SURVEYING THE SCENE: No smoke without fire…

Welcome to the first of our new ‘Surveying the Scene’ columns from our Director Ian Lee.
In a lighthearted look at the world of surveying – with some serious messages – Ian has spelled out the dangers of leaping into DIY home improvements without thought.

Most of us have seen those DIY disaster programmes on primetime TV following the (mis)fortunes of distressed householders as their homes crumble around them.

As chartered surveyors, we often see properties featuring the latest fashions – whether it’s open plan living or kitchen-diners – and we also gain a ‘behind the scenes’ view of the consequences when home improvements go wrong.

At first sight, some refurbishment projects may seem pretty impressive but there can be more to it than meets the eye.

Often there is no smoke without fire, quite literally in some cases. One of the most worrying examples I have seen in more than 20 years of surveying in and around the area involved a house where the chimney stack remained on the roof, was removed from the loft, remained in the bedroom but had been removed from the ground floor.

The most alarming thing was that there was no support to the bits of stack remaining anywhere at all!

There is a serious side to this, not least the danger and damage. And then there’s the potential cost of repairs as well as the risk to any sale if a property is under offer.

In actual fact, the house with the dissected chimney was declined for mortgage purposes as a direct result of the DIY work and the sale collapsed.

This also hammers home – excuse the pun – the importance of using experienced local property professionals for all of your needs, whether it is for surveys, building or design work.

They will be aware of local issues and potential problems, and be better equipped to deal with all the local authorities.

Make sure the Portsmouth Property Association (PPA) is your first choice. It all stacks up – unlike the chimney!

Welcome to the first of our new ‘Surveying the Scene’ columns from our Director Ian Lee. In a lighthearted look…

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