Cracks in walls.... Should we be concerned??

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21 Mar 2021
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Hi,
We're looking at a property and have an offer placed on it. The house is a 1960s build, and we have seen evidence of cracks in both internal and on one external wall. Should we be worried?? Should we step away or is this a relatively easy fix??

The main ones are in one bedroom.... Above the window in a diagonal pattern, below the window and behind radiator (stepped crack in the mortar externally follows the line of the internal crack), and one that appears to be in the chimney breast but this is joined to the house next door.

The others are near the front door, under the living room bow window, and in the rear of the property where the extension joins the original house.
 

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My 2 p....Yes. Concerned enough for due diligence to be done. Get it properly assessed. You may find neighbours in nearby houses have similar failure modes playing out. Not a time for fingers crossed approach. Imo .
 
Thank you, it's really playing on my mind! We have asked a builder friend who didn't seem too concerned and said it wouldn't cost a fortune to put right (way below what I had thought it would cost!) but it's really bothering me. Would a surveyor potentially say it wasn't suitable to be mortgaged??
 
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Cracks internal and external may indicate foundation movement or it may be a lintel problem, or or could be shrinkage of the walls.

What you need to know is whether the cracking is a sign of ongoing movement or if it's stopped. The cracks are just the symptom, so despite your builder friend's lack of concern and belief of ease to fix the cracks, in reality what you need to know is what's causing the cracking and to fix that - if it is foundation moment for instance, what it's causing that .... a drain, a tree the ground?

Consider a survey by a structural engineer to comment in the cracking. A building survey (building surveyor) won't comment on the cracks. But bear in mind that a structural engineer wont comment on other things such as damp, timber rot, material condition etc. So you may need two surveys.

Depending on the findings, you could potentially get a reduction in the asking price to reflect the cost of repairs. A lender may withhold funds or partial funds until works are complete.
 

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