So, you’ve just had your RICS Building Survey, or HomeBuyers Report completed on your potential dream home. You’re keener than ever to know it’s condition so that you can either renegotiate the asking price or determine a budget for making repairs.
What are the Most Common Issues? What Should I Do Next?
If you’re lucky, your building survey may come back with no significant problems. However, don’t worry if anything problematic is flagged up. The main thing is that the issue has been identified early on enough to take the right course of action. Here is a list of the most common problems you’re likely to come up against with your building survey.
Damp. This issue is more common than you might think, especially if you are buying a period property. However, it’s essential to get it fixed as it can damage the building’s fabric and lead to potential health problems. Condensation is the most common type, which is when water vapour condenses on cool surfaces. There’s also penetrating damp where water leaks through brickwork and causes damp patches. Rising damp is another form when water from the ground soaks up brickwork and damages plaster, decor and skirting boards. If damp comes up on your building survey, we recommend having a separate damp survey carried out. Just be sure that your surveyor holds a certificate in either remedial damp treatment or remedial damp surveying.
Electrical Problems. If you’re lucky, your building survey may only indicate minor electrical problems. In other cases, however, your potential new home may require a complete rewire. You will need to get in touch with a trusted electrician who will survey the electrics’ condition and provide insight into what work would be required to bring them up to standard.
Leaking Drain Pipes. Although it may seem like a minor issue, drainage problems can result in water pooling or backlogs. This can cause even more significant issues due to water damage. Speak to a drainage or roofing expert who will inspect the pipes, and recommend the best course of action.
Roof Problems. It’s common on surveys that a couple of roof tiles may be identified as being cracked or damaged. Unfortunately, there are other times when a more severe issue is uncovered with the roof’s structure. Cracked tiles can be replaced cheaply and easily by someone comfortable enough to work at heights. For a more severe roof problem, an experienced roofer would need to examine the roof and provide a quote to repair or replace it.
Insulation. It’s usual for a building survey to have been completed, revealing a lack of insulation in different parts of the property. While this may seem unimportant, poor insulation can result in poor energy efficiency, meaning you’ll be paying more than you need to on your energy bills. The good news is that things like loft insulation can be topped up easily by the homeowner. However, suppose the area is difficult to access. In that case, it might be worth calling in a tradesperson to do the job instead.