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Anyone in the building trade? Seen a house that's been gutted...

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Go and speak to the neighbours
best way of finding all the ins and outs of the drama
just because it has wiring and plumbing do not presume that it is done properly
look at the cost of the buying the building and double it
or if you really fancy it engage the services of a Chartered Surveyor
it will cost you money
but its money well spent
 
Go and speak to the neighbours
best way of finding all the ins and outs of the drama
just because it has wiring and plumbing do not presume that it is done properly
look at the cost of the buying the building and double it
or if you really fancy it engage the services of a Chartered Surveyor
it will cost you money
but its money well spent

And don't forget your bat survey!

My mate is looking to renovate a property in the country.

"You will need to have a bat survey carried out by an independent firm, so that we are satisfied there are no bats roosting in the existing building."

"Batman" conservationist duly arrives and indicates PRF's. That's Preferential Roosting Features, or to me and you any place a mouse could get into! My mate parts with £350!

"We'll have to do a survey at dawn and a survey at dusk."

"How much?"

"£700!"

He's out a grand and hasn't applied for planning yet!
 

Jammy66

War Hero
Walk away.

By asking that question, you do not have the experience to tackle a gutted house.

I once spent a week costing a job and having 9 different trades on site to price up. It cannot be asked on the internet without seeing the property.

Don't worry, I have zero experience or doing up a building! But I do know some basic stuff about what faults to look for and the fabric of the building is sound.

Although it's listed there are photos of it pre stripping and it was like an old grannys house last decorated in the 60's - old gas fire, formica kitchen units, foral wallpaper. It actually has part double glazing and some newish brickwork at the back - the front of it is what appears to be kept original (and it's attached to another similar property that has people living there). I should maybe pop by and see if they are willing to talk about it.
 
Don't worry, I have zero experience or doing up a building! But I do know some basic stuff about what faults to look for and the fabric of the building is sound.

Although it's listed there are photos of it pre stripping and it was like an old grannys house last decorated in the 60's - old gas fire, formica kitchen units, foral wallpaper. It actually has part double glazing and some newish brickwork at the back - the front of it is what appears to be kept original (and it's attached to another similar property that has people living there). I should maybe pop by and see if they are willing to talk about it.
Get in touch with the local Conservation Officer from the council and have a word with them about what needs to be done. If you do decide to go ahead seeing the council/planners/conservation bods as the enemy won't help your cause. Our house is listed, we consulted the Conservation Officer early doors about a few things, and have since been left alone when doing other works.
 

Chef

LE
Be aware that listed buildings cost in money and also time.

A family friend had a nice house in Tonbridge near the school. The railings were torn down for the war effort. It took years to get them replaced like for like and must be painted in the correct colour, black, which was handy.

He was a dentist and one of his patients worked in that field but even so it took a long time and cost a lot.
 

anglo

LE
Don't worry, I have zero experience or doing up a building! But I do know some basic stuff about what faults to look for and the fabric of the building is sound.

Although it's listed there are photos of it pre stripping and it was like an old grannys house last decorated in the 60's - old gas fire, formica kitchen units, foral wallpaper. It actually has part double glazing and some newish brickwork at the back - the front of it is what appears to be kept original (and it's attached to another similar property that has people living there). I should maybe pop by and see if they are willing to talk about it.
I have zero experience or doing up a building!

You're out of your depth
FFS, leave it alone, There is people on here with years of experience giving you some sound advice,
To fix a house that's been guttered is a bloody big job, even to anybody fully skilled to take it
on, Then throw listed property into the mix, makes it harder,
Still, your choice, if you take it on, good luck, keep us informed of your progress from the day
you start.
 
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I lived in a 1920's house which became G2 listed during my occupancy, the front facade must never change. To replace the front windows with UPVC double-glazing matching the originals would have cost half the value of the property, so my kids grew up with awful draughts and ice on the inside of the windows in winter, and resultant damp below as it melted. Well hard, proper kids, made men of them, character building, etc, etc.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Check to see if it has Chancel liability
if so take a taxi in the opposite direction
also check the drainage
older terraced houses often have shared drains running behind them, they are too small and clog easily, especially if modern things like washing machines are used, trees and plants cause them to move, and you are liable for 70 percent of the next door house, 60 percent of the next one 50 of the next one and so on !!
if the shared drains run along the front, in the gardens, you will find one or two neighbours have removed the gardens to park their SUVs and fat people carriers, guess what that does to the drains ?? and you are liable for that
also check the incoming electrical supply cable, either overhead and cleated along the walls, or below ground and likely to be paper insulated, oil filled, sheathed with lead, and bitumen wrapped, in many older properties the maximum load it can supply is 40 amps, it will also need an external earth electrode as they are mainly TT systems
so if you want electric showers, cookers, and modern things, you will need to contact the supply authority and make a request, you may have to wait until the supply network is upgraded, also in many older properties the cut out and meter are next to the front door, if you want to re locate it, you need to make arrangements and put your hand in your pocket

check the water supply pipes, if they are lead, the frontage is going to need digging up soon to replace them

check the gas supply pipework, likewise it may also be due for replacement

nothing worse than finishing a house, and the supply companies come and dig up the frontage, then stick a big ugly cheap shitty GRP crack and fade cabinet for the meters on the front wall, which you then need to get removed as its listed

the ******* tried that with use, I told them to dig the drive and put it under the stairs where the old one was or dont bother

lazy bastards

check for flooding in the area, older drainage systems cannot cope now that the companies no longer employ skilled men to maintain them

walk around and night, check car parking, noise, smell of drugs, a mate of mine was going to buy a house in Bristol, looked good, till I did a few out of hours checks,the local COMMUNITY used his street for overspill parking for the mosque
the smell of Ganga and the beat of reggae added to the lively back ground, and at 6 am traffic racing into the city made the house vibrate

also avoid buying a house where their are lots of rental properties, or students
they are inclined to be noisy inconsiderate and untidy
we have four rented houses near us, all of the tenants, have massive german cars on Private plates, all of the cars are wrecks, we get idiots turning up at all hours and driving like its the local council estate, vehicles left on footpaths etc, and things being stolen from front gardens

also if you are planning on doing lots of building work, where are the tradesmen going to park ?
will they clean up every day, sweep the footpath and the road clean of nails and junk
( the ones next door to us didnt, pig ignorant they were)
where will you put a skip, are you permitted to place a skip on the highway ( dont forget lights)
what about noise created and the neighbours
we fell out with our neighbours, the builders are slobs, left rubbish everywhere, stuff blew all over the place from the skips, my drive was often blocked, dirt and rubbish everywhere, plus scaffolding on my drive, which they still have not re imbursed me for
again you may need scaffolding
will the neighbours permit it on their land, they can say no
we grudgingly said yes and charged them a small sum for it
building security while scaffold in place
safe working practises and pedestrians protected

if you really fancy buying it employ the services of a proper chartered surveyor, not some muppet with a weeks training and some software ( next door did that)
he will point out all the problems and legal requirements

then employ a RIBA architect to plan and oversee the rebuild, and any extension
again it costs, but much cheaper than having to correct poor workmanship
also when getting quotes for work, they will soon spot the shysters and billy big mouths and know who to choose

buy cheap pay twice

I know some one who purchased a Listed property, she knew everything it seems !
full of herself , turned up in her AUDI Q7 told the builders what she wanted
got the cheapest quotes
purchased materials herself to pervent the builders making a profit on them
what the stuck up moo didnt know about was
lead times
storage
material quality and service life

after 2 years of arguments ( I avoided getting involved at the first meeting by telling her to get stuffed)

the house was sold at a loss
materials were left outside in the rain
materials were stolen by the pikeys
non compatible materials were used
carlite browning on salt glazed bricks
wrong roof tiles
wrong gutters and downpipes
plastic fascia boards and soffits

disaster
went to auction, a proper qualified time served builder purchased it, the house is still empty 3 years later, and is being refurbished when he and the skilled tradesmen can fit it in
its covered with scaffold and a temporary roof at present but once finished will sell for about 3 million
 

Jammy66

War Hero
Thanks for the input.

Having done some digging I found that the property was owned by a builder who has apparently gone out of business. I contacted the local council and they sent me quite a lot of detail - seems the builder started work without any permission from the relevant authorities and therefore the work they have done has to be undone and they have removed walls/timber/plaster that shouldn't have been removed and must now be reinstated with appropriate materials (hand made bricks, oak for studwork and rafters etc).

I have also been told that there's a risk that the new owner could inherit criminal liability for damage that has been done to the property!!

I think, reluctantly, I have to accept that this one will be too much of a risk and probably too costly to put right.
 
Walk away.

By asking that question, you do not have the experience to tackle a gutted house.

I once spent a week costing a job and having 9 different trades on site to price up. It cannot be asked on the internet without seeing the property.

what he said.

I have been fixing up and shifting houses for nearly 30 years now and can do much of my own work. The last place I did in the UK cost around 25K to do and that was with me doing the work which would probably have cost another 25K if I had paid for the work To be done. That was basically a kitchen, bathrooms, tiling all around, carpets I paid for fitting, painting throughout, pvc windows and landscaping. Start looking at plastering, drywall, sparks, and plumbers and it gets expensive unless you have some skills you can throw at it yourself.

if you like the idea of getting the place done then get a builder in to quote and also speak to the local authority as to what is required for the place regarding it’s listed status.
 
Thanks for the input.

Having done some digging I found that the property was owned by a builder who has apparently gone out of business. I contacted the local council and they sent me quite a lot of detail - seems the builder started work without any permission from the relevant authorities and therefore the work they have done has to be undone and they have removed walls/timber/plaster that shouldn't have been removed and must now be reinstated with appropriate materials (hand made bricks, oak for studwork and rafters etc).

I have also been told that there's a risk that the new owner could inherit criminal liability for damage that has been done to the property!!

I think, reluctantly, I have to accept that this one will be too much of a risk and probably too costly to put right.

Fair play you did your research. Inheriting criminal liability for damage is a new one on me!

There will be plenty more coming along that are better options to tackle.
 

Jammy66

War Hero
Fair play you did your research. Inheriting criminal liability for damage is a new one on me!

There will be plenty more coming along that are better options to tackle.

New one on me too but it was a structural engineer who said that so I guess he should know. I did notice in the auction terms of sale for the house there are several references to the purchaser having no redress to the vendor for any charges which may remain on the property, so it could be a reference to the same issue.

I've come out of one property nightmare so really don't want to jump into another one, although this house could be a little gem. I'll be watching the auction to see if it sells, but then again I know that not everyone does their homework when they buy at auction.
 

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