Can you conduct your own property surveys?
‘Yes you can’ is the correct answer. And I will tell you why.
A very considerable number of home buyers have their future homes inspected by a professional chartered surveyor. This professional will tell you to an important extent whether the property you have chosen to buy is in a sound condition, needs renovation and simultaneously point out any defects and the approximate cost to get them right. This type of survey is optional unlike the mortgage bank or Building Society valuation survey which is much simpler and done on behalf of the lender even if you have to pay for it.
Structural surveys can be fairly expensive and not totally trustworthy. And the surveyor takes time to get them done. Furthermore, it is not unusual to be looking at several properties at a time with a view to buy only one but often we ask the surveyor to do all of them and gain a little time and perhaps make a few savings. The more surveys we do the better we get to know how it all works and it could be wise to do a survey on our own and in the future proceed accordingly.
A professional surveyor will normally use modern gadgets to test damp amongst other things. These gadgets, which you could check Bourdeau Contracting here using in video tutorials, may be expensive but are probably available from a specialist or tool hire firm. But common sense, as always, is by far your best piece of equipment. All you really need to start off is a first class modern led torch to look into all those areas which can be dark and have to be inspected carefully.
In addition, a large screwdriver to check rotten wood or very damp areas and possibly a pair of small binoculars to look at fire places and roofs. In order for roofs to increase their durability, strategies such as weatherproofing can be done. But most essential is a clipboard, pen and paper to note all you need and keep a good record of essential points to be repaired.
In Gibraltar (as well as anywhere else) there are a good number of properties up for sale which are of considerable age, and while most have durable residential roofing systems, some have older material in lieu of tiles – like slate for example – which last longer. You should watch out for signs of damage that would require a roof repair service. Look at rusted nails which lead to missing slates, take a look through the attic and note that you should not be able to see the sky. You can also hire roofing contractors to have it professionally checked and repaired or you can apply spray polyurethane foam to fix the leaks yourself. You may visit https://jonroofingandsiding.com for more information.
The lead flashing should be very tight. On flat asphalt roofs, you should look carefully for signs of age and cracks in particular. These roofs somehow have a shorter lifespan. No wonder most homeowners are looking into other options like metal roofing. Allow your roofing contractors to do the inspection to properly assess the condition of your roof and determine what type of work will be required. With simple restoration options like the Metal Roof Restoration System, it’s an attractive option worth considering. You may also need to conduct a gutter cleaning and inspection to detect any issues with your gutters. Consult contractors like this roof maintenance in Greenville, SC and get a quote.
Bear in mind that accumulated water results in a leak. Chippings on bitumen felt roofs often hide defects underneath so beware. Check rainwater pipes and that there are no leaks in their joints. If your roof needs repair or replacement, you may first get a free roof estimate from a roofing company like this one from bondocroofing.com so you can prepare for the cost of the materials and services.
Internal inspection on the underside of roof is important to spot timber infestation. According to #1 Bed Bug Exterminator in Portland OR! Control-Removal-Treatments! says, fine dust is always a clear indicator of furniture beetles. In the case of a large infection a specialist company in pest control should be hired, like an Emergency Pest Control Vaughan, to sort out the problem. Termites are some of most common pests in many households and if you spot any signs of their presence, call on a pest control services company immediately. For mice infestations, a mice control specialist should be contacted to address the issue.
Bear in mind the possibility of the offending timbers having to be cut out. Interior of fireplaces must be inspected for any sulphate attack which can deteriorate brickwork and can damage mortar.
Staircases and floors
These often cause more defects than any other areas due to pipe intrusion and both dry and wet rot. To examine a floor in an occupied property is not easy because carpets cannot normally be removed to have access, but one can look into other areas like underneath lavatory basins and sinks and behind baths. Irregular floors are fairly common in old houses but never in a new property.
Dry rot is a result of bad ventilation of underfloor timbers and rising damp. Look for fungus or cracking. Damp will produce white stains as a clear indicator. Check the stair balustrades as they are expensive to replace. A good staircase should not make noise or produce vibrations underfoot.
Foundations and Walls
If the property where you have been living has been built for a while and has not undergone any renovations, it is inevitable that it will need some wall repositioning and structural or residential foundation repair at some point in time. If there are visible cracks, a cracked foundation repair must be done immediately to improve the structural integrity of the property.
A rendered wall and standard brickwork will show faults if there are any at all. Cracked rendering can lead to serious underlying damp and shows settlement whilst mortar reduced to dust seriously weakens brickwork and must be replaced. Many old properties have no damp-proof course and, since most lenders insist upon one, a specialist damp installing company will have to be hired. Furthermore, you need to look out for water damage on the walls. This could affect the structural integrity of your walls, so if you find any evidence of water damage, you’ll need to hire a water restoration company to do the necessary repairs. You may check if your insurance will cover the cost of the water damage restoration services. The services of a mold removal and mold remediation company may also be needed should you discover any indication of a mold growth in your home. Also, if you suspect that your foundation is having some issues, there are a lot of websites out there like https://southbendfoundationrepairservices.com/ that can absolutely provide the best services to repair the problem at its source.
Interior and exterior finishes
You must check wall and ceilings for plaster cracks. Check wood paneling for rot infestation. Look well into door frames. Any dust will again indicate beetle infestation and they must be treated accordingly. Painting defects can mean poor workmanship or age.
You should also check the garage and make sure it looks presentable. If not, it’s time to do a garage door repair! You may also need to hire a garage door repair technician to service the door and ensure it works properly.
Usual property services
Electricity supply, gas, furnaces and other hvac units, and water. All these must be checked thoroughly and make sure it all works properly. So, get started now, you may visit sites like https://siriuspac.com/frisco-heating-services/ to hire professionals who can inspect your unit. You may find out that the heating system is need of a burner service and you can tell the seller they will need heating repair, or offer a discount on the price of the home. If you need a new furnace contact an affordable furnace installation in Boise, ID. If you are surveying a commercial space, you may need to get in touch with industrial steam boiler manufacturers to determine the right type of boiler for the property. For AC and heating units, find a reliable hvac contractor or an air conditioning contractor to ensure that they are functioning properly. Always schedule an air conditioning repair or tune-up service to maintain its energy-efficiency. You may also include radon inspections in your property survey to ensure that the indoor air quality is safe.
A client used to tell me he always went into bathrooms and opened the tap to fill the bath a little. He then let the water out and was careful to check how long it took. This shows how drainage pipes are working. Wise system! If you notice leaks or any other issues with your pipes or drains, it’s best to hire a plumber to do a water line repair and avoid further damages. Your chosen plumber can also help you with other plumbing concerns such as hydro jetting, septic tank pumping and Drainfield Restoration.
Electricity is a tricky and dangerous task to cope with so hire Electricians to give you a hand. You can check them out here. However, if you have an adequate training and an electrician certification, you may work on some DIY electrical repairs. If your interior or exterior lighting needs to be fixed, you may need to hire a lighting repair services expert.
All the above list of checkpoints are a small indicator of how to carry out your own amateur survey. It is important that you do all these yourself and ultimately common sense will tell you how it all works. If after this examination you are still keen to go ahead with the purchase by all means do. You can then hire a professional, such as the drainage supplier in Lawford, who will very likely be happy to work along your list of defects and help you produce a well-planned list of expenses to be made to put the property back in order. This will result in a good and final report with which you can try and put the asking price down and save a few pounds which will probably pay you well for the survey.