Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 30 total)
  • Full Structural Survey
  • cultsdave
    Free Member

    Evening folks,
    We are looking at buying a new house. It was built by a local builder on an existing plot. We are very fortunate to have been offered some early inheritance to go towards the cost. The issue is the inlaws are insisting that for us to get the money we should get a full structural survey. This to me seems totally pointless on a new build home. It will have had buildings control involved through the process. Had planning etc. I am assuming but don’t know for sure that it will have some sort of warranty/guarantee.
    I really struggle to understand what the engineer could find out. Does anyone have any opinions or experience on this?
    Much appreciated.

    Bear
    Free Member

    I’ve worked in remedial works on new build. I’ve seen houses demolished because they have been built so badly but signed off by building control…..
    Also worked on claims that have ended up being more than the cost of the property as when the work is started many more faults are found.
    I’d ask to see some of his other properties that he has built and speak to the home owners…..

    ThePilot
    Free Member

    Is it new new? I mean, has it ever been lived in? It will almost certainly have snagging issues if it’s brand new. Not sure a survey would pick up on those or not.
    You might want to get a professional snagging inspection though.

    As for the in laws, well surveys aren’t terribly expensive so it might be worth getting the cheapest one you can to satisfy the in laws.

    House building warranties are pretty useless by many accounts.

    Dickyboy
    Full Member

    New builds and ancient houses probably the most needy of proper surveys, get it done and stop looking a gift horse in the mouth.

    cultsdave
    Free Member

    Yes it is brand spanking new.
    It was built by burns construction Aberdeen
    https://www.burnsconstruction-aberdeen.co.uk/
    And I think its a scotframe bespoke build.
    We only spoke with the developer not the builder. I have no concerns, it is very solidly built.
    Fully aware of snagging issues, and again not too concerned.

    Greybeard
    Full Member

    A small local builder put up six houses on a plot near us. The drains had to be dug up and relaid after people had moved in. Then he started another six on plot nearby, went bust with 3 houses complete up to roof level, and the buyer demolished the lot.

    Lots of faults in new houses https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000t4l3 – there’s no reason why they have to follow the ‘bathtub curve’ but they do.

    Whether a structural survey as such, by a structural engineer, is the right thing, or a good look over by somebody who understands all the things that can be built badly, not just structure but drains, electrics, plumbing…

    ThePilot
    Free Member

    My solicitor bought a new build.
    Had 120-ish tradesmen through the house in the first year.
    Nothing major, just snagging issues.
    Don’t underestimate the effect snagging issues or worse can have on your health.
    I was stupid enough to buy a house with a dodgy roof. I have had nothing but grief over the shambles caused by a cowboy roofer and the hassle of getting it fixed for almost 18 months now. Had a huge effect on my mental health. Still not fixed.
    Trust no one and take every precaution you can would be my advice.
    Edited to say, don’t know if a structural survey is what is needed but do what you can. Good luck!

    bruneep
    Full Member

    If it pleases them why not do it? Olds have their ways sometimes its best to go with the flow rather than battle them, if they are gifting you money why fight it.

    son bought a Persimmon home. that should’ve had warning label on it.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    If it was completed in Aberdeen this year

    I wouldn’t count on building control having had anything to do with it at more than arm’s length.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Firstly, it’s their money – you want it, you do as you’re asked.

    Secondly – this was in the news today – maskes you think….

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56376112

    cultsdave
    Free Member

    Full Member
    Firstly, it’s their money – you want it, you do as you’re asked.

    If it was generally accepted that it was a waste of money I would pass that information on to them and they would appreciate it as they wouldn’t want to waste money. The general opinion so far on here though is that it is worth it. My concern is that would just be a tick box exercise as I don’t understand what surveyor’s can do to a new build. How can they check the foundations or that the walls are constructed properly? The house has stood unsold for 2 years as it was overpriced. There is no evidence of structural movement in that time.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    I’m tickled pink by your faith in new houses. Aren’t new houses frequently of piss poor quality?
    Not that a full SS would pick anything useful out. It’d just say
    We recommend getting a damp expert in.
    We recommend getting the gas tested.
    We recommend getting a …..

    etc

    cultsdave
    Free Member

    Its not been built by a large building company. It was built by an individual developer using reputable companies.
    The house feels well built, not like the papermache new builds put up by many others. My faith is mot in the new build my query is in what a structural surveyor can actually achieve by viewing a fully finished home. I was simply asking if a structural survey on a new build is worth the paper its written on or would it just be a tick box exercise.
    Like I said above it sounds like the general opinion on this forum is that it is worthwhile.

    cultsdave
    Free Member

    Not that a full SS would pick anything useful out. It’d just say
    We recommend getting a damp expert in.
    We recommend getting the gas tested.
    We recommend getting a ….

    This is exactly my query, is it worth the paper its written on?

    jerseychaz
    Full Member

    It very much depends on what you want to know and what you instruct the surveyor to examine – Homebuyers Reports are done to a template to make them affordable. A “full structural survey” is meaningless as they are bespoke products. A Building Surveyor doesn’t have the expertise to comment on electrics, gas, plumbing and the like but should be able to address damp, build quality and pick up any issues. But it will be spendy and not quick.

    Bear
    Free Member

    In my experience the bigger house builders have lots of smaller issues, it is the smaller developer sites which have major issues. Currently working on 4 basements that need re-waterproofing, now we’ve stripped the places out we can see just how badly they’ve been built.

    avdave2
    Full Member

     This to me seems totally pointless on a new build home.

    You clearly don’t know much about new builds! 😀

    it’s the house that has been there a hundred years and not fallen down that you can have a little confidence in, not the one built last week for a quick profit.

    cultsdave
    Free Member

    When I say it seems pointless on a new build, what i mean is how would they find the issues? There is no evidence on subsidising no cracking to plasterboard etc. My concern is that it would just be a tick box exercise as I do not understand how they would notice potential issues that would be hidden from any sort of view.
    It is not that I think new builds are perfectly built i am fully aware of the pitfalls.

    cultsdave
    Free Member

    now we’ve stripped the places out we can see just how badly they’ve been built.

    Exactly this. How would getting a structural survey done find the issues without stripping things back? This is why I think it will be pointless. Does anyone know what a structural engineer would do to confirm it was built correctly? I do not hence the question. There is no evidence of cracking or leaks anywhere. Building has been up for nearly 2 years.

    jeffl
    Full Member

    The reality is that you need the money from the in-laws. To access that money you need a survey, just get it done.

    It may show something up, it may not show something up. But ultimately you’re using it as an enabler to get the money.

    I expect the in-laws just have your best interests at heart.

    bedmaker
    Full Member

    If it’s just a tickbox excercise to get the money, find teh cheapest you can get hold of. A tickbox excercise is all it will be.

    I know a surveyor who does home report type stuff for estate agents, these are sometimes driveby, or google streetview if the house is on the outer isles…

    I really don’t see how a proper structural survey can involve anything less than digging down to the founds for a look, or seeing hard evidence of the material that went in there at building stage. Not tickbox. Not cheap!

    I’d have plenty faith in a small local builder, looking at the ones I see around here, than a big national outfit.

    cultsdave
    Free Member

    Bedmaker, this is exactly my concern.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Your other option perhaps is if you know a decent builder or property professional ask them to give the house a look over.

    If it was me i would be wanting to look under the floors and in the attic to make sure its all up to standard and also a proper inspection of the services to make sure they are up to standrds

    poly
    Free Member

    This is exactly my query, is it worth the paper its written on?

    Sounds to me like its worth quite a lot to you if it releases a chunk of free cash. Your inlaws want to make sure you don’t get stung, using the approach they’ve used in the past – it might not be strictly necessary but I’d suggest it could be useful:

    – building control inspections here have been done by Zoom. They actually had no idea I was in my own house not next door.
    – building control don’t always spot big issues, especially on new builds – I know someone who had to move out for months after it emerged the joists were all the wrong spacing on a big name builders house
    – you will (should) have a NHBC style guarantee with a new build – but it will be a lot easier to see and spot a problem before you buy than make a claim

    But if you want to get value why not get the surveyor to essentially help with the snagging? A full structural survey shouldn’t be a tickbox – that’s valuation / home report territory. I’d call a surveyor and see what they say.

    The issue may be the developer – because its not common they may be disinclined to cooperate. That will depend on the market and also how worried they are that the surveyor starts questioning things.

    dafydd17
    Free Member

    Bearing in mind that a surveyor is likely to recommend getting services inspected anyway, why not do that directly? Get an electrician, plumber and gas installer (if relevant) to look at their areas of expertise, and certify them. A structural survey should tell you if the roof is properly constructed, levels of insulation are up to scratch etc, but you should be able to do that yourself to an extent. (As an example, if the house has never been lived in, it may not be apparent if the sewers don’t drain very well).

    Greybeard
    Full Member

    Does anyone know what a structural engineer would do to confirm it was built correctly?

    Checking new houses are built to the plans is not something a structural engineer would normally do (I am a retired structural engineer). You’d need one to check an old house (or one that had been extended), or if there was evidence of instability, or you wanted to do modifications, and could ask one to check a new house but it would be unusual unless you had reason to suspect a problem. As I wrote, above:

    Whether a structural survey as such, by a structural engineer, is the right thing, or a good look over by somebody who understands all the things that can be built badly, not just structure but drains, electrics, plumbing…

    Any problems are likely to be in those areas. I would check with your inlaws that they really understand what a “full structural survey” is, and whether they actual mean a “full survey”.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    Greybeard has written perhaps word for word what I was going to do, apart from the retired part.

    On a new build – so something that hasn’t been modified, and unless it’s something weird, like a huge mansion, or hanging off a hill side, then there is not much structurally to talk about, at least not without ripping it to pieces and digging down and exposing the foundations.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Unless they are going to X-ray the foundations or dig inspection pits etc, I don’t really see how a surveyor (of any sort) could tell that it’s been built OK. Eg take RSJs / I-beams, you’d have to remove the double layer of plasterboard etc to check the gauge and that the plinths were topped with two courses of engineering bricks etc – which is pretty invasive….

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Get in the roof space and check the roof trusses wall plates etc get under the floor and check the joists and support for the stair, check services up to scratch. You might not be able to get under the floor but might be able to use a fibre optic

    You will not be able to see everything by any manner of means but thats the sort of stuff I would be wanting checked as well as more cosmetic stuff

    Fantombiker
    Full Member

    There was an earlier suggestion to check on other builds the builder has recently done. I think this is a very good idea Knock on their doors and ask them if they had any problems. A builders honesty and quality will be quickly ascertained. For example.., how did they manage the snagging …

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 30 total)

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