We have listed below the main generic types of Inspection and Report that Taylor Tuxford Associates can provide to its Clients. A brief description of each type of inspection and report is attached, wherein we shall try to explain why these reports may be required and how we can help you with them: -
A Structural Engineer's Inspection and Report is commonly required when a property has evidence of past or ongoing structural movement – such as fracturing or distortion to walls, floors, roofs or internal finishes. Examples of building distortion might include bulging or leaning walls, sagging ceilings and roofs, or an overall "tilt" in one direction.
Our structural engineer will try to determine - if possible by an initial visual inspection - whether this movement is longstanding and stable, or whether it is possibly ongoing and progressive. Sometimes it is not possible to reach a firm conclusion from a visual inspection and further investigations may be required, in which case the structural engineer will advise you of this (see below under "Site Investigations").
It is important to remember that such surveys are, in the first instance, visual inspections only and unless special arrangements have been made beforehand to do so, will not include comments on any areas of the property that are inaccessible or hidden from view.
If your property is thought to be suffering from Subsidence Taylor Tuxford Associates may be able to assist you in making a claim under the terms of your property insurance policy or if the damage may be due to Coal Mining Subsidence, we shall be pleased to assist you to make a claim against the relevant body under the provisions of the Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991. Rhys Taylor individually has more than 16 years' detailed experience of dealing with claims for Coal Mining Subsidence Damage.
A Site Investigation is most commonly required in cases where a simple visual inspection has failed to identify the true cause of building damage/movement. Site Investigations can take several forms including, as examples:-
- Desk-top studies of historical mining or geological records
- Detailed site level and topography surveys
- Excavating trial pits to determine the size, nature and depth of a building's foundations
- Drilling boreholes to obtain accurate data on the deeper strata below foundation level
- Laboratory testing of soil samples recovered from trial pits and boreholes
- Internal visual surveys of buried drainage pipes, using CCTV camera equipment
Taylor Tuxford Associates does not usually perform all of the above site investigations itself, but will customarily assist its Clients to engage the most appropriate specialist contractors for the particular project/task, providing expert supervision of the works on site and an interpretative report and recommendations based on the site investigation output data.
These surveys are most commonly required before entering into a formal lease of a business premise. Generally, a Condition Survey is quite detailed and will identify any visual defects that exist at the property at the date of the survey, which is usually undertaken prior to commencement of the lease or possibly prior to commencing works to an adjacent property.
The benefit of this is that if you are entering into a repairing lease (that is to say an agreement where you undertake to hand the property over at the end of the lease period in a condition no worse than when you took possession) it is comparatively easy to identify all defects that were visibly present at the commencement date, thus it is possible that these may be excluded from a final settlement for repairs at the termination of the lease.
Taylor Tuxford Associates strongly recommends that you discuss the need for a Condition Survey with your legal advisers prior to signing up to any property lease.
Where works are proposed to an adjacent property (possibly under the provisions of the Party Wall etc Act 1996) it may be advisable to carry out a condition survey to determine the presence of any pre-existing defects, in order that any potential damage resulting from the building works may be more easily identified before the works commence and if appropriate, protective measures put in place to reduce the risk of further damage from occurring.