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Some Things Never Change

Wednesday, 24th November 2010

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Author: Peter Barry

I have been working as a Building Surveyor in London and the South East since 1972 and much of this time has been spent carrying out surveys and valuations of residential property.  Over the coming months I will be writing on the blog about common building defects that I find when carrying out RICS Homebuyer Reports and Building Surveys.

Talking about ‘blogs’ makes me realise how much things have changed since I started as a trainee surveyor in 1972.  In those days we produced our reports using typewriters and copious amounts of Typex, P.C.s were only found walking the beat, I found my way around London using an A to Z and mobile phones hadn’t even been heard of.  Surprisingly, buildings haven’t changed a lot over that time! I’m still surveying the same types of houses and finding the same defects that I was finding nearly 40 years ago.

The one thing that has changed, however, is the value of property and with that the public’s expectation of how a building should perform.  What used to be accepted as typical defects in older buildings, such as damp, woodworm and a bit of historic structural movement now cause much greater concern to a potential purchaser than they used to.

Over the coming months I will be looking at the main elements of typical house, much as I do when I am carrying out a survey, and talking about the defects that are typically found, how to identify them, how to repair them and what might happen if you do nothing about them.

Usually when I am carrying out a survey on site I start at the top of a building and work down. I will generally be doing the same with my blog posts dealing with elements like chimneys, roofs, gutters, external walls, windows etc.  I may occasionally go off script and deal with other issues if they seem relevant at the time, but that is the overall plan.