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  • FIRST POST
    • Flo_89
    • By Flo_89 20th May 19, 6:45 PM
    • 7Posts
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    Flo_89
    HomeBuyer Report Anxiety
    • #1
    • 20th May 19, 6:45 PM
    HomeBuyer Report Anxiety 20th May 19 at 6:45 PM


    Hi All

    Just had the HomeBuyer Report back on an end terrace property and of course I am anxious as it's my first purchase so this is all new to me. I am aware that there will always be issues that the report uncovers - I guess that's the point of it. I am aware that FTBs are notorious for panicking and just hoped for a little reassurance from the more experienced folk about what is/isn't worth panicking over!

    These are the following issues that received 3 Rating that I am most concerned about:

    * Windows - some needed easing and adjusting, and repair and replacement of the locks and hinges was identified. There were also concerns that there is no proper fire escape from the windows to the upper floor - I was most worried about this one as I am not sure how that can be remedied? It was also noted that "the opening casement to the bathroom is restricted by the over-clad fascia board" - again, not sure how this can be sorted?

    * Floors - minor and unevenness to the floors but no sig. deflection or distortion. However, there were inadequate vents to provide ventilation under the floows - could this be remedied with airbricks? There was no 'visible' evidence of dry rot, wet rot or active woodworm.

    * Drainage - staining was noted which may suggest defective waste fittings/poor flashing.

    There were also areas that were rated as 2 and although there was no evidence of significant rising dampness, they suggested that "external levels should be reduced as a precaution" to avoid bridging. I wasn't sure what this meant so would appreciate some thoughts.

    I might add that the valuation was the same as I offered - I have read that it rarely isn't. I am also aware that if I am concerned, I should get quotes from specialists to give me a sense of how much it'll cost to remedy the issues.I plan to contact the surveyor for clarity, but thought I'd double check on MSE incase I am over-reacting.

    Thank you in advance
    ..:: Dont be the first to be the last one chasing the sunrise ::..
Page 1
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 20th May 19, 7:10 PM
    • 1,319 Posts
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    jonnygee2
    • #2
    • 20th May 19, 7:10 PM
    • #2
    • 20th May 19, 7:10 PM
    Nothing you mentioned would bother me apart from this:

    There were also concerns that there is no proper fire escape from the windows to the upper floor

    I am admittedly a bit funny about fire safety, but for me I would want an escape plan. If the main stairway is on fire how will you get out? Can you fit a different type of window that would let you get out in a fire etc? Escape through the roof? (you can buy fire ladders to get down).

    Everything else is either a project to work on, or (in the case of very slightly uneven floors) something you can ignore for the time being.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 20th May 19, 7:22 PM
    • 48,225 Posts
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    G_M
    • #3
    • 20th May 19, 7:22 PM
    • #3
    • 20th May 19, 7:22 PM
    There are thousands (millions?) of home with no escape through windows on upper floor.


    Sure, modern Building Regs require this, but houses built before it became mandatory don't need to comply and often (usually?) don't.


    Now sure, you may be like jonneygee above and be unhappy living in a house with only one exit route. If so, fit a new window that opens fully to allow escape after you move in.
    • Flo_89
    • By Flo_89 20th May 19, 7:27 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Flo_89
    • #4
    • 20th May 19, 7:27 PM
    • #4
    • 20th May 19, 7:27 PM
    Hi Both,

    Thank you for the replies - I also thought that lots of homes don't have a fire escape from the upper floor. As you suggest, think the solution is to fit new windows which open out.. not sure where to though!
    ..:: Dont be the first to be the last one chasing the sunrise ::..
    • G_M
    • By G_M 20th May 19, 7:30 PM
    • 48,225 Posts
    • 59,118 Thanks
    G_M
    • #5
    • 20th May 19, 7:30 PM
    • #5
    • 20th May 19, 7:30 PM
    Hi Both,

    Thank you for the replies - I also thought that lots of homes don't have a fire escape from the upper floor. As you suggest, think the solution is to fit new windows which open out.. not sure where to though!
    Originally posted by Flo_89
    Is this a 2 storey property? If so, it doesn't really matter which window. Ifn the house is on fire, you'll get yourself out and drop without a 2nd thought...........!
    • Flo_89
    • By Flo_89 20th May 19, 7:46 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Flo_89
    • #6
    • 20th May 19, 7:46 PM
    • #6
    • 20th May 19, 7:46 PM
    Is this a 2 storey property? If so, it doesn't really matter which window. Ifn the house is on fire, you'll get yourself out and drop without a 2nd thought...........!
    Originally posted by G_M
    It is a 2 storey property.. as you say, it doesn't matter which window(s) need to be replaced. It's unlikely that the vendor would negotiate on this though but it does feel important to sort out, possibly sooner rather than later.
    ..:: Dont be the first to be the last one chasing the sunrise ::..
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 20th May 19, 8:03 PM
    • 1,319 Posts
    • 1,377 Thanks
    jonnygee2
    • #7
    • 20th May 19, 8:03 PM
    • #7
    • 20th May 19, 8:03 PM
    It's unlikely that the vendor would negotiate on this though but it does feel important to sort out, possibly sooner rather than later.
    Yes I agree. To be clear I wasn't really saying don't buy the house or try and renegotiate. Your survey is just fine. Basically, I just think when you move in to your new home you may want to think through the 'what do I do in a fire' plan carefully.

    Still, as I said I'm about as paranoid as it gets when it comes to fires. I always think through fire risks in a new home.
    • Albala
    • By Albala 20th May 19, 8:18 PM
    • 233 Posts
    • 218 Thanks
    Albala
    • #8
    • 20th May 19, 8:18 PM
    • #8
    • 20th May 19, 8:18 PM
    There are thousands (millions?) of home with no escape through windows on upper floor.


    Sure, modern Building Regs require this, but houses built before it became mandatory don't need to comply and often (usually?) don't.


    Now sure, you may be like jonneygee above and be unhappy living in a house with only one exit route. If so, fit a new window that opens fully to allow escape after you move in.
    Originally posted by G_M

    I wonder if what was meant was 'means of escape'? As you say, you don't expect domestic properties to have actual built fire escapes. But you do need to be able to get out in a fire- if there is no opening window upstairs, I'd want that sorted before I slept upstairs. But I remember seeing the Woolworths fire many years ago up in Manchester, where barred windows meant people couldn't get out. I'm not sure, though, that 'millions' of houses (as mentioned in a previous post) have no opening upper windows. I can't think of even one that I know.
    • Flo_89
    • By Flo_89 20th May 19, 9:06 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Flo_89
    • #9
    • 20th May 19, 9:06 PM
    • #9
    • 20th May 19, 9:06 PM
    Yes I agree. To be clear I wasn't really saying don't buy the house or try and renegotiate. Your survey is just fine. Basically, I just think when you move in to your new home you may want to think through the 'what do I do in a fire' plan carefully.

    Still, as I said I'm about as paranoid as it gets when it comes to fires. I always think through fire risks in a new home.
    Originally posted by jonnygee2
    I totally agree that it's important to think about fire safety - as you say, this is something that can be remedied. I think the suggestion of negotiating was my anxiety creeping through (oops!).

    I've had a look again at the pictures and noticed that what the surveyor probably meant is that the windows on the 2nd floor are top-hung/top light windows (suited for ventilation) but don't open out far enough to be able to actually fit through incase of a fire.
    ..:: Dont be the first to be the last one chasing the sunrise ::..
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 21st May 19, 4:37 AM
    • 3,723 Posts
    • 3,980 Thanks
    LadyDee
    During my time working for a chartered surveyor I prepared hundreds of both HBR and full structural surveys, and I can't remember the question of a fire escape ever being raised for an ordinary private dwelling. If it worries you at all, you can buy emergency escape ladders such as this https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Kidde-468093-Two-Storey-Escape-Ladder/dp/B00005OU7B/ref=sr_1_3?crid=31D1AG6WWUM3N&keywords=fire+escape +ladders+2+storey&qid=1558412833&s=gateway&sprefix =fire+escape+ladder%2Caps%2C210&sr=8-3
    Your main defence is precaution against fire - never leave things charging while you are out or in bed, never use washing machines or dishwashers in use unattended, no smoking in bed, don't use candles, and stand over the chips while they're cooking!
    Seriously OP - fires in private houses do happen but so rarely that with normal care it should never happen. Most occur through carelessness, and with sensible precautions, smoke detectors, and if you are really concerned a ladder like the above, and you can sleep soundly.
    Good luck in your new home.
    • Splatfoot
    • By Splatfoot 21st May 19, 7:15 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Splatfoot
    They do just mean that the windows in the rooms upstairs don't open fully to allow you to climb out. But lots of houses are like this. The bathroom doesn't need to comply with this but I would just get a quote for changing the bedroom windows as a safety precaution.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 21st May 19, 7:29 AM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 2,534 Thanks
    rach_k
    What are the windows actually like? Ours don't officially open wide enough to escape but you'd have to be a massive fatty not to be able to get out of one in an emergency!
    • Flo_89
    • By Flo_89 21st May 19, 7:39 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Flo_89
    What are the windows actually like? Ours don't officially open wide enough to escape but you'd have to be a massive fatty not to be able to get out of one in an emergency!
    Originally posted by rach_k
    They are pretty standard uPVC Top Hung casement windows.
    ..:: Dont be the first to be the last one chasing the sunrise ::..
    • Flo_89
    • By Flo_89 21st May 19, 7:42 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Flo_89
    Thank you everyone I'll probably get a few quotes for replacement windows and make sure to test the fire alarms regularly too. Thanks for the link for the escape ladder - the problem might be in getting through the top hung window though...
    ..:: Dont be the first to be the last one chasing the sunrise ::..
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