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Surveyor report advice

  • 01-04-2022 11:13am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,316 ✭✭✭ positivenote

    HI All,

    we went sale agreed on our house recently and the surveyor has noted that there is a non-structural crack in the plaster at the front of the house and one of the front window reveals

    . They are asking if we are going to repair it prior to the sale of the house. Looking for advice on whether just to leave it there, most of the houses have a similiar craic in the estate (Houses are 30+ years old) with some having had the crack filled, or get it repaired... dont want to jepordise or hold up the sale.

    If getting it repaired is there any sugestion on who could repair it and if any documentation would be needed to accompany the work? Ideas of cost etc also? Its on the surrounding plaster and one of the front window 'side ledges'.

    Thanks in advance

    Post edited by positivenote on


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 33,289 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo

    If it’s non structural then anyone can repair it. The plaster and dash is merely a visual weather covering to the block behind it.

    Anyone can fill it, try get a mix to match the colour and a nice neat finish.

    All they are doing is stopping water getting into the crack, to stop the freeze thaw action from making the crack bigger.

  • Registered Users Posts: 828 ✭✭✭ Heart Break Kid

    Would've been visible at viewings so its hardly new, if they are just asking if you are going to repair it, you can say no.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,028 ✭✭✭✭ mickdw

    Don't touch it.

    Their own surveyor has told them it's not a structural concern so they are surely just chancing their arm.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

    They have little to be worrying about if they are back to you with this. I would just tell them you are not going to repair it and they can either repair it or not themselves after they buy the house.

  • Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭ Pomodoro

    99% of pre-purchase surveys will come up with superficial issues like this. Any reasonable person bidding on a property shouid expect things like this. So this is not some major new information that has a bearing on the value of the house. I would absolutely say no you will not be repairing. The fact that they are raising this as an issue tells me they are either naive or chancers.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 287 ✭✭ Jmc25

    Agree this wouldn't be something you should even consider negotiating over.

    If the purchasers are buying a second hand house and expect it to be in perfect condition, they need a reality check.

    I think to be renegotiating, the issue would need to be significant enough to cost a few thousand to repair.

  • Registered Users Posts: 666 ✭✭✭ CreadanLady

    Don't fix it and don't agree to anything. It is a sellers market. you have the power here.If they pull out of the sale on account of a trivial crack like this, then more fool them!!

    Anyway, those surveyors reports are largely a crock. They have to be seen to be justifying their fee so they always come back with something.

    I bought a house and the surveyor had some big spiel about standing water in a manhole and how I needed to get quotes and camera surveys etc. I looked at it and it was a thing of nothing, mountain out of a molehill stuff.

    And he also totally missed that most of the internal joinery was a disaster - internal doors badly warped and twisted all over the place. I think only 2 close and latch properly. The rest need to be re-hung or replaced, which I can do myself thankfully. But I knew this going in, but i didn't say anything to the "engineer" as I wanted to see would he pick it up or miss it. Well he missed it. There were no substantive comments about the joinery in the house. Just that it was pine panel yada yada.

    I asked him by the way did he inspect the joinery of the house too . He said he did. I said were there any particular findings on that end. He said no it all seemed fine. I said oh right, and showed him several pictures of some very visibly warped doors before asking him whether that could have happened over the past three weeks. He didn't have much to say about it. I told him then that I am a civil & structural engineer myself and I had copped the issue when i first viewed the house but it wasn't a big deal because I am able to re-hang doors (father was a carpenter). I knew there was no point raising it with the sellers as it is a sellers market and they'd be like "take it or leave it, son" if they had any sense..

    I had him. I caught him out at his own game. And he knew I had him. But I had made my point.

    Moral of the story is that these surveys are largely a routine formality done with little effort. They are likely to miss as much as the spot. To be taken with a pinch of salt, and the surveyor assumed a poor operator until they prove the contrary.

    The MFV Creadan Lady is a mussel dredger from Dunmore East.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,028 ✭✭✭✭ mickdw

    Your post reads like that written by a know it all.

    I'm a civil Engineer also and I carry out pre purchase Inspections.

    If you knew it all, why did you bother getting the Surveyor?

    If it was needed for mortgage, fair enough but it might have helped everyone if you actually told the guy what you knew before hand.

    Sure, I've seen surveyors take the easy way out and that is poor form but not everyone does that.

    Personally, I was doing surveys for 500 and no way did they pay. 3 hours at the property and a couple of days to write it up given the detail I provided. Of course everyone thinks it's 500 for 3 hours work.

    I would classify items as significant or not and to be honest pretty much every house would have something deemed significant whether it be a planning issue or building regulation issue, boundary issue or serious defect.

    In addition, you say you the surveyor went overboard re a defect within underground pipework. You have to understand that the surveyor has to cover himself. There should not be standing water in a manhole and as such for him not to mention it and not point out the possible issue and further inspection required could well be deemed negligent and as is the way with these things, it's all too easy to be the scapegoat here being the only insured professional involved.

    Post edited by mickdw on

  • Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭ Pomodoro

    There are good and bad surveyors, like every other profession. Not sure why you felt the need to test yours, and then confront him over the doorframe thing, and then brag about it on the internet (a bit Partridge-esque) but that's for you to ponder I guess.

    In this instance, the surveyor was correct to highlight the cracks in the building. It's the buyers who are being fussy here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 666 ✭✭✭ CreadanLady

    I had to get the survey done by why are registered and insured surveyor because that is what the bank required as a condition of the mortgage. In any case I think it would be seen as bad practice to do your own inspection has there may be an unconscious bias.

    I didn't point the joinery problem out to him because I wanted to see how thorough the actual inspection would be because I have heard that these pre-purchase services are often hit or miss. I have also been in the engineering and construction game long and off off to have low expectations. The amount of of engineers consultants and contractors I've dealt with over the years could talk a big game and promise the earth moon and stars and then go on to fail at the most basic of things consistently on multiple projects, well after a while you just get cynical and lower your expectations.

    So in this case I decided to put it to the test. And I must prove correct in my suspicions.

    I have absolutely no issue with the engineers comments on the manhole. But what why I mentioned that is because I want to contrast that with how he completely missed the issue with the joinery that was plane to see interview and quite obvious. And then he tried to bluff his way out of it. And I caught him out on it.

    I think over the last couple of years I've Ireally been losing my patience with people who do half arsed jobs.

    And I am not saying I am a perfect engineer or that I never make mistakes. I do from time to time as anyone does. But I do make an honest effort. It is my opinion that a lot of people just shovel out any old sort of half arsed work if they think they can get away with it.

    The MFV Creadan Lady is a mussel dredger from Dunmore East.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 22,028 ✭✭✭✭ mickdw

    I'd agree that some people are basically taking the piss.

    I friend of mine was recently selling his house that I'd surveyed 5 years previous. Surveyor for new buyer asked my friend if he had the report he got done originally as nothing would have changed.

    He thought he was getting a copy so arrived at house and when it did turned out he wasn't getting the original report, he said, I have not time to go through the house but it looks ok. Said he had 6 more to 'do' that evening.

    Now in that context, the fee is scandalous and he is clearly negligent.

    I try to do my best on them and as I said, they are certainly not a money maker when the correct amount of time goes into them.

    Personally, I do comment on doors not latching excessive frame gaps, twisted door leaf, door dragging on frame etc as well as similar comment on all windows as locks and hinges are never maintained but many surveyors exclude all that stuff by simply not commenting on fitout or minor maintenance issues at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

    When we were buying to renovate properties someone would always do a walk around with the surveyor after he was finished checking so he could explain it to us and we could understand what he had seen.

    One surveyor we used multiple times when he was available but one or two of them I dont know how they could of been charging money for the awful job they did.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,028 ✭✭✭✭ mickdw

    I used to do a walk around with client at end of survey. Useful in ways however I had a couple of issues with it. For example there are items around building regs that might need to be cross checked with commencement date in order to check compliance. In reality it was impossible to communicate this to people and I found in a few occasions people would go ahead based on the verbal description and then later query the further issues highlighted in report.

    I also find that personally I get a truer picture of whether something is a runner or not by the time I've gone through the whole write up process and will then advise if economical or not to go ahead..... There is always room for opinion there so don't do the walk around anymore as my advice will be more 'considered' after write up.

    Also on one occasion, I was promised payment on the day in person. They arrived, asked if there were issues, showed them some major problems, said they had to go collect the kids and would be back before I finished but wasn't seen again so the walk around is no more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

    Thats a pity that happened, but to be honest I would never do a survey without a walkaround.

    It should be easy for you to point out what needs pointing out right away and explain what you have to go and get more info about.