A review, buying an older property that

has been poorly maintained as a

renovation project


Our Independent Building Surveyors can help you

As Independent Building Surveyors we can provide you with help and advice. We carry out structural surveys, home buyers reports, independent valuations, property surveys, engineers reports, structural reports, defects report so please call us on 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat. If you are buying a house that needs a lot of work due to being badly maintained over the years or is need of modernisation and renovation than a Building Survey can identify problems in the property that can save you time and money.

Property needs attention. Collapsed lath and plaster ceiling in a bathroom.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Why should you have a Building Survey carried out?

Our client is looking to purchase a property that is visually in a run-down condition. Up until now we assume it has been the appearance of the property that has put off other perspective buyers. Our client informed us that the property has been on the market for quite a while.

Having a Building Survey carried out will identify whether there are problems that may be difficult to solve such as structural issues or rising and lateral dampness or if they are more superficial problems and only require repair and redecoration.

A building survey can identify problems such as damp in a property


Estate Agents and their selling tactics

In this case we are aware that the Estate Agents have been advertising the property as not having any problems when this is clearly not the case and we feel this could also have been deterring potential buyers. The quite aggressive manner which they are using to sell the property has also resulted in people walking away from it.

A little bit of information about the property

The property in question is a late Victorian semi-detached house. It does have the benefit of having off road parking as the street does have a parking permit system in operation.

Typical Victorian floor plan

Location, location, location

The location of a property can also be very important. Some clients prefer if the property is in a quieter area and do not mind driving to work, others wish to be close to good schools or within walking distance of the shops etc. In this case it was because the property was close to the clients workplace, in fact very close!


New extension on an older property

To the rear of the property is a newer extension built in a more modern construction. The adding of this type of construction can potentially cause problems with an older property as the construction and materials used have different thermal properties resulting in cold bridging.

Modern extension added to an older property will have different thermal problems

Cold bridging defined

Cold bridging is caused by a colder element in the structure allowing coldness to pass through the structure much quicker when warm moist air is present in the property. Cold bridging is often caused by things like having a shower or a bath, cooking or washing, particularly if you are drying washing on the radiators. This is also caused by the general climate which results in condensation on the element.

Cold bridging

Improving the internal environment


Meeting our clients at the property

We always like it when our clients can attend the survey and we were pleased to meet this lady at the property. We talked through the various property problems and issues that we found in a lot of detail so that our client could understand the most important and urgent problems that needed resolving before the winter and what could be left to a later date.


Renovation and design ideas

We were also pleased to be able to discuss the clients future ideas and designs for the property. These included the possibility of being able to extend into to the roof space to make it a habitable room and whether another bathroom could be added.


Surveyors asking the right questions

We also feel it is right that we should ask the client the right questions during the survey so that we get to understand their level of knowledge and understanding of the property in question.

Our first question to the client was;

Had she owned an older property before? The answer to which she replied was no.

However during our discussions, over the course of the survey, we discovered that she had helped various friends renovate properties over the years. She also informed us that because she had enjoyed helping her friends the prospect of a renovation was one of the main reasons she was interested in buying the property.


Research and knowledge is a good thing!

We were really impressed to hear that she had also carried out extensive researching whilst looking at other properties in poor condition/ being repossessed in the area. Our client had been able to develop her knowledge and we were pleased to hear that much of this knowledge was gained from our articles on our website as we have spent many hours putting together hundreds of articles.


Our articles on our website

If you would like to read some of our surveying and property articles please go to our home page and scroll down the page where you will find all of our articles have been nicely grouped into different categories.



Independent Building Surveyors

We are experienced Independent Building Surveyors who are knowledgeable in carrying out surveys on all types, styles and eras of buildings. If you are planning to buy a property that requires a lot of work and appears to have a lot of problems then it makes sense to have a building survey carried out by an Independent Surveyor. Phone us on Freephone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat with our Surveyors.


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