If you are buying a home with the assistance of a mortgage, the lender will probably commission a valuation report, to confirm whether the property provides acceptable security for the loan. Although it is often paid for by the purchaser, the valuation is intended solely to satisfy the requirements of the lender. You should not rely on its contents, when deciding whether or not to proceed with the purhcase, as it will not necessarily identify defects.
This report is concise, simple and has a straightforward layout which is easy to read and understand. The report is based on a visual inspection of as much of the interior and exterior of the building as is accessible, with safety and without due difficulty. It is ideal for newer style properties whereas properties which are unusual by design or construction, or those that are particularly large may require a more detailed report, such as a Building Survey. We can advise you further, in this respect, during our preliminary discussion.
The cost of the report will depend on the size and type of the property, its location and value. It is often not much more expensive than the basic mortgage valuation report and is far more wide-ranging and gives you the information needed to make a more considered decision on your purchase.
This type of survey provides a concise ‘intermediate’ level report that will include advice on the general condition of the property. It is divided into numbered sections and will comment upon those major defects and shortcomings that might affect your decision to purchase.
The Building Survey is a detailed report which provides an investigation into, and assessment of, the construction and condition of a building. It is based on a detailed inspection of the building in as much depth as is possible without damaging the building or contents.
The report will include guidance on maintenance and remedial works, An impression of the services, “Look See” CCTV Drain Scan and also comments on individual defects.
A Building Survey is suitable for all types of buildings but is almost certain to be needed if the property is very old, listed, is in need of extensive repairs or if it is not constructed using traditional building methods and materials.
Because of the individual nature of a Building Survey it is not possible to give any guidance on costs, as it is with the HomeBuyers Survey and Valuation. The fee will vary accordingly to the type, size, value and location of the property. We are always available to discuss the level of fees with you prior to carrying out the inspection.
If the property is particularly old or irrespective of its age, clearly in need of repair, you should commission a Building Survey. It is important that you discuss your requirements with our Surveyor, as, unlike the RICS Homebuyer Report, there is no standard format and the report can be tailored to suit your particular requirements.
From our survey a comprehensive report is prepared along with a CD containing photographs and a copy of the “Look See” CCTV Drainage Scan. A building survey will not normally include a valuation but this should be requested at the time of instruction if required.
Many properties in Cornwall and parts of Devon that were built between 1900 up to 1960s were built using concrete constructed of poor quality aggregate from mining and other waste. This aggregate was readily available throughout the South West at a minimal cost from the waste tips of old mines. It has now been established that the minerals contained in the aggregate material can cause a chemical reaction which results in deterioration of the strength and composition of the concrete.
Our test involves the following:
Extraction of, on average, 8-12 50mm core samples from the property using a diamond tipped core drill.
Samples are taken from accessible walls and foundations plus internal walls and chimneys. These core holes are then refilled prior to leaving the property.
The samples are then submitted for petrographic analysis and the findings are outlined in a detailed report which describes the aggregate and the condition of the concrete.
The majority of UK drainage systems are made up of 100mm and 150mm vitrified clay pipe work. Many of these systems do their job of carrying waste and storm water from one point to another, although it is very unlikely that a drainage system will run smoothly all of the time. In fact, most drainage systems will have some sort of defect such as misalignment of joints, stepped joints, dipped sections, fine root ingress, fracturing or leaking pipe work and a lot have pitch fibre pipe problems. It is always a good idea to have a drain scan as we have found that there are, more often than not, serious problems with the majority of property pipe work.
To assess what condition your drainage system is in we can carry out a “Look See” CCTV scan using our state of the art fully digital mini-cam equipment.
As well as recording the CCTV footage we look out for any obvious defects and assess the general condition of the drains.
We then write up a report and post it out to you along with a copy of the CCTV footage.