A DAMP AND TIMBER SURVEYOR
This page is a very personal 'been there, done that' true story aimed at serious house buyers.
It should help you to save money on what is probably the most expensive item you will ever buy - your new house.
So...protecting your own interests, along with the need to save money, must continue to be your number one priority.
The services of an experienced Surveyor may well be more essential now in the present house price market. You need to be doubly sure you are doing absolutely the right thing.
After frustrating weeks of searching and viewing houses in your chosen area, you finally select one.
Is it the right one as far as the actual building is concerned?
A Damp and Timber Surveyor will help you save money - hundreds, even thousands of pounds. This is probably one of the smartest moves you will make.He will help you come to a decision
Do you accept the property - warts and all - or do you back off and go on to fight another day? You may even be able to negotiate a reduction in the price on the basis of what your Damp and Timber Surveyor finds. His report can be totally invaluable advice.
A Damp and Timber Surveyor will reassure you regarding the technical
parts of your purchase - possible roof leakage, subsidence,
foundations, woodworm and other nasties, rot - both wet and dry, what
lurks under manhole covers. Damp - rising and internal, sagging beams
etc., because these are not the kind of surprises you need after you
buy the house. Also probably throwing the need to save money straight
out of the nearest open window!
If you need a mortgage then the Building Society Surveyor will inspect the house. This will cost you £600 plus and the Surveyor that they send to do the job will spend about 15 minutes in the property.
Even if you are given access to it, this Building Society Survey Report will be of no value to you whatsoever. It is intended to inform the Society whether of not they will be able to realise sufficient capital on the property in the event of your failing to maintain payments in the future.
You have looked intelligently at the roof, walls, foundations, nearby buildings etc., and everything seems to be more or less in order - but...
If you have any niggling doubts lurking at the back of your mind, it will probably be a lot cheaper for you to take the plunge and employ a Damp and Timber Surveyor.
Yes, it will cost you around £650 but this survey could potentially save you thousands of pounds due to the simple fact of having a reliable report in your hands that points out the pitfalls.
You must be careful when employing a Damp and Timber Surveyor. First of all make sure he is fully qualified. Some 'Surveyors' come with a 'damp' meter already in their hands - well more or less. It will be the first thing they get out of their brief case.
They push the prongs of a resistance meter (designed for timber) into a wall, take a deep sucking breath and pronounce the property has rising damp. To make things worse, they will probably refer you to a 'commercial damp proofer and timber treater'. This will not only cover their backs but also opens the door for commission hungry salesmen.
Most houses have washing machines, dishwashers, baths and showers, plus people living in them who have the habit of continuously breathing - all generating moisture, hence a general damp reading, which has no bearing on the actual damp situation in the house.
Having been sadly and expensively caught in this way on a previous occasion, this time I did some very extensive homework.
After much thought and consideration I finally decided to employ Mr. Paul Morris of Abbey Independent Surveys.
I found Mr. Morris to be 'exactly as described on the tin'.
He was punctual in meeting me at the house in question - despite a journey of nearly 200 miles.
He had my best interests in mind all the time.
He cleared up the slight amount of mess made by drilling discreet holes in a wall to accurately assess the damp situation. He also neatly repaired these holes.
Although I had employed him solely to assess the property for damp, which is his speciality - he even went into the loft to check that I could remove a brick wall between two bedrooms without the roof falling in!
He was forthcoming regarding information on other points that in his opinion needed checking before a sale was completed and even gave advice regarding the correct place to site a conservatory.
To be perfectly honest, I would have liked to ask Mr. Morris a couple of other questions but did not want to push my luck too far - although with hindsight I feel sure he would have responded.
Morris can be found at
6 Melton Road, Langham, Rutland, LE15 7JN
Telephone: 01572 774398
He is very approachable, so take the opportunity of telephoning him and discussing whether he can undertake what you require.
Remember, I have been there, done that, been caught on a previous occasion, but this time came up with an excellent result!
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