Structural Matters on a Development Property…
Lets talk about the guts of the property.
Did your surveyor highlight any defects? (You did have it surveyed didn’t you)?
Is it your responsibility to put problems right? You’re a developer, not a “friend of man”
Once again, the decision……..is yours!
Are you a builder, or better still a structural engineer? Do you know what to look for, or even what you’re looking at?
If a traditional roof needs triangulating or a trussed roof needs bracing, or the loft should be correctly ventilated, do you put it right or do you leave it for your buyer’s surveyor to discover?
Essentially, any serious work is going to cost you money. So look for woodworm and get that treated, (solicitors love guarantees) and have any damaged timbers strengthened, it’s cheap to do and shows you are willing.
Wooden floors in old houses will have a degree of rot. If it’s dry rot you are in the brown smelly stuff! Even I, with my lax, slapdash attitude to life wouldn’t sell a property with dry rot in it. That’s because I wouldn’t have bought it in the first place!
UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING, NEVER BUY A PROPERTY WITHOUT GETTING A SURVEY.
Surveys cost £300, Dry rot £3000.
Unless the floors are springy, just nail down any loose boards and get the carpets down.
If the floor moves, lift the boards, remove all the rubbish, strengthen the joists, put some DPC under them and carry on. It takes a day per room and it’s just part of the process.
If a solid floor is wet, dry it with heat and leave it exposed for a week. If it’s still wet, it’s not condensation, so slap a proper DPM on top and carry on again.
What you do now, depends on the degree of damp and where it is. We have a good article on damp have a little read.
Rising damp is the real problem, but you should have been aware of it when you bought and paid a corresponding price. If it’s bad, you must get the whole lot fixed and get a 20 year guarantee for it. This won’t be worth the paper it’s written on but solicitors love them.
If a damp meter says it’s damp but there’s no physical evidence (i.e. there’s no water mark and the paper/paint/plaster looks ok, personally I would leave it well alone).
Lesser rising damp can be messed about with locally but don’t be tempted by magic “paint on stuff”, I’ve never known it work.
Get the plaster off, inject the wall and re-plaster with waterproofed render and a skim coat just like our article tells you to.
If there are cracks, fill them. This isn’t an attempt at deceit, if it were your house and you were decorating and you found cracks, you would fill them before re decorating wouldn’t you? Right then….if you are guilty, we all are!
(Good sound logic, builders are full of it ….and good sound logic).
If they are exterior walls and the cracks show outside, once again you should have known and accounted for this. But you can still fill and decorate on the inside and leave the exterior to the buyer’s surveyor!
If it’s just a lot of plaster that is blown, it’s far quicker to get the room re-plastered while you get on with other things. It will cost about £300 and you will have wonderfully smooth surfaces.