Building Survey needed, even on a new house!

Recently, whilst undertaking a simple Mortgage Valuation in West Sussex on a new-build house which was under construction, Patrick Moyle noted instances where the standard of workmanship can best be described as unacceptable.

Damaged and poorly cut blocks had been used for the inner skin of masonry, and the wall ties had been incorrectly positioned.

Insulation had not been fully inserted into the cavity and it had not been closed up at all.

He also saw a considerable amount of random debris within the cavity and in between the insulation. The photo below shows most of the problems.

At the time of the Valuation Inspection the walls were being dry-lined and the defect was about to be hidden. Thankfully we noted it and raised the warning flags!

Left as it was there would have always been a considerable amount of heat loss and cold bridging around the door and window openings. Damp penetration across the bridged cavity would also be inevitable.

The developer will now even be told to rebuild this section of wall.

We always recommend a Pre-purchase Survey on a new house with our inspections being undertaken during the course of construction so that defects can be readily identifiable and not concealed. Just because it is brand new, it is not necessarily perfect!

Building Survey Cavity Wall

Beware of PowerStation by-products

During a recent Full Building Survey carried out by Patrick Moyle,  severe salt staining noted to be coming up through the floor in many rooms causing the thermoplastic floor tiles to lift. The property was built in the 1950’s and waste slag from a PowerStation was used as the hard core beneath the solid floor. The salts produced from chemical reactions have caused the floor to deteriorate over time. The only course of action is to hack up the whole of the ground floor of this semi-detached house and replace it. The works would have meant that the property would have been uninhabitable until they were completed and our client therefore decided not to proceed with the purchase.

Salt stained floor

Corner of a Salt stained floor

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed penetrates everything and has incredible strength and can damage brickwork and concrete and therefore, structures. Patrick Moyle carried out a Full Building Survey on a property in a rural environment in Surrey near Dorking where Japanese Knotweed had penetrated through the private/septic tank drainage system causing major damage. The quotes for removal of the Japanese Knotweed from the large garden were approximately £50,000 and the replacement of the septic tank was around £20,000 (all plus VAT). The final bill was nearly £85,000 which was just under 10% of the purchase price. Our clients did not purchase and were thankful for the advice which saved them a small fortune.

Japanese Knotweed close up

Japanese Knotweed

If you require more information on Japanese knotweed removal in Surrey, Sussex or the rest of the South East then get in touch with us today.

You never know when you will bump into asbestos!!

Asbestos is a very hazardous and harmful material especially in the form which is applied to insulate tanks and pipes.  I am constantly noting asbestos in many older properties which I inspect including those built up to the 1960s. I was recently instructed to conduct a schedule of condition report on a building on the south coast and in the basement noted that the redundant hot water tank/cylinders had asbestos applied to them.  Brian Gale Surveyors liaise on a regular basis with various specialist asbestos removal companies and the budget cost we obtained for the removal of the asbestos from these particular tanks was approximately £15,000.  The discovery of asbestos meant that our Clients could be properly advised with regard to asbestos removal and costs.

Hot water tank asbestos removal Asbestos removal blog image

Dilapidation Inspection

Patrick Moyle has recently carried out some dilapidation inspections for a Client wanting to take a long Lease on Commercial units near Heathrow Airport.  The Landlord was proposing a full Repairing and Insuring Lease on a building 30 years old.  The inspection revealed that the roof covering was in poor condition with major deterioration to the metal panels and cut edge corrosion (plastic finish lifting and curling).  Although the property had fairly recently been decorated internally and externally, closer inspection revealed major repair and maintenance liabilities.   The Client needed protection in the future from the Landlord serving a dilapidations claim on him so a “decorating only Lease” is being negotiated so that our Client, the ingoing tenant, is responsible for decoration only.  Looking ahead to protect Clients is what we do at Brian Gale Surveyors!

Dilapidation Inspection 1 Dilapidation Inspection 4

Never underestimate the powers of the OAP

Brian Gale Surveyors have been endeavouring for many months on behalf of a Commercial Bank Client to gain possession of premises in North London. Unfortunately, the borrower managed to convince the Courts that her tenants who were elderly were infirm, bed-ridden and could not walk.  Finally, after obtaining a Court Order to repossess the property, the day to take the property into possession arrived and whilst the Bailiffs were outside, two elderly persons exited the front door and walked up the road carrying their belongings and got into a waiting car – unaided.  A miracle indeed.

All in a days work for a London LPA Receiver.