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Hi all,

Looking for some advice here.

Offer accepted on 1950s livett Cartwright house. Mortgage going through fine. Banks surveyor have put a £5k retainer on the mortgage pending an inspection of the stanchion bases.

I sent a structural engineer out to carry out the inspection with their endoscope. He said he couldn’t get close enough to them either internally or externally but said chances are they need doing so do them. The property had external insulation and he didn’t want to drill through.

Builder lined up for Monday to do them at a cost of £2760 inc VAT. He then mentions the party wall.

So I go round and introduce myself to the neighbours & they say they’re not too keen on their insulation being cut into as it will void the warranty.

Builder furious.

So, my real question I guess is, how complicated is it to look at them with as little interference as possible? I don’t know how long the surveyors endoscope is but you can buy a HD one with a light on from amazon for 25

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00KV669US/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1416054706&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SY200_QL40

And it has a 5m cable on it. Surely you’d be able to see the stanchion bases using this from within the property??? I’m guessing they just live in the cavity between the external concrete panels and the internal plasterboard?

Feel like im having the wool pulled over my eyes here. On pictures on stanchion bases they are roughly at ground level, the render on the insulation starts about 5 inches above ground level so again. How can’t they be looked at without cutting into the render???

Any opinions or experiences would be welcomed.

Cheers

David

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Hello David
The external wall insulation on any house isusually around 70-90mm thick with another 5 -20mm on top of this depending on what surface coat has been added. Pebble dash will be more towards an extra 10mm thick but acrylic render top coat will only be around 1.5mm plus a few millimetres extra for the base slurry coat.

The insulation boards will probably be light weight and easy to cut but the problem will be repairing any holes made in them as with Acrylic render it’s not just a simple job of patching over the repair. Pebble dash is a little easier providing you use the exact same aggregate and this is all presuming that the property hasn’t first been boarded over with plywood panels as some are.

Using a Boroscope can be a little tricky as some are better than others to direct into place but to be honest it may well be worth trying yourself to obtain a good viewpoint and taking a little more time than the surveyor was prepared to spend as it could work out to be much cheaper if you do manage to get a good view and especially if they appear to be in order.

My research tends to show that in general the stanchions of these house tend to fare very well with only the following pointers recommended to surveyors by the BRE.

Minor corrosion of RSJ stanchions, particularly at bases and PRC plinth level.
Corrosion of steel windows and PS surrounds.
Spalling of concrete PRC panels window sills and door canopies.
Deterioration of mortar joints between PRC panels.
Corrosion of cast iron flue pipes.

As we primarily deal with BISF houses here, we have very little information available specific to the Livett Cartwright house, but as we hope to gather further information for owners of all system built houses, it would be great if you could keep us updated as to the outcome as it may well assist others in a similar situation to yourself.

I hope this helps

Marc

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