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The Adventures of a Building Surveyor

Hello, welcome to the 1st Associated Blog! Here we will discuss anything and everything to do with our passion of property and surveying combined with a few of our musings on life and some of our articles thrown in for good measure.



Asbestos - is it all bad news?

Posted 13/1/2014

When buying a property a good building survey will highlight any problems within the building. Asbestos is one of the issues we often come across during our surveys and often the mere mention of it strikes dread in our clients and they will often walk away from the property.

Unfortunately, because of a lack of materials post war, asbestos was used in everything from roof tiles and flues to floor tiles and Artex paint, meaning Asbestos can be found in many areas of a property both internally and externally and you may not even know it is there.  

Image Gallery

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BRE Innovations Park

Posted 1/1/2014

We would like to wish everyone a

Happy New Year from all at 1st  Associated


The BRE (Building Research establishment) Innovations Park

With the world constantly striving to become more energy efficient and hopefully cost effective, we are seeing more and more new construction techniques being used in modern housing. With this in mind we thought we would talk about our day spent at the BRE Innovations Park Watford.


The park was opened in 2005 and showcases some of the world’s most sustainable buildings, with the aim being to reduce our carbon footprint and at the same time improve the standard of construction of the properties and also the quality of health for people living in them.

Cub HouseCub House

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Christmas, a time for giving and buying houses?

Posted 24/12/2013

Although most people are thinking of the usual gift buying for friends and family, decorating the tree and debating whether the 18lb turkey they have bought will fit in the oven, some will be thinking of buying a property over the Christmas period.

This may sound a rather strange time to be thinking about doing this but there are a couple of reasons why it makes perfect sense.


  • There may be less competition for the property that you have your eye on as many other people will decide to leave making offers on a property until after Christmas.


  •  Sellers are often happier and in good spirits and so may offer a little goodwill to all men (and women) and accept a reduced price for the property.


Whatever time of year you decide to buy your future home, investment property or commercial premises remember that although Christmas comes but once a year property problems can occur throughout the year and as Independent Chartered Surveyors we are more than happy to help and advise you with any concerns you may have. Please call us on 0800 298 5424


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 

from all at


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Cold winters, warm houses and condensation problems

Posted 17/12/2013

With winter truly here and with the drop in temperature we are all turning up the dial on the thermostat to try to keep the cold at bay. Unfortunately keeping our homes warm can have a downside especially with old buildings that were constructed differently to new, modern buildings.


As Surveyors we often see old properties that have been amended and refurbished with modern extensions, insulation, double glazed windows and central heating. These changes mean that the buildings cannot function as they were originally designed to do. Often all ventilation is blocked including air bricks, vents and chimney openings. This basically means that the property is almost air tight which creates problems when moisture generated within the building needs to escape but cannot.

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Is your home at risk? The threat from flooding

Posted 9/12/2013

This week we have seen areas of Britain battered by strong winds and storms with parts of the country flooded, especially along the East coast of England which was hit by the worst storm surge in sixty years.  Record high tides have seen thousands of houses damaged and thousands of people evacuated from their homes with a few even losing their homes to the sea where sand banks were washed away. 


Although the sea, high tides and inadequate sea defences will always cause problems in coastal areas we are seeing more and more floods all over the country each year. This can be down to the usual things such as swollen rivers bursting their banks after continued heavy rain fall or when thawing snow in Winter raises the river level.  

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See your property in 3D… 3D glasses required!

Posted 2/12/2013

Here at 1stAssociated our Building Surveyors are always keen to give our clients a really top notch service. We have recently begun to offer a 3D design service that enables us to show your property in a 3D Sketch format. Using this design software we can show you any plans you may have thought about including adding an extension, adding a whole new floor or maybe just adding extra doors and windows or roof windows.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to see what that new rear kitchen extension that you have dreamed about looks like on your property? Or what about that new extension to the roof complete with dormer windows? 

3D Sketches of bunglaow

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To buy or not to buy…..a modern timber frame property?

Posted 25/11/2013

We thought we would talk a little about modern timber framed properties, which are often built with price in mind rather than the quality of the build. With housing in great demand, new developments are springing up all across the country and typically these timber framed properties can be built quickly and cheaply. However we are still unsure at this point in time of the problems that house owners may face with this type of construction in years to come. With this in mind we would like to tell you a bit about our recent survey on a modern timber frame property. 

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Large Georgian property in London with a very large price tag!

Posted 18/11/2013

We were recently commissioned to carry out a Building Survey on a property in London .We were amazed to discover it was worth £10,000,000! In fact we later found out that the market value was actually  £12,000,000 with £10,000,000 being the  offer that our client had made for the property. There is often not much room for negotiation with a property like this which is testimony to the demand for property in London from big investors. London’s property market is thriving, with foreign investors fueling prices and demand. 

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High strength lease- dilapidations expert needed!

Posted 12/11/2013

We arrived in Essex to survey a large warehouse where we were trying to help the tenant avoid a hefty dilapidation's bill before they moved onto another property. The trouble is that he was left with a high strength lease which was renewed automatically and he had no idea what was coming his way! - he was looking at a high cost exit!  


What we mean by a high strength lease is one that is worded very much in the landlords favour, the clauses were so onerous and shocking that they sent shivers down the tenant’s spine – sweet, warm tea and biscuits were naturally in order during our meeting. 

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Roof fire - feeling hot, hot, hot!

Posted 4/11/2013

We were recently asked to survey a new build property in Berkshire. On the day of  the survey we arrived to find a property which, on the face of it, looked like a reasonably good purchase, although our surveyor had an inkling there was something strange about the roof.

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