The skeleton structure of the property is frequently concealed by plaster/render/decorations/coverings and we have to interpret the condition of cracks and distortions of the building together with the age of decorations to undertake our work. We also use our knowledge of the area (often first hand but also geological maps), proximity of trees and drains and general topography.
We prepare site notes and appropriate sketches and/or photographs and then prepare a report.
When inspecting flats or apartments, maisonettes in multi demised buildings, our specific comments only relate to the particular demise in question, unless specifically agreed beforehand.
No exploratory work is carried out during an initial inspection. This is rarely practical, particularly during ‘point of sale’ inspections and clients do not wish to pay for something that might not be required. We do not disturb fittings or move furniture, floor or wall coverings or lift manhole covers or test drains. Foundations obviously remain hidden. We are not concerned with superficial cracks or non loadbearing elements and do not provide a schedule of all defects noted.
Our report strives to explain matters in day-to-day language but some technical jargon is sometimes unavoidable.
We aim to be as specific as possible, but occasionally the cause of an apparent defect is simply not clear. Further, more intrusive investigations are sometimes necessary. Sometimes the cost of further investigation might be more than the cost of simple repairs, which MAY rectify the matter. If defects re-appear then clearly further investigations may be required.
We indicate the relative severity of any problems and the sort of measures that might be involved in repair or further investigation as appropriate.
Our reports do not include specifications, drawings, or calculations, as the requirement for these are unknown at the time of appointment/ agreement of fees; we are pleased to prepare such further advice by later agreement, if our initial report makes recommendation for remedial work or more detailed investigation. Further advice is charged on an hourly rate basis, to be agreed with the engineer .