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    • EFTB
    • By EFTB 5th Jan 18, 10:34 AM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Home Buyers Survey
    • #1
    • 5th Jan 18, 10:34 AM
    Home Buyers Survey 5th Jan 18 at 10:34 AM
    Hi All

    I am a first time buyer and am in the process of buying a house. I have just had a home buyers survey done and need some advice please.

    The House is a mid terrace and was built in the 1970's.

    The report came back saying that the porch needs urgent work to its roof which is a flat felt covered roof because it is at the end of its life. The porch also has some minor cracking and has moved on its damp proofing course

    Does anyone know what "moved on its damp proofing course" actually means and if it is a huge job to rectify? Also does anyone have any ideas if the roof will be a huge job?

    The other issue raised by the report was the fact that the garage (which is away from the house) has an asbestos cement roof which is damaged and leaking, has defective walls, leaking gutters and rotten joinery. This sounds like it should be demolished and replaced to me but does anyone have a better idea than me if this is what it actually means and if so what costs I am looking at please?

    The report raised other minor issues which are of no major urgency or concern so I was just wondering if anyone would be able to offer advice on the above please and if it is worth asking for a renegotiation on the price (is this even possible)?

    Thank you in advance
Page 1
    • JoJo1978
    • By JoJo1978 5th Jan 18, 3:20 PM
    • 356 Posts
    • 433 Thanks
    • #2
    • 5th Jan 18, 3:20 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Jan 18, 3:20 PM
    Yes it's possible to negotiate on price, unless the asking price already reflected the likely need for these works. Try to find that out first i.e. was the asking price already cheaper than other comparable houses nearby?

    Your strongest position from which to negotiate will be to request access for specialists to come and quote you for the work, using those quotes as a basis for how much to reduce. It's impossible for anyone here to give you a cost estimate really without seeing the porch or garage.

    Asbestos is potentially dangerous if disturbed so if the damage you mention is to the integrity of the cement I'd advise getting in an asbestos removal specialist to quote.

    Do you need to use the porch and garage immediately? One option is to get a quote for their demolition with a view to replacing later i.e. rebuild cost may not necessarily be a concern right now, can save and do later?
    Hamster in the wheel (London) 1999-2017
    Mortgage free since 2015; Pension pot sorted 2017
    Part-time gigger and charity volunteer 2018
    • AlexMac
    • By AlexMac 5th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    • 2,043 Posts
    • 1,794 Thanks
    • #3
    • 5th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    It's always possible to try for a discount on the agreed price, and this is common when a previously unseen fault cops up on a survey. It's up to the vendor to agree or disagree, and I guess their starting point would be that a (notoriously pessimistic) Homebuyers report hasn't found anything wrong with the main body of the house.

    You won't really be able to argue until you get costs to remedy the porch (which is the most important of the two areas of problem, in that you couldn't have known about it. Whereas the decrepit garage should presumably have been obvious?)

    I guess the reason no-one has replied yet is that until you take a builder round, you won't get a half-reliable estimate of costs:

    - to repair the garage walls, and to re-roof it including the replacement of (some or all of?) the garage roof timbers, new gutters & downpipe

    - to demolish the garage and cart away the debris (a £thou' or two or three?)

    - to cost options to either dig out the garage foundations and landscape, lawn or deck the area (£?- anything from a few hundred quid to a grand or more), or

    - to replace it with another out-building, which could be handy as storage, workroom, garage or home office, with or without insulation, power, lighting, insulation, heating or plumbing.. £3k-£5k or more; which would be an enhancement that the vendor wouldn't wish to contribute to)

    - to re-roof the porch- only a few hundred quid or less if the underlying timbers are sound ? And only if it's actually leaking. Felt roofs only have a 10-15 year design life, but often outlast that; my small 2 SqM of flat. felt, partial garage roof is going strong with no leaks after 30 years.

    - assess why and how much of the porch brickwork has moved (subsidence? inadequate footings/foundations? an impact from a vehicle..?) and wheter this can be patched up for a few quid, or whether it needs to be demolished and rebuilt at several hundred pounds or a good bit more if new door and windows are needed?
    (the damp course is the layer of bitumen felt , plastic , slate or other waterproofing, laid on top of the first couple of courses of brick above the ground to prevent "rising damp" from the ground into the brickwork above.

    So, if you like the house, and you obviuosly do, try to find a builder to visit to have a look. As I said, the good news is that the survey seems to have given the all clear to all the important stuff
    Last edited by AlexMac; 05-01-2018 at 3:38 PM. Reason: JoJo gave a much better and less long-winded reply than me; but then, I stopped for a cuppa
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