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Survey on a 1930s house - what sort of things are likely to come up? Common defects etc?

(28 Posts)
Booooooo Thu 09-Nov-17 08:39:04

As above really. Selling our 1930s house which to me seems to be in good condition but I'm not a surveyor and have no building knowledge! Have been panicking reading about people pulling out / drastically dropping the price after surveys. There are a couple of cracks to brick work outside (ie. Really minor and would not be noticed unless really looked. We've had people inspect the property (builders and structural engineers over the 4 years that we've had the property) and they've all been happy that it's just part of the age of the property, to be expected and of no concern.

Anyway, I'm just trying to keep realistic about the whole thing and not expect everything to go swimmingly so wanted to be aware of things that might crop up...

Thanks smile

PickAChew Thu 09-Nov-17 08:40:48

Damp.
Roof and chimney.
Signs of movement.

Aftershock15 Thu 09-Nov-17 08:55:17

Very old wiring and plumbing. Ancient boiler.
But as you are selling you will know if this is a problem. When we bought our 1930s house it was apparent that stuff had been upgraded in the early 1960s and then nothing since as the same lady had lived there since then.
Not having double glazing? I know that’s obvious but it’s bizarre what people can nitpick about to try and reduce the price.

Booooooo Thu 09-Nov-17 09:17:34

We have double glazing, new boiler, wiring fine. Timber work all good as re done by us. Decoration all fine and newish carpets (although I appreciate they may want to change this to their own taste.)

I guess it's just movement that concerns me. I'm hoping this is what people would expect from the age of the house...

PickAChew Thu 09-Nov-17 09:33:37

A decent surveyor will say whether it's something to be expected or that rings alarm bells.

JT05 Thu 09-Nov-17 09:36:44

There is sometimes movement in the bricks above the front door, especially if the porch is arched. No idea why, but if you look at 1930s semis they’ve often been repointed in that area.

emsyj37 Thu 09-Nov-17 10:27:39

We are buying a 1930s house (moving day tomorrow!!!! grin) Our survey picked up 'suspected movement' under the solid floors and we had to get a structural engineer out to give a report. It was totally clear and no structural issues at all. Historic movement/settlement is quite common but not a problem unless it's ongoing. It also mentioned that the (beautiful original) Windows are single glazed and will need maintenance, which we know.

Booooooo Thu 09-Nov-17 15:36:52

Happy moving day @emsyj37 - how exciting!! Ps Your username sounds very familiar from when I used to go on youandyourwedding (many years ago!) were you on that?

thenewaveragebear1983 Thu 09-Nov-17 15:40:59

Our 1930's house showed up- chimney needed repointed, some damp in the ground floor external wall, the fact that if you have traditional ceilings (ie with the bit of joist exposed and the sort of curved edge??) then if anyone buying wants to do the ceiling they will lose this feature or have to pay a lot more to preserve it (apparently?), asbestos possibility in ceilings. It was all pretty commonplace stuff, and largely depends on how much has already been done to the house.

emsyj37 Thu 09-Nov-17 15:46:43

Thanks! Haha Yes, I was on there years ago!!! shock grin

wowfudge Thu 09-Nov-17 18:54:23

If you have bay windows the original frames were often structural. If they have been replaced with new window frames with inadequate support, there can be movement in the bays.

namechangedtoday15 Fri 10-Nov-17 00:12:02

Damp
Movement
Pointing
Roof and chimney
Wall toes
Asbestos (especially garage)

namechangedtoday15 Fri 10-Nov-17 00:12:34

Wall ties!!!!

Booooooo Fri 10-Nov-17 12:36:25

What are wall ties?

namechangedtoday15 Fri 10-Nov-17 12:53:51

I am no expert but I understand from around the 1920s most houses were built with cavity walls so 2 walls with a small gap between. Wall ties are little metal rods (kind of like sturdy tent pegs!!) that attached to both walls to provide strength / keep them from moving / not sure!! They're supposed to last a lifetime (well 100s of yrs) but they can corrode over time which can cause issues.

MrsMoastyToasty Fri 10-Nov-17 12:57:23

If the house has never been replumbed then the supply up to the house from the street is likely to be lead.

Booooooo Fri 10-Nov-17 13:37:28

Thanks for all the responses 😀

BubblesBuddy Fri 10-Nov-17 15:52:41

A tiny crack you can barely see will not be anything major. You really would have noticed a big crack. You can go into your loft and look around for yourself. You would also know if there was damp or your drains are not working efficiently. You can easily check for pointing that’s poor, bricks blown and any roof tiles that are missing. You can visually see if the roof is sagging. You cannot easily check any wall ties but you can satisfy yourself about quite a lot so you don’t need to worry.

Booooooo Sun 12-Nov-17 16:02:48

Do any of your houses have lath and plaster ceilings? Do they have cracks in them? Did they come up in surveys?

Ghostontoast Sun 12-Nov-17 19:35:35

Issues due to the local geology/construction materials or mining, for example subsidence sue to clay in the London area or being built over old mine workings & mundic block in Cornwall.

Ghostontoast Sun 12-Nov-17 19:35:53

Due to clay

Ghostontoast Sun 12-Nov-17 19:37:18

Also dodgy diy and extensions by previous owners that don't conform to building regulations.

MiaowTheCat Mon 13-Nov-17 16:04:03

Roof would be the big thing (our house is mid-20s - all the houses in our street have now had their roofs re-done in the last few years).

Damp.

They're about the two big ones on our survey when we bought this place. Was the universal catch all type stuff of "wiring will need to be checked" etc.

The render on the fronts of several of the houses on our street is starting to go - we've just had ours re-done and several are in varying degress of nakedness mid-repair job. We'd had some historical woodworm apparently (as in long-since evicted, not as in members of some kind of medieval reenactment society) and the kitchen was a pile of shite (but that was bloody obvious when you looked at it).

Think that was the gist of what was on our survey when we bought. Most of the houses in this street have had similar level niggles (the neighbourhood builder lives next door and knows everything going on with everyone's houses - it's that kind of street... I had a new patio done and came in to find four of the neighbours having a look at it type place)

dizzydes Wed 06-Dec-17 10:34:43

The problem I have is corner of ceiling in porch is dropping, anyone know if it's plasterboard or not and how it's fixed? I feel like pulling it away but don't know if it's stuck/nailed to battens/likely to crumble or pull something else away. There's a 9" dia light fitted centrally so is this a possible DIY if I turn power off first? Can't afford more than one tradesman and don't know where to start looking.

dizzydes Wed 06-Dec-17 10:39:08

The problem I have is corner of porch ceiling is dropping and I feel like pulling it away to renew however does anyone know what material it's likely to be and will it crumble or pull other materials down? There's a 9" diameter light fitted centrally so I have to be careful it doesn't all crash down. Could it perhaps be plasterboard that is fixed onto wood strips?

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