How do you know what to do? You have a problem with some damp (you think rising damp maybe), and so you go to www.yell.com.
There you find a bewildering selection of ‘Damp and Timber Specialists’, ‘damp proofing and plastering’ types and builders. When you call some people there’s no answer and there’s a bit of a grisly answer phone message, others are driving; but eventually you get through to someone.
What will I get from your Damp and Timber Survey? How much will it cost? Are they trying to sell me something I don’t need?
In essence there are three categories of Damp and Timber Survey:
These reports cost you anything from £150 – £350. This will get you a report from CSRT qualified surveyor who has no bias IE. there is no interest in finding any work that needs doing. This is the pick of the bunch. Lenders love these reports and if you’re hoping for sound professional advice with no coercion this is the one to go for.
That said, make your instructions clear. If you want a report from which you can obtain a number of quotes for repairs let them know. We provide (at additional expense) a schedule of works which may be sent to a list of good contractors allowing clients to compare like-for-like quotes.
A local professional will normally charge you between £50 and £75. This will get you a report from a CSRT qualified surveyor. Although not independent, these surveyors are audited for technical competence. The biggest problem with going down this route is how many reports do you obtain? And then once you’ve got a couple of reports how do you wade through the contents and compare the quotes?
Surveys are normally free; but the surveyors lack training and equipment to correctly diagnose the issue. This can lead to unnecessary work costing thousands of pounds. Furthermore, the reports tend to be little more than a page of typing and the guarantees are worthless. When you come to sell your home lenders aren’t satisfied because the work doesn’t carry the necessary certification.
Damp in homes is a complex specialist area and that’s why Chartered Surveyors differ to “Damp and Timber Specialists” (normally specifiying CSRT qualified members of the Property Care Association) .
Always make sure that your surveyor is CSRT qualified. If they aren’t you have to wonder why they haven’t bothered getting appropriate training and relevant qualifications.