Moving to a Tudor property

A clients review and how we can help


Is the property from the Tudor era or not?


Independent Building Surveyors

We can help you if you are in the process of purchasing or selling a property whether it is a Tudor property or modern building can provide help and advice with regard to pre-sale building surveys, structural surveys, home buyers reports, independent valuations, property surveys, engineers reports, structural reports, specific defects report or any other property matters.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Why have an independent building survey?

We always recommend having an independent building survey as this will highlight any property problems. 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; the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any.

Remember the building Surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart.


What do the circles and ovals mean in our building surveys?

In our building surveys and structural surveys the circles and ovals are a system that we used to highlight property problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the property problem is. In addition to this if the survey photographs do not we believe explain the property problem enough together with our survey report we also add in one of our own survey sketches.


Modern ceiling timbers

Many photographs and surveying sketches

We use throughout our survey reports to make them as clear as possible many photographs and surveying sketches. Whilst the emphasis will always be on encapsulating the Good, Bad and Ugly within our Executive Summary section words are enhanced with photographs from a very powerful optical zoom camera. We also have our own unique set of survey sketches to make the property problem crystal clear. We literally have commissioned hundreds of our own survey sketches developed over many years depicting property issues.


Ceiling with timber frame

Reasons for moving into a period property

We were asked to survey a property recently for a couple who had always wanted to live in an older style period property. The couple lived locally in a modern house and after several years of searching the older style property of their dreams came onto the property market.


Older properties are not always what they seem

The delightful property although looking as if it was built in the Tudor era had been considerably refurbished in the 1970s.


Estate Agents present at property viewings

The Estate Agent met us at the property which always tends to happen when the sales market is not very strong for example during the winter months or downturn in the housing market. We do tend to find that we then get chaperoned around the property by the Estate Agent and get shown what the Estate Agent wants us to see rather than any property issues.

If we were not experienced at carrying out structural building surveys this could be an issue. Eventually the Estate Agent settled down to read their book and we could start to carry out our structural building survey.


Tudor style beams give a property character

Our concern was that the timbers that we could see and looked so appealing within the property simply were not in the normal configuration for Tudor properties and came to the conclusion that major work had been carried out to the property. This was confirmed when we spoke to a neighbour (this is one of the extra actions we carry out when conducting our surveys talking to neighbours assuming they are in at the time of our survey) who in this particular case knew a fair amount about the property having lived next door for many decades.

This together with the information we already gained made sense of the 3D puzzle that we call the structural survey.


Additional timbers added (red oval) with older white lime washed timbers (green oval) next to them


Older properties are not always the warmest

The other matter we drew to our client's attention is that Tudor properties look very pretty and picturesque but may not be that warm to live in with single glazed windows and rooms formed partly in the roof.

Modern day heating requirements have changed considerably since the time the property was first built and with the alterations and amendments to the building these had different levels of insulation present thereby some rooms would retain heat more than others.

When buying a property we always recommend living in it for a year whereby you can experience firsthand the change in the weather in the seasons and how much heat is required to bring the property to the level of warmth required.


Single panelled radiators and internal radiators

Single panelled radiators were present in the property which are not as efficient as double panelled and convection radiators.

We also noted the some of the radiators are internal. This is often carried out on cheaper central heating systems to save the labour and piping costs of taking the radiators underneath the windows. However, it then reduces the air movement in the room.

This together with the information we already gained made sense of the 3D puzzle that we call the structural survey.


Single panelled internal radiator

Internal Radiators defined

Radiators located underneath windows help air flow in a property as warm air rises and hits the cooler air above the windows it then circulates around the room and helps the air circulation in the property as a whole.

As energy costs increase the thermal efficiency of properties is increasingly important; at are always happy to help to give advice on this growing concern.


Air movement in a room

Search for an older style house and home

When moving at anytime in your life you will need to decide on the essential and desirable criteria of your new property.

When the couple moved recently their criteria was as follows:


Essential property criteria

1.  An older style property preferably from the Tudor era.

2.  Two double size bedrooms.

3.  A property in a location near to where they currently live.

4.  A separate reception area and dining area.


Desirable property criteria

1.  Feature beams.

2.  Modern bathroom.

3.  Garden.


Other surveying articles that may be of interest

The following articles may be of interest to you, but don't forget that we have written articles on many different areas of property:

Why have a residential survey?

Structural survey, what does a Chartered Surveyor do?

Traditional Tudor timber frame properties and their common problems


Independent Surveyor structural survey

The independent Surveyor at 1st was delighted to help with a full structural survey on the shortlisted property whereby the property in its entirety is scrutinised for any structural issues.


Our building survey is essential

An Independent Building Surveyor is completely impartial and does not work for banks, building societies, or any form of mortgage lender. A building survey that we carry out means that any problems or issues with the property will be found and the sellers can either decide to rectify some or all of these issues before the sale of the property or adjust the sale price accordingly.


We recommend to always meet your Surveyor at the property

When you commission an independent Surveyor to help you with your decision to buy or not to buy a property we always recommend that you take the time to go along to the property to meet the Surveyor. A meeting with the Surveyor can help as you can talk to them about any property issues as well as pointing out your concerns and aspirations for the property.

This together with the information we already gained made sense of the 3D puzzle that we call the structural survey.


Brickwork issues

We frequently come across issues with older properties and their brickwork which has over the years been incorrectly re-pointed using cement based mortar rather than a lime based mortar. This older style property had this property issue which we explained in our structural survey using our description, photographs and survey sketch to fully describe the issue.

Re-Pointing Defined

Re-pointing is carried out where the existing mortar has failed and broken away to stop damp penetration and further deterioration. The mortar should be raked out to approximately 20mm and then replaced with a mortar of a similar type, therefore, stopping damp occurring.


Cement mortar falling out

Cement mortar cracking

Lime Every Time a bit more information

Unfortunately cement re-pointing is not appropriate for this type of construction. A cement mortar has been used rather than a lime based mortar. We always recommend you use lime mortar in any future repairs regardless of what the builders say!

Using lime mortar will limit further damage to the brickwork, which is almost impossible to repair successfully. However, we would add that many, if not most, of the properties that are re-pointed are re-pointed wrongly; it is only in recent years that we have discovered the problems that can occur from it.


Cement pointing and dampness

Spalling to brickwork

Another issue we came across is spalling to brickwork which can occur when cement mortar has been incorrectly used and the rainwater is no longer being absorbed by the mortar joints and runs over the face of the brick causing spalling.

Spalling Defined

Spalling occurs to brick or stone when water penetrates the surface and via freezing and thawing starts to cause deterioration to the surface. This in turn allows further water penetration and the surface breaks up further. This ultimately can lead to water damage or structural damage to the area.

Spalling is unattractive and can lead to dampness in a property. The best solution, we believe, is to remove the spalled brick, reverse then re-bed in a lime mortar. Avoid the adding of cement mortar to the face of the brick as this makes the problem worse. We find that many builders do not like removal and turning of bricks as it is time consuming and specialist work. A builder that takes pride in their work and is experienced with older properties will be best to help with this property issue.

Spalling brickwork


Purchase agreed

The property met with the couple's aspirations of their dream older style property and after reading our in depth structural survey understood the property issues and were in a position to make their decision to go ahead with their property purchase.


Independent Building Surveyors

We are experienced, professional 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 or sell a bungalow or house or flat it makes sense to have a structural survey carried out by an Independent Surveyor. Phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424.


Compare our website and compare our structural surveys

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 .


We can email you examples of our building surveys

If you are thinking of buying a property and are interested in having a Structural Survey carried out or if you are trying to sell a property and would like a Pre-Sales Survey please call us on free phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424. We would be happy to email you several examples of our tailor made reports.


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