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Property Record

Building Survey in Northampton finds a 17th Century gem

A remarkable 17th Century thatched cottage has been assessed by a Building Survey in Northhampton.

The Chartered Surveyor who attended the cottage found a little piece of history tucked into a residential area of Little Billing, Northhampton. The 1960s housing development that surrounded the property only served to highlight its beauty and exceptionality.

Surveyor in Northampton looks for defect common to Jacobean buildings

Houses of this age and condition are mandatorily placed on the Listed Buildings register. The Building Survey in Northampton noted that this places restrictions on the style and amount of improvements and repair that owners can carry out. Often repairs will have to be conducted by specialist tradesmen using traditional materials.

A Surveyor assesing one of the structure will look for a series of typical ailments. Common problems with houses of the era include:

  • Walls bowed and not in plumb.
  • Rough roofing timbers that are invariably infested with wood boring insects.
  • Wood built in contact with damp masonry – comes under attack from fungus and deathwatch beetle.
  • Floors built directly onto the earth creating problems with rising and penetrating damp – no damp proof course was originally installed in these properties.

Classic problems all observed during Building Survey in Northhampton

In the case examined by this Building Survey in Northhampton the classic defects were all present. The Chartered Surveyor noted:

  • A consistently high level of damp within the walls. While a chemical damp proof course had been injected, its effectiveness would need testing.
  • Wood boring insect infestation was evident throughout the older structure. The vendor advised that it had been treated. The seller was advised to ascertain the extent of this treatment.
  • The thatched roof would need to be inspected by a master thatcher to recommend “the likely programme of refurbishment that will be needed within the forthcoming years”. The Surveyor noted that thatch properties are normally more expensive to insure than those with conventional roofs.

Building Survey in Northampton reports property will need extra (not excessive) care

It was with these defective areas in mind that the Surveyor had to decide whether to commend the property to the buyer; or to warn them away. In this Northhampton Building Survey, his decision was tempered by the antiquity of the building.  

“As with any older period property there are various inherent defects and shortcomings and regular maintenance repairs are essential to ensure the condition is maintained to a satisfactory standard. The level of maintenance required will be higher than that required in a more modern dwelling. ”

Like inheriting an old dog – the four-century-old home had a gentle and settled nature. But it would require a little more care. With this in mind the Chartered Surveyor was able to recommend to the client of this Building Survey in Northhampton that the property was a viable proposition; although it would also represent a labour of love.

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