and this can be resolved by fixing them securely to the floor joists. This work will require the removal of the floor coverings and any damaged timber replaced. Although the subfloor ventilation is in line with the standards set at the time of construction, it is limited in comparison with modern building methods. It is important to have good subfloor ventilation for suspended timber floors to help prevent the onset of rot and woodworm infestation. Due to the lack of adequate subfloor ventilation, as, it is likely that the ground floor timber floors are affected by rot and/or woodworm. We, therefore, recommend that the subfloor ventilation is improved to modern standards by an experienced building contractor. The timber floors should also be inspected by a PCA registered timber treatment
    specialist to see whether or not there is any rot or woodworm that requires treating.
    CONDITION RATING: Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.
    ASSUMED REPAIR COST: £0

    1st Floor: Three Bedrooms and a Bathroom
    FLOOR DESCRIPTION: The floor is of suspended timber construction.
    CONDITION SUMMARY: This part of the property is in a similar condition as in the ground floor, with creaky floorboards.
    CONDITION RATING: Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way.

    Balustrade to the staircase
    http://prntscr.com/nt70q9

    CONDITION SUMMARY: There is no balustrade to the staircase and this is considered to be a Health and Safety risk. An appropriately qualified joinery contractor should be able to implement alteration works to comply with Local Authority Building Regulations.
    CONDITION RATING: Serious or urgent and should be repaired as soon as possible.
    ASSUMED REPAIR COST: £500

    Dampness and timber defects
    Hallway, Two Reception Rooms and a Kitchen
    DAMPNESS DESCRIPTION: All accessible parts were tested with an electronic moisture meter and we found no evidence of dampness internally.
    CONDITION SUMMARY: The timber floor structure will require to be inspected to confirm whether the lack of adequate subfloor ventilation has caused any damage.
    CONDITION RATING: Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.
    ASSUMED REPAIR COST: £0

    Please can someone comment on this report especially the electrics and gas section

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 25th May 19, 2:17 PM
    • 8,076 Posts
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    daveyjp
    • #2
    • 25th May 19, 2:17 PM
    • #2
    • 25th May 19, 2:17 PM
    Unless a property is brand new it will generally not meet the latest electricity and gas regs.

    Not meeting the regs does not automatically mean the installations are unsafe.
    • mazibee
    • By mazibee 25th May 19, 3:20 PM
    • 173 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    mazibee
    • #3
    • 25th May 19, 3:20 PM
    • #3
    • 25th May 19, 3:20 PM
    Please can someone check the photos of the Electricity and the Gas Meters
    http://prntscr.com/nt6xz2


    http://prntscr.com/nt6yan


    and suggest me how what should be the next plan of action.
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 25th May 19, 3:28 PM
    • 1,573 Posts
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    Slithery
    • #4
    • 25th May 19, 3:28 PM
    • #4
    • 25th May 19, 3:28 PM
    Gas meter looks OK.


    I'd budget for a full rewire though.
    • Finchy2018
    • By Finchy2018 25th May 19, 3:29 PM
    • 350 Posts
    • 281 Thanks
    Finchy2018
    • #5
    • 25th May 19, 3:29 PM
    • #5
    • 25th May 19, 3:29 PM
    Surveyors are not electricians or gas engineers - they ALWAYS recommend you get these tested by professionals. Up to you if you want to do so.

    You obviously knew there was no balustrade on the staircase - are you concerned? add one if you wish.

    To me it reads like the !!!! covering comments that my surveyors used to put in all their surveys.
    • mazibee
    • By mazibee 25th May 19, 4:37 PM
    • 173 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    mazibee
    • #6
    • 25th May 19, 4:37 PM
    • #6
    • 25th May 19, 4:37 PM
    Shall I go for

    1) EICR report for |Electric Condition
    2) Which survey to use for checking Gas meter and the Heating condition of the property as the property?
    3) Damp and Timber Survey for Timer , Joist condition

    Any idea how much these survey reports will cost and any recommendations for selecting the surveyor in the Bucks area

    This property is fitted with Worcester boiler in the kitchen, heating tank in the cupboard of one bedroom and I also saw a tank in the loft.


    The property I am renting at the moment has only a boiler in the kitchen and there are no tanks in the bedroom and the loft.

    Can we remove the tanks from the heating system and any idea how much it will cost?

    Thanks in advance.
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 25th May 19, 5:21 PM
    • 1,573 Posts
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    Slithery
    • #7
    • 25th May 19, 5:21 PM
    • #7
    • 25th May 19, 5:21 PM
    Shall I go for

    1) EICR report for |Electric Condition...
    Originally posted by mazibee
    I wouldn't bother. Instead I'd just save the money knowing already that a full rewire was needed.
    • mazibee
    • By mazibee 25th May 19, 5:28 PM
    • 173 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    mazibee
    • #8
    • 25th May 19, 5:28 PM
    • #8
    • 25th May 19, 5:28 PM
    I wouldn't bother. Instead I'd just save the money knowing already that a full rewire was needed.
    Originally posted by Slithery

    How much it will cost approx for a full rewire of a 3 bed semi detatched house?


    Any idea about the rest of the things?
    • SparkyGrad
    • By SparkyGrad 25th May 19, 8:05 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    SparkyGrad
    • #9
    • 25th May 19, 8:05 PM
    • #9
    • 25th May 19, 8:05 PM
    Once you've moved in, ask your gas supplier for a smart meter. They'll fit a new meter and do all the safety checks for free.

    That electricity supply is quite ancient though, I'd be wanting to change that soon as Slithery suggests.

    Sounds like you have a vented hot water system. If you want rid of the water tanks you'll need to change the boiler to a combi boiler.
    • Albala
    • By Albala 25th May 19, 9:50 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    Albala
    Useful site for quotations, you could try the section on rewires.
    http://quotationcheck.com/visitor-sitemap/
    Looks reasonable in general, but of course everything always costs more than you think. After a rewire, for example, if they have to cut channels in the plaster, that's a lot of redecoration.

    Some sections have 3 different quotes according to where you are (London area, Midlands, S &SW, or Outer Regions an North) and/or according to whether you use a small local firm or larger national or regional one. There are gaps where they didn't get enough quotes. Seems up to date.

    There is a section for rewiring a whole house, about £3,800 to £4,800 for a three-bed. But read the caveats- it will depend a lot on other factors.
    Our experience suggests that
    a) if the wiring/build of the house is recent enough that most/all of it is in channels/spaces of some sort in the walls so new wiring can be pulled through it's cheaper than if they have to chisel out plaster everywhere

    b) if the house is empty it's much cheaper than if it's full of furniture

    c) if there is nobody living there (and so they don't have to rig up power and put back floorboards every night) is will cost less
    • Splatfoot
    • By Splatfoot 26th May 19, 7:45 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Splatfoot
    I wouldn't worry about any of that. As others have said, factor in sorting the electrics. The other bits, if necessary can be done over time. Creaky floorboards? Who hasn't?! We've got blocked up airvents in a couple of rooms, ideally we need them unblocked but we just open the windows. We've only been here 12 years to sort it! We have a porch floor that is slightly over the damp proof course too. Haven't sorted that yet either....
    • mazibee
    • By mazibee 26th May 19, 9:55 AM
    • 173 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    mazibee
    Thanks everyone for the replies as its given me a peace of mind.

    Lastly is it worth going for the Damp and Timber Survey, I got a quotation yesterday and it wll cost £265.
    Last edited by mazibee; 26-05-2019 at 10:03 AM.
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 26th May 19, 10:28 AM
    • 2,509 Posts
    • 3,390 Thanks
    FreeBear
    Unless the vendor will agree to floorboards being lifted (unlikely), no one will be able to asses the state of any joists. So if you want to pay for a survey that says "there might be..." along with a recommendation to spend a fortune on toxic chemicals, go ahead.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • Albala
    • By Albala 26th May 19, 11:52 AM
    • 241 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    Albala
    Unless the vendor will agree to floorboards being lifted (unlikely), no one will be able to asses the state of any joists. So if you want to pay for a survey that says "there might be..." along with a recommendation to spend a fortune on toxic chemicals, go ahead.
    Originally posted by FreeBear
    That was pretty much our experience. We tried to find someone who would actually look at the floor, but we could find none that would even lift a carpet or put a camera into the floor vents (even with the vendors' agreement). We had the survey, the sort you mention, but it really didn't tell us anything the surveyor hadn't. However, the vendor was insisting we had it done as part of the negotiations (some lenders also may if the surveyor raises the matter) so we did. I'd have preferred a proper survey, where they drill into the walls and check the timbers and test properly for moisture in the plaster and brick from samples, and I suspect they would have found no problems, 'cos I think it's partly condensation with maybe a bit of damp due to very slightly high outer ground levels, but no dice for that. So we ended up in the odd position of paying for a report we didn't think would resolve anything on a matter we thought was probably not a problem, in order to get a reduction (in case it was right and the floor timbers had gone and it was wringing damp) when had we been able to do a proper but intrusive one, we may not have even been asking for a reduction. (I need an emoji with crossed eyes for this).
    I do think that this whole damp survey thing needs sorting out.
    • mazibee
    • By mazibee 26th May 19, 12:15 PM
    • 173 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    mazibee
    So before booking the Damp & Timber survey I need to convey message to the vendor via EA that the surveyor will lift the floor boards and drill holes in the walls to carry on with the survey.

    Also if I pay for the survey and vendor refuses to allow the surveyor to lift the boards.

    The vendor is a tricky one as when we viewed the house initially and on subsequent visit it was in a nice condition ( things properly place) and when the Building Survey report came back I was shocked as the photos look like the vedors have taken all the stuff out to hinder the surveyor do his job properly, when I complained the EA and the reply was that "they mau have started packing".

    How to deal with this kind of vendor in case we go fo the damp and timber survey and geberally till completion?
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 26th May 19, 12:43 PM
    • 1,573 Posts
    • 2,524 Thanks
    Slithery
    So before booking the Damp & Timber survey I need to convey message to the vendor via EA that the surveyor will lift the floor boards and drill holes in the walls to carry on with the survey.
    Originally posted by mazibee
    No. You need to ask the vendor if they agree to this before booking the survey.

    I expect that like most reasonable people they would refuse this outright.
    • Albala
    • By Albala 26th May 19, 12:55 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    Albala
    So before booking the Damp & Timber survey I need to convey message to the vendor via EA that the surveyor will lift the floor boards and drill holes in the walls to carry on with the survey.

    Also if I pay for the survey and vendor refuses to allow the surveyor to lift the boards.

    The vendor is a tricky one as when we viewed the house initially and on subsequent visit it was in a nice condition ( things properly place) and when the Building Survey report came back I was shocked as the photos look like the vedors have taken all the stuff out to hinder the surveyor do his job properly, when I complained the EA and the reply was that "they mau have started packing".

    How to deal with this kind of vendor in case we go fo the damp and timber survey and geberally till completion?
    Originally posted by mazibee
    No vendor will let you drill holes in the walls. And you will be lucky even to find a timber/damp 'expert' who will even agree to lift a carpet. We couldn't find a single one who would even do that for us until we owned the property, regardless of the seller's attitude. That's the problem. If the vendor is 'tricky' then the chances of any co-operation from them are close to zero, even for lifting carpets.
    Most damp 'experts' don't drill out plaster and test it, only ones I have even heard of are a very select few specialists in old buildings. The rest just stick a two-pronged meter against the walls, and if it comes out that the area conducts a current, will say it is damp. Lots of things other than damp can cause high readings.


    All you can do is have the useless report, which will almost certainly say it is damp whether it is or not, and negotiate on the report's estimate of costs if you can to reduce your exposure to any financial risk in case it really is.


    Oh, and even if it is damp, it may not be 'rising damp' needing an injected DPC and a lot of replastering (some people say it hardly ever is, there is a big debate on that). It may just be condensation caused by poor ventilation, old gas fires, etc.. That can still cost a bit to sort out, though.




    Short of seeing rotting floorboards, sopping plaster, or damp patches on the walls, there isn't really a way to know it's damp. And their absence doesn't mean it isn't. Which is why I think the whole thing needs a sort out at a national level.


    Once when we had a survey done on an old house, the vendors 'just happened' to have shampooed all the downstairs carpets that very morning. Which meant the surveyor's damp meter wouldn't work. Our surveyor pointed out informally to us that he therefore concluded that the house was damp, or otherwise the vendor wouldn't have been using the 'bloke down the pub told me to do this' way of covering it up.......
    Last edited by Albala; 26-05-2019 at 1:00 PM.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 26th May 19, 1:00 PM
    • 28,441 Posts
    • 100,181 Thanks
    Davesnave
    So before booking the Damp & Timber survey I need to convey message to the vendor via EA that the surveyor will lift the floor boards and drill holes in the walls to carry on with the survey. You may ask, which is very different from saying "this will happen..."
    Consider whether you would allow someone to do those things on behalf of a purchaser who might just walk away any time.




    A surveyor or other specialist will only be able to do what the owner of the house agrees to.
    Originally posted by mazibee
    ..........................................
    Last edited by Davesnave; 27-05-2019 at 5:54 AM.
    'I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn.' Neil Innes, introducing 'Protest Song.'
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 26th May 19, 2:24 PM
    • 9,592 Posts
    • 11,581 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    • The consumer units do not have residual current device protection and this is a safety hazard and will not meet current regulations.
    • There is no evidence of mains connected smoke and heat detectors in the property and this is a safety hazard as it increases the risk of being trapped in the event of a fire.
    • You should ask your legal adviser to check with the gas supplier for evidence the gas meter is properly located, properly installed and safe.
    • There is no balustrade to the staircase and this is considered to be a Health and Safety risk. An appropriately qualified joinery contractor should be able to implement alteration works to comply with Local Authority Building Regulations
    Originally posted by mazibee
    The consumer units look safe enough for now. Depending on the age of the property and state of the wiring a full rewire might not be required, but wiring of that age is unlikely to meet current needs in terms of number of sockets etc, so assume a full rewire in the near future.

    Electrician will fit smoke detectors as part of rewire. In the meantime you can put in some battery ones.

    Gas meter looks like it has fairly recent main equipotential bonding and ventilation to the outside.

    The missing balustrading would worry me most, especially if you have young children.

    And read this page about PCA surveys for damp and remedial works
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Albala
    • By Albala 26th May 19, 2:26 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    Albala
    Davesnave, depends on what access the surveyor got. Moving furniture can impede access as well as enable it.
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