Structural surveys

The causes of problems

Types of movement

Surveys

Why you may need a survey

The most likely reason for needing a structural report is when a property is put on the market and a surveyor asks for a second opinion on some aspect of the building's structure. However, we also undertake surveys:

  • for proposed barn & other building conversions
  • where subsidence or movement has been detected
  • where advice is needed before planning alterations
  • whenever someone needs advice on structural design.

Our investigations

We always try to ensure that we arrange our visits at times that are convenient to householders or contractors. Where required we also try to give a fairly good idea beforehand of how long the investigation will take and what we'll be doing.

Our investigations will involve a visual examination of the problem. Where the problem is in the ground we generally expose the foundations and examine the ground. We may have to auger deeper into the ground to make a judgement as to what load it can support. Samples may be taken for analysis. Where we believe leaking drains to be the problem we like to expose the section of the leaking drain to satisfy ourselves that we have found the cause of the problem. In rare instances, boreholes may be required.

Visible evidence of a leaking drain

Where we believe the problem to be leaking drains we try to find exactly where the leak is. When we can see water dripping from the exposed pipework we know we have found the problem. If the problem is elsewhere we still like to see the problem. This may be as simple as by taking up floorboards to expose floor joists or removing a couple of bricks to examine a steel frame hidden within.

In all cases we make every effort to leave the property in the state we found it in. Where the work required to expose the problem is difficult or extensive we use a separate contractor to carry out the work.

Our reports

Our reports tell you what investigations we have made and an explanation of the causes of the problem. They will also include our proposals for any remedial work to correct it. We can offer guidance for what we think is the likely cost to put the problem right but we usually recommend that our report is given to a contractor for a fixed quotation, particularly where the cost will have a bearing on purchase negotiations.


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