Issues with 1930s house

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Hevatron, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. Hevatron

    Hevatron New Member


    I'm looking to buy a 1930s house with my partner but we're having a bit of a wobble over a few issues that FIL has pointed out and I am looking for advice over whether these are big issues or something that we can manage. We are admittedly not super knowledgeable and we are worried about taking on the risk.

    The issues are:
    - the clearance between driveway (gravel) and DPC is less than 150mm, currently sat at 75mm and additionally the air bricks have been blocked at the front of the property (apparently to conserve heat and prevent draft). The air bricks are below the DPC which puts the bottoms in line with the gravel.
    - the right hand side of the front porch and right exterior wall has been repointed or replaced quite messily.
    - 'bonnet hip tiles' missing on the roof although the seller is getting someone to replace these

    How concerned would you feel about these issues? Would it be worth rescinding the offer now? I understand that a survey will confirm or disregard some of this (hopefully!) but we are worried that this might all be beyond what we can and are willing to deal with. If this is an inappropriate post please let me know and I'll delete it.

    Thanks for your time.
  2. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler Active Member

    The clearance between the gravel and your dpc is easily fixed. If a house sale fell for that reason, 'be bewildered.
    The porch wall really needs a photo for any comments.
    If the hip tiles are being replaced, why the concern? I would rather negotiate a small discount on the price and get those fixed myself, rather than rely on the seller to fix them.

    Overall, I wouldn't let those little issues put me off if I was really interested.
  3. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Screwfix Select

    Photos would help, but I wouldn't worry unduly about any of those things on a house that's stood since before WW2. Air bricks can be (and should be)
    unblocked and gravel moved about, re-pointing can be done again, properly, and if the roof's being sorted anyway, that's fine.

    If the surveyor comes back with anything about damp or woodworm, please post back here so we can rip him to shreds, er, sorry, offer you some guidance!
    gadget man likes this.
  4. Hevatron

    Hevatron New Member

    Thanks so much for your responses, I really appreciate it and the lack of eye rolling (perhaps conducted in secret)! I did mean to post photos but I am going a tad insane with the stress of it all.
    My MIL sent these to illustrate the concerns, she bought a 1930s property herself that had major problems with damp so, understandably, it's something that worries her and FIL.
    We think the brickwork was damaged by ivy as in old photos of the house it is in the exact same spot, it extends about 2m down the right hand side of the house. Is it purely cosmetic? Would it have any effect on the roof tiles if it was done badly (an idea suggested to me but I wouldn't have a clue)?
    What would be the best way to sort the DPC issue? Would a lower channel dug around the walls with edging and filled with gravel to the correct level be enough or should I get ACO drainage installed and connected/directed to gutter drain? Are air bricks easy to chisel out and replace or is it more complicated than that (it looks completely covered up)?
    If the hip tiles are replaced then that isn't really an issue unless it's done some damage.

    To be honest, we really liked the property and, apart from wanting to rip up the AstroTurf in the back garden and restore it, we thought it was very well presented. The seller did email saying none of this had been issues for them but mentioned fixing the roof.

    Thanks again for your time.

    Attached Files:

  5. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    You will never get a perfect house, if anything, a 1930’s houses are often better built then some 2020 horrors I have seen. All of the issues can be fixed and damage they can cause will be very visible. My only point of concern is the blocked air bricks. If in for a considerable time, then you get problems of rot in joists so need to be assessed carefully by a surveyor. Use these defects as a point for price negotiations rather than getting wound up.
    Bobby Dazzler likes this.
  6. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler Active Member

    The issues are, in the main, cosmetic issues.
    The brickwork has been poorly re-pointed, and I wouldn't want to advise on improving that. It's a bit more specialised in removing the messy work. Although what is there is effective. It's purely a cosmetic issue.

    The other issues are really just cosmetic.
    The air brick replacement is a couple of hours work at most, and easy enough for a DIYer.
    The hip tiles are easily replaced, and probably need re-bedding. Again, maybe a days work for a roofer.
    The issue with the soffit at the back, I'm guessing it's PVC on top of wood, or wood on top of PVC, again more cosmetic than anything serious. A better photo would help.
  7. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Roof is looking tired, walls would look better and benefit from re-pointing, other wise only real concern would be the air bricks situation having caused lack of ventilation. ,

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