webuser_115571720

Homebuyer Survey detected structural issues!

T C
12 days ago

ii all

I'm a FTB and have just had my homebuyers survey report back. The house is an end terrace c.1980s and looked in good condition when viewed, I've just had the survey back and my first thought is I've essentially paid for someone to tell me they couldn't properly comment on things "walls covered by wallpaper so prepare for unforseen so rated red", "floors covered by carpet so prepare for unforseen so rated red" - it has thrown up some things that I have no idea if it is just surveyor backside covering or worth pursuing, would be great to get your guys input.

Main points for concern below (worth noting there is no extension to the property so not sure where thats come from)

What would you do?
"There are cracks noted to the extension walls where they meet the house external walls. It is considered likely to be a consequence of differential movement. Differential movement occurs when independent structural components are adjoined at different parts of the building, and often suffer settlement and or minor movement at different rates, and can be more prone to changes in climate and subsoil conditions - It can however, also occur due to a lack of adequate lateral restraint, which is the method in which the extension walls are tied in to the main walls. Whilst these are not likely considered serious it will be prudent to monitor for any progressive movement. If further movement and or cracking does occur I recommend you seek immediate further investigation. (Future repairs may be required). I recommend raking out the defective mortar and replacing with a waterproof expansion joint. General maintenance and repairs will be required. There is evidence of undulation (and or bulging), notably to the rear and gable elevation. Bulging in external walls are a result of decreasing wall stability, these defects can be a symptom of, but not to be considered exhaustive: 1) Longstanding historic and or ongoing progressive movement 2) The original walls being insufficiently thick in comparison to the building height. 3) A lack of restraint between the external walls for example, cavity wall tie failure. There are also a number of minor to moderate cracking and disturbed masonry"

"Therefore the indications to the external walls show signs of considered cavity wall tie failure. Wall tie failure can also sometimes be identified by the horizontal external and or internal cracking that results from the expansion caused by the rusting process, however, can present itself in diagonal external and internal cracking and or bulging brickwork. It is considered the extent of associated concerns to the main walls will likely result in expansive remedial works, which are likely to require remedial action considered above simply the replacing the failed cavity ties. I recommend you instruct a qualified contractor who specialises in cavity wall tie failure to undertake further investigation, and provide report upon the necessary remedial works. This will allow you to understand further the extent of concerns and the remedial action required with associated cost factors. In addition, there should be a lintel/arch over every external window and door opening to support the weight of the wall above. Lintels are often hidden within the structure and are unable to be assessed. It should be duly noted properties of this archetype, can have concerns with lintels, being prone to corrosion failure, and or the absence of lintel support altogether. There are indicating signs that there are potential prominent concerns to some of the supports, if any. There are openings which appear to have moderate cracking and or expansion in the adjacent and above brickwork, commonly associated with lintel concerns. This can affect the surrounding brickwork. If left it can lead to more serious stability issues. It would be prudent to undertake necessary further investigations of the external opening supports and undertake necessary remedial works. General maintenance and repairs will be required. Due to the observations made to the property, and considered potential structural concerns, we would strongly recommend you instruct a qualified structural engineer to undertake appropriate investigations, and a full structural assessment of the property, to ascertain the extent of concerns highlighted, and provide report upon any related remedial proposals."

"However, the more prominent cracks, i.e rear bedroom , which may correspond with the defects noted in Section E4 - External Walls. Due to the observations made to the property, and considered potential structural concerns, we would strongly recommend you instruct a qualified structural engineer to undertake appropriate investigations, and a full structural assessment of the property, to ascertain the extent of concerns highlighted, and provide report upon any related remedial proposals."

Comments (8)

  • Sarah L
    12 days ago

    Surveys always look more scary than they are because the surveyor has to cover his back. But, I would get the structural issues checked out. Is the house a standard construction?

  • T C
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Think i will go to structural just to put my mind at rest, house is standard construction end terrace c. 1980s so if this falls they all do ;)

  • Jonathan
    12 days ago

    I think you have to weigh up the cost of further investigations versus the ease of finding another house.
    I think this surveyor has covered his back but having had that report you have to either investigate further or walk away- you don’t currently have enough information to renegotiate the price

  • T C
    Original Author
    11 days ago


    crack in question (second floor)

  • Sarah L
    11 days ago

    I have mortar cracks like that. Probably nothing to worry about since may have occurred when original windows were replaced. I presume there's no cracks on the inside?

  • T C
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    Hi :)


    There is one in the back bedroom but not corresponding to the outer one by eye - however survey said it *may* be related hence suggest structural etc. I've just been to have another look at the house and all the houses in the terrace (and indeed the close next door) have same cracks in same places. called Family friend builder beforehand and said about wall ties and his first reaction was it's normal by the sill and nothing to worry about" - appreciate builders arent structural surveyors but has relaxed me somewhat

  • debzip
    10 days ago

    Many years ago I had a job where I saw plenty of reports. These particular observations were not standard comments on every report (some comments for example about drains used to be as they can’t inspect).
    My understanding is homebuyers is quite limited and is really only an extended look over a house. Basic valuation is a very quick look round to establish the price. Structural report involves pulling back carpet, maybe drilling in walls and a lot more involved. Not every seller will be happy for your surveyor to do these things to their home.

    By you choosing the homebuyers report makes me think you wanted more detailed information about the property condition.

    This is likely to be your most expensive purchase. If the surveyor has recommended strongly a structural engineer inspects the property I personally wouldn’t ignore this.

    Yes you could have surveyor go round and all be fine potentially wasting their fee or it could identify a problem potentially saving you thousands.
    In either case it would give you peace of mind about what you are actually buying.

  • T C
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    agreed :) I've pressed ahead with the GSI and its booked in for two weeks

United Kingdom
Tailor my experience using cookies

By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. Learn more.