1. Foundations, good foundations are the most single critical component to any building, luckily building control will check the excavation depths and suitability of the ground as part of their checks. On existing properties look out for cracks in masonry, and signs of movement, if in doubt get a full survey before buying.
2. Drains, Modern domestic drains tend to be plastic, in 6m long lengths which are robust and reliable. Watch out for pitch fibre drains which have a tendency to squash into an oval shape reducing the flow capacity and block easily. The other thing to bear in mind with drains is tree roots, which can infiltrate drains and cause blockages. Clay drainage pipes are in shorter lengths, often with cement joints which can allow tree roots to penetrate. If in doubt get a drain survey prior to purchase.
3. Insulation. We cannot see it in our walls, floors and ceilings but it is essential to a warm energy efficient home. Ask if there is any, and what type and thickness it is. Always use a reputable contractor to install it.
4. Water main (incoming water). Traditionally the incoming water main was a 15mm or 20mm pipe in either plastic, copper or lead, which was fine for gravity fed systems. Modern heating systems tend to be mains pressure, so if your incoming supply is too small, no matter how good your internal plumbing, you will have poor pressure especially if multiple baths or showers are run simultaneously. We recommend a minimum of 25mm incoming water main supply pipe.
5. Electrical wiring (hidden). In many older properties the wiring can be perished, and/or have rodent damage. Get your wiring checked by a professional electrician to potentially avoid a house fire.
If you are concerned about any of the above aspects of your home feel free to get in touch with us here