A review on buying a Victorian property

as your first home?


Independent Building Surveyors

When buying a Victorian property there are many things to consider. The Independent Building Surveyors at 1stAssociated.co.uk can provide you with help and advice to make sure you are aware of any problems in the property. We carry out building surveys, structural surveys, home buyers reports, independent valuations, property surveys, engineers reports, structural reports and defects reports so please call us on 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.

Victorian floor plan

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Buying a Victorian property, do you need a Building Survey carried out?

Our client was a first time buyer looking to buy a small Victorian property. We would always recommend having a Building Survey carried out as Victorian properties can have various problems that often stem from amendments and alterations that have been carried out over the years without any understanding or knowledge of how older properties work.

Street view of Victorian properties


Location, location, location!

The location of this Victorian property was key to our client wanting to purchase it. It was in a residential area of similar and larger Victorian properties and was within walking distance of their place of work.


A little more information about the property

The property was a small mid terrace house. It had the bonus of having its own rear garden with the front sitting directly onto the street, which is not ideal but it is quite common with this type of property. Parking was also a bit of an issue as it is on a first come first serve basis with a permit system in operation.

Victorian properties, the fronts sit directly onto the street


Caveat Emptor or Buyer Beware!

Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a building survey to find out if there are any problems within the property, such as rising damp. This is particularly true with your first house purchase as you may not have much experience of dealing with Estate Agents. The Estate Agent has been commissioned to sell the house, nothing more and nothing less and may not advise you of such problems.

Rising damp


Here are some links to some of our surveying articles that we think may be of interest to you;


Why you have never seen any Building Surveys or Structural Surveys like ours

Rising damp, condensation and damp through your walls

Do estate agents tell the truth or do they just want the house sale?

Victorian and Edwardian Houses, are they thermally efficient


Problems that our building survey identified with the property

The slate roof

The main problem that we found in the property was with the slate roof. Although a room had been formed in the roof making it hard to inspect the construction we managed to expose a small section. We were surprised to find that there was no protective underlayer in the roof but instead we found black bin liners had been used to protect it from rainwater getting in. This is obviously not a good idea for two reasons.

Victorian roof


1.   It is not water tight and so if wind driven rain gets into the roof through the slates it could eventually damage the rafter feet.



Wind driven rain


The roof did not have a protective underlayer


2.   Black bin liners are not breathable and so could create condensation in the roof space.


We advised our client that the roof would ultimately need replacing which would be a major expense.


Dampness at ground level

We also found that the property had a combination of rising damp and lateral damp due to the high ground level. The inside floor was more or less at the same level as the outside ground and dampness was getting in.

Outside ground level is level with internal floor allowing dampness into the property

High ground level


French drain

We recommended to our client that the ground level would need to be lowered and that adding a French Drain would help to resolve the dampness issues in the property.

A French Drain involves a trench being dug around the property with a perforated pipe fitted underneath a layer of pea shingle that then feeds into the drainage system taking away any rainwater close to the property.

French Drain

Again we had to advise our client that the adding of a French Drain would be another expense that they would have to take into account before going ahead with the purchase of the property.



Meeting the building surveyor at the property when possible

We always enjoy meeting our clients at the survey whenever possible as we are able to talk about their requirements and any plans they may have to alter and amend the property and also to advise on how to solve any problems that we come across. In this case we are pleased to say that the client did manage to meet us at the property.


What do the circles and ovals mean in our reports?

We always include many photos within our reports. Sometimes where there is a problem in the property that we wish to emphasize or highlight we will use circles or ovals to identify this, please see the photo of black mould below. If the report, along with our photos, does not explain the problem or characteristics of a property enough then we also have a vast range of sketches that we have had commissioned exclusively for us that we can use in our reports.

Black mould due to dampness and condensation in a property

Black mould


Independent Building Surveyors

We are experienced independent building Surveyors who are knowledgeable in carrying out structural surveys on all types, styles and eras of buildings. If you are looking to buy your first property it makes sense to have a building survey carried out by an Independent Surveyor. Phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424.


Example of our survey reports

We are more than happy to email you examples of our Surveys that we have carried out on similar properties to the one that you are looking to buy although we do appreciate that all properties are unique. We really believe that you should see what you are getting in the form of an example survey report before you purchase a property. Please free phone 0800 298 5424.


All rights reserved by 1stAssociated.co.uk

All rights are reserved the contents of the web site is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of  www.1stAssociated.co.uk   



building engineers

Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright 1stassociated.co.uk

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax