This Sixty Seconds was inspired by a structural inspection that I have carried out a few days earlier.
A young couple just moved into a house. This is a house they had had their eye on for a long time because it was the right size of house and it was a good looking house. And they could just about afford it but most importantly as far as they were concerned, it was in the right location not least of all because there was a very good school just up the road where they would be sending their children one day.
In terms of having a survey carried out prior to the purchase, they didn’t think they needed one because the mortgage company had carried out their own valuation survey and were perfectly happy to lend them the money that they needed.
Anyway, shortly after moving in, they spotted some cracks in the kitchen floor and in the ceiling. They were advised by friends and family that they should get a Structural Engineer to take a look at these cracks.
They did an internet search and they found Nick Cooke & Associates on the Essex Business Forum website.
They called me up and gave me a brief history of events up to the present time. The thing is, they really didn’t think they needed anything because the valuation survey report which said everything was okay.
So I took a look at the house for them and I immediately saw what the problem was. It was a group of very large trees in the rear garden not too far away from the house. There was no doubt that it was the roots from these trees which had dried out the clay subsoil below the foundations. And it was this drying out of the soil that caused the foundations to move which in turn have caused the cracks to develop in the house. I advise them that their best course of action was to make a claim for subsidence damage with their buildings insurers.
If only they had realised the importance of having a structural survey carried out before buying the house. Anyway, better late than never so I prepared an Engineers Report based on my inspection that would be suitable to accompany their insurance claim.
It was a great shame to have to do this so soon after buying the house but their problem was that they have fallen head over heels in love with the house as soon as they had seen it. They were really not looking for any problems. They were just looking at the house through rose tinted spectacles