COMMERCIAL BUILDING SURVEY
A 17th Century Public House
Mr Andrew Hoy
GEM Associates Limited
INDEPENDENT CHARTERED SURVEYORS
FOR ANY HELP OR ASSISTANCE CALL FREE PHONE:
0800 298 5424
visit our website:
SUMMARY UPON REFLECTION
CHIMNEY STACKS, DORMER WINDOWS, SKYLIGHTS AND PARAPET WALL
ROOF COVERINGS AND UNDERLAYERS
ROOF STRUCTURE AND LOFT SPACE
GUTTERS AND DOWNPIPES
CEILINGS, WALLS, PARTITIONS AND FINISHES
CHIMNEY BREASTS, FLUES AND FIREPLACES
CELLARS AND VAULTS
PLUMBING AND HEATING
POINTS FOR LEGAL ADVISOR
GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE PROPERTY MARKET
Firstly, may we thank you for your instructions of
????; we have now undertaken a Commercial Building Survey (formerly
known as a Structural Survey) of the aforementioned property. This Survey
was carried out on ????????????
The Building Survey takes the following format; there
is an introductory section (which you are currently reading), which
includes a synopsis of the building, and a summary of our findings.
We then go through a detailed examination of the property
starting with the external areas working from the top of the property
down, followed by the internal areas and the buildings services. We
conclude with the section for your Legal Advisor and also attach some
information on the property market.
We are aware that a report of this size is somewhat
daunting and almost off-putting to the reader because of this. We would
stress that the purchase of a business has many risks, the property
being one of the biggest. Often when a business is purchased our clients
can only see the opportunities that it offers, the aim of this report
is to give a balanced view on the future risk.
We recommend that you set aside time to read the report
in full, consider the comments, make notes of any areas which you wish
to discuss further and phone our us.
We obviously expect you to read the entire report but
we would suggest that you initially look at the summary, which refers
to various sections in the report which we recommend you read first
so that you get a general feel for the way the report is written.
As part of our service we are more than happy to talk
through the survey as many times as you wish until you are completely
happy to make a decision. Ultimately, the decision to purchase the business
is yours but we will do our best to offer advice to make the decision
as easy as possible.
To help you understand our Report we utilise various
techniques and different styles and types of text, these are as follows:-
This has been given in the survey where it is considered
it will aid understanding of the issues, or be of interest. This is
shown in “italics” for clarity.
TECHNICAL TERMS DEFINED
the Report, we have endeavoured to define any technical terms used.
This is shown in “Courier New” type face for clarity.
Any reference to left or right is taken from the front
of the property, including observations to the rear which you may not
be able to physically see from the front of the property.
ACTION REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDATIONS
We have used the term ACTION REQUIRED
where we believe that there are items that you should carry out action
upon or negotiate upon prior to purchasing the property.
Where a problem is identified, we will do our best
to offer a solution. However, with most building issues, there are usually
many ways to resolve them dependent upon cost, time available and the
length of time you wish the repair/replacement to last.
SITUATION AND DESCRIPTION
The ?????? is a large public house, situated on ???????.
It is two storeys in height, and has had many and various additions
and alterations over the years, as have most properties of this age.
We are advised that the public house is not targeted
at any specific age, and is wet trade driven with a reasonable food
trade. The pub is presently trialling live music. There is a petanque
and a pool team.
To the rear of the property is a beer garden and the
petanque court, together with a small car park.
We believe the property was constructed originally
in the 17th Century, with various additions and add-ons over the years.
If the age of the property interests you your Legal Advisor may be able
to find out more information from the Deeds.
Putting Life Into Perspective
Some of the things that were happening around the time the property
||The Great Fire of London
||Oil powered street lights are put up in London
||Britain recognised American Independence
|| The start of the Industrial Revolution
|1793 – 1800
||The Grand Union Canal was built
ACCOMMODATION AND FACILITIES
Ground Floor – Trading Area
Front of House
The ground floor area consist of:
- An open plan bar area with a raised floor section, and
includes a pool table and dart board.
- Female toilets to the right hand side.
- Male toilets to the right hand side.
Back of House
- Catering kitchen (there is no private kitchen)
- Corridors to the rear and to the first floor.
Cellar – access from Trading Area
- The cellar is divided into a cold area and a storage
First Floor - Private Living Accommodation
- Three Bedrooms
- Separate WC
- Very small store
Right Hand Side of the Bar
Left Hand Side of the Bar
Front Bedroom, Right Hand Side
SUMMARY OF CONSTRUCTION
||Four brick chimneys
||A pitched roof, clad with concrete tiles
||Shallow pitched and clad with a slate
|| Predominantly plastic; some original cast iron remaining
||Partly painted pebbledash render and Flemish bond brickwork
||Painted timber sliding sash windows
A mixture of lath and plaster,
and some plasterboard to the newer sections (assumed)
||For the Trading Area they have been removed to the upper
floors; they are predominantly heavy duty studwork (assumed)
Ground Floor: A suspended timber
floor over the cellar area (assumed)
First Floor: Joist and floorboards (assumed)
The front of the property sits directly onto the pavement.
To the rear there is a beer garden, car park and petanque court.
We are advised that the property is Listed; therefore
permission will need to be sought. We always recommend that general
advice be obtained from the local authority.
The above terms are explained in full in the main body of the Report.
We have used the term ‘assumed’ as we have not opened up
Summaries are dangerous as they try to précis
often quite complex subjects into a few paragraphs. This is particularly
so in a summary about someone’s future business/home when we are
trying to second-guess what their priorities are, so it is important
the Report is read in full.
It is inevitable with a report on a building of this nature that some
of the issues we have focussed in on you may dismiss as irrelevant and
some of the areas that we have decided are part of the ‘character’
of this property you may think are very important. We have taken in
the region of 150 photographs during the course of this survey and many
pages of notes, so if a comment has not been discussed that you are
interested in/concerned about, please phone and talk to us before you
purchase the property (or indeed commit to purchasing the property),
as we will more than likely have noted it and be able to comment upon
it. If we have not we will happily go back.
Having said all of that, here are our comments:-
Generally, we found the property externally in reasonable condition
for a leasehold public house, with a few specific exceptions. Internally,
superficially the property is in good order. There are, however, several
issues that need addressing, which we have detailed in the main body
of this report.
We have divided the Executive Summary into ‘The Good’, ‘The
Bad’ and ‘The Ugly’, to help distinguish what in our
mind are the main issues.
Generally speaking, the area the public house covers
has been well developed, considering the space.
The bar arrangements allow “supervision” of all the trading
area from the bar.
You advised us that you have a public entertainments licence.
We are sure you can think of others, having been tenants for some years.
||Gutters and Downpipes
of the original cast iron has been replaced with plastic.
Unfortunately, the brackets have been left at the original
cast iron spacings and this, as plastic is not as robust
as cast iron, has resulted in the guttering deflecting and
discharging water down the buildings in some areas.
Additional brackets and/or the plastic guttering
being replaced with cast iron.
the problem quite well;
you can see the deflection in the
guttering, and you can see the
hairline cracking in the adjoining
part of the structure.
Please note, there are a number of areas where
the cast iron and plastic are joined together; these will generally
leak as the cast iron is to imperial sizes and the plastic to
metric. Please see the Gutters and Downpipes Section of this Report.
the roof, we can see that some of the tiles to the rear
are originally peg tiles. The wooden pegs have been replaced
now with nails; this is never an ideal situation as the
roof is held together mainly by gravity.
Unfortunately, to resolve this is very difficult and it
will result in a renewal of the roof being required. Having
said that, at present we could see nothing specifically
that would mean we would recommend this action, and we
would normally leave this type of roof until water is
You can see
the displaced peg tiles
to the left hand side.
|The back of the
clay tiles. If you look
carefully, you can see the nails. This
roof is held together with good luck
|Valley gutters are always weak areas within
a roof structure. This property has two valley gutters, one
of which is particularly weak, to the rear left hand side
(all directions given as you face the property).
Unfortunately, we were unable to access and view these areas.
If you look closely in this photograph
you can see a valley gutter, just above the window on
the right hand side. We feel this very awkward gutter
detail will allow water in sooner or later.
Please see the Roof Structure and Lofts Section
of this Report.
||Services - Electrics
visual inspection, we would consider the electrical installation
not to NIC EIC standards.
Have an Institute of Electrical Engineers full
report carried out on the property, and any recommendations
ANTICIPATED COST: In the region
of £250 to £300 for the circuit board, plus any
other recommendations that are made.
Please see the Services Section of this Report.
||Kitchen Area / Bar Area
We noted several items are not strictly to Environmental Health
standards, such as defects and poor quality repairs to the flooring,
no fly screens to the windows (assuming that they are opened
occasionally), storage items in the access corridor from the
kitchen to the trading area.
ACTION REQUIRED: Repair
ANTICIPATED COST: Several hundred pounds
||Airflow to the Cellar
There would appear
to be very little airflow to the cellar, which can promote rot.
The pub company has carried out work in the cellar. From what
we can see and gather, this has done little more than hide the
problem rather than actually repair it.
ACTION REQUIRED: Add airbricks,
and the pub company to advise of what work they did.
ANTICIPATED COST: We would
expect costs to be approaching £1,000 for the addition
of several airbricks.
a fair amount of visible rot to the windows, which is bad
but we would term the windows as saveable.
Splice in new timber and repair and redecorate.
We would expect costs in the region of £2,500 to
£7,500 for the job to be done properly.
There is woodworm throughout
the property, as one would expect in a building of this age. We
are not overly concerned with this, as we do not believe that
the woodworm is active. However, we cannot be certain unless we
visit during the breeding season (spring).
front brick chimney needs repointing. It will be a difficult/expensive
job as it will require scaffolding access.
We would also recommend all the other chimneys are checked
at the same time. Some of these are substantial; they are
We noted one of them requires a lead flashing, as opposed
to its present cement flashing.
Please see the Chimneys Section of this Report.
Note also the
|A lead flashing all the way
would be recommended.
||Dampness / Condensation into the Rear
property has a shallow pitched slate roof to the rear, as
was a common design. Originally, the roof would have been
self-venting as there would have been no underlayer. However,
in more recent years, we believe this roof has been re-roofed
and an underlayer added without ventilation. This has resulted
in condensation occurring in the roof.
Add ventilation to the roof, and also carry out a thorough
inspection of all the timbers, and replace as necessary.
Please see the Roof Coverings and Underlayers
Section of this Report.
If you look
closely, you can see the
dampness in the timbers.
|Here you can see the warping
The cellar is not currently to
Environmental Health standards. There should be “smooth
impervious surfaces” for this area. We note that the concrete
flooring is damaged, and dampness is visible to the walls.
What we are also concerned about is that within the storage section
of the cellar, much of the ceiling structure was recently covered
ACTION REQUIRED: Beer cellar
to be brought up to Environmental Health Standards. The pub
company to provide details of the work they carried out to the
cellar, and any drawings / structural calculations they had
with regard to the alterations in general.
Please see the Cellars and Vaults Section of
||Based upon the comments and discussions had during
the course of the survey, we would also suggest that you view the
viability of the business. We always recommend that a SWOT (Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is carried out,
and that you actually set aside half a day away from the business
to do the review.
As this is a Full Repairing and Insuring lease (FRI),
all future maintenance would be your responsibility together, depending
upon the terms of your lease, to “put and keep” the property
in good order.
We have not been asked to comment upon the purchase
price in this instance, we have not seen trading accounts, internal
records or a copy of the lease.
Every Business Transaction has a Risk
Every business transaction has a risk, only you can
assess whether that risk is acceptable to you and your circumstances.
You should now read the main body of the Report paying particular attention
to any “ACTION REQUIRED” points.
SUMMARY UPON REFLECTION
The Summary Upon Reflection is a second summary so
to speak, which is carried out with our thoughts a few days after the
initial survey. We would add the following:-
One of the things that we feel we should reiterate is that many pub
companies will not allow a schedule of conditions to be attached to
the lease. We have prepared a Commercial Building Survey here; this
is not a Schedule of Condition. However, we have set out our notes in
such a way that we can convert it to a Schedule of Condition should
Our main concerns would regard the chimney, as this is a fairly major
As a general comment for any work required we would always recommend
that you obtain at least three quotations for any work from a qualified,
time served tradesperson or a competent registered building contractor
prior to legal completion.
If you wish we can prepare specifications, obtain quotations for the
work and manage it and ensure it is carried out to the correct standard.
We would ask that you read the Report and contact us on any issues that
you require further clarification on.
MORE ABOUT THE REPORT FORMAT
Just a few more comments about the Report format before you read the
actual main body of the Report.
We have assumed that the business will be being put
onto a long lease (15 years plus), with no unusual or onerous clauses
and that vacant possession will be available on completion. Your Legal
Advisor should confirm that this is the case.
COMMERCIAL AGENTS – FRIEND OR FOE?
It is important to remember that the commercial agents
are acting for the seller (usually known as the vendor) and not the
purchaser and therefore are eager to sell the property (no sale –
no fee!). We as your employed Independent Chartered Surveyor represent
your interests only.
TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT/LIMITATIONS
This report is being carried out under our terms of
engagement for Commercial Building Surveys, as agreed to and signed
by yourselves. If you have not seen and signed a copy of our terms of
engagement please phone immediately.
OUR AIM IS ONE HUNDRED PERCENT SATISFACTION
Our aim is for you to be completely happy with the
service we provide, and we will try and help you in whatever way possible
with your business purchase. If you require any further information
please telephone us.
THE DETAILED PART OF THE REPORT
FOLLOWS WORKING FROM THE TOP OF THE PROPERTY DOWNWARDS
DORMER WINDOW AND SKYLIGHT
Chimneys developed originally from open fires placed
within buildings. From this, the chimney has developed to its present
day format where it is used as an aesthetic feature and focal point
rather than purely just to heat the room.
There are four chimneys to this property, one to the front and three
to the rear, two of which are to the right hand side, the third being
to the middle.
Chimney One –Front Left Hand Chimney
This Chimney needs completely repointing, and there may be other work
when you have a close inspection of it. This chimney sits on the party
wall, so in theory the costs can be shared; in practice, it can be a
completely different matter. Please see our comments in the Executive
Chimney Two – Rear Middle Chimney
This is brick built in a white
brick, and has one chimney flue. From what we could see from ground
level it looked in good condition considering its age. Unfortunately
we were unable to see the flaunchings, we therefore cannot comment
Chimneys Three and Four – To the rear
left hand side of the property
There are two substantial brick
chimneys built in a white brick, each with one chimney pot. They
are strapped; from the sides we could see they looked in reasonable
condition, with the exception of the rear right hand one requiring
the cement flashing to be replaced with a lead flashing.
ACTION REQUIRED: We would, given the size of them,
recommend a close inspection before committing to the lease. You will
need a builder with a set of long ladders to view them properly.
are dormer windows to this property, they are formed with what
looks to be a lead roof (although we could only see the side of
it), and painted render cheeks / sides. It generally looked in
reasonable condition, although we would add with the caveat of
the flat roof; we were not able to see it.
Inspect the flat roof to the dormer when you are carrying out
the inspections to the chimneys.
|Close-up view of the dormer window.
Skylights generally sit in line with the roof pitch
and are often used to allow rooms to be formed in the roof space. They
are also commonly known by their trade name of ‘Velux’ windows
or roof lights.
The property has a purpose made skylight, which
looks to have leaked in the past. Often problems occur around
the lead flashing; this should be checked. We literally could
not see it.
Check flashing and redecorate / repair the skylight.
A low, wide cement mortar fillet surrounding the flue
terminal on top of the chimneystack to throw off rainwater.
Flashings prevent dampness from entering the property, usually at junctions
where materials change. Such a junction is the one between the chimney
and the roof.
Finally, we have made our best assumptions on the overall condition
of the chimney stacks, dormer window and skylight from the parts we
could see. The inspection was made from ground level within the boundaries
of the property (unless otherwise stated) using a x16 zoom lens on a
digital camera. A closer inspection may reveal latent defects.
Please also see Chimney Breasts, Flues and Fireplaces Section of this
ROOF COVERINGS AND UNDERLAYERS
The roof coverings and underlayers section considers
the condition of the outer covering of the roof. Such coverings usually
endure the extremes of climate and temperatures. They are susceptible
to deterioration, which ultimately leads to water penetration.
The underlayer’s function is to prevent wind and minimise water
damage. Dependent upon the age of your property this may or may not
be present, please read on:
We will consider the roofs in two areas, the Main Roof
and the Rear Slate Roof.
is pitched and clad with a clay tile. In this case, a small clay
tile has been used with nibs to the front of the property, and
a peg tile to the rear of the property.
As a general comment on the roofs as a whole, as viewed from ground
level, the roof coverings showed nothing out of character for
their age and type.
of the roof.
Roof over Right Hand Side of Property
This is a concrete tile roof. Concrete tiles have been
used for the past 40 or 50 years and are generally the cheapest alternative
for roofing materials as they can be mass produced without compromising
on quality, giving both a consistent size and quality.
looked in reasonable condition, although we would add there was
a lot of moss sitting on the roof, which normally indicates that
the face of the tile is starting to deteriorate.
Another problem with the moss growth is this can, in
extreme cases, impede the run-off of rainwater, lead to gutter blockages
and cause water penetration, which in turn may lead to rot or other
defects in nearby timbers.
Valley gutters are generally considered to be weak
areas on a roof. The valley gutter is used where a roof changes direction.
Please see our comments in the Executive Summary.
Rear Slate Roof
Slate has been commonly used as a roofing material
in many areas, particularly where it was available as a natural resource.
Its heyday was during the Victorian and Edwardian period although it
had a brief revival during the mass building periods at the end of the
First and Second World Wars, which with the development of the transport
system meant that slates could be used throughout the country.
roof is pitched and clad with slate. All things considered the
roof looked in good condition as viewed from ground level, considering
its age, type and style. However, this type of shallow pitched
roof can often be a problem, originally because wind-driven rain
could get underneath the slates. A problem that we have been coming
across more recently is condensation can occur in the roof because
there simply is not enough roof void for the dampness to dissipate.
Please see our comments in the Executive Summary and also in the
Ventilation Section of this part of the Report.
Add ventilation to the roof. At the same time the ridges should
be checked of this roof and the main roof.
|Staining and dampness to the timbers
beneath this roof.
Protective Underlayer (Often known as the sarking felt or
the 1940s onwards felts were used underneath tiles/slates to stop
wind damage and water penetration, these in more recent years
have been replaced with plastic equivalents. These are commonly
known as underfelts but now the name is not really appropriate,
as felt is not the only material used.
we inspected the loft space we found there was no underfelt. It
is therefore possible that during periods of heavy and prolonged
driving rain some water penetration could take place through the
roof coverings. At the time of our inspection this was not occurring
|Main Roof without underfelt.
Main Roof Right Hand Side
parts of this roof we found a Hessian based sarking felt.
|Main Roof to the right
hand side, with underfelt.
When we inspected the loft space we found a Hessian
base Bitumen membrane. This type of membrane has been used since the
1960s. We generally found it to be in average condition, it is damaged
in a few places but this is not unusual considering its age.
Finally, all the roofs were inspected from ground level with the aid
of a x16 zoom lens on a digital camera. Flat roofs have been inspected
from on the roof.
Unfortunately we were only able to see approximately 90% of the roof
from ground level via our ladder or via any other vantage point that
we managed to gain. We have made our best conclusions based upon what
we could see, however a closer inspection may reveal other defects.
ROOF STRUCTURE AND LOFT
(ALSO KNOWN AS ROOF SPACE OR ATTIC SPACE)
The roof structure or framework must be built in
a manner which is able to give adequate strength to carry its own weight
together with that of the roof covering discussed in the previous section
and any superimposed loads such as snow, wind, foot traffic etc.
We will consider the roof structure in two areas; the
main roof and the rear roof.
The main roof is accessed via a hatch set within the cupboard on the
first floor, and the rear roof a hatch set within the bathroom area.
Neither roof has a loft ladder, electric light or secured floor boarding,
or indeed insulation! They would benefit from all of these; it would
make the loft easier and safer to use.
Both lofts have been viewed by torch light, which has limited our viewing
is what is known as a coupled roof, or cut timber roof. This means
that it was made and formed on site; this particular roof has
timber peg fixings in some areas indicating that it is several
hundred years old. Within the roof we found signs of woodworm,
as we would expect to find in most roofs of this age. In some
areas, it has caused damage that we would term as “structurally
significant”. Care should be taken when going into the roof.
Additional weight on the roof may cause problems, such as a heavy
fall of snow, etc. The roof is already taking a heavier load that
it was originally designed to, as some of the clay tiles have
been replaced with concrete tiles which are, relatively speaking,
Woodworm treatment may be required. We would need to re-inspect
the roof in the breeding season (spring), and also some timber
replacement may then be required.
General view of the roof. You can see
some staining to the timbers.
A close-up of the peg fixed ridge.
The purlin, and you can see some of
the peg fixings.
The purlin is the horizontal timber member usually
running from gable end to gable end and parallel with the walls
which supports the jack or common rafters (the angled rafters
forming the slope to the roof).
This photograph shows the roof has been repaired
previously, with the different colours of it.
type of roof structure is also known as a cut timber roof, although
it is much newer. This roof was viewed from a ladder, as it was
difficult to access, because of the water tank, etc, blocking
the way into the roof. The general roof configuration is in line
with what we typically see. We found woodworm present, though
not as bad as the main roof in the areas we could see. The main
problem in this area relates to condensation and lack of ventilation.
ACTION REQUIRED: Add ventilation
and have a thorough check of the timbers for rot, particularly at
the perimeter of the roof.
help prevent the spread of fire through roofs and are a relatively
recent Building Regulation requirement. In this instance the firewall
is built in blockwork, the type of block indicating that it has
been done in the last 30 to 40 years. There is usually a requirement
when a loan is taken out on a property, although often in a listed
property the walls are carried out more sympathetically to the
construction of the building.
The water tanks were noted in the rear roof, formed
in plastic and we assume, therefore, are relatively new (in surveying
terms, in this instance, that is the last 30 years).
We would always recommend that water tanks be drained down and cleared
of any debris etc. (we have seen dead birds and other unmentionable
things in these tanks). As you are cleaning your teeth with this water
it is best that it is as clean as possible!
No insulation was present in the roof. It would benefit
from this being added, but the roofs must be ventilated to stop condensation.
Please see the next section.
When the property was built insulation certainly was
not a requirement. As already mentioned, there is evidence of staining
to the timbers, we believe this to be condensation that is due to lack
of ventilation in the loft space. This tends to occur due to the high
levels of heat that we all enjoy in today’s houses. With the loft
spaces being insulated and the roof being relatively cold condensation
occurs and this is why the Building Regulations now require loft spaces
to be vented.
ACTION REQUIRED: Add ventilation.
We can often identify the age of an electrical installation
by the age of wiring found in the roof. In this case there was insufficient
quantity of wiring for us to feel that we could comment.
Please see our further comments in the Services Section of this Report.
Finally, we would ask you to note that a general inspection of the roof
timbers has been made, we have not examined every single timber because
some parts of the roof are inaccessible and it is simply not practical.
GUTTERS AND DOWNPIPES
The function of gutters and downpipes is to carry
rainwater from the roof to the ground keeping the main structure as
dry as possible.
Please see our comments in the Executive Summary. We
feel that repairs and alterations have been carried out with little
thought for the building. We have identified several specific areas
example, there is water discharging out of the gutters to the
left hand side of the main doors. This is causing moss to occur
on the brickwork below.
Rear right hand corner (all directions given from the front of
the property), the brackets have not been spaced correctly which
has resulted in the guttering deforming, which has resulted in
water cascading down part of the building, which has resulted
in cracking occurring in the timber frame in this area.
We would always recommend that the rainwater
goods are cleaned out, the joints are checked and the alignment
checked to ensure that the gutters fall towards the downpipes.
|Deterioration beneath it.
Finally, gutters and downpipes have been inspected
from ground level. We were not able to make a close inspection of the
roof level rainwater goods (our ladders are not long enough) and therefore
cannot be 100% certain of the type of material used or the condition.
Our comments have therefore been based on our best assumptions.
As it was not raining at the time of the inspection it is not possible
to confirm 100 per cent that the rainwater installation is free from
blockage, leakage etc. or that it is capable of coping with long periods
of heavy rainfall.
External walls need to perform a variety of functions.
These include supporting upper floors and the roof structure, resisting
dampness, providing adequate thermal and sound insulation, offering
resistance to fire and being aesthetically presentable.
main property is finished in a soft red brick, with the extension
to the rear in a white brick. The bricks are laid originally in
a lime mortar, which has in turn been repointed in parts with
a cement mortar. The brickwork is bedded in what is known as Flemish
into consideration the age, type and style of this property we
would say that the brickwork and pointing overall is in below
Likely to require ad hoc repointing, which should
be carried out in a lime mortar.
Some spalling to the face of the
brickwork, and you can see a mixture
of lime mortar and cement mortar.
| Lime Every
|Unfortunately the re-pointing,
whilst well meaning, is not appropriate for this type of construction.
A cement mortar has been used rather than a lime based mortar. We
recommend you use lime mortar in any future repairs regardless of
what the builders say! Using lime mortar will limit further damage
to the brickwork, which is almost impossible to repair successfully.
Poor repairs in the wrong type of
brick and the wrong cement.
However, we would add that many, if not most, of the
properties that are re-pointed are re-pointed wrongly; it is only in
recent years that we have discovered the problems that can occur from
Previous repairs; if you look
you can see the render repair to the
brickwork. We would take an educated
guess this is due to old leaking gutters.
|Here you can see the deterioration
has been caused due to the use of
Deterioration of Brickwork
We would add that in this case the brickwork is deteriorating
quite badly in some instances, and this would be accelerated by the
use of cement mortar.
A mix used to bed bricks upon; its characteristics
being that it flexes and moves with the structure. It was used
up to the War years.
Cement Mortar Defined
A sand cement mix used commonly in brick houses from
about the First World War onwards (first invented about 150 years
ago). It is relatively strong and brittle and therefore does not
allow much movement.
Spalling occurs to brick or stone when water penetrates
the surface and via freezing and thawing starts to cause deterioration
to the surface. This in turn allows further water penetration and the
surface breaks up further. This ultimately can lead to water damage
or structural damage to the area.
Finally, our best assumptions have been made on the construction of this building from the outward appearance of the brickwork.
Render is a mixture of sand and cement and in older
renders also lime. As a surveyor we are always concerned when we see
render finished properties as the render can hide a multitude of sins,
particularly if it has been recently repainted. We generally would steer
people away from rendered properties. In some areas in years gone by
a decorative finish is added and this was known as pargeting. We found
a small area to this property.
walls to this property are finished in a pebbledash painted render.
We have carried out a tap test to the render at low level (literally
hitting the render with the back of a hammer to try to establish
if there are any hollow areas in it) and we feel in this instance
that the render is in average condition for its age, type and
style, though would benefit from redecoration, although due to
its location it is bound to suffer from dirt of the passing traffic.
A way of telling the quality of the render, we have
found over the years, is by the quality of detailing above the windows
and to the base of the property.
Ideally there should be a small drip detail formed
above the window; there is not in this instance.
some areas to the rear of the property, the brickwork has been
painted. It generally looked in reasonable condition. Obviously
you will have to repaint it every three to four years.
Minor deterioration to the brickwork is visible,
as it looks to have been recently painted. The paint flaking
here is a sign that there is rising damp in this section of
Base of the Wall
render in this instance goes down to the ground. Unfortunately
this will help dampness get into the structure.
ACTION REQUIRED: Likely
to require ad hoc repointing, which should be carried out in
a lime mortar.
A sand and cement external coating applied in
two or three coats or layers.
A bell-mouth is a curve at the base of a wall which
throws the water away from the structure therefore preventing dampness.
Timber Framed Structure
is a timber framed structure to the right hand side of the property
forming a canopy area. Due to the way the gutters have been replaced,
water and dampness is getting into this part of the structure.
We note there has been some movement to the front of the property,
and there is cracking to the rear. We believe this relates to
the guttering, although we would have to see the property on a
rainy day to be certain.
If you look closely, you can see
cracking to this structure. This is due
to water getting in from the gutters.
Finally, the external walls have been inspected visually
from ground level and /or randomly via a ladder. Where the window and
door lintels are concealed by brickwork / render we cannot comment on
their construction or condition. In buildings of this age timber lintels
or metal lintels are common, which can be susceptible to deterioration
that is unseen, particularly if in contact with dampness.
Our comments have been based upon how the brickwork / render has been
finished. We have made various assumptions based upon what we could
see and how we think the brickwork / render would be if it were opened
up for this age, style and type of construction. We are however aware
that all is not always at it seems in the building industry and often
short cuts are taken. Without opening up the structure we have no way
of establishing this.
The foundations function, if suitably designed
and constructed, is to transfer the dead or superimposed load through
the soil so it can suitably carry the loads. Many properties prior to
the 19th Century have little or not foundations, as we now think of
them, with a minimum depth of around one metre filled with concrete.
In a property of this age we would expect little or
no foundation, particularly as the area has a cellar. To the rear extension
typically, with a property of this period, we would expect to find a
stepped brick foundation, approximately half a metre deep.
Building Insurance Policy
You should ensure that the Building Insurance Policy
contains adequate provision against any possibility of damage arising
through subsidence, landslip, heave etc.
Finally, no examination has been made of any foundation to the building
because to do so requires extensive excavation. We therefore cannot
confirm 100 per cent the stability of the walls the foundations support
but we have drawn conclusions from the surface evidence available at
the time of the inspection and our general knowledge of this type of
Likewise, we cannot comment upon how the foundations are constructed,
we can only offer you our best assumptions, which we duly have done.
There are no trees within influencing distance of the
Influencing Distance Defined
This is the distance in which a tree may be able
to cause damage to the subject property.
Please also refer to the Walls Section and the External Areas Section
of this Report.
DAMP PROOF COURSE
The Building Act of 1878 required a damp proof
course to be added to all newly built properties within the London area.
It also required various other basic standards. These requirements were
gradually taken up (or should that be grudgingly taken up) throughout
In properties of this age it is
unlikely that a damp proof course would have been built in originally.
However, often they have had damp proof courses added at a later
date. We could see it in some areas, for example, to the rear
of the property, but it did not seem to be consistent.
Checking for Dampness
Our next course of action when we cannot see the damp
proof course on the outside is to check on the inside of the property.
Unfortunately, we were unable to check internally to the front of the
property / trading area due to the dado rail / boarding internally.
We did find dampness to the rear of the property in a few areas where
we were able to check it.
Please see the Dampness Section of this Report.
In properties with suspended floors you need to
have an airflow beneath to stop deterioration. The air is allowed to
pass under the property by the use of airbricks. Generally the rule
of thumb is that airbricks are spaced every metre and a half approximately,
but this depends upon the specific circumstances of the property.
In this case, we could only find a
few airbricks. Judging by the conditions of the cellars, the areas
would benefit from a better air flow.
ACTION REQUIRED: Likely
to require ad hoc repointing, which should be carried out in
a lime mortar.
An airbrick to the centre of the photograph. Also, a good example
of deterioration to the soft red brick that this property is built
The external joinery part of this section covers
windows, doors, fascias and soffits and any detailing such as brick
Windows primary functions are to admit light and air, but they also
have thermal and sound properties. The doors allow access and egress
within the property. Another element of external joinery is the fascias
and soffits. These offer protection to the rafter feet and also allow
the securing of guttering.
Fascias and Soffits
property has stained / painted timber fascias and soffits. We
noted that these are in average condition, which we were surprised
about given the state of the guttering.
We would add the fascia is hidden behind the guttering in this
instance and therefore we cannot see it, although it is common
for this type of detail to have some deterioration to the timber.
There is some flaking paintwork to the fascias and soffits.
Windows and Doors
The property predominantly has sliding sash windows.
These are single glazed and have a painted timber finish and are what
we would term saveable (but it may be more costly to do it this way).
We would specifically comment that we would recommend the existing windows
are saved if at all possible.
ACTION REQUIRED: You need to obtain
costs on repairing the windows.
Finally, a general and random selection and inspection
of the fascias and soffits, windows and doors and any exposed timbers,
has been made visually to give an over-view of the general condition.
Please also see the Internal Joinery section.
The external decorations act as a protective coat
for the building from the elements. Where this protective covering has
failed, such as with flaking paintwork, the elements will infiltrate
the structure. This is of particular concern as water is one of the
major factors in damage to any structure.
Generally in reasonable condition, although dirty,
with the exception of the windows which are in poor condition and obviously
need major repair prior to redecoration.
Finally, ideally external redecoration is recommended every four to
five years dependent upon the original age of the paint, its exposure
to the elements and the materials properties. Where painting takes place
outside this maintenance cycle repairs should be expected. Ideally redecoration
should be carried out during the better weather between mid-April and
Please see our comments in the External Joinery section.
CEILINGS, WALLS, PARTITIONS AND FINISHES
In this section we look at the finish applied to
the structural elements such as the plasterwork applied to the ceiling
joists, walls or partitions, together with the construction of the internal
walls and partitions. The concept of internal finishes is relatively
modern. Partitioning developed originally to separate the livestock
from the human occupants. Finishes have developed from this very functional
beginning to their decorative nature of today.
From our visual inspection
of the ceilings and our general knowledge of this age and type
of construction we believe that the ceilings are likely to be
originally lath and plaster, although we believe that the newer
work is plasterboard, and possibly plasterboard has been tacked
over the original lath and plaster.
In this age of property, you would expect some minor hairline
cracking to the lath and plaster and possibly areas where the
plaster has lost its key or bond to the laths.
ACTION REQUIRED: General
filling of any movement cracks with flexible filler and redecoration.
Plasterboard that has hidden the defects in the ceiling, but we
can see already the plasterboard beads are rusting (this is because
internal beads have been used rather than external, which are not
resistant to dampness).
Lath and Plaster Defined
Laths are thin strips of timbers which are fixed
to the structure. Wet plaster is applied to the laths, usually
in several layers. The plaster forms a key as it is forced between
the laths. This plaster, once dry, is given further coats and
often a decorative finish.
Common defects with this type of plastering are that the laths are
placed too close together or too far apart therefore the plaster
cannot form a key. It can also deteriorate due to dampness within
the structure, general vibrations, structural movement and age.
Internal Walls and Partitions
We found the walls to be studwork although we think
the studwork is quite dense; by this we mean that the timbers are relatively
close together and/or there is insulation board in between the timbers.
This type of studwork limits the noise transfer and also if the timbers
are close enough can be structural.
To the perimeter we found some
areas of blown plaster. This is not uncommon in properties of
this age, particularly around the window and door openings and
around the chimney area. When redecorating you may have to do
Finally, ceilings, walls and partitions have been inspected
from floor level and no opening up has been undertaken. The type of
materials employed cannot be ascertained fully without damage being
We cannot comment upon the condition of the structure hidden behind
plaster, dry lining, other applied finishes, heavy furniture, fittings
and kitchen units with fitted back panels.
CHIMNEY BREASTS, FLUES AND FIREPLACES
The fireplace and associated chimney breast developed
from the enclosing of a fire with either bricks or stone. This was still
considered a luxury in the mid 16th Century. Today real fires are often
an added luxury in the sense that the property is heated via a central
They offer a focal point rather than a pure heat supply, which is lucky
as they are relatively poor in their output, offering a maximum of 45%
At the time of the survey no chimneys were in use.
Any chimneys that you do not propose to use should be capped and ventilated
to prevent dampness.
Finally, should you wish to use the fires, it is strongly recommended
that flues be cleaned and checked for obstruction prior to use to minimise
the risk of hazardous fumes entering the building.
Please also see the Chimney Stacks, Flues and Parapet Walls section
of this Report.
Functionally floors should be capable of withstanding
appropriate loading, preventing dampness, have thermal properties and
durability. In addition to this upper floors should offer support for
ceilings, resistance to fire and resistance to sound transfer.
We assume that the ground floor construction was suspended
We believe there is dampness in this structure; it will, therefore,
be causing deterioration to the joist ends.
Suspended Timber Floor
A suspended timber floor usually consists of
timbers spanning the ground floor, supported on piers (usually
brickwork), vented via air bricks within the walls.
No exposure was carried out due to the restrictions
of fitted carpets, floor coverings etc. The comments are based upon
our experience and knowledge of this type of construction.
We have assumed that the first floor construction is
joist and floorboards, as this is typical in this age of property. You
advised us that some work had been carried out to the front middle bedroom.
ACTION REQUIRED: This area needs
opening up for inspection and / or details from the pub company that
carried out the work.
Joist and Floorboard
These are usually at first floor level consisting
of a joist supported from the external walls, either built in
or, in more modern times, sitting upon joist hangers, sometimes
taking additional support from internal walls, with floorboards
fixed down upon it.
In this section we look at any problems that are
being caused by dampness. It is therefore essential to diagnose the
source of the dampness and to treat the actual cause, as there are also
other sources of dampness such as condensation, which may inadvertently
by the inexperienced eye be considered to be lateral dampness or rising
Rising damp depends upon three components, the
porosity of the structure, the supply of water and the rate of evaporation
from the wall surface. The water rising from the ground will tend to
rise in the raw materials and will continue to do so due to capillary
action to varying degrees of intensity and height.
We believe the property has rising damp throughout.
However, we were unable to gain readings to the main bar as it had a
timber dado rail. To the rear of the property, we were able to gain
readings in a few areas.
ACTION REQUIRED: Many surveyors would recommend a damp
proof course is inserted. We feel that with a property of this age it
is more beneficial to the structure as a whole to allow it to breathe
and, therefore, not add a damp proof course. You do, however, need to
be aware that dampness can cause rot to the surrounding structure, and
you’re likely to be getting dampness into the suspended timber
floor. There is very little you can do about this, apart from periodic
repair, and increase ventilation to the cellar / floor area.
Lateral or Penetrating Dampness
This is where water ingress occurs through the
walls. This can be for various reasons such as poor pointing or wall
material, inadequate rainwater goods or corroded downpipes.
Tests were taken with a moisture meter at random points
to internal walls, floors and other surfaces. Our readings were in line
with what we would expect for this age of property, i.e. minor dampness.
No evidence of any significant penetrating/lateral dampness was detected.
This is where the humidity held within the air
meets a cold surface causing condensation.
We can see no obvious signs of condensation, however,
it depends upon how you utilise the building. If you do your washing
and then dry it in a room without opening a window you will, of course,
get condensation. Common sense is needed and a balance between heating
and ventilation of properties. Normally opening windows first thing
in the morning resolves most condensation issues.
With the exception of the bathroom, where we noted
condensation and mould. This, in our opinion, needs a larger extract
fan as the bathroom is internal.
This section looks at the doors and the stairway.
There is a mixture of doors to the property, showing
general wear and tear as one would expect.
We were unable to examine the underside of the stair
timbers due to it being lined with plaster, which precluded our inspection,
so we cannot comment further upon the stair structure. We can, however,
say that the lining plaster gives a resistance to the spread of fire
if such circumstances were to occur.
From our cursory visual inspection the kitchen looked
in reasonable condition, although it has suffered from some minor day-to-day
wear and tear as one would expect. We have not tested any of the kitchen
There is no domestic kitchen. This is likely to be
a problem in years to come.
This section considers dry rot, wet rot and woodworm.
Wet and Dry rot are species of fungi, both need moisture to develop
and both can be very expensive to correct. We would also add that in
our experience they are also often wrongly diagnosed.
Dry rot is also sometimes known by its Latin name
Serpula lacrymans. Dry rot requires constant dampness together with
a warmish atmosphere and can lead to extensive decay in timber.
In the areas inspected no evidence was found of any
dry rot and we feel it is unlikely that it is occurring, given the conditions
Wet rot, also known by its Latin name Contiophora
puteana, is far more common than dry rot. Wet rot darkens and softens
the wood and is most commonly seen in window and doorframes, where it
can relatively easily be remedied. Where wet rot affects the structural
timbers in a property, which are those in the roof and the floor areas,
it is more serious.
To the windows there is visible
evidence of wet rot. Please see our comments in the Executive
As mentioned elsewhere within this report, there is likely to
be wet rot within the floor structure. We recall repairs were
carried out in the cellar area; from the state of the plaster
beneath we still believe dampness is getting through which would
be affecting the timber structure above.
ACTION REQUIRED: Ideally the ceiling
needs to be opened up and this area inspected or, alternatively, the
pub company to advise what work they have carried out, and guarantee
Please see our comments in the Executive Summary.
Active woodworm can cause significant damage to
timber. There are a variety of woodworm that cause different levels
of damage with probably the worst of the most well known being the Death
Watch Beetle. Many older properties have woodworm that is no longer
active, this can often be considered as part of the overall character
of the property. Recent research has shown that many woodworm chemicals
do not actually work and it should be remembered that the chemicals
are poisons. Also, unless great care is taken, the people applying the
treatment can cause significant damage. The woodworm can only really
be seen in action during the breading season, which runs from April
to July. We have therefore tried to take a pragmatic view on this matter.
We have found evidence of flight holes in some of the
timber, which is not unexpected, given the age of the property. We would
suggest that much of the woodworm is actually old and not active. However,
to be on the safe side, you are strongly advised, prior to exchange
of contracts, to engage the services of a reputable specialist timber
treatment contractor to carry out a full inspection of the property
and provide a report and quotation for any necessary remedial treatment
works. The contractor should be prepared to issue a long term insurance
backed guarantee on completion of the work.
Finally, when you move into the property, floor surfaces
should be carefully examined for any signs of insect infestation when
furniture and floor coverings are removed together with stored goods.
Any signs that are found should be treated to prevent it spreading.
However, you need to be aware that many damp and woodworm treatment
companies have a vested interest in selling their products and therefore
have fairly cleverly worded quotations where they do not state if the
woodworm they have found is ‘active’. You should ask them
specifically if the woodworm is active or not.
With paints it should be remembered that up to
1992 lead could be used within paint and prior to this most textured
paints (commonly known as Artex) contained an element of asbestos up
to 1984, so care should be taken if the paintwork looks old and dated.
The trading area is to a reasonable standard. The private
living accommodation would benefit from some making good and redecoration
to brighten it up.
CELLARS AND VAULTS
Cellars and vaults tend to be found in older properties
and offer a useful space, although usually they are damp, unless some
treatment has taken place such as the tanking of the walls, which is
a liming process, or an external damp proofing membrane of some type
has been added, or if internally the walls have been lined, therefore
hiding the damp. Cellars are often susceptible to flooding from excessive
rain, rising water table levels or even blocked drains.
would first of all comment that due to the very nature and location
of cellars they are usually damp. Overall we consider this one
to be in average condition. Due to dampness usually found within
the cellars, we would recommend that only non-perishable goods
are stored in this area.
We were pleased to find a sump pump, which will be beneficial
when the cellar floods, which we are advised it does from time
to time during periods of heavy rain.
The cellar has been repaired over the years with both stone and
brickwork. We feel that a missing factor in the cellar area is
Our view was very limited due to the recent replastering that
has been carried out, although this itself is deteriorating already.
Finally, we have made a visual inspection of the cellar/vault
only and have no way of knowing what the construction is without opening
up the structure.
Please see our comments in the Executive Summary, and the Flooring Section
and the Dampness Section of this Report.
Up until the mid 1940s we did not really consider
insulation in properties, for example it was only in the 1960s that
we started putting insulation in the roof and then it was about 50mm,
in the 1970s this was upgraded to 100mm. Then we started to think about
double glazing and cavity wall insulation. Since then insulation standards
have increased considerably and today we are looking at typically using
insulation not only in the roof but also in the walls, floors and windows
and more recently considerable work has been carried out on how efficient
boilers are within properties. Care has to be taken that properties
are not insulted disproportionately to the ventilation as this can cause
condensation and you should be aware that you need to ventilate any
property that is insulated.
There is no insulation within the roof, which is not
unusual for a public house. If you add insulation you must ventilate
the roofs to reduce condensation.
The walls to this property are solid. It is very difficult
to improve thermal efficiency in solid wall construction without major
alterations. These will usually affect the external appearance or reduce
the internal space.
The windows are single glazed and therefore do not
have particularly good thermal properties.
We noted two boilers to this property. You should have
them regularly serviced for them to run at their most efficient.
Assuming the above is correct, this property is below
average compared with what we typically see.
A security system has been noted. A good alarm system
should not only help reduce break-ins but also your insurance. We are
not experts in this field and therefore cannot comment further. Further
information should be obtained from the vendor and the installer at
a later date.
Smoke Alarms / Fire Alarms
We were advised us that a fire alarm system has been
hard-wired into the property. We have assumed that you have this on
a service contract or regularly checked, and that you have an appropriate
We would always recommend staying with the existing
insurance company, then if there are any problems you should not have
the difficulty of negotiating with two insurance companies passing the
blame between each other.
This survey does not include any specialist reports
on the electricity supply and circuits, heating or drainage, as they
were not requested. The comments that follow are based upon a visual
inspection carried out as part of the overall Building Survey.
Services and specialist installations have been visually inspected.
It is impossible to examine every detail of these installations without
partially dismantling the structure. Tests have not been applied. Conclusive
tests can only be undertaken by suitably qualified contractors. The
vendor should be requested to provide copies of any service records,
test certificates and, ideally, the names and addresses of the installing
The electric fuses and consumer units were located in the lobby
behind the bar. The fuse board looked dated.
We carried out an earth test in the kitchen
area to the socket point that is normally used for the kettle,
this proved satisfactory.
Visible wiring and fittings are a mixture, as is usually
the case within public houses.
You should satisfy yourselves that a suitable number
of power points are available as during the course of the survey we
noted the use of extension leads and adapters and in older properties
there are often a minimal number of power points for today’s needs.
ACTION REQUIRED: If there is no
record of an electrical test having been undertaken within the last
five years, it is recommended that the installation be tested by a
competent electrician (NICEIC registered) and all recommendations
implemented. Thereafter, the installation should be re-tested every
There is very little we can check for in a gas
installation, we do inspect to make sure there is one and that it has
a consumer unit and that the boilers are vented. Ideally you should
have a service inspection carried out by an independent CORGI registered
The consumer unit was not located. We are advised that
it is located outside the back door.
All gas appliances, pipework and flues should be the subject of an annual
service by a competent engineer, i.e., a member of CORGI (the Council
of Registered Gas Installers); works to gas appliances etc., by unqualified
personnel is illegal. Unless evidence can be provided to confirm that
there has been annual servicing we would recommend that you commission
such a service prior to use to ensure safe and efficient operation.
ACTION REQUIRED: As a matter of
course it is recommended that the entire gas installation is inspected
and made good, as necessary, by a CORGI registered contractor. Thereafter
the installation should be serviced annually.
PLUMBING AND HEATING
In this section we do our best from a visual inspection
to look at how the water is supplied to the property, how the supply
is distributed around the property, how it is used to heat the property
and how it is discharged from the property.
We are advised that the controlling stopcock is located
under the kitchen sink. It is important that its presence is established
in case of bursts or leaks. The stopcock and other controlling valves
have not been inspected or tested for operational effectiveness.
It should be noted that the supply pipe from the Water Company stopcock
to the internal stop tap is the responsibility of the property owner.
We cannot comment on the condition of the water service pipe to the
building. It should be appreciated that leaks can occur for some time
before signs are apparent on the surface.
When the taps were run to carry out the drainage test
we checked the pressure literally by putting a finger over the tap and
this seemed reasonable.
The Water Board have to guarantee a certain pressure of water to ensure
that things like boilers, particularly the instantaneous ones have a
constant supply of pressured water (they would blow up if they didn’t!).
Cold Water Cistern
Please see our comments in the Roof section
Hot Water Cylinder
The hot water cylinder is located in the bathroom.
It is relatively new, as it is factory insulated.
The plumbing, where visible, comprises copper pipework.
No significant leakage was noted on the surface, although most of the
pipework is concealed in ducts and floors. In older properties there
may be some lead still remaining.
There are two boilers to the property; one located
in the bathroom and one located in the kitchen. Both are wall mounted.
The one in the bathroom is a Potterton Suprema, and the one in the kitchen
is a GlowWorm Micron. We would always recommend in a public house that
the heating is split between the trading areas and the private living
accommodation, which we assume is what has been done here, although
we have not carried any checks.
Our limited inspection of the hot water and central heating system revealed
no evidence to suggest any serious defects but we would nevertheless
recommend that the system be tested and overhauled before exchange of
contracts and that a regular maintenance contract be placed with an
approved heating engineer.
Finally, it should be noted that the supply pipe from the Water Company
stopcock to the internal stop tap is the responsibility of the property
We cannot comment on the condition of the water service pipe to the
building. It should be appreciated that leaks can occur for some time
before signs are apparent on the surface.
In this section we consider the overall condition
of the sanitary fittings such as the bathroom, the kitchen, the utility
room and the cloakroom.
The property has a three piece bathroom suite, which
is in a below average condition, suffering from more day-to-day wear
and tear than would reasonably be expected. Please note our comments
with regard to condensation in the bathroom area.
Both the public toilet areas are dated. The areas are
worn and would benefit from decoration and general maintenance.
Finally, although we may have already mentioned it above we would reiterate
that it is important to ensure that seals are properly made and maintained
at the junctions between wall surfaces and baths and showers etc. We
normally recommend that it is one of the first jobs that you carry out
as part of your DIY on the property, as water getting behind sanitary
fittings can lead to unseen deterioration that can be costly, inconvenient
and difficult to repair.
The sanitary system, as we know it now, came into
being some 100 years ago during the Victorian era and works so successfully
today it is often taken for granted. It is only in recent years that
re-investment has taken place to upgrade the original drainage systems.
It is assumed that the foul drains from the property
discharge into a public sewer; this should be confirmed by your Legal
Advisor prior to exchange of contracts, who should also provide information
in respect of any common or shared drains including liability for the
maintenance and upkeep of the same.
We have not lifted any manholes or inspection chambers.
We feel that the only way to properly check a drainage system in a public
house is to have a closed circuit TV camera inspection, as drains are
usually old and dated and are heavily used.
Where there is a catering element to the business, such as this one,
a grease trap is recommended, though they are costly.
Rainwater/Surface Water Drainage
We have been unable to determine the ultimate means
of rain/surface water disposal, however much of it seems to deposit
directly onto the ground outside the property.
Rain/surface water drains have not been tested and their condition or
effectiveness is not known. Similarly, the adequacy of soak-aways has
not been established although you are advised that they tend to silt
up and become less effective with time.
Finally, rain/surface water drains have not been tested and their condition
or effectiveness is not known. Similarly, the adequacy of soak-aways
has not been established although you are advised that they tend to
silt up and become less effective with time.
Please also see our comments within the Gutters and Downpipes section.
We note that the boundary wall has been partly rebuilt. We also note that the original plaster wall has bonding timbers in it, indicating that it was likely once to form part of a building. Unfortunately, bonding timbers can rot over the years, which is maybe why the large portion of wall fell over when the car drove into the wall.
Here, if you look closely,
you can see the bonding timbers in the wall.
Finally, whilst we note the boundaries, these may not be the legal
boundaries. Your Legal Advisor should make further enquiries on this
point and advise you of your potential liability with regard to any
shared structures, boundary.
|POINTS FOR YOUR LEGAL ADVISOR
|If you decide to proceed with leasing this property,
a copy of this should be forwarded to your Legal Advisor for
their comments. We generally recommend they check the following
||Responsibility for boundaries.
Rights for you to enter onto the adjacent
property to maintain any structure situated near or on the
boundary and any similar rights your neighbour may have to
enter onto your property.
||Obtain any certificates, guarantees or approvals in relation
||Timber treatments, wet or dry rot infestations.
||Rising damp treatments.
||Roof and similar renewals.
||Central heating installation.
||Planning and Building Regulation Approvals.
||Any other matters pertinent to the property.
Confirm that there are no defects in
the legal Title in respect of the property and all rights
associated therewith, e.g., access.
||Rights of Way e.g., access, easements and wayleaves.
||Liabilities in connection with shared services.
||Adjoining roads and services.
||Road Schemes/Road Widening.
||General development proposals in the locality.
Conservation Area, Listed Building, Tree
Preservation Orders or any other Designated Planning Area.
Confirm from enquiries that no underground
tunnels, wells, sewers, gases, mining, minerals, site reclamation/contamination
etc., exist, have existed or are likely to exist beneath the
curtilage of the site upon which the property stands and which
could affect the quiet enjoyment, safety or stability of the
property, outbuildings or surrounding areas.
Our Report assumes that the site has
not been put to contaminative use and no investigations have
been made in this respect.
Any outstanding Party Wall Notice or
of the knowledge that any are about to be served.
We strongly recommend that Envirosearch
or a similar product is used by your Legal Advisor to establish
whether this area falls into a flood plain, old landfill site
etc., and brought to its logical conclusion. If your Legal
Advisor is not aware of the system please ensure that they
contact us and we will advise them about it.
Commercial properties are covered by
the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Work
Place) Regulations 1997, and the Disabilities Discrimination
Finally, an extract from the book “Sold”!
“When you receive your full structural survey (now known as a
Building Survey) or House Buyers Report, do remember that you have requested
a list of the property’s faults so it is unlikely to make cheerful
reading. Every property has its faults but what you are looking for
are the serious ones. If your Report does reveal a serious problem that
you had not anticipated when making your offer, the first thing to do
is to decide whether you want to take on the repairs if an adjustment
is made to the price. If you do, then get quotes for the work as quickly
as possible and present your case in a fair manner. Most people are
reasonable under such circumstances and will compromise but inevitably
there are those who are sufficiently confident of their position to
say take it or leave it. In a very active market, prices may have moved
up sufficiently to cover the extra expenditure in theory and the vendor
will not hasten to point this out but remember that he has probably
got a vendor pressing him to proceed quickly and starting with a new
purchaser will cause him delay”
It is our policy not to offer a conclusion to ensure that the Building
Survey is read in full and the comments are taken in context.
If you would like any further advice on any of the issues discussed
(or indeed any that have not been discussed!) then please do not hesitate
to contact us on 0800 298 5424.
For and on Behalf of
GEM Associates Ltd
This Report is dated: ??????
The repair and maintenance of houses
Published by Estates Gazette Limited
Life expectancies of building components
Published by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and
Building Research Establishment
By Malcolm Hollis 4th edition published by Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors Books.
House Builders Bible
By mark Brinkley, Published by Burlington Press
Our limitations are as the agreed Terms and Conditions
CONDITIONS OF ENGAGEMENT
The report has been prepared in accordance with our
Conditions of Engagement, and should be regarded as a comment on the
overall condition of the property and the quality of its structure and
not as an inventory of every single defect. It relates to those parts
of the property that were reasonably and safely accessible at the time
of the inspection, but you should be aware that defects can subsequently
develop particularly if you do not follow the recommendations.
We would remind you that this report should not be
published or reproduced in any way without the surveyor’s expressed
permission and is governed by English Law and any dispute arising there
from shall be adjudicated upon only by the English Courts.
This report is for the sole use of the named Client
and is confidential to the Client and his professional advisors. Any
other persons rely on the Report at their own risk.
Although we are pointing out the obvious, our Surveyors
obviously can’t see through walls, floors, heavy furniture, fixed
kitchen units etc. they have therefore made their best assumptions in
As this is a one off inspection, we cannot guarantee that there are
no other defects than those mentioned in the report and also that defects
can subsequently develop.
It should be noted that we are not local surveyors
to this area and are carrying out the work without the benefits of local
knowledge on such things as soil conditions, aeroplane flight paths,
common defects in materials used in the area etc.
It was a cold snowy day at the time of the inspection.
The weather did hamper the survey slightly.
We would add that some defects only become apparent upon physical occupation
or are only present as a result of the extremes of weather (which are
becoming a more frequent occurrence); for example the year 2000 was
the wettest year on record and the 2003 the driest year on records,
this is likely to have adverse effects on lots of buildings in years
The property was occupied and trading at the time of
our survey, which meant that there were various difficulties when carrying
out the survey such as stored items within cupboards, the roof space
and obviously day-to-day household goods throughout the property and
usual items associated with running this type of business. We have,
however, done our best to work around these.
Unfortunately in this instance our inspection has been
very limited due to being unable to access the rear roof properly, or
the roof over the right hand side of the bar, due to the sheer drop.
Our view of the private living accommodation was limited by the amount
of stored items.
INFORMATION ON THE PROPERTY MARKET
We used to include within our reports articles on the property market
that we thought would be of interest and informative to you, however
we were concerned that in some cases these did not offer the latest
information. We have therefore decided to recommend various websites
to you, however it is important to realise the vested interest the parties
may have and the limits to the information.
This records the ownership of interests in registered land in England
and Wales and issues a residential property price report quarterly,
which is free of charge. The Land Registry is a Government body and
records all transactions as far as we are aware, although critics of
it would argue that the information is often many months out of date.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors offer quarterly reports
via their members. Although this has been criticised as being subjective
and also limited, historically their predictions have been found to
be reasonably accurate.
www.halifax.co.uk and www.nationwide.co.uk
Surveys have been carried out by these two companies, one now a bank
and the other a building society for many years. Information from these
surveys is often carried in the national press. It should be remembered
that the surveys only relate to mortgaged properties, of which it is
generally considered represents only 75% of the market. It should also
be remembered that the national coverage of the two companies differs
and that they may be offering various incentives on different mortgages,
which may taint the quality of information offered. That said they do
try to adjust for this, the success or otherwise of this is hard to