With any building defect, it is essential to correctly identify the nature of the problem, before working our how best to deal with it. At LifecoteLtd, we deal with problems arising from dampness in older houses as well as woodworm and wood rot. An initial inspection is carried out free in most areas excluding central London. A written report is prepared with a Quotation, detailing the findings, recommendations and costings for any specialist treatments. This will also set out any work that may required to be carried out by others, or preparations that may be necessary before we can start. If no treatments are recommended, we will say so.
The Basic Inspection
Ideally suited to the homeowner with a damp or timber problem, or prospective purchaser after the Building Society Surveyor has reported and requested a Specialist Report. This is a basic inspection, carried out during normal weekday business hours. We can make arrangements with Agents and/or vendors for a Morning or an Afternoon, and our findings sent direct to whoever instructs us. Weekend or Evening appointments are also available. Clients can telephone or e-mail us to discuss the inspection once they have received their report.
The prospective purchase surveys cost £70.00. Surveys in central London cost £100.00. Basic surveys accross the UK are otherwise FREE.
This is aimed at a more detailed investigation and report, possibly for problems where treatments, or other works, have been carried out in the past, whether or not there is a current guarantee in force, and where that work is thought not to have resolved the problem, or where a building is in a very poor condition and consideration is being given to refurbishment. The service includes a site visit and investigation, taking of samples where appropriate, laboratory analyses if considered appropriate, and a written report on our findings, conclusions and recommendations. Where a current guarantee issued by another company is in force, we will always advise that their procedures are followed through before instructing us to investigate. This level of investigation is not appropriate for normal pre-purchase inspections in occupied and furnished properties. A £180.00 fee applies in this situation.
Target Response Times
We aim to make contact within 24 hours of receiving an enquiry, to arrange an inspection. Arrangements are made for an agreed weekday morning or afternoon. We aim to complete most inspections within ten working days and to despatch a report if appropriate, within 5 days. Daylight evening, and Saturday appointments can also be made, however these limited opportunities get taken up in advance and may have to be booked up well ahead. An overnight summary of our findings can be sent by e-mail if requested. Work can normally be commenced within two weeks of being instructed.
Extent Of Inspection
Depending on our instructions, accessible walls at ground floor level will be inspected for rising damp, using an electric resistance meter, and visual observations. We will not, ourselves, move external obstructions or internal furnishings. Internal elevations of external walls will be inspected for penetrating damp, if we are so instructed. The whole property will be visually inspected for signs of significant condensation, backed up by measurements taken with a Thermal Hygrometer if it is considered advisable to do so. External observations will be made and relevant comments on building defects, rainwater goods, external render etc will be included where appropriate, in the report, if submitted. Any visual evidence of timber decay will be reported on.
Accessible timbers will be inspected for woodboring insect attack. Roof timbers will be inspected if safe access is available. This means a suitable ladder or steps and a large enough loft access trap that can be opened without damaging the surrounding decorations. Floor timbers will be inspected where accessible. This means that fitted carpets will not be lifted and we will not move furniture. Floorboards will not be lifted, unless they are loose. Staircase timbers will be inspected, except that again carpets will not be lifted and soffits to the underside often prevent inspection of those timbers. Any visual evidence of timber decay will be reported on. External joinery will not normally be inspected. Accessible surfaces of internal joinery will be visually inspected. Internal and external observations will be taken, and comments on general building defects likely to affect internal timbers will be included where appropriate, in the report, if submitted.