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Latest blog posts

Planning the Maintenance and Repair of Flats

Thursday, 23rd February 2017 | by: Shuan Blake

When you own the freehold of a property, you have complete freedom to deal with the scope and timing of maintenance and repairs as you see fit. Owning a property under a leaseholder is a different proposition and brings with it a variety of difficulties/challenges. Essentially, the lease should set out the extent to which the building is ... Read more >>

CLAY SOILS, SUBSIDENCE, HEAVE, TREES AND ROOTS – PART 3

Thursday, 9th February 2017 | by: Peter Barry

In the first 2 parts of this post we looked at history of subsidence and the influence of trees; in this final part we'll cover other contributory factors such as the presence of ground water and variations in climate. Sloping Sites The slope of the site may have a significant effect for a number of reasons. If the site slopes steeply ... Read more >>

CLAY SOILS, SUBSIDENCE, HEAVE, TREES AND ROOTS – PART 2

Friday, 3rd February 2017 | by: Peter Barry

In the first part of this post we looked at the history of subsidence as we know it today and how subsidence related insurance claims. Today, we'll move on to look at exactly what subsidence is and some of the contributory factors. What is ‘Subsidence in Clay Soils? In geological terms clay is a relatively modern deposit and usually ... Read more >>

Clay Soils, Subsidence, Heave, Trees and Roots – Part 1

Wednesday, 25th January 2017 | by: Peter Barry

A Bit of History Anyone who's ever erected a fence in clay soil using timber posts knows that you can hammer these into the ground when the clay is soft and the posts will stand firm but when you check your fence at the end of a dry summer your previously firm posts will have worked loose because the clay soil around them has dried and ... Read more >>

Pitched Roof Structures: Common Property Defects #7

Tuesday, 17th May 2016 | by: Steve Hobbs

The roof is one of the most important parts of a building. It is responsible for protecting the structure beneath from weather, and its failure can have a serious effect on other elements of the building. The roof structure is responsible for supporting the weather-tight roof covering, and distributing its loads (which tend to be considerable) to ... Read more >>

We have recently completed a number of pre-purchase surveys for clients intending to buy houses of non-traditional construction. Properties of non-traditional construction can often be a source of concern for buyers and mortgage lenders alike, as some suffer defects not found in the general housing stock, and might require expensive repairs. As ... Read more >>

Asbestos – Common Property Defects #5

Saturday, 5th March 2016 | by: Steve Hobbs

During the course of our inspections we regularly encounter building materials which contain or may contain asbestos fibres. Asbestos, the name of which has its origin in the Greek word ‘ásvestos’, meaning inextinguishable, is a naturally occurring rock mineral which is both fire retardant and an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator. ... Read more >>

Faulty Rainwater Goods – Common Property Defects #4

Saturday, 5th December 2015 | by: Steve Hobbs

A common cause of dampness in residential properties is defective rainwater goods; namely gutters and downpipes. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) estimate that a staggering 1 in 5 houses have defective rainwater disposal systems. Most modern gutters and downpipes are formed of PVC. Older units tend to be formed of cast iron, and it is ... Read more >>

Cracking Around Bay Windows – Common Property Defects # 3

Thursday, 30th July 2015 | by: Steve Hobbs

Cracking as a result of movement is one of the more worrying defects faced by homeowners and recently we have inspected a number of period properties where cracking has appeared in and around bay windows. In 1894 building regulations were revised so as to allow windows to stand proud from external walls. Previous regulations required windows to ... Read more >>

Movement Around Brick Arches – Common Property Defects # 2

Monday, 18th May 2015 | by: Steve Hobbs

We are often contacted by homeowners who are concerned about cracks in their properties. Recently we have inspected a number of period properties where the owners have noticed cracking around brick arches. Brick arches are found within openings in walls, typically above windows and doors. They function to support the wall above the opening, ... Read more >>