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Property Record

Poplar trees destroy Warwickshire country home

A Victorian country cottage was so dilapidated that it may need to be demolished, warned a Chartered Surveyor.

The old Warwickshire farmhouse had been thoroughly extended during the early part of last century and now featured three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Due to the property’s age, our client wisely opted for a comprehensive Building Survey in order to assess the structural integrity of the home. They wanted to ensure that it was not nearing the end of its economic life. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the Chartered Surveyor found.

Poplars blamed for major foundation movement 

The Home Buyers Survey in Warwickshire noted severe cracks running through the brickwork of the kitchen and toilet at the rear of the building. He said that this was evidence of “significant structural movement”.

The grounds of the property had been planted out with poplar trees. These particular trees are very heavy users of water. A grove, such as was planted around this Warwickshire property, would drag much of the moisture from the soil. This can cause terrible damage to a building’s stability, said the Surveyor:

“Tree roots extract moisture, causing shrinkage in the subsoil on which the foundations are bearing, particularly during drought conditions when shrinkage of the subsoil can cause subsidence of the foundations. Conversely, when trees are removed swelling of the subsoil can occur causing 'heave' resulting in upward movement of foundations. ”

Property may be beyond repair

The damage was so extensive, he warned, that the property, which was not listed due to the major extensions, might not be worth saving.  

The Home Buyers Survey reported that:

”The cost of remedial work may be so prohibitive that you may find that total re-development of the site is the only viable economic proposition for the property. ”

With this in mind, our client would have been wise to find another country home, preferably poplar free.

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