Properties are as diverse as those that own them, however certain basic principles are universal, so we look closely at the following areas:
Before arriving at the property: Visit to the selling agent or notaire's office to collect a complete dossier for the property: cadastral (“land registry”) plan; diagnostic reports which are akin to the UK's 'seller's pack'. To note: for a private sale only an asbestos report is required by law.
Boundaries: Identify any delineation or potentially problematic issues, such as common access, trees, streams, etc. which affect the wider ‘estate’.
Chimneys: Apparent structural integrity, pointing / rendering and water-tightness where the stack meets the roofline.
Roof(s): Apparent alignment of the ridge and ridge tiles; feathering of tiles / slates which may indicate deflection / sagging / splay of support structure. Condition of roof covering(s) noting slipped or missing tiles. Condition of tile / slate retaining clips or nails. Rainwater gutterings & downpipes, if any.
External walls: Checks for perpendicularity (“uprightness”) ; examination for cracks in pointing and rendering as well as structural components and consideration as to possible causes, e.g.: old or inappropriate mortar, settlement and / or subsidence. Check for damp proofing course (if any) and signs of water ingress between inner and outer walls.
Roof spaces: Visual check of roof support members, where visible, general condition of structural and party / fire walls. Flooring (if any) and noting any limitations on subsequent re-use with regard to structural framework / clear heights etc.
Structural frame: Checks for signs of movement and load-bearing integrity. Additionally, wooden roof-support structures, being organic in origin, merit close examination for signs of rot / infestation or general decay.
Damp: Take two readings at 1m height from the internal face of each external wall, and one from each internal wall using non-invasive ultrasound measuring technique.
Windows and other openings: Condition / state of repair of windows and entrance doors.
Outbuildings: Superficial survey of outbuildings, their general state of repair and condition unless otherwise instructed.
If barns, garages or other outbuildings are considered for possible conversion / change of use we recommend that the survey inspection and report be extended accordingly.
France House Surveys +33 (0)2 97 38 50 90 firstname.lastname@example.org