Building survey review of a

Grade II Listed property,

originally built as a Dovecote


Independent Building Surveyors

We are independent surveyors who can provide help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, independent valuations, property surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, home buyers reports or any other property matters. As you can see from this article we use lots of sketches and photos in our reports as the feedback we have from our clients is that the sketches and photos help them understand the reports.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

listed property
listed property

Caveat Emptor or buyer beware!

listed propertyCaveat emptor means Buyer Beware and this is why, if you are considering buying a property, you need to have a building survey carried out to find out if there are any problems within the property that you need to be aware of. Often estate agents will not advise you of these.

The reason for the house move

Our client's husband had sadly recently passed away and she was looking for a fresh start. She decided she wanted to move nearer to her children and was not only wanting to move house but also counties, from one end of the country to the other, so this was in all ways a momentous move.

Grade II Listed property

Our client knew that the property had to be something special to make her want to uproot and move so far away and when she viewed a very unusual 17th Century Grade II property she knew it was the one for her.

See our article on Listed buildings:

Listed Buildings

What was it about the property that appealed so much to the client?

listed propertyThe property was built originally as a dovecote, though we are led to believe was never used as such as was previously used as a grain store. It was then converted into a house and obtained Grade II status in the 1980's.

listed property
Timber beams

The property had exposed timber ceilings all the way to the roof, which was a feature that really appealed to our client and was a major factor when deciding to purchase the property. It was also decorated to a very high standard internally, which also appealed.

listed propertyOur client also loved the fact that the property was set in large gardens with stunning views beyond

Why have a building survey?

Our client sensibly realised that it was very important to have an independent building survey, which was formerly known as a structural survey. She knew that a Grade II Listed property of this age will have certain problems and potentially more hidden away and she knew that a simple mortgage survey, which consists of a quick look around with a check list, and often carried out by a surveyor who is not chartered, was simply not sufficient for this age, type and style of property.

Why choose our surveyors?

She chose our surveyors because we are independent surveyors, which means we are not affiliated with any banks, building societies or estate agents, and therefore are only working for you the client, with your best interests at heart and have nothing to gain by the sale of the property and will give you independent advice, whether it be good or bad, about the property.

Our Surveyor met the client at the property during the survey

listed propertyThe client met the building surveyor at the property during the survey report. We always recommend all our clients do this as not only is it good to meet you personally, but we can get a full understanding of exactly what the client requires from the survey and answer any questions they may have.

We can also talk you through any issues, features and characteristics we find with the property.

High risk purchase

listed property
Example of a nibbed tile

The surveyor deemed the property to be a high risk purchase due to a number of reasons:

There was a single storey building built along side the original building, linked to the main building by a walkway. The surveyor was concerned that this may not have had Planning Permission, which is very important as the property is Grade II Listed.

The nibbed tile roof had many displaced and spalling tiles and much of the roof was covered with a mass of moss and lichens. To re-roof the property would be very costly, especially as scaffolding would be needed to access it which can prove to be expensive.

listed property
Septic tank

There were numerous other costly problems with the property too, i.e. spalling brick walls, wrong mortar used (they had used cement mortar when an old property like this needs to breathe otherwise there is a greater risk of condensation, so a like mortar is always advisable), leaking gutters and downpipes, signs of woodworm and a possible septic tank which had not been drained for many, many years.

listed property

Use lime mortar every time instead of cement mortar to allow the property to breathe

Surveyor recommendations

The chartered surveyor recommended the client meet with the Local Authority to see if the amendments to the property had been made to Listing Building Standards and whether Planning Approval had been gained for the link property.

The surveyor recommended to the client that her solicitor should seek a reduction in the purchase price due to the amount of major problems with this property.

Compare our survey reports with other surveying website

We recommend you compare our survey reports with others and we are confident you will find our reports are superior to most.

Please feel free to have a look at our website to see for yourself the quality of our website, articles and our Building Survey reports. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports which we have been carrying out for many years on every age, type and style of property across the UK .

Free phone us today on 0800 298 5424 to speak to a surveyor.


We can email you examples of our building surveys

listed propertyWe recommend you look at our survey examples at These are downloadable. We are also happy to email you a survey example of one of our reports, which are tailor made to your needs. Call us on free phone 0800 298 5424.

See our interesting surveying articles

We have written many surveying articles which we think will be of interest to you. If you have a problem or surveying question we are sure we have written an article about it. Here are a selection for you to look at, but please see our Home Page and have a browse:

A first time buyer's experience of buying a property

Moving house from one county to another

Woodworm Treatment

Common Pitched Roofs

Beautifully naïve thoughts when buying a property

We use red circles and ovals on our photographs and sketches in our survey reports

The red ovals and circles in our building surveys are a way of explaining and highlighting a problem or potential problem within the property we are surveying.

listed property

listed property

Radiators should be positioned under windows to

promote good air movement

Radiator on an internal wall is not the best place for good air flow

Photographs and thermal imaging photos

listed property
Thermal image showing heat loss out of a thatched roof

We always use a photographic record of things we find in a property during a survey; some good, some bad, some characteristics of that age, type and style of property.

We often carry out thermal imaging too. The red areas in the photo show heat loss from a part of the property, in the adjacent photo you can see heat loss from the roof.

All rights reserved by

All rights are reserved the contents of the website are not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of