Dormers

Joined
22 Nov 2009
Messages
2,085
Reaction score
417
Location
Oldham
Country
United Kingdom
My mum is selling her house. It's a bungalow on an estate of similar properties built in the 60"s. It has two dormers, installed in the 1970s, in common with many of the others houses on the estate. Other than the usual (felt roofs, timber windows and timber cladding - all now replaced with PVC/EPDM) they have caused no issues, no sagging, cracks etc.
The buyers homebuyer report has suggested possible structural issues (after a good poke around in the eaves behind the dormers) and recommended a full structural survey (at her expense).
I just wonder what they could be getting at, all I can think of is roofs not sufficiently restrained or lack of sheathing on the sides (I think they're just studwork and plasterboard so possible racking?
I don't think they've shared the report with her, but apparently remedial works could be up to £20k!
We've told the buyers to take it or leave it so it may be back on the market, in which case I might see if I can do any necessary work myself.

To our knowledge, there's never been a single actual issue with any dormer on the estate - and the vast majority were done by the same firm that did hers.

Screenshot_20220923-143210-010.png
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
1 May 2018
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
254
Country
United Kingdom
Agree, suggest take it or leave it. A dormer that has been in place since the 70's and has had no issues, is sound, whatever the survey says. (unless it's got rot or woodworm of course).
 
Joined
4 Apr 2008
Messages
2,107
Reaction score
350
Location
Hertfordshire
Country
United Kingdom
Possible structural issues? They must have a reason to state that, mustn’t they.

“Possible structural issues” with no commentary on the reasons for saying it sounds like arse covering of the highest order…

Ask them to elaborate on why they have put that sentence in their report.
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
1 May 2018
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
254
Country
United Kingdom
Wifes sister had a homebuyers survey done by her buyers very recently. Big red warning paragraph. Danger of death to children. Defective and loose electrical fitting.......The decorator had forgotten to put the screws back in an FCU in the conservatory. Took me ohh- 5 seconds to sort. What sort of numpties write these reports?
 
Joined
3 Sep 2006
Messages
37,406
Reaction score
5,472
Location
West Mids
Country
United Kingdom
Probably a wannabe plan drawer or something trying to do a proper job but out of his depth.

It's a seller's market. Tell them to do one.
 
Joined
23 Feb 2012
Messages
10,604
Reaction score
1,743
Location
Manchester
Country
United Kingdom
It looks as though the dormers have been built directly off the purlins, in which case the surveyor might be assuming that the purlins are carrying a heavier load than when the house was built?
Nonsense, of course, but to earn their fee off their clients, they have to write something, while at the same time passing the buck.
 
Joined
16 Apr 2004
Messages
5,171
Reaction score
845
Country
United Kingdom
Yeah, hang on though. It's been precariously balanced there since the 70s and could fall off any minute. Personally I'd like to know exactly where this is so I can avoid walking along that road. You can't be too careful.

PS. looks like it was designed by a plan drawer using sketchup.
 
Joined
22 Nov 2009
Messages
2,085
Reaction score
417
Location
Oldham
Country
United Kingdom
The house is back on the market! After we said we weren't paying for a survey, the buyer said she had another "builder/surveyor" ready (as you do) to come that day with a view to producing some kind of scheme of works that might only cost 10k or so which we could just knock off the price!

We've decided enough is enough, with this being yet another attempt to whittle down the price - basically she can barely afford to buy it, even though we already knocked some off to match her mortgage offer, and because the boiler is old, and the garage roof is asbestos and so on.

We've asked the estate agent for a copy of the homebuyer report so hopefully we can find out what the potential issue is.
 
Joined
22 Nov 2009
Messages
2,085
Reaction score
417
Location
Oldham
Country
United Kingdom
The estate agent wouldn't provide a copy of the report, fair enough, I had a garbled conversation with them and the apparent issue is the two main timber beams that carry the loft floor joists. His concern is that they may deflect excessively (not that they have done yet) and that one of them has rotated.

Looking at the rear dormer first, the beam picks up the loft floor joists via hangers and is below and slightly offset from the original purlin, at the far end it's carried off the party wall via a heavy duty joist hangar, at the near end it bears on a masonry wall, the original purlin carries the front face of the dormer and loads pretty much down to the same place as the new beam, the cheeks of all the dormers are built off the new loft floors/joists.
The photo shows near end of new beam and existing purlin:

IMG_20220930_123819668.jpg


The front dormer is similar but with some distance between purlin and beam, however this one looks a bit more ropey at the near end (hence his comment about rotation).

This is the front dormer beam and purlin with connecting prop (just above the bearing wall below - I presume the original brick pier or purlin prop was removed at the time)

IMG_20220930_132554376.jpg


IMG_20220930_131533402.jpg



Also attached is a rough "drawing" hopefully showing the loading on the beams (both flat roofed bedrooms). All the ground floor ceilings are separate on the original joists.

IMG_20220930_180332637.jpg


I can see virtually no deflection of the purlins or new beams - but obviously don't know whether they are potentially overloaded. I can see that the twisted purlin and beam arrangement might be an issue but that it could probably be restrained by something a bit more substantial than that piece of floorboard - I'll probably do something with that regardless.

Any thoughts would be appreciated - if something looks seriously wrong and is going to be flagged up again we might be better getting a report and a bit of remedial work, otherwise we'll just take our chances.

Thanks.
 
Joined
16 Apr 2004
Messages
5,171
Reaction score
845
Country
United Kingdom
Nice bit of balancing going on there. I'd just beef it up with some decent timber and good screw fixings. It's been there all those years without going anywhere so you really just need to stabilise the balancing trick and make it look better.
 
Joined
29 Jul 2011
Messages
5,331
Reaction score
874
Location
Lancashire
Country
United Kingdom
As Jeds really
Find a beefier bit of timber and wind it up with a car jack of something and make good.
 
Joined
22 Nov 2009
Messages
2,085
Reaction score
417
Location
Oldham
Country
United Kingdom
I've managed to straighten up the beam with some timber, bolts and steel plates, looks a lot better:

IMG_20220930_132554376.jpg


after:

IMG_20221006_140930138.jpg


I'm still not sure about the beams carrying the floors so I'm still tempted to bolt some steel flitch plates on them?
 
Joined
3 Sep 2006
Messages
37,406
Reaction score
5,472
Location
West Mids
Country
United Kingdom
You are better off fixing something in front of that so that whoever next pokes their head through the hatch, sees nothing or something that looks less Heath-Robinson
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Top