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Expert Advisers to Channel 4 TV House of HorrorsConsult a qualified professional - you could save hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
Whether you are buying or selling a property or are simply concerned about damp and/or timber defects within the property you live it is imperative that you get professional sound honest advice from a totally independent qualified surveyor.
If you are BUYING a property you will have probably instructed a building surveyor to inspect the property if only to satisfy your mortgage lender. In most instances that surveyor will recommend that you instruct a specialist to inspect and report on damp and/or timber defects.
What do you do?
In almost all cases go to the advertising directories and search through the numerous pages of companies offering a FREE SURVEY.
The likelihood is that the specialist will analyse the surface wall using a moisture/conductivity meter which will probably register positive but that positive reading does not categorically conclude that it is damp. It could be a reaction to salts, a localised building defect or surface condensation.
A moisture meter is purely a tool of indication and reacts to both moisture and salts, it cannot differentiate between the two. Again the likelihood is that it will be diagnosed as rising damp and you will be advised that a new damp proof course is required with re-plastering and new skirting boards, not forgetting the mess, inconvenience, disruption and need to redecorate.
Perhaps woodworm has been found within the property. Here-to the likelihood is that you will be advised to have the property treated meaning one way or the other the internal contents, furniture, carpets, laminate and real wood surface flooring, fabrics and foodstuffs to name just some require removal, not forgetting the Health and Safety issues. In some cases you may need to vacate the property entirely.
But is the woodworm infestation active or historic?
If its not active it does not require treatments - it could be illegal (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health).
Almost all timber decay found within a property is Wet Rot which does not require chemical treatments. Remedy simply involves removing the source of moisture and replacing the decayed timber. With the correct information and advice such work could be carried out by yourself or by a building contractor either of which would greatly reduce your costs.
If you are SELLING a property and any of the above is applicable who bears what is probably unnecessary cost? The likelihood is you, in whole or part by price negotiation.
By instructing a qualified independent surveyor you could avoid spending money you don't need to and further avoid inconvenience, delays in exchange and completion and importantly loss of sale or purchase. If you are PURCHASING any retention could be removed or reduced.
You will note from having digested the contents of our home page that part of our service includes providing budget costs if and when specialist remedial works are actually proven and required. In order to do this we must have knowledge of market costs. Our research shows that currently labour costs for one technician per day is circa £400.00. It is reasonable to assume that an average small contract will take circa two man days with materials of circa £150.00. This means broadly speaking minimally you could be paying circa £950.00 plus vat for work that may not be required. Over and above that re-decorating costs have to be considered. It is important to determine whether a problem if any is expensive specialist remedial work or cheaper general builders work. Some of our clients have instructed us because they have obtained surveys and quotations from multiple specialist contractors which contradict each other in diagnosis, specification and cost which in itself is concerning. In the most part like all other commercial businesses sales targets must be achieved to ensure the viability and financial stability of the company.
Logically therefore you may consider and conclude that it is best to first seek advice from a totally independent qualified surveyor who has no financial interest in looking for work or problems that do not exist.
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