If you were going to spend £2000 on your house what would you choose to do? Would you spend it all on a big project or a number of smaller jobs around the house? Would you spend it on external work or on giving a room that wow factor?
Most people spend money on the inside of the house because that’s the part you see and live in. Naturally you want to make your house as appealing and as comfortable as possible, who wouldn’t?
If an external repair suddenly becomes a necessity it’s seen as a chore and unfortunate. Yet the most sensible thing to do with any house is to ensure that your home is watertight so that the internal decorations and features aren’t spoiled by water ingress. Some people mistakenly believe that their insurance policy will cover any repairs to the external fabric of their home.
Where would I start? With the highest point of my property, the part that is subject to the worst weather conditions. If it had a chimney stack I would ensure that the pointing and flashing were in good condition and any chimney pots were secure along with the television aerial. Next it would be the ridge tiles. I’d ensure that they were all secure and the pointing hadn’t cracked. Finally I’d have the roof tiles checked. But who would notice? No one. Who would say, “ Really like your flashing, is that real lead?” No one. But my house would be dry and the decorations would remain unspoilt. Which is why having a survey before you buy your property is so important.
The surveyor checks all the boring bits. You may be wowed by the interior but you could easily have at least ten thousand pounds of external work needing to be done. The cost of a typical survey is only about £300 and could turn out to be the best investment you ever made. Recently I surveyed a stunning property decorated to the highest contemporary standard. Externally it needed £40000 of repairs.
If you’re not certain what to prioritise, ask for a survey- even if you’ve moved in. The outcome will help you construct a maintenance plan so you won’t get caught out by the next storm that comes along.