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Building Survey and Report on Pantycapel Whitemill Carmarthen SA32 7HB

Prepared on behalf of Mr and Mrs Sendall

Date of Inspection 13 July 2010

Inspecting Surveyor Lloyd Jones, BSc MRICS

© Fairwood Survey 2010 Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


1.0

INSTRUCTIONS This report has been prepared following your instructions dated 9 July 2010 and in accordance with the Building Survey terms of engagement as provided to you. The property was inspected on the 13 July 2010 and was found to be fully occupied and furnished at the time. The weather conditions at the time of inspection were overcast with light intermittent showers. This was preceded by a period of fairly mixed and unsettled weather. This report should be construed as a comment upon the overall condition of the property and the quality of its structure and is not an inventory of every single defect. Whilst reasonable skill and care has been exercised in undertaking the inspection, it must be emphasised that some areas are concealed or are inaccessible, and no warranty is, therefore, given or implied. Where additional investigation has been recommended, it is essential that these issues be thoroughly investigated before you enter into any legal commitment to purchase the property. Where we have highlighted concerns regarding the possibility of defects to unseen areas, it may not be possible to fully establish the nature and extent of the defect(s) without causing significant damage to finishes etc. You may find it difficult to secure permission from the current owners for such invasive and destructive exploratory works before exchange of contracts. In such instances we are unable to accept any liability for unforeseen defects and expenditure and we would recommend that you consult us before proceeding with your purchase.

2.0

THE PROPERTY

2.1

Description and Location The property comprises a two storey detached dwelling house situated within a rural setting approximately 3 miles from the market town of Carmarthen. The property fronts the Local Authority maintained highway and includes gardens to the side and rear together with off-road car parking. The original property is likely to date from around 1870 and it would appear that the property was originally constructed as two semidetached cottages. These have been incorporated into one dwelling at some point in the past.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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There is evidence of some previous refurbishment works to include renewal of the external rendered finishes although we understand that this work was undertaken in excess of 20 years ago. There is a small single storey bathroom and WC addition although again this is likely to be in excess of 50 years of age. 2.2

Accommodation The property provides the following accommodation:Ground Floor – Entrance door leading to porch with adjacent bathroom and separate WC, kitchen with stairs rising, living room, rear dining room with central heating boiler and door to side, sitting room. First Floor – Landing, three bedrooms. It should be noted that the third bedroom is accessed through the front left-hand bedroom. Externally, the property benefits from limited off-road car parking although access is fairly narrow at present. There are also enclosed side and rear gardens together with an attached garage to the left-hand side of the dwelling.

2.3

Tenure, Building Regulations, Planning and Environmental Issues Note: If the property has had structural alterations, extensions or similar, then these will be inspected, if appropriate, as part of the property. No check will be made as to whether or not Planning Permission, Building Regulation Approval, or other necessary consents have been obtained, unless specific instructions are given prior to the survey or the relevant approvals are made available from the vendor/occupier, at the time of the inspection, but in all cases your Solicitor should check that the necessary approvals have been obtained.

We understand the property is to be sold freehold. This should be

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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confirmed by your legal adviser. The property has been the subject of some past alteration to include for example the single storey side addition. In view of the age of alterations however these are unlikely to have required Planning or Building Regulation Approval. 4

The property is situated within a radon affected area and further advice can be obtained from the Health Protection Agency. There are no other significant adverse environmental issues to our knowledge. 2.4

Occupation and Furnishings The property was found to be fully occupied and furnished at the time of inspection. In addition, fitted carpets and floor coverings remain throughout the property and this prevented a detailed inspection of the floor areas.

2.5

Special Hazards Evidence of significant dampness was noted particularly to the gable elevations. Internal areas have been partly dry lined in an attempt to conceal the levels of dampness. As a result we have significant concerns regarding the potential for significant timber decay and rot within these areas. Significant opening up and further investigation will be required together with appropriate remedial works.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


3.0

EXTERNAL

3.1

Roof Coverings, Associated Flashings and Roof Valleys The main roof areas are of a pitched gable design covered externally with natural slates. The roof is of an asymmetrical pitched design with a rear catslide type roof. The roof coverings to the front slope have been re-laid over underfelt which provides a secondary barrier to rainwater penetration.

We are advised by the seller that these works were undertaken within the last ten years. As a result the front roof areas were generally noted to be in a reasonable state of repair for their age and type. The rear roof slopes are original however and as a result do not benefit from underfelt. In addition the slate coverings themselves are in a deteriorating condition with evidence of delamination to the slates together with deterioration of the nail fixings.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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In view of the general defects noted and the condition of the coverings, we would consider it appropriate to allow for re-covering of this area at the earliest opportunity. This will require Building Regulation Approval. At this time some general repairs and making good to underlying structural timbers will also be necessary together with the provision of underfelt. In view of possible proposals for relocating the bathroom to the area to the rear of the kitchen, this opportunity should be taken to consider the provision of dormers or similar to provide additional headroom. This will require Planning Permission and further advice should be sought from the Local Authority in this regard. The single storey attached bathroom and WC area also has a slate covered roof. This area is fairly basic with no flashings provided between the junction of the roof and the adjacent wall area.

Whilst there are no indications of significant internal rainwater penetration at present, in view of other recommendations in respect of this area, general upgrading or removal will be required. 3.2

Main Roof Space There are various accessible roof spaces within the property. There is an access hatch within the kitchen giving access to the rear void above the kitchen area. There is a further access hatch within the rear left-hand bedroom which gives access to the corresponding roof space above the rear dining room.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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Finally, there is an access hatch to the first floor landing which gives access to the main roof space. Our inspection of all roof spaces revealed the roof structures to be of a traditional design comprising timber rafters and purlins supporting the external coverings. 7

The roof coverings to the front roof have been renewed, as outlined previously, and this area has been provided with underfelt. This provides a secondary barrier to rainwater penetration. The roof coverings themselves were noted to be in a poor state of repair to the rear with evidence of significant delamination to the slates confirming the poor external condition of the coverings.

We are of the opinion that these are in need of complete renewal and you should instruct a roofing contractor to advise accordingly. Whilst the roof timbers appear generally reasonable at present, there will no doubt be a need for some general strengthening and appropriate repair during re-covering works to ensure long term stability.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


Insulation has been provided within the various roof spaces. This is a mixture of fibreglass quilt and a blown cellulose type. This has been poorly laid and is uneven. In addition it does not meet current recommended standards. Following replacement of internal ceilings and works to the external roof coverings, subsequent upgrading of insulation should be allowed for. We would also recommend upgrading of ventilation to the roof spaces at this time to minimise the risk of future condensation. 3.3

Chimney Stacks, Flashings and Parapet Walls The property has been provided with two rendered chimney stacks situated to the main ridge area. Both appear to have been the subject of some past repair to include the renewal of the rendered finishes.

There are indications of dampness penetration to the chimney breast masonry at first floor level although there are no significant signs of external defect. The flashings to the base of the stacks are of a sand and cement type. These are prone to cracking and leakage. During works to the external roof coverings, we would recommend that the flashings be upgraded and the chimneys inspected and improved as necessary. The property was originally provided with a further chimney stack to the rear roof slope although this has been previously removed and the masonry taken down below roof level.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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3.4

Rainwater Goods, Soil and Waste Pipes The rainwater goods are of PVC. These were generally noted to be in a reasonable state of repair although it was not raining significantly at the time of inspection. We would recommend that the installations be inspected during a period of heavy rainfall and some general realignment and attention will no doubt be required. The downpipes are fairly basic. The front downpipe discharges directly onto the ground adjacent to the base of the walls. This is not ideal and is likely to be contributing to internal dampness issues.

The downpipe to the rear right-hand corner is detached from the lower section and this is also likely to be causing some wetting of the adjacent wall area.

The downpipes will therefore require a general programme of overhaul and improvement.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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In addition, in view of recommended works to external paved areas, we would recommend that rainwater dispersal arrangements be upgraded at this time and where appropriate new intermediate gullies be provided connected to new soakaways within the garden areas. There are no visible external soil pipes. The waste pipes to the rear kitchen and bathroom area are clearly in a basic standard and are in need of upgrading and replacement. This should be undertaken in conjunction with works to the kitchen and bathroom areas.

3.5

Main Walls The main walls appear to be of solid stone masonry construction and as outlined the property was originally constructed as a pair of semidetached dwellings. The external walls have been the subject of some repair to include renewal of the rendered finishes at some point in the past. The existing rendered finishes are of a textured sand and cement type. There are indications of significant past structural movement to the external walls with evidence of distortion and misalignment to a number of elevations together with significant cracking, particularly around window and door openings. Buildings of this age and type are prone to ongoing movement and whilst significant cracking was noted at the time of inspection, this is considered to be within acceptable limits for a property of this age and type and there are no indications of any significant ongoing structural defects.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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However, the extent of cracking noted externally would suggest some deficiencies and ongoing defects within the underlying stonework to include possible deterioration to load bearing lintels.

The rendered finishes themselves are in a very poor state of repair to all elevations with extensive cracked and blown sections noted. The rendered finishes will therefore require complete removal and subsequent re-rendering. At this time, the underlying wall surfaces should be inspected and significant repair to areas of cracked and defective stonework are likely to prove necessary to include some possible partial rebuilding to worst affected areas. Load bearing lintels above window and door openings may well be of timber and where rot has occurred this may be contributing to the cracking as noted. In such instances replacement will be required. Properties of this age were originally constructed using lime base materials. Sand and cement renders are particularly inflexible and incapable of dealing with the inevitable seasonal and thermal movement Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


within the underlying masonry. In addition, sand and cement renders are impervious to moisture and can trap moisture within the underlying wall and prevent evaporation of moisture. This can contribute to internal dampness problems. In view of the age of the property, you may wish to give consideration to the use of sympathetic conservation materials including lime based mortars and rendering. We would recommend that further specialist advice be sought in this regard. A former window opening to the right-hand gable elevation visible within the roof space above the kitchen has been blocked up. There is evidence of some decay to the timber lintel above this window and this may be contributing to the associated external cracking. Replacement and repair will be required.

The finishes to the rear elevation are a mixture of sand and cement pointing where patch repairs have been undertaken together with areas of older lime pointing.

These areas are fairly basic and stonework and pointing should be Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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refurbished to include raking out of defective pointing and rendering or repointing to match. Extensive cracking was noted to the left-hand gable elevation above the garage area together with corresponding internal dampness. Again complete renewal of render will be required. 13

The single storey side addition is of part solid stone construction to the rear, although the remaining areas are of single skin 100 mm brick construction. This is considered sub-standard and significant internal dampness and condensation is considered inevitable with walls of this type. In view of the general standard of construction we would consider this area beyond reasonable repair unless significant rebuilding works are undertaken. Complete removal is considered a more realistic solution. 3.6

Damp Proof Course and Sub - Floor Ventilation There are indications externally that the property has been provided with a chemical injection damp proof course. Your legal adviser should make enquiries regarding the extent of works undertaken and the availability of any long term transferable guarantees. Modern remedial damp proofing methods are seldom fully effective in walls of solid stone masonry construction although we would refer you to additional comments within 4.5 below. There is no requirement for sub-floor ventilation. The rear paved path is fairly basic and uneven. Rainwater is likely to be collecting at the base of the wall and this is likely to cause internal

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


dampness. We would recommend that paved areas be excavated and relaid ensuring that they finish at least 150 mm below internal floor levels and that a fall is provided to channel rainwater away from the base of the external walls. This work should be undertaken in conjunction with upgrading works to the rainwater gullies and drainage system.

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3.7

External Joinery Windows and doors have been replaced with fairly modern double glazed PVC units. Whilst of a reasonable standard at present, these are out of character with the property and you may wish to consider longer term replacement with more sympathetic materials and styles. Your legal adviser should make appropriate enquiries regarding the availability of any guarantees for the windows. The perimeter seals to double glazed units are particularly prone to failure and this can lead to misting between the two panes of glass.

3.8

External Decorations External decorations are fairly basic at present. In addition however significant and complete redecoration will be required following completion of all required external refurbishment works to include renewal of rendered finishes.

4.0

INTERNAL

4.1

Ceilings The internal ceilings are of a very poor standard with evidence of some do-it-yourself repairs. The ceilings include sections of plasterboard

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


together with a more basic and lightweight panelled finish to some areas.

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In view of the general condition of the ceilings as noted at the time of inspection, we are of the opinion that complete replacement is the only realistic option. We would therefore recommend that you budget accordingly.

This opportunity should also be taken to allow a more detailed inspection of the first floor joists. We do have concerns regarding the potential for timber decay and rot within the floor itself and any necessary strengthening and repair work should be undertaken at this time. This opportunity should also be taken to allow upgrading works to the electrical, plumbing and heating installations as these are currently of a poor standard and exposed on the surface in a number of areas. The timber panelled ceilings at first floor level are also clearly basic and ideally we would recommend that these be replaced. Alternatively significant refurbishment and repair will be required.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


The polystyrene ceiling tiles within the ground floor WC are a fire risk and complete upgrading of this area or removal has been recommended in any event.

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4.2

Walls and Partitions The internal walls and partitions are a mixture of plastered solid masonry together with sections of lightweight timber framed studwork. There are indications that the property has been the subject of a fair amount of upgrading to include renewal of internal plastered finishes. This is likely to have been undertaken in conjunction with remedial damp proofing works. In general however we would advise you that the standard of internal finishes to the wall areas is poor. Extensive evidence of rising and penetrating dampness was noted, particularly to the gable elevations at both ground and first floor level. These areas have been partly panelled over with a plasterboard dry lining. This may be in attempt to conceal the levels of dampness identified.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


Under the circumstances, complete stripping out and upgrading of these areas will be required and in conjunction with appropriate remedial works, complete renewal of defective areas of plasterwork will be required.

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The timber stud partitions are clearly of a lightweight standard and again are poorly finished. Significant renewal and upgrading will be required together with improvements to the finishes. There are indications of past settlement to a number of internal walls with misalignment and distortion, particularly of internal door frames. This largely appears to be an established feature although again some making good to the plasterwork will be required. There is some cracking above the door opening created at first floor level to the top of the stairs which gives access between the two original dwellings. The timber lintel to this area is likely to require replacement to ensure long term stability of the stonework above and repairs will therefore be required.

The wall areas to the ground floor WC have been dry lined internally. As outlined previously these walls are of a sub-standard form of Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


construction and complete demolition or removal of this area is considered appropriate. The tiled finishes to the bathroom areas are clearly defective. 4.3

Chimney Breasts and Fireplaces There are chimney breasts within the front ground floor reception with corresponding masonry above and within the roof space. The right-hand fireplace has been provided with an open grate whilst there is a modern inset gas fire to the left-hand sitting room.

Service records in respect of the gas fire should be made available and it should also be confirmed that all flues have been swept and inspected regularly. Evidence of dampness penetration was noted to the chimney breast areas throughout the ground and first floor accommodation and significant external remedial works are required. There is also an original chimney breast within the rear dining room although as outlined previously the external chimney stack has now been removed. 4.4

Floors The ground floor is of solid construction and visible areas appear to have been re-laid in concrete. Our inspection was severely limited due to the presence of fitted floor coverings and we are unable to confirm that all areas have been provided with a suitable damp proof membrane.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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Where visible however the floor areas appear generally level and firm. Evidence of dampness was noted to the floor to the front right-hand corner of the living room adjacent to the front right-hand corner of the dwelling. This may be as a result of the associated dampness noted within the wall area although opening up and further investigation is required in conjunction with remedial works. 19

The solid floor to the single storey addition is clearly uneven and defective with evidence of significant dampness. As outlined previously removal of this area in its entirety has been recommended although if this is to be retained then complete renewal of the floor will be required.

The first floor is of suspended timber construction. There are boxed-in beams within the principal reception rooms. These are likely to be concealing steel or timber beams which in turn are likely to be providing support to the first floor timber joists. These beams could not be inspection and their adequacy could not be confirmed.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


The front section of the boxed-in beam to the living room bears on the masonry directly above the front window. This appears to have caused some cracking. In conjunction with renewal of the plasterwork and opening up of the floor structure, the adequacy of the lintel above this window should be confirmed to ensure that there are no ongoing structural defects. 20

The suspended timber first floor is clearly basic and uneven with evidence of significant deflection, largely concentrated to either side of the intermediate supporting beams referred to above. There are also significant concerns regarding the potential for timber decay and dry rot within the concealed floor structure due to the significant dampness present within the external walls. In conjunction with works to the ceiling areas below, we would therefore recommend that all floor timbers be inspected and repaired as necessary. Some re-levelling and upgrading is likely to prove necessary at this time together with appropriate strengthening to ensure longer term stability. Where visible, the first floor timber floorboards have in part been overlaid with hardboard. The timber boards themselves are likely to be in a fairly basic state of repair and replacement is likely to prove necessary. The existing ceiling joists within the rear roof voids above the kitchen and dining room are unsuitable for any additional loading and if this area is to be utilised as accommodation in the future, then the provision of new floor joists will be required to current Building Regulations. 4.5

Dampness Tests were taken internally with an electronic moisture meter to random wall, floor and other surfaces.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


Our inspection revealed evidence of significant dampness to a number of areas although the main areas are concentrated to the left and right gable elevations at both ground and first floor level. For example, significant dampness was noted to the entire right-hand side wall of the living room adjacent to the fireplace and this also extends partly across the front elevation and the corresponding areas at first floor level above this section are also badly affected.

This area has been partly dry lined in an attempt to conceal the dampness although we have significant concerns regarding the potential for decay to the adjacent timberwork. The dampness as noted is likely to be primarily as a result of the defects to the external rendered finishes and complete renewal has been recommended. In conjunction with such works, complete renewal of damp affected internal plasterwork will be required together with inspection of the solid concrete floor and intermediate timber first floor. Further dampness was noted to the left-hand gable elevation within the sitting room and bedrooms above. Again, this is largely as a result of defective render and significant repairs and opening up will be required. Elsewhere, isolated areas of apparent rising dampness were noted, for example to the wall adjacent to the base of the staircase. This has caused some timber decay to the lower step of the staircase. This area does not appear to have been subject to previous remedial damp proofing works and as a result we would therefore recommend that you instruct a specialist damp proofing contractor to inspect the entire property and to advise on all required works. Again renewal of damp affected plasterwork to these areas will be required.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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Elsewhere a number of wall areas have been panelled and again this may be in an attempt to conceal underlying dampness and defective plasterwork. Complete stripping out and opening up will be required to allow a more detailed inspection. Significant dampness was noted to the floor of the single storey addition and this floor is defective as outlined previously. In addition, the wall areas are also of a sub-standard form of construction and removal has been recommended. 4.6

Internal Joinery Internal joinery is clearly of a poor and basic standard throughout. Whilst some past refurbishment and replacement has been undertaken this has been completed to a poor standard. As a result, you should allow and budget for complete replacement of internal joinery to include internal skirting boards, doors and door frames etc. The timber staircase appears generally serviceable in the main although there is evidence of some early rot to lower timber sections and some repairs will no doubt be required in conjunction with damp proofing works. The kitchen fittings are clearly defective and basic and you should allow for complete refitting of the kitchen. At this time upgrading of plumbing and waste installations will also be required.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


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The built-in cupboards are also of a poor standard and again complete upgrading will be required. 4.7

Internal Decorations Internal decorations are fairly marked and basic throughout. However, in view of the significant programme of internal refurbishment required, complete subsequent redecoration should be anticipated.

4.8

Woodworm, Dry Rot and Other Timber Defects Our inspection revealed no significant current woodworm activity although given the age of the property, there is likely to be some activity within concealed floor timbers. During opening up works, timber areas should be inspected and any necessary remedial works undertaken. We have significant concerns regarding the potential for significant dry rot and timber decay within the property in view of the levels of dampness noted and the potential for decay within concealed adjacent timberwork. The extent of any decay can only be established following fairly significant and disruptive opening up works and this may not be possible prior to purchase. Under the circumstances therefore you should only proceed with extreme caution and on the understanding that significant additional costs may become apparent once full opening up becomes possible. In the first instance we would recommend that you instruct a damp and timber specialist to inspect the entire property where possible to advise on likely required works and to provide an estimate of costs.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


4.9

Thermal Insulation The standard of thermal insulation is fairly basic. Following the required programme of refurbishment upgrading of insulation to the main roof spaces is recommended. In view of the substantial works required to the external wall areas you may also wish to consider the provision of insulation to the wall areas internally at this time and this would significantly reduce heat loss.

4.10

Cellars and Vaults None.

5.0

SERVICES Note: The condition of incoming gas, electricity and water mains, prior to their entry into the premises cannot be commented upon. Similarly, the condition of the drainage beyond the last accessible manhole within the boundaries of the property cannot be commented upon.

5.1

Electricity The property is connected to the mains electrical supply with the meter and consumer unit located within the dining room.

The installations have been the subject of some previous updating although these works were completed some considerable time ago and the installations appear to fall some way short of current standards. The installations are likely to require a fair amount of updating and attention to ensure longer term safety and at this time improvements to the wiring installations would also be of benefit to include concealed wiring within the opened up floor structure. There are also inadequate power sockets and this in itself is considered a safety hazard. Upgrading Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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should be allowed for. Under the circumstances you should arrange for an electrical contractor to inspect the installations prior to entering into any legal commitment to purchase and to provide appropriate estimates on all required works. 5.2

Gas/Oil There is no mains gas supply available. There is an oil storage tank within the side garden area and this appears satisfactory.

Oil installations should be inspected annually by an OFTEC registered installer. There is also an LPG bottle supply serving the gas fire within the sitting room. Again these installations should be inspected annually by a Gas Safe registered installer. 5.3

Plumbing and Sanitary Fittings The property is understood to be connected to the mains water supply. There is a plastic water main visible within the corner cupboard in the kitchen. Where visible however the installations internally are of a basic standard with evidence of significant sub-standard works have been completed in the past. In view of the required refurbishment and improvement of kitchen and bathroom areas, we would recommend that you allow for complete renewal of the internal plumbing installations to current standards to

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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leave in a satisfactory state of repair.

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The opportunity should also be taken during opening up works to the floor and ceiling areas to allow pipework to be concealed. There are older cold water storage tanks within the roof spaces although these are no longer in use and can be removed. There are also areas of redundant pipework within the former airing cupboard in the kitchen and again pipework can now be removed. The sanitary installations within the bathroom and WC area are clearly of a dated pattern and are considered near the end of their life.

As outlined previously relocation of the bathroom is recommended following demotion of the existing single storey addition. The provision of appropriate plumbing and waste installations will also be required at this time and we would also refer you to comments within 5.5 below.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


5.4

Heating and Hot Water Central and heating and hot water are provided by means of a fairly modern oil fired combination boiler situated within the dining room.

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We understand that the boiler has been serviced regularly and appropriate service records should be made available. The distribution pipework and radiators are clearly of a basic standard and are likely to have been undertaken on a DIY basis. In addition, the small bore distribution pipework is largely exposed on the surface and is unsightly.

In view of the significant internal refurbishment works required, we would recommend that you allow for complete re-plumbing and upgrading of the central heating installations and you should instruct an appropriate heating engineer to advise accordingly.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


You may also wish to give consideration to relocation of the boiler, possibly to the garage or similar as this does occupy a fair amount of space within the current dining room. 5.5

Drainage The property is connected to a private, off-mains drainage system believed to comprise a septic tank situated within the rear right-hand corner of the garden. There is an inspection chamber to the paved area adjacent to the single storey addition and the cover was lifted. Our inspection of the interior of this chamber revealed the underground drainage channels to be of some considerable age, and are likely to be defective. In particular, there is evidence of eroded cement work to the channels within the chamber itself and some of the pipework may be of an older pitch fibre type.

In view of the required relocation and refitting works to the bathroom, together with upgrading works to the rainwater drainage installations, we would consider it prudent to budget for complete upgrading of the underground drainage installations at this time. The septic tank appears to be of a fairly dated concrete block type with two chambers visible. The chambers themselves were found to be full at the time of inspection and as a result no detailed inspection of the chambers themselves was possible. The chambers themselves are fairly deep due to the significant difference in level between the drainage channels and the position of the tank. We are unable to confirm that adequate falls exist although there are no indications of any blockage at present.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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Septic tanks do provide treatment of waste matter but despite this do require regular de-sludging, normally every one or two years. Under the circumstances and in view of the age of the existing installation, we would recommend that you arrange for this to be emptied prior to entering into any legal commitment to purchase. We would then recommend that you instruct a specialist drainage contractor to undertake an inspection of the underground chambers using CCTV or similar to ascertain the condition of the chambers and the need for any necessary upgrading works. In view of the age of the installations and the potential for leakage, again it would be prudent to allow for some additional expenditure in this regard. We are unable to confirm the position or adequacy of the soakaways leading from the septic tank installation and these may well extend into the adjoining farmland. Your legal adviser should make appropriate enquiries in this regard to include ascertaining the availability of any easements or similar.

We have provided additional advice under separate cover regarding Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


septic tank installations and their use. 6.0

THE SITE

6.1

Boundary Walls and Fences The boundary wall to the front parking area is clearly basic and requires rebuilding or significant repairs and re-rendering. In addition, we would recommend that the existing vehicular access be enlarge to allow easier access. Remaining boundary areas have not been inspected in detail although are likely to be of a basic post and wire fence type. Following clearance of the garden areas some upgrading of boundary fencing will no doubt be required.

6.2

Driveways Paths and Patios Surfaced areas around the dwelling are fairly basic and uneven and as outlined previously, we have recommended re-laying of the path areas, particularly to the rear to ensure adequate dispersal of rainwater. The driveway and parking area is fairly basic and would benefit from some future landscaping and resurfacing.

6.3

Gardens and Trees The garden areas are currently overgrown and neglected and will require a significant amount of attention to leave in a satisfactory state of repair.

6.4

Garage and Outbuildings The property benefits from a basic attached garage.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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This is of single skin block masonry construction and has been provided with a lightweight polycarbonate translucent roof.

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The garage itself is generally considered reasonable for its current use although being of single skin construction will be prone to some ongoing dampness and condensation. General maintenance and some future improvement will be required. 7.0

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

7.1

Summary The property comprises a traditional detached cottage situated within a rural setting and benefiting from enclosed side and rear garden areas. The property is of some considerable age and appears to have been the subject of a fairly basic programme of past refurbishment and improvement and we have significant concerns regarding the poor standard of works undertaken and the significant potential for concealed defects. Under the circumstances we would recommend that you only proceed with extreme caution and as discussed, we would also recommend that the purchase price be renegotiated to reflect the significant expenditure required. In view of the levels of dampness noted internally, we have significant concerns regarding the potential for concealed timber decay and dry rot and extensive opening up will be required to ascertain the extent of defects. The property will require extensive refurbishment, both internally and externally, to include for example complete renewal of external rendered finishes as well as renewal of rear roof coverings and removal or rebuilding of the existing side bathroom area. Internally, the wall areas will require extensive repair and renewal of plasterwork and the floor and ceiling areas also require significant

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD


refurbishment. upgrading.

Service installations are also basic and in need of

It is essential that you obtain detailed estimates and reports on all required works prior to entering into a legal commitment to purchase and it remains however that there is the further potential for concealed defects to be present resulting in additional unforeseen expenditure due to the nature of previous works undertaken and the extensive concealed sections internally. 7.2

Recommendations This report should be read in its entirety although for ease of reference some of the main issues have been identified below. It is essential that you obtain detailed estimates and reports on all required works prior to entering into any legal commitment to purchase in order that you are fully aware of your future financial obligations. Some of the main issues include the following:i. ii. iii.

iv.

v. vi. vii.

viii. ix. x. xi. xii.

Replace defective slate roof coverings to rear roof slope together with any necessary repairs to underlying timberwork. Overhaul chimney stacks to include upgrading of flashings. Overhaul rainwater goods to include repairs to downpipes and provision of new underground rainwater drainage system to soakaways. Hack off defective and cracked rendered finishes to all external elevations. Inspect exposed stonework and carry out repairs to external walls to include replacement of external lintels where required and appropriate stitch repairs and rebuilding to areas of cracked stonework. Seek further specialist advice regarding use of lime based materials for renewal of render. Demolish or rebuild single storey side bathroom area to current Building Regulations. Arrange for drainage installations, including septic tank, to be inspected using CCTV or similar and allow for all necessary upgrading works, including renewal of defective underground drainage channels. Carry out general clearance works to garden areas. Excavate and re-lay path areas to rear of dwelling to ensure adequate rainwater dispersal. Replace all defective internal ceilings. Expose internal timber floor joists and carry out appropriate repairs including strengthening and re-levelling. Replace defective solid floor to single storey bathroom areas.

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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xiii. xiv. xv. xvi.

xvii. xviii.

xix. xx. xxi.

Replace all areas of damp affected internal plasterwork. Open up plasterwork and floor areas to gable elevations to ascertain extent of any timber decay or rot. Arrange for electrical installations to be inspected and upgraded as necessary. Arrange for complete upgrading and renewal of plumbing installations in conjunction with works to bathroom and kitchen areas. Confirm service records in respect of boiler installation and arrange for renewal of heating distribution pipework. Arrange for specialist damp and timber contractor to inspect entire property and to advise on all necessary remedial works including remedying rising dampness. Replace rot affected lower section to timber staircase. Replace defective and dated bathroom installations. Upgrade kitchen installations.

Lloyd Jones Fairwood Survey 14th July 2010

Fairwood Survey is a trading name of Fairwood Survey Ltd, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 07163373. Registered address – The Estate Office, Prenteg, Heol Smyrna, Llangain, Carmarthen SA33 5AD

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Building Survey