Article provided by Emily Jagger of www.navasassoicates.co.uk, a chartered surveyors firm based in Derby that have specialised in turning properties into assets for over 30 years.
You may think that you are pretty proficient in recognising problem areas and defects within a property if you are looking at a certain property to buy or to rent out, however there will be things you can miss. By requesting a detailed report from a professional surveyor you can request an analysis of the property in question from the point of view of a trained eye. This allows you to then proceed with property negotiations, or even use the typed up report to enter into re-negotiations as to the price of a specific property.
Here are 5 commonly found issues that would have been easily raised had a surveyor looked at the property beforehand.
1. Roofing defects
While you may be preoccupied with checking that the property interior is down and dusted, checking the roof is often forgotten on the ‘checklist’ of every potential buyers inspection. An experienced surveyor should make their own trip to the roof or at the very least, the attic, where they can check the condition of the roof including looking out for any potential defects.
Surveyors will be able to identify damp spots, cracked or damaged tiles, poorly lined guttering and more, offering expert advice on the potential costs of repairing these issues. A property is often only as good as its foundations and without a clean and secure roof on your house you can only expect problems to multiply as the months go on.
2. Structural Issues in Timber Framed Properties
Timber framed properties are often older properties and as such their construction will be typically different from the modern day construction methods used with younger properties. Experience surveyors with both listed and historic properties will be able to give an accurate assessment on the condition of various timber framed properties, including whether or not any supporting beams have been removed in order to create doorways or make room for extensions.
The removal of supporting timber beams are some cause for concern as they may have weakened the overall structure of the house. Therefore it is important to request the assistance of an experienced surveyor with specialist knowledge in period and listed properties so that they can advise you appropriately.
With two main types of damp occurring; Penetrating Damp and Rising Damp, it can be tricky to tell the difference between the two. A professional surveyor will be able to provide a detailed analysis of the type of damp suffered by the property in question, the extent of the damage and offer advice on how it can be repaired.
Rising damp is the more serious of the two main types of damp although both can cause serious damage to the property if it is not taken care of as soon as possible. Both rising damp and penetrating damp are caused by specific factors which an expert surveyor can recognise and provide advice on.
4. Poor Electrical Wiring
Electricity is a dangerous thing to be playing with and yet many of us feel as though it is perfectly fine for us to wire out extensions and conversions as if it were the easiest thing in the world. Wiring can appear a simple task, however if you don’t properly support the wires or tie them down to one place, you are only asking for trouble in the event of another conversion needed or if you need to drill into the walls to make any amendments.
Good electrical wiring ensures that everything is safely connected, the plug sockets are all securely wired and that all the wires are properly insulated and secured in a certain way. This drastically reduces the risk of any contractors accidentally pulling out or cutting through any loose wires if you happen to start making plans for any extensions on the existing property.
5. Improper Loft Conversions
You might think that converting an attic space into a usable room would be pretty simple. However there are often several factors that would-be-home-renovators tend to miss out on in their rush to create a whole new decorated room to bump up the value of their property. The ceilings and floors need to be properly reinforced and insulated, there needs to be a clear easy exit and entrance in the case of a fire, in many cases the electric and plumbing needs to be re-routed and a whole host of other issues.
A common problem with altered properties is a poor loft conversion. Surveyors are specifically trained to look for DIY jobs that have been completed in a haphazard matter and will often have a ‘checklist’ which they will refer to when looking at specific areas of the house. If the attic has not been professionally converted, you could be running a safety risk if you continue to use it as just another room in the house.
Although you may not find it very useful if a report does not highlight any major defects, it is really essential that you do request the help of a professional surveyor as the benefits far outweigh the cons when it comes to knowing everything there is to know about your new potential property.
After all, if something were to come up, it would make sense to get all the relevant information about it before it was to become a major problem, correct?