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Home buyers Survey Photographs of a 1900 Birmingham Semi Detached House by our Independent RICS Chartered Surveyors

Typical semi-detached three storey house with cellar from just before WWI. The Roof surface is life expired and has also distorted due to a sub standard structure which has probably resulted from having to accommodate the dormer window. There are no fire doors on the landings or halls to protect the occupier of the roof void rooms or to allow an escape corridor. The garage roof was also like expired due the slates delaminating and the structure was also substandard and had a decayed joist end. Boundary walls had suffered considerable loss of their faces. Yew trees in the garden are extremely toxic and a beech tree is a maintenance liability and may have protection order. The period nature of the house and others in the road means it is likely to be in a conservation area.

 

 

 

 Front view. 1900's semi detached property with purpose built attic rooms and cellar.

 

The dormer window has compromised the roof structure resulting in the dishing that can be seen between the chimney and the dormer

The ceiling sags towards the dormer inside the roof void room.

The arch has been repointed with a modern cement. This type of property should be pointed with a lime based mortar which will help remove moisture from the wall. The modern cement will not hold water resulting in moisture drianing through the bricks which can then be subject to frost blowing off the faces. The lime mortar is also flexible and able to accomodate some movement in the building preventing fractures and snapped bricks.

This tie has been added to apparently restrain the face of the roof although the purpose of this is not clear.

The slates which are formed of layers of compressed mud are delaminating due to over one hundred years or freeze thaw action. The slates are however good resistors of moisture and make excellent damp proof courses. The most likely cause of the roof reaching life expiry will however be corrosion of the nails that hold the slates to the battens.

 

The sag on the battens nearest to the wall is due to the end of the rafter having decayed and no longer being attached to the wall.

The horizontal timber is considerably undersized for the span.

The affects on the undersized structure can be seen in this roof forming dish shapes.

 

Typical fracture of an old ceilng where the plaster is secured by forcing it through timber laths. The this sections of plaster between the lathes are brittle and easinly snap due to thermal movement and vibration. The ceiling is at risk of collapse if the ceiling paper is removed.

 

These original doors are inadequate from protection agasnt the spread of fire. They should be repalced with half hour fire resisting doors to protect the occupiers of the attic rooms and provide an escape corridor to an an external door.

 

AGas fire in a bedroom which is dnagerous due to the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. The fireplace is interesting in that it probably dates from the 1930's some time after the house was constructed.

 

Interesting internal downpipe arrangement for the rain water goods. The pipe eventually terminates at a gully in the cellar floor.

 

The low level of the window cill in this second floor bedroom is a risk to small children who may lean out of the window.

Frost eroded bricks that will eventually have to be cut out at some expense.

A small shrub is groiung from the mortar joints of this butress and will force the bricks apart.

This tree is leaning on the wall. Trees leaning on walls are a commn cause of failure.

 

A yew bush. Beware such bushes are highly toixic.

Fabulous beech tree but a maintenace liability.

A new timber has been bolted to the side of an existing floor joist probably due to the end decaying where it sits in the wall.

 

Slate being held up by a creper where the batten is missing. Such creepers can be strong and force timbers and roof coverings apart as well as clogging rainwater goods.

 

 

 

 

 

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