Have seen lovely house for sale, but lots of cracks in plaster, up to 2mm. They're around the front door, where walls meet ceilings and other walls, and similar sized gaps around window sills/exposed beams in roof. More visible on upper floors. House was built in 2000. How scary is this - is it likely to be just normal settlement or something more scary?
Is there any way to tell without a full survey? We need to move quick, and will pay for full survey once we offer, but are choosing between properties at the moment and would rather not waste time waiting for survey if outcome likely to be bad, although this is our dream home in many other ways.
a house that new will have the internal walls covered in plasterboard rather than plaster (but not always, mostly) cracks appearing are usually due to the house being moved into and decorated to quickly after being built and it doesn't have time to ''dry out'' properly. then you move in and turn the central heating on and the stuff dries and shrinks. at joints and corners, where the plaster board meets, tape is used to seal the two edges together and then plaster is used over this to make it flat and smooth. also if many cracks are around the door frames it can be a sign that the previous occupants were a bit heavy slamming shutting the doors. my house was built in 1998 and even now, I am having cracks appear around window frames and doors etc, but not as many any more as I fill them up and repaint. if you go there again, knock on the walls to see if they are solid brick and plaster. my downstairs walls are block walls but covered with lathes and plasterboard, these tend to crack slightly less than upstairs where all the walls are wooden frame and plasterboard attached direct. here you have the plasterboard joints and the wood inside the walls drying out which makes it slightly worse. if all the cracks are horizontal or vertical in relative straight lines I would not worry too much, if they are diagonal, that can be a sign of subsidence, heaving or slippage. hope that helps, and to add I am not a builder or anything, just a person who wants to build my own house one day and have read up on it!!