Building survey review of a

Grade II Listed property,

originally built as a Dovecote


Independent Building Surveyors

We are independent surveyors who can provide help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, independent valuations, property surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, home buyers reports or any other property matters. As you can see from this article we use lots of sketches and photos in our reports as the feedback we have from our clients is that the sketches and photos help them understand the reports.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Caveat Emptor or buyer beware!

Caveat emptor means Buyer Beware and this is why, if you are considering buying a property, you need to have a building survey carried out to find out if there are any problems within the property that you need to be aware of. Often estate agents will not advise you of these.


Damp to floor joists can be expensive to repair


The reason for the house move

Our client's husband had sadly recently passed away and she was looking for a fresh start. She decided she wanted to move nearer to her children and was not only wanting to move house but also counties, from one end of the country to the other, so this was in all ways a momentous move.


Grade II Listed property

Our client knew that the property had to be something special to make her want to uproot and move so far away and when she viewed a very unusual 17th Century Grade II property she knew it was the one for her.

See our article on Listed buildings:

Listed Buildings


What was it about the property that appealed so much to the client?

The property was built originally as a dovecote, though we are led to believe was never used as such as was previously used as a grain store. It was then converted into a house and obtained Grade II status in the 1980's.


The property had exposed timber ceilings all the way to the roof, which was a feature that really appealed to our client and was a major factor when deciding to purchase the property. It was also decorated to a very high standard internally, which also appealed.

Timber beams
Our client also loved the fact that the property was set in large gardens with stunning views beyond

Why have a building survey?

Our client sensibly realised that it was very important to have an independent building survey, which was formerly known as a structural survey. She knew that a Grade II Listed property of this age will have certain problems and potentially more hidden away and she knew that a simple mortgage survey, which consists of a quick look around with a check list, and often carried out by a surveyor who is not chartered, was simply not sufficient for this age, type and style of property.


Why choose our surveyors?

She chose our surveyors because we are independent surveyors, which means we are not affiliated with any banks, building societies or estate agents, and therefore are only working for you the client, with your best interests at heart and have nothing to gain by the sale of the property and will give you independent advice, whether it be good or bad, about the property.


Our Surveyor met the client at the property during the survey

The client met the building surveyor at the property during the survey report. We always recommend all our clients do this as not only is it good to meet you personally, but we can get a full understanding of exactly what the client requires from the survey and answer any questions they may have.


We can also talk you through any issues, features and characteristics we find with the property.


High risk purchase

The surveyor deemed the property to be a high risk purchase due to a number of reasons:

There was a single storey building built along side the original building, linked to the main building by a walkway. The surveyor was concerned that this may not have had Planning Permission, which is very important as the property is Grade II Listed.

The nibbed tile roof had many displaced and spalling tiles and much of the roof was covered with a mass of moss and lichens. To re-roof the property would be very costly, especially as scaffolding would be needed to access it which can prove to be expensive.

Example of a nibbed tile

There were numerous other costly problems with the property too, i.e. spalling brick walls, wrong mortar used (they had used cement mortar when an old property like this needs to breathe otherwise there is a greater risk of condensation, so a like mortar is always advisable), leaking gutters and downpipes, signs of woodworm and a possible septic tank which had not been drained for many, many years.

Septic tank

Use lime mortar every time instead of cement mortar to allow the property to breathe


Surveyor recommendations

The chartered surveyor recommended the client meet with the Local Authority to see if the amendments to the property had been made to Listing Building Standards and whether Planning Approval had been gained for the link property.

The surveyor recommended to the client that her solicitor should seek a reduction in the purchase price due to the amount of major problems with this property.


Compare our survey reports with other surveying website

We recommend you compare our survey reports with others and we are confident you will find our reports are superior to most.

Please feel free to have a look at our website to see for yourself the quality of our website, articles and our Building Survey reports. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports which we have been carrying out for many years on every age, type and style of property across the UK .

Free phone us today on 0800 298 5424 to speak to a surveyor.


We can email you examples of our building surveys

We recommend you look at our survey examples at These are downloadable. We are also happy to email you a survey example of one of our reports, which are tailor made to your needs. Call us on free phone 0800 298 5424.


See our interesting surveying articles

We have written many surveying articles which we think will be of interest to you. If you have a problem or surveying question we are sure we have written an article about it. Here are a selection for you to look at, but please see our Home Page and have a browse:


A first time buyer's experience of buying a property

Moving house from one county to another

Woodworm Treatment

Common Pitched Roofs

Beautifully naïve thoughts when buying a property


We use red circles and ovals on our photographs and sketches in our survey reports

The red ovals and circles in our building surveys are a way of explaining and highlighting a problem or potential problem within the property we are surveying.

Radiators should be positioned under windows to

promote good air movement

Radiator on an internal wall is not the best place for good air flow


Photographs and thermal imaging photos

We always use a photographic record of things we find in a property during a survey; some good, some bad, some characteristics of that age, type and style of property.

We often carry out thermal imaging too. The red areas in the photo show heat loss from a part of the property, in the adjacent photo you can see heat loss from the roof.



Thermal image showing heat loss out of a thatched roof


All rights reserved by

All rights are reserved the contents of the website is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of



building engineers

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

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