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  Building Survey - Fees     

Homebuyers Survey - Fees 



RICS Surveyors Building Survey report and photographs from a building survey of property near Birmingham


The building


A blocked former coal hole. Unfortuantely this had been the only ventilation to the cellar. Without good ventialtion cellars become damp. Still air also encourages dry rot.

Dry rot infested door frame. The problem with dry rot is that it can travel from a source of moisture to other parts of the building which are dry.

Fungus on a wall. Probably a wet rot.

Beetles also like damp timber. Dust form their boring has been trappd by the cobwebs

Open flued boiler in an unventilated cellar. Extreme danger of carbon monoxide poisioning


Extracts from the Building Survey Report 

Chimney stacks

No significant defects noted.

Redundant flues can be capped and vented to help reduce the risk of dampness.

Roof coverings  No significant defects noted.

The pitched roof covering is however some years old and likely to require increasing maintenance.

The flat felt roof covering of the extension at Shop 21 appears to be in poor condition.

Rainwater pipes and gutters     

No significant defects noted. Vegetation at the SW corner hoper may be indicative of a blockage

Main walls         

No significant defects noted.

Walls are of solid construction and will be cold and prone to condensation.

There has been slightly erosion of the brick and stone blow the shop window of 22 and high on the flank wall. The latter may be associated with acidic condensates from the flues soaking the stone and allowing frost damage.

Out of square openings towards the rear of the property suggest that at some time the property has moved substantially. This is however likely to be historic and unlikely to progress.

It would be preferable if the stone now probably rendered at the head of the front wall had a lead cover to stop water soaking into it and causing frost damage.

There has been some minor erosion of the window sills at the rear.

The north wall of the extension of Shop 21 is disturbed but the movement is unlikely to be continuing and a number of bricks on the north wall have lost their faces.


No significant defects noted.

Ensure that potential tenants are able to escape in the event of a fire.

Outside doors

No significant defects noted.

Conservatory and porches          

There is a porch at the entrance to the flats. No significant defects noted.

Other joinery and finishes         

No significant defects noted although close inspection may reveal areas of decay and the need for routine repair and redecoration. Several glazing panels were fractured. 

Roof structure  

No significant defects noted. There is some evidence of beetle actively but it is likely to be extinct.


No significant defects noted.

The second floor flat has a modest standard of insulation above the ceilings.

Many ceilings may be original and found to be fractured and possibly prone to collapse particularly if decoration is removed.

Walls and partitions      

No significant defects noted.

Walls have been removed to open out the shop at 22. It is not known how the areas above are supported but there is no evidence of any movement. This work is likely to have required building regulation consent.

Some of the plaster may be original and found to be perished, fractured or prone to collapse as seen in the hall and cellar entrance in the flats.


No significant defects noted.

The was some vibration of the upper floors particularly in the first floor flat store/ second bedroom but there was no evidence of a serious structural failure.

The kitchen floor of the first floor flat slopes badly. This is likely to be associated with the historic movement of the property and unlikely to progress.

Fireplaces, chimney breasts and flues  

No significant defects noted.

If the use of any of the flues is important to you have them tested before exchange of contracts. The interiors are likely to be in very poor condition and it would be preferable if any active flues had a steel liner to ensure that fumes cannot escape.

Chimneys on the south side of the property are believed to be accommodated within the thickness of the walls. A chimney breast in the store room of the first floor flat was not seen but may be hidden behind a lining. There was no evidence of any movement of the chimney in the rear bedroom of the flat above.

Built-in fittings (built-in kitchen and other fittings, not including appliances)   

No significant defects noted. 

Woodwork (for example, staircase and joinery)              

The doors fronting the halls and landings in the flats should be improved to have a half hours fire resistance to protect and provide a means of escape for the second floor flat.

Bathroom fittings           

No significant defects noted.


Meters are in the cellar. There are relatively modern consumer units in the shops and flats.

No significant defects were noted but the systems should be tested before exchange of contracts unless there is a recent safety certificate.                        



The supply appears to have been capped off in the cellar.


The stop taps were not seen. Ensure that you can locate and operate them in an emergency.


There is a storage radiator in Shop 22. Other heaters appear to be freestanding convectors. No significant defects were noted but any fixed heaters should be tested before exchange of contracts unless there is a recent safety certificate.

Water heating 

Instantaneous electric in the shop areas. The flats have cylinders with immersion heaters. The cylinder of flat 1 is old and should be monitored carefully as the seams can fail due to electrolytic action.


No significant defects were noted to the above ground drainage.

One inspection cover was opened in the yard of Shop 21. The channel requires swilling.


None noted. 



There is a store and toilet. Parts of the toilet walls are displaced but the movement is unlikely to be continuing.


No significant defects noted. It would be preferable if the copings on the boundary wall were re-pointed to stop water seeping into the brickwork and causing frost damage.


RICS Building Surveys in Birmingham



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