Principal: Steve Butler MRICS Chartered Surveyor
Open 8.30am to 6.00pm
Building Survey - Fees
Homebuyers Survey - Fees
RICS Help to Buy Valuations in Lichfield
About Steve Butler Surveyors
Steve Butler is an independent Lichfield and Rugeley area surveyor with over thirty years experience of surveying in the Lichfield and Rugeley area. Steve Butler has worked near to Lichfield and Rugeley all his life and is thus very familiar with the area. Our surveyors undertake surveys and valuations of residential property and houses in Lichfield and Rugeley for all kinds of purposes. We are interested in pre-puchase Level 2 Homebuyers, Level 3 Building Surveys, Help to Buy Valuations and valuations for matrimonial, insolvency and taxation purposes. Our surveyors aim to try and provide a rapid respone but with a high level of service based on our expert knowledge of Lichfield and Rugeley, impartial advice and to be seen as entirely trustworthy. Property matters can be very worrying. You can invariably e-mail our surveyors between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm six days per week if you have a problem you don't understand ad expect an early reply.
Render was indicative of problems with the chimneys one of which leaned. Dishing of the face of the roof caused by inadequate horizontal timbers that support the rafters had been repaired by installing new structural timbers and wall on which they are supported. Our surveyors had concerns about the suitability of the blocks used to construct the new supporting walls. Vegetation in a gutter was a sign that it is collecting silt due to a poor fall and that it may be at risk of leaking on to the easily penetrated solid walls. Another gutter had come apart and was a serious threat to the property. The property had suffered typical movement above a bay window either due to the timber being slightly undersized decayed or having shrunk as it dried out. An unusual defect was the lifting of a engineered timber floor covering. Our surveyors considered that it was most likely that the floorboards beneath have been removed to lay pipe and wires and then not re-nailed. In winter when the timber is damp it swells but is no longer restrained by the nails enabling it to life upwards
Steve Butler RICS Chartered Surveyors have been undertaking surveys and valuation of residential property in the Lichfield Rugley and south Staffordshire area for over twenty five years. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is the organisation responsible for the training and regulation of Chartered Surveyors. To market themselves as Chartered Surveyors, surveyors must be either a RICS Member (MRICS/FRICS) or a Firm Regulated by the RICS, so you can be assured that your survey will be carried out by a fully qualified regulated professional. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is an independent professional body established by Royal Charter. Since 1868 the RICS has been setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity. It is the world's leading professional body for qualifications and standards in property infrastructure and construction.
Our house and residential property surveyors undertake Level 3 building and structural surveys and Level 2 Hombuyers Surveys on all types of houses and residential property in Lichfield and Rugeley. If you are you buying a property in Lichfield and Rugeley then a pre-purchase Building or Homebuyers Survey may help avoid future expenses. We specialise in surveying and valuing residential property in Lichfield and Rugeley for all kinds of purposes including Help to Buy, housing association shared ownership sales, matrimonial matters, probate and insolvency and bankruptcy. We are also highly experienced in as Independent Experts for residential property in Lichfield and Rugeley in respect of matters such as valuation, boundaries and construction disputes.
A CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT CHEAP SURVEYORS REPORTS
We recently had to clear up on behalf of a client who had opted for a survey from one of our cheaper surveyor allies.
The surveyor had not bothered to move the remains of a bed in an otherwise empty house to get in to the attic. It took us about 30 seconds.
The roof had a number of snapped rafters as an original slate surface had been replaced with heavier concrete tiles. Expensive!
The surveyors had not opened the drain cover as it was supposed to be corroded in. Again it took us about 30 seconds.
The drain was of course blocked due to a problem with the channel
The surveyor offered some advice about dampness. The suggestion was completely unnecessary and put everybody in the house at risk of burning to death as the suggestions severely compromised the fire protection of the property. In this case particular important, as it was three stories plus cellar and likely to be in multiple occupation.
We were able to advise the client against that course of action saving potential prosecution/ closure by the Environmental Health Officer.
By doing only half a job and not stopping to think about the content of the report they were naturally able to be much quicker and cheaper. But not so cheap in the long run!
RICS Building Surveys provides a more detailed picture of a property’s construction and can be carried out on practically all residential properties.
The report is bespoke and tailored to your requests.
It is most suitable when the building is less conventional. This could be because it is very old, it has been built using unusual construction methods, or it is dilapidated. Similarly, it can be very informative if a building has been extensively altered.
An RICS Building Survey will tell you about the condition of the property including the state of the chimneys, roofs, rainwater goods, roof edges, walls, floors, ceilings, partitions, windows and doors. We can tell you whether there is any structural movement or settlement, wet rot, dry rot, woodworm or damp problems. We give you an overview of the services such as the electrical installations, boiler, central heating, hot and cold water.
Measurement with a spirt level by our surveyors suggested that the top fifteen course of bricks are out of plumb by 150mm from above the point at which two purlins bear into the gable wall. The top ten course of the wall are built with a single skin of bricks and are likely to be unstable. The the likely cause of the leaning wall is failure to ties it into the structure at the time of construction.
Our surveyors suggested that the top fifteen courses of brickwork should be rebuilt with a 225mm wall that is inherently more stable. Straps set into the centre of the wall can be secured to the roof structure. The straps can be secured to the existing longitudinal timbers and to planks screwed across and perpendicular to the rafters just below each side of the apex. 18mm x 120mm x 2.4m floor boards or similar would suffice.
Sadly in this instance the purchaser had relied on a mortgage valuation for the purchase of the late 1920's house which is thus about ninety years old. The surveyor thus had no duty to report the leaning wall to the purchaser as he was only worried about his mortgage lender. The purchaser will now have to stand the cost of about £250.00 of labour and about £750.00 of scaffold if the wall is to be properly repaired by rebuilding it. A homebuyers survey by Steve Butler Chartered Surveyors Lichfield and Rugeley would have cost about £400.00.
A standardized report produced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to highlight significant problems and matters requiring urgent investigation.
It is designed to flag up major defects and problems that need urgent or significant attention, because such issues will affect the property’s value.
It is the cost effective choice for the majority of property purchasers.
A valuation of the property and estimation of reinstatement cost for insurance purposes is included as standard in both our Building Survey and Homebuyers Survey reports.
Due to the time taken to measure the property Building Surveys cost considerably more than the Homebuyers Report, however you should bear in mind that they are unlikely to find any serious defects to the property that the Homebuyers Survey and Report will not.
It is considered that the Homebuyers Survey and Report will be suitable for most clients.
Unexpectedly for a modern property our homebyers report surveyors found that it suffered from structural movement of the flank wall, decayed and a fracture of the floor structure.
Our surveyors can help property owners in Lichfield and Rugeley with Boundary and Right of Way Surveys. Steve Butler has extensive experience of writing reports in to such matters including preparing CPR35 complaint reports for court and acting as an expert witness. Steve Butler membership of the Chartered Institution of Legal Executives is a particular advantage when drafting report for the Court and understanding pre-trial procedure. Steve Butler have a very accurate Total Station laser measure which can produce drawings in three dimensions and is particuarly useful for measuring the track and meanders of boundaries in relation to other objects. Plans can often by laid over original conveyance documents using CAD software for comparison purposes.
The claimant wanted to argue she had a right of way with a vehicle from a public car park through a splay that was persistently blocked by the land owner first with a car that was subsequently burnt out and then with bollards. Unfortunately, the judge found she had been using the splay for just short of the twenty years required for a right of way by prescription, she did not have a right of way by conveyance, and that she had not acquired the right of way under Section 62 of the LPA 1925. It was found under cross examination that access to the splay had been blocked by a wall which was demolished less than twenty years ago and that an alternative access had existed at the time which had subsequently become blocked and then re-opened.
Our Housing Disrepair surveyors defend all of the claims against a local authoirty near to Lichfield and Rugeley from their tenants. We are frequently able to throw out the claims made on behalf of tenants by cynical solicitors and surveyors, and on the few occasions of serious disepair ensure that our client can take early action to avert a serious claim and payment of compensation.
A housing disrepair surveyors report revealed that this Lichfield and Rugeley landlord was invited a claim for serious dierepair from his tenant by failing to carry out some fundamentally important and obvious works.
Steve Butler surveyors can help prepare schedules of condition prior to works on an adjoining property so that there is no argument as to wether the proposed works cause damage. Our surveyors can also draw up an agreement between the parties so that works are carried out in a manner that will reduce the risk of damage to an adjoining property and inconvenience to the neighbour.
Defects noticed by our Lichfield and Rugeley Surveyors whilst undertaking Homebuyers Reports Structural and Building Surveys in Lichfield and Rugeley.
Wet rot growing on damp timbers in a cellar. Our RICS surveyors considered that the damp was entirely due to condensation. Beetles and very destructive dry rot also like damp timbers in unventilated spaces. The correct ventilation of cellars and the underside of suspended timber floors is very important. Common errors our surveyors see are coal drops into cellars that have been filled in, under floor vents sealed in the mistaken belief that it will reduce draughts in the property or in order to keep out harmless bees and wasps. Under floor vents are often blocked by constructing extensions or raising the ground level over them.
This cellar of a building particularly concerned or RICS Chartered Surveyors. The attractive looking fungus is dry rot. The potential problem is that it can travel many metres from a source of wet wood destroying dry wood. Remedial works are expensive as it is often necessary to access parts of the building to which access is not available without some dismantling. Timber ground floors and timbers in cellars are most commonly affected. Dry rot is usually triggered by a sudden increase in water such as a leaking pipe or rain water goods but can also occur due to condensation. One of its requirements apart from relative warmth is still air conditions. The chances of it occurring can thus be reduced by good under floor ventilation. In this case there was no ventilation to the cellar. Whist the cellar was subject to high humidity it was suspected that the dry rot outbreak had in fact been triggered by a water ingress into the property.
Modern wall constructed about 1980 which blew over in strong winds. Interesting points are the the wall has blown to the right but houses not seen on the photograph provide shelter from the left. The wall has blown away from the the piers that have been attached to help support it. This raises the question as to whether the wall would have blown down if the piers had been on the right of the wall. The wall has snapped immediately above the engineering brick damp proof course raising questions about whether mortar bonds well with engineering bricks, or given all the Victorian railway bridges that are still in first class condition whether modern cements bond well with engineering bricks. The Victorian railway bridges are boned with lime based mortars. Lime mortars are more flexible than modern cements and one thus wonders if a lime bonded wall could have flexed in the wind rather than snapping.
Our Lichfield and Rugeley surveyors were impressed by this simple solution to prevent slates slipping on this house dating from about 1900. Small blocks have been stuck to the back of the slates so that they rest on the timber batterns. This should prevent the frequent problem in properties that are about 100 years old of slates slipping when the fixing nails corrode
Our Lichfield and Rugeley surveyors noted this creature lurking in a doorway with a view to covert entry during an autumnal Homebuyers Survey. Other creatures that move into houses are bees, wasps, mice, rats and squirrels. Bees and wasps are not threat to either or people if left undisturbed. They are often in occupancy for some months until their numbers increase when their activity becomes noticed. Wasps nest only last a season and bees two or three years. Mice and rats are disease spreaders and rats and squirrels can do extensive damage from gnawing.
Salts seen on the chimney breast of a 1930's property by our surveyors whilst preparing a RICS Homebueyers survey. This can be indicative that the interior is in poor condition having been eaten away by corrosive flue condensates. In extreme cases the bricks deteriorate so much that it is posible to see into the chimney. Old chimneys should always be lined to with metal flues to contain fumes and prevent further attck of the brickwork.
Coins showing the gap between the glass and roof rail due to disortion of a conservatory seen by our surveyors when preparing an independent CPR 35 compliant expert witness report. The distortion was due to the walls on which the roof structrue sat not being level.
RICS EXPERT WITNESS BOUNDARY AND DEFECTIVE WORKMANSHIP REPORTS LICHFIELD