Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Running Horse
    • By Running Horse 2nd Apr 18, 8:39 AM
    • 10,559Posts
    • 21,222Thanks
    Running Horse
    Would you have a survey?
    • #1
    • 2nd Apr 18, 8:39 AM
    Would you have a survey? 2nd Apr 18 at 8:39 AM
    We might be slightly mad, but we are seriously thinking of buying a solid 1960s house that hasn't been updated for decades. It needs new double glazing, kitchen, bathroom, rewiring, decoration and carpets. However, it looks structurally sound.

    Would you get a survey if you are going to do everything anyway?
    I was present at wreath-laying but don't think I was involved.
Page 1
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 2nd Apr 18, 8:49 AM
    • 10,577 Posts
    • 12,100 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    • #2
    • 2nd Apr 18, 8:49 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Apr 18, 8:49 AM
    I wouldn't because my experience of surveys is that they tell you the obvious and have enough caveats to mean that anything serious they missed there is no liability for.

    There is also the ridiculous traffic light system where they mark as red things they didn't actually check, for example there was a post yesterday where someone had a red in electrical because it hadn't had a previous check even though there's no actual requirement to have a check.

    In your case I'd be confident that there will be a string of reds, a list of recommendations to get checked (at further expense) all the stuff that's rea they didn't check - gas, electric roof whatever, and on the upside if they miss anything like subsidence you can print all the caveats out and use them to underpin the building.
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 2nd Apr 18, 8:55 AM
    • 3,573 Posts
    • 6,120 Thanks
    martinthebandit
    • #3
    • 2nd Apr 18, 8:55 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Apr 18, 8:55 AM
    To be honest before buying this place and only because we were going to be doing a lot of alterations we employed a proper structural engineer to do a full survey.

    His report was far more in depth and useful then any 'building surveyors' report and was not much more expensive.
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 2nd Apr 18, 9:31 AM
    • 8,056 Posts
    • 24,550 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    • #4
    • 2nd Apr 18, 9:31 AM
    • #4
    • 2nd Apr 18, 9:31 AM
    +1 to a full structural (You'll need another sort for the mortgage - wonderful how they don't overlap & anyway do you want the bank to see the scarlet ink and the exclamation marks?!)

    Find a RICS one handy to you here

    It's really helpful in sorting out what needs to be done first, and what can wait a bit & it also gives you an entirely handy valuation for negotiation.

    It will also shatter any delusions your heart may have taken up, so I reckon the full structural survey is worth its weight in rubies!
    • Asl77c
    • By Asl77c 2nd Apr 18, 10:54 AM
    • 84 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    Asl77c
    • #5
    • 2nd Apr 18, 10:54 AM
    • #5
    • 2nd Apr 18, 10:54 AM
    I!!!8217;d go for full structural too. If that much is clear to see I'd then want to find out what you can!!!8217;t see.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 2nd Apr 18, 11:15 AM
    • 3,267 Posts
    • 8,608 Thanks
    tori.k
    • #6
    • 2nd Apr 18, 11:15 AM
    • #6
    • 2nd Apr 18, 11:15 AM
    We didn't bother we paid for the valuation and a gas inspection on the combi boiler.
    Home buyers surveys are pointless, I did consider a full structural survey on a previous house that fell through but was only the roof we were concerned about due to the age of the building so made more sense to us to have a roofer take a look.
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
    Debit to Credit (stage 2) 6299.09 completed 25/06/17
    Mortgage Free (stage 3) 140000/ 2127
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • buggy_boy
    • By buggy_boy 2nd Apr 18, 11:20 AM
    • 535 Posts
    • 393 Thanks
    buggy_boy
    • #7
    • 2nd Apr 18, 11:20 AM
    • #7
    • 2nd Apr 18, 11:20 AM
    I completed a by the sounds of it similar 1960's bungalow refurbishment last year, did not bother with a survey but then have quite a lot of experience and got builder in to check everything was ok...

    It needed new electrics but that was obvious (Only has twin not twin and earth on lighting circuit, plus hardly any sockets in kitchen). Complete new heating system, new kitchen, new bathroom, redecoration inside and out but layout was pretty good, all we did was change a door into an archway, block up fireplace and take down chimney to below roof line (It was leaking at flashing and as didnt want to use fireplace was cheaper just to remove)..

    There were a few unexpected issues, the ceiling joists were not really thick enough for the large lounge and in the middle sagged down 2-3inches, it was surprising how easy it was to miss, it was only when you measured you really saw the difference, the ceiling had to come down, joists propped up and reinforced... The garage roof leaked a little and was asbestos concrete roofing, the builder removed the sheets whole and we wrapped them in two sheets of thick plastic, stuck them on the roof of the car and took them down the recycling centre (They now want 15 a sheet), it was ok, we used masks and gloves, as long as it didnt break the fibres would not be released.... The worst had to be that after plastering someone had not put a coat of 50/50 (50% water, 50% paint) on the plaster to get it to stick so the paint pealed off in placed, the whole room had to have the paint stripped, took two of us almost 2 solid weeks...

    Im pretty good when it comes to budgeting and said would take about 22k, came in around 30k but we added a lot like all new windows, an extension to the back of the garage and underfloor insulation.

    Sometimes places that need complete doing up are easier as nobody has bodged around repairs, everything is there to see, make sure you get a builder in to check for anything obvious and as long as you get it for a good price so it covers any unforeseen work and make sure you have a health contingency budget...

    If the place were older I would definitely recommend a survey but 60's houses were in the main pretty solidly built.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Apr 18, 12:07 PM
    • 45,319 Posts
    • 54,317 Thanks
    G_M
    • #8
    • 2nd Apr 18, 12:07 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Apr 18, 12:07 PM
    To be honest before buying this place and only because we were going to be doing a lot of alterations we employed a proper structural engineer to do a full survey.

    His report was far more in depth and useful then any 'building surveyors' report and was not much more expensive.
    Originally posted by martinthebandit
    =DigForVictory: +1 to a full structural (You'll need another sort for the mortgage - wonderful how they don't overlap
    martin was receomending a SE, not an RICS surveyor.

    Compare hospital consultant with GP.
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 2nd Apr 18, 1:29 PM
    • 3,573 Posts
    • 6,120 Thanks
    martinthebandit
    • #9
    • 2nd Apr 18, 1:29 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Apr 18, 1:29 PM
    martin was receomending a SE, not an RICS surveyor.

    Compare hospital consultant with GP.
    Originally posted by G_M

    Quite right, there is a lot of difference in quality but surprisingly little difference in price.
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • RedFraggle
    • By RedFraggle 2nd Apr 18, 2:12 PM
    • 731 Posts
    • 2,018 Thanks
    RedFraggle
    martin was receomending a SE, not an RICS surveyor.

    Compare hospital consultant with GP.
    Originally posted by G_M
    Quite. We had a RICS building survey on our previous house thinking it was the right thing to do. Wasn't worth a penny of the 700 we paid.
    Officially in a clique of idiots
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 2nd Apr 18, 4:28 PM
    • 26,134 Posts
    • 94,842 Thanks
    Davesnave
    I've only bought post WW2 houses and I've never had a full buildings survey or a surprise yet, but the most salient point is that I'm not you!

    Also, although I know more than I once did, no one knows everything and anyone can miss something, especially on a house they like. I'd never attempt to evaluate a house on my own.

    I'd view 3 times and save the 'biggie' till last, because it's more intimidating having a purchaser + builder friend/relative crawling all over a property, than the professionally detached inspection by a surveyor.

    If I strayed into old house territory, I'd probably look for a structural engineer's survey and maybe specialist advice on individual things like lime plastering, replacing exposed timbers, or whatever. I'd be out of my comfort zone.
    I might be old, but I got to see a lot of good bands...
    • loveka
    • By loveka 2nd Apr 18, 5:17 PM
    • 423 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    loveka
    We 'sold' our house twice. Both fell through. The first was because of the full structural survey which was just ridiculous. The buyer was terrified about the amount of work she would need to do on a house that looked perfect.

    The survey said that as as he couldn't check behind the kitchen cabinets for damp they should be removed! So his suggestion was that a solid wood in frame kitchen, only 8 years old should be ripped out to check for damp! He said the conservatory should be pulled down ' because it will be very cold in the winter'. It has full central heating. He said that the porch should be removed and replaced.' as it doesn't meet current building regulations'. It was built in 1909. He said that there was evidence of no running water in the bathroom. He hadn't worked out how to turn the tap on.

    The second buyer also had a survey. Not one issue appeared on both surveys. Not one.

    We are buying a house now, and have had a builder/roofer , damp/dry rot surveyor, electrician and heating engineer look at it. I really think surveys are worthless. I have 2 friends who discovered major issues having had full surveys, and neither had any come back at all.
    Last edited by loveka; 02-04-2018 at 5:19 PM. Reason: Wrong word
    • TamsinC
    • By TamsinC 2nd Apr 18, 5:49 PM
    • 490 Posts
    • 597 Thanks
    TamsinC
    Having just had a RICS structural survey that told us nothing we didn't already know - and just said get a specialist in basically - it was money thrown away and I wish I hadn't bothered.
    Last edited by TamsinC; 02-04-2018 at 5:59 PM.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Apr 18, 7:55 PM
    • 45,319 Posts
    • 54,317 Thanks
    G_M
    martin was receomending a SE, not an RICS surveyor.

    Compare hospital consultant with GP.
    Originally posted by G_M
    But to take the comparison further, there's no point getting medical advice from a cancer specialist if you have a hernia.

    The GP (RICS surveyor) does have a role but it is of a more general nature, and covers a wider spectrum of issues.

    In this scenaro, a structural enggineer will look soley at structural issues.
    Last edited by G_M; 03-04-2018 at 6:32 PM.
    • Running Horse
    • By Running Horse 15th Apr 18, 11:17 AM
    • 10,559 Posts
    • 21,222 Thanks
    Running Horse
    Many thanks for all your comments.

    So it looks like it might happen. Got to pay for a valuation anyway, so will pay a bit more for the mid-range survey, just in case we are missing anything obvious. What order would be best for works? Electrics look surprisingly good and I'm related to an electrician.

    Small electric jobs and get sockets etc in good place.

    Double glazing.

    Wall removed to combine toilet and bath and build shower room.

    New kitchen and move boiler one metre to more sensible position.

    Skim ceilings.

    Redecorate.

    New flooring.

    Does this sound like a sensible order of works to you?
    I was present at wreath-laying but don't think I was involved.
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 15th Apr 18, 12:23 PM
    • 3,573 Posts
    • 6,120 Thanks
    martinthebandit

    .......a structural enggineer will look soley at structural issues.
    Originally posted by G_M
    The report I got from mine was much more than just 'structural issues'

    It went from the age of the house, how old the electrics were etc to the type and age of the trees in the garden.

    Far more comprehensive and far less caveats than any report I've had from a RCIS type person.
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • SG27
    • By SG27 15th Apr 18, 1:52 PM
    • 2,450 Posts
    • 1,725 Thanks
    SG27
    I used to be in the always get a survey way of thinking. But after having my own amd reading a few from friends I dont know if I would bother again. It just lists all the things potentially might be wrong and just tells you to get specialists in. Probably better off getting a building to.check it over amd paying them for their time.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,298Posts Today

7,767Users online

Martin's Twitter