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11-07-2012, 09:30   #1
Ush1
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Buying house, too much work to fix up?

I've been looking at this house with a view to buying it:

http://www.myhome.ie/residential/bro...lin-24/1976769

I went for a second viewing with my da who is a plumber and knows some bits about construction.

He reckons that it has chipboard under the carpets upstairs which is pure rubbish, he said when it gets wet it disintegrates. He also said the attic conversion is shabby, a good few of the floorboards creak.

Alot of the plumbing pipes are visible which he said isn't a big thing to fix but I just get the overall feeling the house might be more pain than it's worth? The da can be a bit of a drama queen so any comments from other people are welcome?

Last edited by Ush1; 11-07-2012 at 10:25. Reason: It has chipboard, not plywood!
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11-07-2012, 09:37   #2
kkelliher
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It would be very hard to comment in respect to your post based on the pictures. The house does not look any better or worse than most properties of similar age. You have to take a house on its merits including price and make a decision that suits you.

Most people who buy a house completly change the decor and layouts so unless it is exactly what you were looking for there is always going to be alot of work required.

I would not be put off a house purly on the basis of creeking floorboards.




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Originally Posted by Ush1 View Post
I've been looking at this house with a view to buying it:

http://www.myhome.ie/residential/bro...lin-24/1976769

I went for a second viewing with my da who is a plumber and knows some bits about construction.

He reckons that it has plywood under the carpets upstairs which is pure rubbish, he said when it gets wet it disintegrates. He also said the attic conversion is shabby, a good few of the floorboards creak.

Alot of the plumbing pipes are visible which he said isn't a big thing to fix but I just get the overall feeling the house might be more pain than it's worth? The da can be a bit of a drama queen so any comments from other people are welcome?
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11-07-2012, 09:46   #3
Ush1
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Originally Posted by kkelliher View Post
It would be very hard to comment in respect to your post based on the pictures. The house does not look any better or worse than most properties of similar age. You have to take a house on its merits including price and make a decision that suits you.

Most people who buy a house completly change the decor and layouts so unless it is exactly what you were looking for there is always going to be alot of work required.

I would not be put off a house purly on the basis of creeking floorboards.
What age would the house be do you reckon?

I understand that I'd be changing the decor but things like the floors under the carpets, could that be more expense than it's worth?
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11-07-2012, 10:12   #4
sydthebeat
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id reckon mid to late 80's type house.

there seems to have been constant upgrading done, which would indicate discerning owners.

but everything has a price.

Plywood is still being used as first floor finishes, and as far as disintegrating when wet... well anything that gets wet will get damaged. T+G boards will warp. MDF will swell.
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11-07-2012, 10:15   #5
johnr1
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What age would the house be do you reckon?

I understand that I'd be changing the decor but things like the floors under the carpets, could that be more expense than it's worth?
Floors usually creak because the boards or plywood have shrunk slightly since it was fitted, thus leaving the screws or nails slightly looser than the ideal.
It is very easily sorted out, but you would have to take up the carpet obviously.
If the whole attic floor seems bouncy or the creaks dont come from under your foot however, that might indicate that the floor joists, (which were originally just ceiling joists) were not strengthened or supported in the conversion. This could be messy and expensive to sort out.
If its individual boards/areas of ply however, it might only need re-screwing.

Plywood is not particularly bad flooring material, the real dodgy one is chipboard or even 'OSB' board.
If ordinary boards get wet, they'll rot too, just at a slower rate. In any event, structural floors inside a house shouldnt be getting wet at all, - if they are, you have bigger problems than the flooring material.

To find out the age, I'd either ask the estate agent straight out, as he'd be obliged to tell you as accurately as he knew, or simply knock on a door or two in the same estate till you find someone who has been there since it was built, or knows when that was.
The age would be important to know accurately, as common practice relating particularly to wall insulation have changed a few times over the years.
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11-07-2012, 10:18   #6
westies4ever
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Lovely house OP and to be fair, it looks well loved and cared for. Can you afford to get a qualified surveyor look at it for you?
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11-07-2012, 10:24   #7
Ush1
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Originally Posted by johnr1 View Post
Floors usually creak because the boards or plywood have shrunk slightly since it was fitted, thus leaving the screws or nails slightly looser than the ideal.
It is very easily sorted out, but you would have to take up the carpet obviously.
If the whole attic floor seems bouncy or the creaks dont come from under your foot however, that might indicate that the floor joists, (which were originally just ceiling joists) were not strengthened or supported in the conversion. This could be messy and expensive to sort out.
If its individual boards/areas of ply however, it might only need re-screwing.

Plywood is not particularly bad flooring material, the real dodgy one is chipboard or even 'OSB' board.
If ordinary boards get wet, they'll rot too, just at a slower rate. In any event, structural floors inside a house shouldnt be getting wet at all, - if they are, you have bigger problems than the flooring material.

To find out the age, I'd either ask the estate agent straight out, as he'd be obliged to tell you as accurately as he knew, or simply knock on a door or two in the same estate till you find someone who has been there since it was built, or knows when that was.
The age would be important to know accurately, as common practice relating particularly to wall insulation have changed a few times over the years.
It was actually chipboard I meant! His words were, "the dreaded chipboard". Could I replace this with something better?

Thanks for that info. Yeah, he was saying he reckons the attic is sitting on the ceiling joists rather than suspended above it.
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11-07-2012, 10:43   #8
johnr1
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It was actually chipboard I meant! His words were, "the dreaded chipboard". Could I replace this with something better?

Thanks for that info. Yeah, he was saying he reckons the attic is sitting on the ceiling joists rather than suspended above it.
While suspended above the ceiling joists is a better job, it would be common enough for an attic floor to sit on the same joist as the ceiling is fixed to underneath, what makes the difference is the strength of those joists.

Now, if the joists are too small or spaced too far apart, taking up the chipboard would allow you to double them up or add in more. Vertically taller ones would be best, but they reduce head height in the attic, and often, you can get away with laterally thicker ones, or more of them.

Assuming the joists are big enough/numerous enough/insulated between them, and unless the chipboard is already wet/damaged, what Id actually do with it is re-floor over it with plywood, - the chipboard is then only acting as a packer between the plywood and the joists. This would probably also help a bit with noise reduction.
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11-07-2012, 10:47   #9
Ush1
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While suspended above the ceiling joists is a better job, it would be common enough for an attic floor to sit on the same joist as the ceiling is fixed to underneath, what makes the difference is the strength of those joists.

Now, if the joists are too small or spaced too far apart, taking up the chipboard would allow you to double them up or add in more. Vertically taller ones would be best, but they reduce head height in the attic, and often, you can get away with laterally thicker ones, or more of them.

Assuming the joists are big enough/numerous enough/insulated between them, and unless the chipboard is already wet/damaged, what Id actually do with it is re-floor over it with plywood, - the chipboard is then only acting as a packer between the plywood and the joists. This would probably also help a bit with noise reduction.
Okay, I'll check into that. It's also chipboard floors on the upstairs of the house. Should I replace that do you reckon?
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11-07-2012, 10:54   #10
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Lovely house OP and to be fair, it looks well loved and cared for. Can you afford to get a qualified surveyor look at it for you?
I'm not sure, how much would they cost? I'd rather avoid spending money if I thought things were wrong from the outset.
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11-07-2012, 17:07   #11
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I'm not sure, how much would they cost? I'd rather avoid spending money if I thought things were wrong from the outset.

they cost in the region of €300 for an average house - they could have a look at the items you're worried about and put your mind at rest and give you an estimate of how much works would cost. I now its money (which is thin on the ground) but wouldnt you rather know? you could also put an offer on the house 'subject to survey'?
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11-07-2012, 17:41   #12
damomeasa
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We used this crowd <SNIP>

Found them to be very thorough and professional. Cost was €300+vat. Wouldn't buy a house without getting a proper survey done.

TBH that house looks in pretty good nick, sounds like your aul fella is a bit of a drama queen as you say



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Last edited by muffler; 11-07-2012 at 23:37.
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11-07-2012, 18:07   #13
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I'd suggest getting a structural engineer to do a survey for you - most important thing to check attic conversion has been carried out properly.

I've seen and heard of some recent horror stories with people buying houses with dodgy attic conversions and then finding themselves, after they have purchased, with a hefty bill for remedial works.

Also check if first floor is OSB (rather than chipboard).
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12-07-2012, 00:19   #14
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hi ush, just a quick msg about the creaking floors.
we live in hse with creaking floors at mo, we have taken up flooring twice, redone joists, poured thousands into making them quiet- nada.
they still creak cos the hse wasnt built well. we are currently moving elsewhere- mortgage just approved. if quiet hse is important- ie small babies like us- is important then buyer beware!
when we take up floors they are silent for a few mths but it all comes back especially bad in winter when the heating is on.
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21-08-2012, 16:28   #15
Ush1
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Hi folks,

Just to let you know, I ended up getting this house for 185k. I think I'm fairly pleased/anxious!!
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