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Hisurv Ltd

0141 237 9491

We undertake surveys to suit clients needs. It's hard to define exactly what we do, because every instance is different.  When we do a survey, we first look at the house as a whole.  When was it built?  What is it built from?  

We build an understanding of what we are looking at - it's old - it's built with lime mortar, it has solid walls - we start to understand some of the basics.  We look at materials - stone, brick, timber.. Next, come alterations - what have people added to it - and how.  

 

Built with what?  Are they legal?  Are there modern changes to a Listed Building for example that might not have Listed Building Consent? We examine setting within the landscape - wind, rain, land slope. Ground levels - how they affect the way the house weathers...

 

Drainage - where are the drains - do they work, how are they affecting the building?  The roof - I call it the 'Tin Hat' - what are the roof and chimneys like - roof drainage - gutters and so on.. Walls - painted with plastic, causing damp, have the Wallies stuck holes everywhere and damp-proofed it... 

Internally, we spend a long time looking at the structure - it takes ages to get under the skin of a building, and figure out how it ticks.  

 

I follow my nose a lot - damp problems smell - mould makes me sneeze - I like to crawl around and get stuff up my nose - you dont need fancy meters for that.  When you have a feel for where there may be problems, the next step is diagnosis.  Usually, the external examination has told you what to look for - so you can look for what you think will be there - it usually is. Floors - what are they - how are they laid. What's been done.  

 

Roof - timbering - how old, does it tell us about the history of the place - often the roof space tells us more about the house than anywhere else - and it's nearly always overlooked by surveyors.  Wiring, Plumbing - we may not be electricians, but we've nearly all wired houses, and know what to look for - similarly with plumbing.

 

Structural issues are often complex - but when you see the number of houses that we do, you get a good feel for what is going on - and whether you really DO need a structural engineer. Dont forget they can't tell you anything more than we can - they can only look, and base their findings on the same observations - but sometimes I'll suggest we check the loadings on a beam, or whether a ceiling should have the weight on it that it appears to have.   Bathrooms are terrible for this - sometimes I almost expect to see a large tin bath with half a ton of water in it appearing through the floor...

Our reports are based on the things we find - they aren't tick box - they are descriptive of the house and its history - they describe the materials used, the faults, and potential costs.  I am constantly amazed to see that surveyors will not put numbers to costs.  My clients know that cost is only rough - but they would prefer a ballpark figure than 'Seek specialist advice'... they are paying, supposedly for a specialist... so that person should be able to put some sensible numbers to what the place will cost to put right.  About the only 'specialist' that I'll sometimes suggest is the man with the CCTV drain survey kit - he's more important than most people think - and I always like to get a drain survey done if I can.  I've a few horror stories on that one.. I'm not afraid to kill a sale if I think my client can't afford it - I want them living in a nice house, safe, warm and secure - and able to pay for it.  My London counterpart, Richard, is the same - he has restored old houses, and knows what they cost - so when Richard is working on a survey, he is always talking numbers.  In Scotland, John works the same way - he understands the Scottish weather too!

 

 
Where do we do surveys?

We do surveys all over the country.  We have an office in London, another in Cumbria and one in Scotland. We offer a full service in Scotland.  I have recently done surveys in Co. Durham, Yorkshire, Northumberland Lancashire, Cheshire, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, London and the Home Counties, Lincolnshire, Warwickshire, Monmouth, Wales, Powys, Humberside, Leicestershire, Cotswolds, Bedforshire, Herefordshire  - you name it - we've been there...  

These tend to be a variety of purposes - some are timber frame surveys, some timber and damp surveys, and some are specialist surveys of Listed Buildings.  

Building Surveys