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Property Record

Surveyor says Hertfordshire home requires DIY verve

Mr and Mrs H were deliberating about buying a former local authority house in Hertfordshire. They asked Fridaysmove to organise a HomeBuyer Report on the property. They were advised that the property was a reasonable purchase, if they were prepared to do some home handiwork.

A DIY to-do list for Mr and Mrs H’s Home Buyers Survey

The 1960s property was at the end of a cul-de-sac in an area of similar terraced housing that formed part of a housing estate. The houses had been attractively redecorated. The Chartered Surveyor returned with a list of minor repair jobs that promised to keep them both busy if they decided to purchase the property.

Luckily for the Hs was that most of the repairs could be done by any relatively keen individual who knew which end to hold a hammer. This could save them large amounts on contractors fees. The repairs included:

  • Defective mortar pointings for brickwork joints on the chimney, repointing was required.
  • The HomeBuyer Report noted: “To the rear, especially adjoining the kitchen entrance door, the ground level was too high in relation to the damp proof course resulting in virtual bridging which could lead to internal damp problems. Ideally there should be a gap of at least 150mm between the damp proof course and ground level in order to prevent bridging problems occurring. ” This could mostly be achieved with a shovel and some sweat.
  • There were some polystyrene ceiling tiles in the bathroom that represented a fire hazard and should be replaced.

Asbestos tank removal requires expert, says Surveyor

There were, however, some concerns regarding the asbestos cold water tank, that would need a contractor’s eye.

The report from this Home Buyers Survey in Hertfordshire said:

“The [water] supply is taken to an original asbestos cement cold water storage tank within the main roof space. This type of material is now considered to be a health hazard and we therefore advise that the tank should be replaced with plastic or similar. Removal of the asbestos tank will need to be undertaken by a specialist contractor in order to comply with statutory health regulations. ”

Asbestos tank were commonly used in the council housing projects of the 1960s. The material was preferred because it was lightweight, easy to manufacture and resistant to fire.  

Mr and Mrs H would have either been pleased or perturbed by their HomeBuyer Report depending on their DIY tendencies.

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