Advice Hub: Other

Take a look at our range of articles on asbestos, interiors, and insulation. Our advice hub gives you an idea of things to look out for, tips and tricks, and information on next steps you should take.

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.
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.
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.
close up view if some solar panels on a roof

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.
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.
pebbled beach with houses and beach huts in the background

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.
folkestone pier with people walking and sitting at tables

£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.
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.
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.