Advice Hub


Snagging Survey vs Building Survey for new builds – What are the differences?

Buyers of new-build properties often skip building surveys, assuming perfection. However, issues, from minor flaws to safety concerns, can arise. Developers may overlook important details. Specialised snagging surveys offer a solution. They cost around £650 for a typical three-bedroom property and can uncover hidden problems. Full building surveys are rarely needed for new builds unless unique features or renovations are involved.

Nervous About Your Home Buyers Survey? – A Guide to Home Buyers Surveys and Reports

Buying a new home, especially for first-time buyers, can be a complex affair. Collier Stevens recommend surveys for new builds and prioritise quick report delivery. Two main survey types are available: a full building survey (Level 3) and a Homebuyer report (Level 2), chosen based on property age and condition.

A Guide to Roof Surveys – What is included?

Roof surveys address various issues, including leaks, structural damage, and insurance claims. They cover roof problems, chimney issues, and more. They involve visual inspections from the ground or the use of licensed drones. Interior assessments are made through safe access points. Regular homeowner checks are advised to detect problems early as timely surveys can prevent costly damage and repairs.
Gallows Bracket

When should gallows brackets be used?

Gallows brackets are supports made of steel or iron that provide support for a remaining chimney breast or stack when removing an internal chimney breast. They are used in pairs and should be used when there is no steel beam. They must be attached to a party wall and cannot be used if the supporting wall's brickwork or mortar is in poor condition. It's essential to get the brackets and fixings designed by a structural engineer and obtain building regulation approval.
Eccentric Foundations

Extensions: maximising space with eccentric foundations

Eccentric foundations can be a useful solution when building an extension up to a boundary line without disturbing a neighbour's land. With eccentric foundations, the wall sits on the outer edge of the foundation, allowing for digging the trench right next to the boundary without crossing it. Obtaining party wall agreements and necessary planning permissions beforehand is still essential. Traditional foundations can still be used with neighbour consent and without restrictions.
Chimney breast removal party wall act

Taking out a chimney breast – Party Wall Agreements

Removing a chimney breast is a tricky task that requires professional attention and appropriate paperwork. The chimney breast is part of the building's structure, and the remaining sections of the chimney and stack must be adequately supported, so building regulation approval is necessary. Moreover, a party wall agreement is required if the chimney stack is on a shared or party wall. The Party Wall Act requires serving a written notice to your neighbours at least two months before starting the work.

“Help! My house is subsiding!”

Houses crack sometimes due to regular thermal and moisture changes in the structure and brickwork. However, if you see diagonal cracks that are wider at the top than at the bottom, it may be subsidence. The most common cause of subsidence is tree roots, which take water from the soil and cause it to dry and shrink. Other potential causes are a broken drain or prolonged dry weather. You should also do annual checks of your property to ensure there are no blockages.
corduroy fabric racing car seat

Getting accessibility right

Ensuring accessibility in the built environment can be challenging for contractors who lack training in the area. It is a common problem for contractors to get the final detailed design wrong when left to their own devices. For example, installing tactile blister paving studs at the top and bottom of a flight of stairs, or obstructing accessible parking bays. Accessibility should not be just a tick box exercise; it is a legal requirement that must be maintained even after the project is completed.
new home survey

How do homebuyers know which survey to have and how do you find the right surveyor?

Buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions anyone will make in their lifetime, and it's essential to make sure that the house is worth the investment. Even experienced buyers can make mistakes, but it's especially difficult for first-time buyers to know where to start. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that many buyers do not have a survey, leading to costly faults. When selecting a surveyor, it is crucial to choose a chartered surveyor regulated by the RICS.

What problems do surveyors find with stairs?

Staircases can often be overlooked when buying or maintaining a property, but they are one of the most crucial things to consider. There are practical problems, such as the stairs leading to a loft conversion, but also dangers such as missing handrails and asbestos being present. Safety regulations for domestic staircases specify the maximum gap between spindles, step height, and tread depth. Surveyors often find structural problems in poorly maintained or altered staircases.
student questionnaire for surveyors

Advice for students undertaking questionnaires for their dissertations

Final year construction and surveying students often send unsolicited email requests to building professionals to complete surveys for their dissertations. However, many of these requests have errors, and many professionals choose to ignore them. To help students, professionals suggest a 12-point guide for requesting a response to a survey. This guide includes investing enough time to write a survey and email, researching email marketing, and making the email and survey look professional.
Building Surveys & Homebuyer Reports

The importance of a building survey or homebuyer report

Buying a home is a significant investment, and it's essential to have the property inspected to avoid costly potential bills. Commissioning a survey highlights any defects or structural problems, enabling buyers to make informed decisions. It's important to note that a mortgage provider's valuation survey is not a building survey or homebuyer report and may not uncover underlying problems like damp or faulty electrics. Even new-build homes should be independently inspected to avoid future issues.
Flooding in hythe kent - Flood map

Hythe and the risk of flooding

A report by the Association of British Insurers in 2012 highlighted the flood risk in Folkestone and Hythe. The report was seized upon by the popular media, but it should be noted that the assessment was made for the whole of the local authority area, not just Hythe. Hythe, which is built on a hill and has sea defences, has not been seriously flooded since 1999. A majority of the affected homes are in the flat coastal part of the town.
Image inside basement undergoing renovation

Can I add a basement to my property?

Adding a basement to your property can be a cost-effective alternative to buying a bigger house or expanding upward, and is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. It's important to use a reputable firm and to employ chartered architects and structural engineers who are experienced. Additionally, obtaining party wall agreement, decent insurance, planning permission, and building regulation approval are necessary steps for a successful basement project.
service charge dispute leasehold freehold

Challenging a local authority service charge

Service charges are fees that cover costs of management, maintenance, and repairs on the common areas of the building or land. Leaseholders should be aware that they have an undertaking to pay service charges as agreed within the lease. If leaseholders are contesting a service charge, they must seek professional legal advice and understand that the freeholder will be fighting hard to demonstrate that the costs are reasonable and that they must pay.
small repairs matter - broken drain pipe - building survey chislehurst

Small repairs matter

Regular maintenance of your home is essential. Don't put off cheap DIY jobs or small repairs that can lead to major repairs later on. Make sure to keep the exterior paintwork in good condition, and fix any leaky drainpipes and guttering. Clear blocked gutters, fix dripping taps and overflow pipes, and have an annual boiler service. By taking care of these key maintenance jobs, you can prevent costly repairs and problematic survey reports.
deep excavation, JCB, party wall notice

Do I need a party wall agreement for…

Homeowners planning to renovate or undertake a construction project should be aware of party wall agreements as they are often overlooked. A party wall is a wall that straddles a boundary line or divides two premises and forms part of both. Homeowners need to follow the Party Wall Act if their work requires any structural changes to a party wall. Excavations near neighbours and building on boundaries also require a party wall agreement.
cavity wall

Identifying cavity wall insulation problems

Cavity wall insulation is recommended as a means of improving a building’s thermal efficiency. However, not all cavity walls are suitable for insulation. The problem with this process is that it fills the cavity with a material that can allow water in causing dampness and condensation. The installation of retro fit cavity wall insulation is covered by the Building Regulations and must be carried out and designed by a person in a competent installer scheme.
No reply to a party wall notice - advice from a party wall surveyor

What if I don’t receive a reply to my party wall notice?

It's not uncommon to serve a party wall notice and receive no response from your neighbour. According to the Party Wall Act, after 14 days of silence, your neighbour is deemed to have dissented from the notice. If they still don't respond, you can appoint a surveyor to act for them. However, it's crucial to ensure your neighbour received the party wall notice in the first place, and you should not assume that you can proceed with your works without their agreement.
fair faced brick wall

Do I need a Party Wall Surveyor to get a party wall agreement?

Party wall surveyors offer professional advice to property owners affected by party wall issues. They help with notices, agreeing awards, and resolving disputes. The surveyor can also prepare and serve the notices if required. If the neighbour agrees to the work, a party wall award is drawn up by the surveyor, setting out the work to be done, how it is to be undertaken and what undertakings the person doing the work will make.
signing a party wall notice

How do you serve a party wall notice correctly?

It's crucial to ensure that party wall notices are properly drafted and valid, as any error can make them invalid and set back your work. The Party Wall Act sets out what information a served notice must contain. There is no standard format, but many party wall surveyors use a standard template. The notice should give sufficient detail and a description of the work.
loft conversion - party walls, planning, building regulations

What are the rules and regulations for loft conversions?

If you're considering a loft conversion, it's important to understand the rules and regulations around the process. Most loft conversions can be built under the 'Permitted Development' rules, but some need planning permission. It's also essential to get building regulation approval and to comply with health and safety legislation. If you're converting a loft in a terraced or semi-detached property, you may also need to have a Party Wall Agreement.
how long does a building survey take

How long does a building survey or homebuyer report take?

The length of time it takes for a building survey or Homebuyer report depends on the property being surveyed. A three-bedroomed, semi-detached property can take at least two and a half to three hours to survey, while a dilapidated five-bedroom detached house may take six or more hours. A recently built, one-bedroom starter home may only take an hour and a half. Desktop research is also carried out, and reports are typically returned within five working days.
building on the boundary - hoarding , site safety, protection

Advising neighbours of building work

In most cases, there is no obligation to formally notify a neighbour of building work unless the work falls within the notification requirements of the Party Wall Act. However, there are some circumstances where notification is required, such as building a new wall up to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring property. If a neighbour does not follow the notification requirements, affected parties may need to seek professional advice and potentially take legal action.
Asbestos health risks image

Asbestos in houses

Asbestos is commonly found in older houses and flat conversions. Homeowners should seek professional guidance if they suspect they have asbestos in their home, as it can pose a significant risk to health if not managed. Landlords also have a duty of care for their tenants and must minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos. It is possible to sell a house with asbestos, and most mortgage providers will still approve a mortgage, but it is advisable to have a survey conducted and get specialist advice.
building collapse

Home Insurance and Building Work

It is important to ensure that you have the right insurance in place to protect your property and the public. While most home insurance policies only cover general decorating and DIY, major building works may require additional cover. It is also important to ensure that your builder has the right insurance. If your property is vacant, you will need to have insurance in place to cover the works being undertaken, on-site equipment and materials, and the risk of damage to neighbouring properties.

Solar panels – what lurks beneath?

Buying a property with solar panels has become more common. However, buyers and sellers need to consider some legal aspects, such as the impact on any mortgage agreement or complications with future sales. Buyers should also conduct a thorough building survey, which could be difficult if the panels cover the roof. The survey should consider the strength of the roof, the integrity of the installation, and the type of solar panels.
surveying during corona virus

Surveying during Coronavirus

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, surveyors and valuers are still able to carry out surveys and inspections in accordance with government guidelines. Surveyors are advised not to conduct non-urgent surveys in homes where people are in residence, but may carry out urgent surveys on empty properties or those where the occupants are following the guidance. Safety measures are in place, such as using PPE, to ensure the safety of staff, clients, and occupants.
image of balconies on tall building

Do balconies present a fire risk?

The removal and replacement of any combustible material used in balcony construction is the clearest way to prevent external fire spread from balconies. Balconies made of wood or with timber decking on a steel framework are likely to present a risk, and many mortgage lenders are starting to refuse to lend on property with timber balconies. Property managers should be aware of the risks caused by fires on balconies, including those caused by partition walls, and the storage of items.
welcome to Ashford sign

Could you save money long term by buying property that has a more expensive commute to work?

Buying property outside London can result in significant savings, even when considering the cost of commuting. For example, Ashford offers homes at a fraction of the cost of Bromley. A two-bedroom terrace costs £375k in Bromley compared to just £170k in Ashford. Additionally, Ashford is a growing area with new residential developments, and business hubs. It's important to remember to budget for a building survey when purchasing a property.

Buying and maintaining coastal properties

The Kent coast is experiencing a revival in popularity, drawing in holidaymakers and property buyers alike. With towns and villages offering something for everyone, it's no wonder people are considering making a move here. However, coastal properties come with their own set of challenges, such as dampness and damage from shingle or sand. Regular maintenance is crucial, as is considering the seasonal changes that may affect your enjoyment of the area.

£1.5 million for a 2 bed-apartment, or a block of 38 flats?

Wondering how far your money will go in Clapham, South West London? Well, doing a quick search suggests a 2-bed apartment in Clapham Junction would set you back £1.5m! So what are the benefits of moving to the coast, where a growing tourism and business hubs are drive growth? For £1.5m, you can get an 8-bed detached house with a tennis court and swimming pool. Protect any investment by having a building survey undertaken by a Chartered Surveyor.
windows

uPVC windows problems and pitfalls

As new architectural trends favour more glass in buildings, homeowners seek the benefits of natural light and a feeling of spaciousness. However, with uPVC double glazed windows, common problems include defective mechanics, damaged seals, and foggy panes. Installing windows with a reputable installer, and a warranty period with an insurance-protected guarantee is crucial.
Image of conservatory interior

Conservatory planning, construction and problems

Building a conservatory is a great way to extend your home, and there are many styles available in different materials. However, there are certain things to consider, such as whether you need planning permission or a party wall agreement. It's also important to think about building regulations, materials, and construction issues. It's important to use a reputable company and ensure that any issues are dealt with promptly.
survey of a house in hythe, kent

There’s more to your home’s foundations – pt 2

Researching the history of your home is not only fascinating, but it can also yield valuable information. A wide range of sources can be used to gain an insight into the story of your house, including old photos and local authority records. Some great photo and image archives online offer aerial photographs and impressive databases of images. Local authority planning websites and land registry are other useful sources, as well as local historians.
Bomb damage springbank road hither green lewisham building survey report

There’s more to your home’s foundations – pt 1

Researching the history of your house can be especially useful if you're a surveyor, as it can help explain unusual features and construction details. Old maps are a great place to start, and there are several online sources you can use to build a picture of your house's history. You can also use Google Streetview or an equivalent to identify more recent changes.
Asbestos Ceiling found on Building Survey

The vendors reduced the price by £10k … best £500 I’ve spent!

A survey we carried out on a small terraced house in Kent revealed that the ceilings in the rear were made of asbestos insulating board, which posed a health risk if disturbed. Further investigation showed that there was asbestos in the kitchen and bathroom, and the partition linings to the rear rooms. The new owners had to remove and replace the material, which resulted in a £10,000 reduction in the price they paid for the property. A building survey is highly recommended to identify potential risks in older houses.
Party Wall Notice - removing a chimney breast

Would you ever have thought removing a chimney breast needed permission?

Removing a chimney breast is not a simple task as it may be shared with the neighbouring property if it is on a party wall. You are required to notify adjoining owners before starting any building work involving a party wall or structure. A written notice must be served, if an agreement is not reached, surveyors must be appointed to resolve the dispute.
use a Party wall surveyor not Bob the Builder

Who can act as a Party Wall Surveyor?

Appointing an inexperienced or untrained person as a party wall surveyor can lead to disastrous consequences. Building owners can't act as their own surveyors, and appointing someone without the proper knowledge can result in errors and disputes. It's important to hire experienced professionals to handle party wall matters and ensure that the process goes smoothly.
refurbished bedroom

When is an independent survey, not a survey…

Not all surveys are created equal. A mortgage valuation survey only tells the lender that they can lend you money, while an independent building survey commissioned by you will provide you with more detailed information. It's best to use a firm of independent chartered building surveyors, preferably local to the property, for a better report at a lower cost.
broken rat run garden wall; party fence wall; blackheath; london

When garden walls lean, collapse and go bad

It is important to inspect garden walls to ensure they are in good condition, as they are subject to collapse and can cause accidents. Different factors can cause walls to lean, so when carrying out a building survey, inspectors look for misaligned walls, deteriorated brick piers or pointing, flaking or eroded surfaces, and cracks.
party wall act notice time periods

When does a Party Wall Notice need to be served

The Party Wall Act contains specific time provisions regarding the service of Party Wall Notices and the commencement of work. It's recommended to seek professional advice in this situation. If a neighbour dissents and appoints a surveyor, the party wall process can take at least 4 to 6 weeks to conclude.
chapel

What do we know about chancel repair liability?

Chancel repair liability can be a confusing topic for many people, and it's important to understand that chancel repair liability can result in unexpected bills, and caution is required even with recent changes in legislation. It's recommended to seek out up-to-date information and guidance from reliable sources.
building survey of detached house Canterbury

This week our building survey saved a client £80,000

A comprehensive property survey can uncover hidden problems and in this case, a surveyor found that a seemingly good-condition property required extensive repairs that would have cost up to £80,000 if not detected early. A new roof, damp repairs, and floor repairs would have been necessary, among other repairs.
garden wall failure

The power of roots and poor retaining walls

This garden retaining wall was found to be cracking and failing during a single defect survey. The absence of reinforcement and weep holes, combined with growing tree roots caused the wall to bulge outward. Proper design, including reinforced concrete and weep holes, is essential for retaining walls to hold back ground and prevent premature failure.
corduroy paving at top of steps

Tactile Paving – Guidance for improving disabled access

Tactile paving surfaces are used to provide important information about the built environment to those with visual impairments and to improve disabled access. However, when used incorrectly, they can actually be a danger. Incorrect installation and design can be seen during disabled access audits, and it's important to follow guidance provided by building regulations.
building survey; whats in a loft - purlins, rafter, binder, strut

Surveys of lofts and roofs – what we look for

Surveyors inspect lofts in both building surveys and homebuyer reports. Roof spread and bowing timbers can be indicative of overloading and a need for extra strengthening timbers. The surveyor inspects for woodworm holes and any decay, while keeping an eye out for insulation and fire separation.
Stair with no handrail

Stairs – missing handrails

Staircase regulations require a handrail and balustrade where there is a drop of more than 600mm, with a handrail at 900mm height. Although enforcement action is not likely, it could pose a risk of injury to occupants or visitors, particularly at the quarter landing. Stair design is outlined in the Building Regulations' approved document K.
attic conversion, dormer, rooflight, neighbour agreement

Planning a loft conversion? – Party Wall Agreements

If you're planning a loft conversion in a terraced or semi-detached house, it's likely that the Party Wall Act will apply. If your neighbour dissents, you'll need to draw up a party wall agreement with surveyors. It's important to consult your neighbour before starting any works and to serve the correct notices, as it's your responsibility to do so.
party wall process flowchart

Party walls – your questions answered

If you're carrying out building work that affects a wall, ceiling/floor, or a boundary wall which divides two properties, then you may need to give your neighbour a Party Wall Notice. This informs them of the work you intend to carry out and gives them a chance to respond. Remember to serve a notice to all neighbours, and get the information on the notice correct to avoid invalid notices.
excavating a wine cellar?

Party Wall Agreements for a wine cellar

A wine cellar installation may require party wall notices to be served if any part of the excavation is within 3m of a party wall. Serving the right notice at the right time is crucial, with a floor plan and cross sections needed. If the neighbour fails to respond within 14 days, a party wall agreement is necessary, which requires a surveyor.
party wall paperwork - what is it

Missing? Party wall problems

Dealing with an absent freeholder can be a tricky situation when it comes to party wall notices. The Party Wall Act still applies, and a surveyor will need to be appointed. Proper enquiry at the Land Registry and Companies House website can help, but if there is still no record of the freeholder, the notice can be served by fixing it to the neighbouring building.
cottage in dungeness; kent; building survey

Surveying Homes in Dungeness

Dungeness has many strange and unusual properties such as converted railway carriages, and a rubber clad house. Due to the construction of these homes, a building survey is essential for those considering moving there. It's also important to speak to the planning department at the local authority to discuss planning permission or consent for any improvements or replacements to the buildings.
Solar panels dangerous workmanship HSE Health and Safety CDM

Loft conversions – your responsibilities for health and safety

If you're planning to have construction work done on your property, be aware of your responsibilities under the CDM. Domestic clients need to have a principal designer to manage the project's health and safety. The CDM helps all involved in a big project to plan work and manage risks from the beginning, to ensure the right people are involved and are communicating effectively.
laing easiform easy form house front elevation

Laing Easi-Form housing

The Laing Easi-Form is a non-traditional construction housing solution constructed mostly from cast in-situ or pre-fabricated concrete panels. They were designed to be fast and cost-effective to build, but many were built poorly and have structural issues. The Laing Easi-Form is considered one of the better types and is not designated as defective under the Housing Act.
tear my hair our - party wall problem

How quickly can I get a Party Wall Award?

Obtaining a fast party wall award depends on several factors. While it is possible to get an award within a week, it usually takes longer. The award process can take weeks if there are deficiencies in the drawings, or if the neighbour appoints their own surveyor. The cost of a fast party wall award could be significant, but it could still be less expensive than delaying the work for six weeks.
HSE health and safety worker on roof dangerous CDM

Health, safety and the small builder

Working at height is a major concern for the HSE, with 4,000 people getting injured every year. It's crucial to employ competent contractors who prioritise safety over cheap labor. The Work at Height Regulations mandates that employers, self-employed, and building owners have a duty to ensure the safety of all working at height.
blocked gutters

Have you checked your gutters lately?

With the autumn rain pouring down, blocked gutters can cause leaks and flooding. Clearing them is an important task to prevent water from draining down the outside wall of your house, leading to dampness and timber decay. Checking joints, downpipes, and brackets for damage is crucial to prevent overflow. Regular maintenance can save thousands in future repairs.
dry stone garden wall

Do you have problems with your garden wall?

Determining who owns a garden wall can be a tricky task. If the wall is shared, the party wall act contains provisions for shared repairing costs. Seek professional advice if necessary, and make sure your surveyor checks the boundary walls if you're buying a house. If the wall is solely yours, the act doesn't apply. If damage is caused by a neighbour's plants or trees, they may be liable for repairs.
finlock concrete gutter

Finlock concrete gutters

Finlock gutters were a popular gutter system manufactured by Royston in the 1960s, but they are now outdated and often problematic. Common issues include flooding, blockages, misalignment, leaks, and condensation. Repair options include lining the gutter or cutting away the protruding section and fixing a more traditional fascia board and gutter.
new wall on the boundary - can i use neighbours wall?

Don’t overlook Party Wall procedure

When undertaking building work, it's important not to overlook the statutory obligation under the Party Wall Act, which requires obtaining party wall agreement and consent if the work involves a party wall. A notice must be served to any affected neighbours, and it's recommended to appoint a local Chartered Surveyor who specialises in this type of work.
fixed price party wall awards

Cost effective (not cheap!) Party Wall Awards

The fixed fee party wall awards offered by the company are proving to be a popular choice for homeowners looking for a cost-effective solution for simple works such as extensions and loft conversions. The fee covers everything from the preparation and service of the party wall notices to serving the party wall award or agreement.
condensation window upvc double glazed

Condensation dispute calls for expert help

The Collier Stevens team is frequently called upon to advise on condensation issues. They helped a landlord who was having problems with a tenant's complaints about condensation, and mould growth. To obtain a complete picture of the environmental conditions in the flat, the team left a small recording environmental meter on-site for three weeks to record RH and air temperature every five minutes.
colour contrasts visually impaired design dda disabled access

Colour contrasts – designing for the visually impaired

When carrying out an access audit, colour contrast is an important factor that is taken into account. A good colour contrast between building elements such as walls and floors can greatly improve the usability of a building for the visually impaired. This also extends to other areas such as doors, where contrasted stair nosings can be beneficial even for those with good eyesight.
terraced houses with party walls, mansard roofs, damp, leaking box gutter

Choosing a Party Wall Surveyor

Choosing the right surveyor can make all the difference in solving problems and avoiding further complications. The best choice is to look for Chartered Surveyors who are members of The Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors or The Pyramus & Thisbe Club, both of which have a 'find a professional' function on their websites.
surveyors - chartered surveyors - london, kent

Surveyor or Chartered Surveyor?

Not all surveyors are equal, and anyone can call themselves a surveyor without any training. However, chartered surveyors are different. Chartered surveyor firms have to maintain professional indemnity insurance and conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner. Choosing a proper chartered building surveyor is the best way to protect your property investment.
house new roof, survey

Choosing a builder and building contract

Choosing a reputable building contractor is best done by recommendation. Check previous work and ask the contractor how many direct employees they have and what elements of work they will subcontract. Allow a contingency for unforeseen costs and plan for planning consent, building regulations, and party wall agreements.
Stop and think sign.

Careful with that party wall injunction

To exercise the Party Wall Act rights, building owners must serve notice on affected neighbours and obtain their consent or have a party wall agreement put in place. It is essential to consult with a party wall surveyor and a lawyer before taking any injunctive action personally.
defective and broken sash window in need of repair, timber decay

Buying a house with sash windows?

Sash windows are a beautiful addition to older or period homes, but they can be draughty and offer poor thermal performance. If you want to keep them, there are many defects that will reduce their life. If replacement is needed, current building regulations require double glazed units. Homeowners with listed properties should consult with the local authority before making any changes.
internal damp, rising and penetrating damp

Building surveys vs Specialist Damp Report

As a professional surveying firm, we are frustrated by surveyors who only recommend a "specialist damp report" without identifying the root cause of the issue. These so-called specialists often have their own services to sell, and their reports can be inaccurate and costly. Chartered Building Surveyors are trained to identify the cause of damp and provide effective solutions.
Banksy, Graffiti art on wall, found on survey in London

A guide to conservation areas

Conservation areas are designated by local councils to protect areas of historical importance or architectural merit. Some local authorities introduce particular rules for their conservation areas. When in doubt, ask the planning office as breaching the rules can result in abortive work and heavy fines.
artex asbestos ceiling - surveyors report

Textured ceilings – the asbestos risk

Textured coatings like those manufactured by Artex were widely used in the past and are still present in around 8 million homes in the UK. There is a genuine risk if the material is sanded or drilled, as exposure to asbestos dust can lead to serious health problems. Asbestos testing is affordable, and the HSE has produced guidance sheets for working with textured coatings containing asbestos.
accessible parking space - dimensions dda audit

Accessible parking spaces

Accessible parking spaces are often underutilised and repurposed for other uses, such as storage of wheelie bins or in this case, a generator. However, it is important to keep these spaces clear and ensure they are the correct size and adequately signposted. Opening area hatches should be on the driver's side for the first space and alternate sides thereafter.
new Homes on estate - do i need a survey

Buying a new build home – do I need a survey?

It's understandable that many people do not feel the need for a survey when buying a brand new home with a warranty. However, chartered surveyors often find snagging issues, damp, ventilation, insulation and safety implications. It's better to buy a house that has been completed mid-way through the development, rather than one of the first or last houses in the development.
water damaged brickwork and pointing

Don’t put off minor building repairs – 79p now or £1,000 then?

Neglecting a small issue like a missing gutter end cap can lead to major problems in a property, as demonstrated by a recent survey. Water dripping down the front elevation due to a missing end cap had caused damage to the soft red bricks, leading to internal penetrating damp and the need for costly repairs. Don't overlook small repairs as they can save you from bigger expenses in the long run.
image of lamp shade and bulb

5 reasons you need a proper building survey

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the valuation report provided by their mortgage company is a survey of the property's condition. In fact, there are several misconceptions about building surveys that prevent people from getting them. A proper building survey can save you money in the long run and enable you to make a properly informed decision about your purchase.