How to Tell If a Property Has Subsidence

One of the most important questions on the minds of homebuyers is how to tell if a house has subsidence problems. Over the years, many homes have sustained water infiltration, resulting in cracked foundations and other structural harm. A major concern is whether or not such damage will affect the ability to sell in the future. If you have noticed cracks in your walls, you should contact your insurance company right away to find out if your policy covers these types of issues. While it can be difficult to determine whether or not your insurance covers water infiltration due to structural weakening, there are some things you can do to make sure you get full coverage. To check for subsidence, book a Building Survey Reading from Sam Conveyancing

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In homes that were built more than 40 years ago, you may already be protected by building codes as long as you live there. These standards require that foundations are reinforced with concrete and poured with steel paneling. If you purchased a home in an area that did not follow these building codes, however, you may need to purchase additional coverage to ensure your safety.

If you notice cracks in the walls or window frames, the first thing you should look at is how much of the wall has been damaged. If you find wooden beams, window frames, or moldings damaged, you should contact your insurance company immediately. While some of these building materials can be repaired, complete structural failure can’t and shouldn’t be overlooked.

If you find large amounts of water inside the house or even on the exterior, you may have cause for concern. While it is common for the soil to settle after a rainstorm or other natural occurrence, long-standing cracks in a wall can indicate a more serious problem. Long-standing cracks in the wall can compromise the wall’s integrity and force the wall to weaken due to constant tension. If water continues to leak into the interior of the home, you may soon find yourself with an unstable foundation. If you are experiencing signs of subsidence and water damage, get in touch with a licensed foundation repair contractor as soon as possible.

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While structural issues may not be immediately obvious, they can lead to greater concerns down the line. For example, if you find that there are cracks in the interior of the house and the outside is also being compromised, you should consider what may be causing them. Water damage from drainage pipes, leaking roofs, or sub-floor problems could all be potential culprits. Long-term subsidence can damage your home’s interior and exterior structures, lead to mold growth, and can cause structural damage to your home’s wiring system. Long-term subsidence can also cause your home to become unlivable.

If you notice cracks in the walls of your home or on the windows or doors, get in contact with a foundation repair contractor right away. Some signs of subsidence include buckling and sagging of the interior wall or window frames, holes and cracks in floorboards, or evidence of wall floating. These types of issues will cause your home’s structural integrity to fail, so you must take action before the situation becomes more problematic.


What to consider when converting commercial to residential

With the UK housing market still struggling to meet demand, more investors are looking at the prospect of converting their commercial portfolios into residential homes but there are a number of areas that you need to consider when doing so.

According to data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the amount of commercial space across the country is declining at the fastest rate since records were started in 1998. Many of these buildings are being used for residential developments, especially with the loosening of planning rules which has made it easier to make the conversion to residential use. If you’re looking to convert a commercial premise into residential use, what should you consider?

Convert or develop

One of the first decisions will need to be whether you intend to convert the existing building on a site or knock down the property and start again. Both have their benefits on a practical and financial level and it will largely depend on the state of the current property and its suitability for residential use.

You will need to factor in the ability to bring a building up to the right standards for it to be habitable, such as how you can install the appropriate fire prevention measures. One option would be to speak to Automist installers in Bristol about using that system. It can be fitted into existing buildings, even those of a period style, in order to meet building regulations.

Need for planning permission

In 2013 the Government introduced a temporary addition to Permitted Development rights which enables office space to be converted to residential use without the need for planning permission. The current rulings apply to projects that will be completed by May 2016. There is no current confirmation if these rights are to be extended, but news on any further changes or addition to the Permitted Development rules should be made public soon.

If you are unsure if your project meets the requirements of Permitted Development then you should speak to your local planning department. They will be able to talk you through the process and tell you whether your conversion project falls within the rules or requires planning permission.