Dream house or not?

(21 Posts)
Bracknellshockatabag Wed 17-Feb-16 19:09:09

FTB here and looking for some helpful advice on purchasing and whether it's worth going through with it or not.

Having just received the survey back there are a couple of areas of concern. One being the lack of damp proofing on the ground floor but with an estimated cost of three grand, is it essential?

There was also a concern regarding possible softening on the ground due to the drain. Am wanting to get a drain survey done but would you walk away now?

Need to make a decision by Friday but still in two minds!

SquidgeyMidgey Wed 17-Feb-16 19:42:35

DPC most definitely essential. If you're serious about the house I would get ghd drain survey done. Possibly a connection between the two...?

SquidgeyMidgey Wed 17-Feb-16 19:43:39

Get not ghd, unless you want straight drains! My phone does some peculiar autocorrects. I need to start proofreading.

Moving15 Wed 17-Feb-16 22:51:01

Dpc not essential in all houses. How old is the building?
And can you give some more detail on the 'possible softening' on the ground? Sounds very vague!
Surveys do take some.decoding to work out if there are real issues or not.

OliviaBenson Wed 17-Feb-16 22:55:54

DPCis certainly not essential. Is it an older property? And is there damp at all in the house?

DickDewy Wed 17-Feb-16 22:57:39

DPC is not essential.

We live in an older house with no DPC and have no problems.

SquidgeyMidgey Wed 17-Feb-16 23:37:49

Really? I would have thought it was. The old part of our house has the original slate damp proofing, the new part is injected. Either way it's all damp proofing. How do you get on without it? Genuine (but clearly stupid) question.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Thu 18-Feb-16 00:04:02

DPC is not essential imho. Our last three houses (Tudor, Georgian & early Victorian) haven't had them and we wouldn't have considered adding one where it was never intended. What age is the property OP?

wowfudge Thu 18-Feb-16 08:00:42

Softening of the ground. Hasn't it been raining lots, forever for the past X months?

AgathaF Thu 18-Feb-16 08:32:08

DPC not essential, and in some houses could be damaging to the property.

If the drains have collapsed they will need replacing. Not as scary as it sounds. Dig them out yourself, then if you're not confident to replace yourself, get someone in to just replace the collapsed ones. Then do the infill yourself.

Surveyors tend to be on the pessimistic side, and quite a few have very little real knowledge of how old buildings function.

Bunbaker Thu 18-Feb-16 08:35:05

I'm astonished at the number of people who say that damp proof courses are not essential. Having lived in two older houses with damp problems I would say it is. Also, it will make it difficult to sell, especially if it has been raised as an issue now.

AgathaF Thu 18-Feb-16 09:48:06

Bunbaker there's so much information on the www explaining about why applying DPCs to an older house are not an appropriate thing to do. I agree that many surveyors are still unaware of this, and it does still get flagged up as an issue during house sales. Hopefully they will catch on sooner than later.

Some interesting information on this site, amongst many others.

CheeseBadger Thu 18-Feb-16 10:18:55

DPC is definitely not essential, and circa £3k for a chemical injection DPC is pretty much boiler plate in surveys of older houses. Ignore it. You may need to fix some gutters or do something about ventilation if there are visible signs of damp, but a chemical injection DPC (which I assume what they're proposing) will not help, and will almost certainly cause long term damage.

DPC is a racket sustained by surveyors, mortgage providers and damp companies.

SquidgeyMidgey Thu 18-Feb-16 11:28:33

DPC is a racket sustained by surveyors, mortgage providers and damp companies

Not always, I've lived in a house with rising damp (skint parents) and it wasn't nice. I genuinely didn't know DPC wasn't always necessary or advised, but sometimes it really is, OP might have an idea if it is truly required for her house or not. It's been interesting to read up on DPC, prompted by this thread.

Bracknellshockatabag Thu 18-Feb-16 11:37:13

The house is one hundred and thirty six years old, the only areas flagged as having some damp is the bathroom and the back bedroom, so it's not really prevalent through out the house. Deciphering the survey has taken some work, I must say! With regards to the drains, our solicitor has also flagged up the drain survey so I think we might just get one for peace of mind. It's such a beautiful property but being a nervous FTB I don't want to rush in to things with my heart.
Will do some more research on DPC, thank you everyone for your advice!

PurpleWithRed Thu 18-Feb-16 11:46:59

assuming the bathroom and back bedroom are upstairs, with other rooms below them that aren't damp, then it's damp coming down from the roof/gutters not up from the ground - I'd get those checked before worrying about a damp proof course

CheeseBadger Thu 18-Feb-16 12:10:20

Squidgey - Chemical injection DPC is pretty much never the right thing to do in a house of that age. Given that it's in the bathroom and back bedroom, it's overwhelmingly likely to be caused by condensation. It certainly isn't rising damp.

The fact that you think you might have lived in an affected house doesn't change the fact that surveyors are routinely misdiagnosing damp and suggesting a snake oil treatment for it. Couple that with mortgage lenders who insist on having this unnecessary work done, and an unscrupulous damp industry, and presto - you have tens of thousands of people a year being defrauded of significant sums of money. Not to mention the damage the practice does to the housing stock.

AgathaF Thu 18-Feb-16 12:10:55

Exactly what Purple said. An injected DPC will not touch any areas of damp in upper floors. You need to sort out where the damp is getting in, or improve ventilation if it's a condensation issue.

SquidgeyMidgey Thu 18-Feb-16 13:10:37

Cheesebadger the first post didn't say where the damp was, I added the damp to the soft ground/drains and 2+2=345 grin I'm aware there are different causes of damp, my parents used to buy doer-uppers and fix them on a shoestring so I've lived with it upstairs, downstairs, anywhere you can think of! We had one house where the back wall was soaked because the guttering was full of ivy and the plant had also come through the bathroom window frame. They always had a DPC banged in though for 'downstairs' damp which is why I thought it was necessary. Surely a surveryor wouldn't recommend a DPC for damp caused by a leaky gutter etc that's a proper scam!

SquidgeyMidgey Thu 18-Feb-16 13:16:15

The fact that you think you might have lived in an affected house the floorboards had fallen through and there was mould/wet to waist height. DPC + new plaster (nothing else) and it's all fine 20 years on. I understand what you're saying about it not always being necessary but it's not just snakeoil, sometimes it is what the house needs.

CheeseBadger Thu 18-Feb-16 13:59:16

Surely a surveryor wouldn't recommend a DPC for damp caused by a leaky gutter etc that's a proper scam!

Sadly, very many of them do in my experience. They really aren't good at older houses. It happened to me (big retention on the mortgage as a result because I refused to get the suggested work done) and to many friends.

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