It is often said that building surveyors are the “GPs” of the construction professionals. Just as doctors are consulted on ailments affecting the health and functioning of the body, so surveyors are brought in to advise on remedying problems in buildings.
Conker were approached after numerous defects were found in works previously carried out by a contractor to a double-fronted Victorian villa in Sandgate, Kent. These ranged from poor quality pointing and incorrect plaster mixes, to improperly applied damp-proofing measures, non Building Regulations compliant drainage and other seriously defective work.
With so much wrong it was important to prioritise the items of work, discerning the “essential” from “optional” jobs through discussion with the client and contractor. From this we were able to produce a set of plans and specifications to work from. Aside from reversing the defective work to the house itself, it was also necessary to address the stability of a substantial retaining garden wall by underpinning and steel shoring. Conker drafted and issued Party Wall Notices to the neighbour (as required by the Party Wall (etc.) Act 1996) and recorded a Schedule of Condition of the neighbour’s property.
Ultimately the property was put back in order. The most serious work was concentrated at the rear of the building, reconstructing part of the rear elevation to Building Regulations. The drainage was relaid properly and external hard landscaping carried out.
The premise of this project was a worrying case study on the sorts of “jerry-building” that still exists today. However, the conclusion was at least a heartening one as the occupants are happy with the outcome and can now begin to enjoy living in their property.