Bell Associates - Design & Building Consultants, Coastguard Road, Rush, Co. Dublin.
01-8430267 | 087-2371984 www.bellassociates.ie
PRE-PURCHASE HOUSE SURVEY REPORTS Prior to the purchase of a property, clients will be advised by their solicitor or their bank to have a pre-purchase house or apartment survey completed. We conduct surveys and prepare written reports from as little as €350 incl. vat. We also conduct visual surveys from €125. We are fully insured with professional indemnity, and public liability insurance. Survey Reports can affect the asking price of a property if a large volume of remedial/repair work is required to be done. We conduct regular inspections and surveys in Dublin, Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford. You are more than welcome to accompany us to the property at the time of the survey to be taken through our observations as we prepare the report. We will normally turn reports around within three to four working days of the survey. For a quotation contact Roger Bell on 01-8430267 or click here for an email quotation A pre-purchase house survey report which we prepare will typically be from 26-36 pages in length and include photographs to emphasise key points or issues of interest or concern. The report will typically comment on the following items: Location Weather Conditions type and age of property Accommodation Planning and additional building history Chimney Stacks, Flashing & Soakers Roofs – Exterior Gutters & Downpipes Roof spaces Attic Access Main Walls Damp Proof Course & Sub-Floor Ventilation External Joinery including Window and Door Frames. Exterior decoration and paintwork Ceilings, walls & partitions Fireplaces, Flues & Chimney Breasts Floors Internal Joinery Ventilation Internal Decoration Services - Electricity Services - Gas Services – House Alarm Heating system Heat Circulation Cold Water, Plumbing and Sanitary Fittings Drainage Garages and outbuildings Other General Comments Outlined Work - A bullet point summary of the works we feel are required to be carried out to bring the dwelling up to a good standard of accommodation. Energy efficiency Subsequent improvements, extensions, renovations and energy audits
Bell Associates - Design & Building Consultants, Coastguard Road, Rush, Co. Dublin.
01-8430267 | 087-2371984 www.bellassociates.ie
Please continue reading to see a detailed description of a typical written report
The report will be in the format below, and will cover points under the following Headings: Weather Conditions: (Wet, dry, windy, sunny, cold, warm, hot, raining, snowing etc.) Hot sunny, or cold weather can indicate how well a dormer roof is thermally insulated. Wet weather can indicate leaking rain water gutters or rainwater pipes or other leaks visible internally) Type and age of property This indicates how many bedrooms the property has, whether it is single storey, two storey, multi storey. It also indicates if it is detached, semi-detached, end of terrace, mid-terraced. Other details will include the construction of the boundary walls(if present) whether they are masonry(block/brick/stone) or timber and an indication of the surrounds to the dwelling such as buildings to either side, roads, laneways, footpaths to side/rear, and other structures which may overshadow the dwelling or create excessive noise (dwelling possibly adjacent to an industrial estate). This will also indicate the approximate age of the property. Location Location in geographical terms – address, and/or if rural location, information sufficient to locate the dwelling. Comment on level of site (level/sloping/tiered site front to rear) Accommodation Description of number of bedrooms, presence of hall, stairs, kitchen, dining rooms, living rooms, bathrooms, en suite bathrooms, w.c.’s, sunrooms, conservatories, extensions, attic rooms, attic bedrooms. Planning and additional building history This is a comment on a search for any planning applications initially available at the local authority which may have been granted on the dwelling since it was originally built. It will also comment on any additional structures such as extensions, attic conversions, or obvious visible alterations to the original structure of the dwelling. We will also query whether Certificates or Opinions of Compliance may be required via your solicitor from the vendors for same. In some cases this heading will also comment on buildings/structures in adjacent dwellings which are excessive in size/over-shadowing, or overlooking from adjacent windows into private open space areas of the property such as the rear garden. Chimney Stacks, Flashing & Soakers This comments on the condition of the Chimney Stacks, Flashing & Soakers from ground level. Roofs – Exterior This comments on the type of roof (or roofs) on the building, if they are pitched, hipped, flat-roofed. It will also comment on the finish, (slate, tile, concrete tile, torch on felt, mastic asphalt) and the general condition of same. This heading will also comment on the fascias and soffits of the building, whether they are timber, Upvc or other material such as brick or masonry corbelling and their general condition. Gutters & Downpipes This comments on the material these are constructed from, their state of repair, if there are any visible leaks from same and/or missing sections of piping. Roof spaces Comments will be made relating to the roof type (pitched/hipped/flat) Whether the attic space has been converted into a habitable room (e.g.bedroom) Levels of attic insulation(where visible) the type of cold water tank(Upvc, galvanised steel), and whether these and associated plumbing pipes have been correctly thermally insulated. Attic Access This will observe the location of the attic hatch(es) whether they have been draught sealed, and/or thermally insulated, and whether the attic is accessible via a conventional stairs, stira fold out/sliding stairs or by an independent ladder, and if there is a permanent switchable light fitting in the attic space. Main Walls A description of the main exterior walls of the dwelling and construction type – Brick, Block, Stone, Render, dash render, nap plaster etc. It will also comment on any visible signs of ground heave, or visible cracking to walls which can be cosmetic, or structural in nature. Damp Proof Course & Sub-Floor Ventilation A comment will be made on the apparent functionality of the damp proof course in the walls, and whether sub-floor ventilation(generally required for raised timber floors) is present and/or effective. Older dwellings will typically require a rising damp survey. Cills can also be checked to monitor the performance of cill damp proof courses. We generally present these in the form of a diagrammatic drawing of the dwelling. In this case, damp levels have been taken just above skirtings and are indicated in percentage terms at the location of their reading. There is always moisture in the air, and all plaster walls will absorb moisture to some degree. When moisture levels move in to the orange and red bands on the meter then this indicates additional moisture in the form of rising damp, leaking pipes, leaking roofs, leaking downpipes, failing damp proof courses/membranes etc. Damp Meter External Joinery including Window and Door Frames. A description of the type of external windows, and external doors throughout the dwelling(timber, timber sash, Upvc, metal, aluminium). Are they single/double/ triple glazed. A comment on their state of repair, and whether the draught seals need to be repaired/maintained/replaced. Exterior decoration and paintwork A description of the general appearance of the exterior of the building, if there is any cracking/holes etc. evident and whether the walls, or portion of walls need to be repaired/repainted. Ceilings, walls & partitions A comment on the floor to ceiling heights of each respective floor in millimetres, and the finish to the ceilings, walls & partitions (painted plaster, stipple plaster, painted lined paper, wallpaper) and a comment on the quality and repair of finish to same, structural or cosmetic cracks evident (damage, holes, cracking, previous poor repair work, presence of damp/mould (checked with meter)) Fireplaces, Flues & Chimney Breasts Number of visible fireplaces in dwelling to include general state of repair, additional fittings such as back boilers, gas fuel effect fires, heating systems where visible Floors Floor type to ground and subsequent floors (concrete, raised timber) and floor finish to each room (solid or laminate floor, carpet, tile, linoleum etc.) and the general state of repair to floor finishes. Internal Joinery Comment on the quality and finish of internal fitted units in the kitchen, bedrooms, living room, bathrooms etc. Comment on the finish of Internal doors, door frames, skirting boards, and sundry joinery Ventilation Amount of room vents, mechanical vents to kitchen, and bathrooms (or window trickle vents) visible at the time of survey. All rooms require ventilation, and room vents should be fitted (where required) to meet appropriate ventilation standards, with mechanical ventilation to all bathrooms, and kitchen, all extracting to the exterior of the dwelling. Internal Decoration Comment on general standard of decoration very bad/poor/ reasonable/good/very good/excellent and suitability for Short/medium/long term occupation in current condition Services - Electricity Comment on location of E.S.B. meter, and E.L.C.B. or fuse board and general condition of same. Services - Gas Comment on location of gas meter(if present), and general condition of same. Services – House Alarm Comment on location of house alarm(if present), and general condition of same. Heating system Description of heating system(gas/oil fired/solid fuel/back boiler, and location internally/externally in outhouse to include visual physical condition, and efficiency of boiler in percentage terms and rating (A to G) Heat Circulation Description of how heat is circulated throughout the house (radiators, underfloor heating, combination of both, air ventilation, storage heaters)and presence of Thermostatic Radiator Valves Cold Water, Plumbing and Sanitary Fittings Description of number and state of repair of bathrooms, en suite bathrooms, and w.c.’s throughout dwelling to include internal description of same(number of baths, toilets, wash hand basins, and showers/bath showers with indication of shower head types(electric/pumped electric/gravity/pumped units) to each room. Location and number of internal/external soil vent pipes serving same. Comment on type and location of hot water cylinder within dwelling. Drainage Location of visible drainage externally on paths, and garden areas including presence of rainwater pipes, gully traps, Armstrong junctions and manholes within curtilage of site. Garages and outbuildings Comment on number, location, construction material and state of repair of outbuildings to include boiler houses, general sheds and timber Barna type sheds Other General Comments Overall comment on condition of dwelling taken in its entirety. Outlined Work A bullet point summary of the works we feel are required to be carried out to bring the dwelling up to a good standard of accommodation. For a sample dwelling (a single storey end of terrace dwelling with raised timber floors, single storey flat-roofed extensions to rear constructed c.1900 - a dwelling in a poor state of repair) these would typically have included: 1. Investigate roof and examine all flashings, valleys, chimney breasts, brick and blockwork, repair and make good as necessary. 2. Examine bitumen asphalt flat roof, remove and replace with new to include all flashings, and fittings to hopper heads etc. and make good. Examine internal leaking drain on roof, and re-locate if possible. Repair all associated damage to walls and ceilings and make good. 3. Have all floors and walls examined by a suitably qualified damp engineer and have a detailed report prepared outlining costs, time frame and damage/repair to property to conduct same. 4. Install new underfloor ventilation grills to original dwelling, to ensure adequate cross ventilation of same. Examine existing floor including removing of floorboards to access joists to investigate any evidence of decay due to lack of ventilation. Repair, replace and make good as necessary. 5. Replace all existing fascias and soffits with Upvc equivalents, alternatively powerhose all existing fascias and soffits, replace/repair as necessary, repaint and make good. 6. Contact neighbour to rear LHS concerning two storey apartment constructed in rear garden of adjacent property. Establish nature of window looking directly into garden (invasion of privacy), and seek removal or obscuring of same. 7. Remove all overgrowth/wild planting in rear garden to dwelling, boundary walls, and external outbuildings etc. Examine all masonry walls and repair/make good as necessary. Re-roof outbuildings if required and make good. 8. Replace existing bathroom suites, re-tile and make good. 9. Replace existing damaged/forced coxdome rooflight in en suite bathroom with modern double glazed thermally efficient unit. 10. Replace/renovate existing kitchen and make good. 11. Replace existing floor finishes to bedrooms, hall and living room. 12. Repair ceilings in living room, hall & kitchen etc., sand down, skim, repaint, and make good. 13. Repair all hairline cracks to ceilings, walls and sundry items throughout, sand down, repaint and make good. 14. Ensure all mechanical extract ventilation is functioning correctly, and is venting correctly to the exterior of dwelling. 15. Fit mechanical ventilation to bathroom, and en suite bathroom. 16. Increase thermal insulation in attic areas to minimum of 300mm quilt insulation. 17. Draught seal, and thermally insulate all attic hatches. 18. Thermally insulate all pipework and jointing in attic areas. 19. Consider thermally insulating all external walls to a modern standard as part of any renovation works. 20. Fit new, thermally insulated hot water cylinder. 21. Fit hot water cylinder with thermostatic controls 22. Have all existing doors and windows inspected by a suitably qualified window installer and have all draught seals throughout repaired/replaced. 23. If you feel that there are excessive draughts in the house and want a detailed analysis of the scale and location of these then we suggest an air pressurisation test, a short video fully explaining the test can be found at http://www.bellenergy.ie/page10.html, or alternatively paste the address in to your web browser. 24. If you wish to improve the energy efficiency of your dwelling, consider replacing the existing heating system with a new condenser boiler to include new radiators with Thermostatic radiator valves, and/or thermostatic controls to rooms. (For a short YouTube technical video explaining the principle of condenser boilers please click here - http://youtu.be/6GQ_QLaSbMoor paste the link in to your web browser. 25. Inspect all gutters, rainwater pipes, soil vent pipes. Repair and make good as necessary. 26. Powerhose all external hardstanding areas, paving footpaths and concrete driveways, and make good. 27. Consider replacing the ground floor fireplace with free-standing, or recessed stoves to improve energy efficiency, and reduce draughts, or alternatively fit flue closers (Fire Genie - http://youtu.be/VrbWy3xIPiY) to the fireplaces to reduce draughts. 28. All rooms require ventilation, and room vents should be fitted (where required) to meet appropriate ventilation standards. 29. To reduce draughts consider modifying existing air vents in respective rooms throughout the dwelling with a mechanical opening/closing vent fitting such as a Reton TL80-R vent system see http://iconstruction.ie/uploads/pdfs/Wall_Vents_Anti_Draught.pdf for details or paste the address in to your web browser. 30. Repaint house internally. 31. Consider replacing existing incandescent light bulbs and traditional recessed downlighters with energy efficient equivalents to save electricity. Energy efficiency In all our recommendations we put emphasis on energy efficiency such as increasing insulation and reducing draughts throughout the dwelling. Using some, or all of these suggestions will save you money on your fuel bills. We also recommend taking advantage of the grants available from www.seai.ie for some of these improvements Subsequent improvements, extensions, renovations and energy audits We can provide all the advice and professional services relating to planning permissions, renovating, extending or improving the dwelling in terms of energy use. The Site Comment on the site, the construction of its boundaries, on, or off street parking and whether we feel the building is structurally sound.
VISUAL SURVEYS If you feel that you do not require a written report on the standard of a dwelling, we can offer visual surveys from €125. A visual survey will offer the same insights as a pre-purchase survey in that we invite the intending buyer to accompany us to the property to be taken through our observations at first hand. This may suit prospective buyers who are looking at more than one property and need a cost-effective way of determining what offers the best value for them in terms of property condition. (Return to top)