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Survey back... Need some help please! (PigletJohn...?)

(6 Posts)
Fiddlestickler Fri 03-May-13 20:57:10

We are (hopefully) buying what should one day, with lots of saving and hassle some tweaking become our dream house. The survey is back today, and it has come back with a few things I'm a bit worried about (classed as 'urgent repair needed'):

1. There are some broken tiles on the roof and it needs 'overhauling and repairing'. What is classed as overhauling?! Not sure if they mean replacement!

2. The electrics don't comply with modern standards and it needs rewiring. How much is this likely to cost? (3 bed detached with living room, dining room and kitchen)

3. There is damp which they reckon is caused by a bridged or deteriorating damp proof course. I have NO idea how much this would cost...

4. There is also a bit of damp in the upstairs bedroom which they think is coming from the disused chimney flue (which confuses me because this is directly over the living room, which has a multi fuel stove).

We've got it for £12.5k under the asking price, and the vendors (who are lovely) only accepted this on condition that the only bit that was subject to survey was the roof. So, presumably we can't ask them to drop the price.

Any advice / estimates would be greatly appreciated!!

PigletJohn Fri 03-May-13 21:17:28

a good roofer knows what an overhaul is. There will be old cracked, slipped and missing tiles to replace; if they were just held on with nails some of the nails will have rusted away, if they have nibs, some of them will have slipped when the nibs broke off or the battens rotted. There will be leadwork to renew, or flaunching round chimneys. Ask around for recommendations, and look at samples of their work. Also drive round the area looking for people who are having their roofs mended or renewed, or have obviously new roofs, ask the owners what they thought and take details of the roofer. It might be worth re-roofing which will cost more but last longer and lead to a cleaner, drier loft. Round here we use stainless or bronze roofing nails because it is coastal, they might still use galvanised in your area, which will go rusty after a few years.

Any wiring more than three years old will not meet current standards because they keep changing. That does not necessarily mean it is unsafe, but it is very likely to have unsufficient sockets, especially in the kitchen. Again get recommendations for a local electrician; when phoning, ask what Competent Person scheme he is in, and how long he has been a member, and write it down so you can check on their website later. Ask if he is a Domestic Installer, this is the lowest grade of membership and not well thought of in the trade. You might be OK with an upgrade, if it is more than 40 years old it will need rewiring, anywhere between, see how much work it needs. A rewire costs the same as a second-hand car.

Damp might be due to the ground or a patio having been built higher than the original ground level. If so dig it back and open up the airbricks and possibly add extra. It might be due to leaking pipes or drains or gutters. It is very seldom anything than a chemical injection will cure. A trusted local builder will have seen it all before.

Disused flues need to be ventilated top and bottom or they will get condensation inside. This usally leaves a distinctive yellow or brown stain from the old soot and tar deposits.

greenformica Fri 03-May-13 21:33:09

Work backwards. What would the house cost if the house were fully done? How much will it cost you to do all the jobs to the house?

Our electrics were about 5k - we have a 4 bed plus tiny study in the SW.

You will need to get quotes from 3 recommended roofers.

ElectricSheep Fri 03-May-13 22:36:54

For finding a good roofer go here.

Re-wiring might not be too drastic. Had mine done 3 years ago and they renewed some wiring, some sockets and the fuse board for £800.

I'd be very surprised if the flue is causing the damp if there is a woodburner connected - but you say the flue is disused? The roofer might be able to advise about this.

Have the walls been cavity insulated? As PJ says if the air bricks have been covered then the walls might have trapped condensation in. You need more accurate info imho to decide how to approach this.

flow4 Sat 04-May-13 10:16:38

Nothing much to add, except that each fireplace has its own flue, so if the upstairs bedroom has - or had - a fireplace, this will have a flue, and if unused, there may be condensation or even penetrating rain.

georgedawes Sat 04-May-13 10:43:23

What are you chimney pots like? We had damp in both upstairs bedrooms, likely caused by the rain coming down the chimney pots. Easily resolved with "hats" being put on the pots.

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