Roof pre-purchase inspection. Advice.

22 Apr 2016
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United Kingdom
Proposed house purchase. Found this in the loft on inspection.
Cant see any signs of leaks, but can see light around the chimney from inside the loft. See gaps in tiles on the outside.
Felt is perished....

What would you do?

Also, any idea why the breeze block gable end in the loft? and ties bard appear to have been added. they look newer than the rest of the house for sure. Both gable ends are breeze block with the tie bars.
And the rendered chimney in the loft?

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Moderator's note
You could have used the "report" button and asked for it to be moved to Roofing
I'd put your offer in subject to survey, and then get a good surveyor to go over it. If it wasn't got the state of the roof from the inside, I'd say you just need a roofer to go over it, and fix the slipped slates, and repoint the chimney flashings; but with the state of the roof from the inside, I'd suggest re-roofing it has to be considered. They've obviously put off the big job, and just done running repairs - hence the rendered chimney breast, but at some stage, you'll need to bite the bullet, and do the roof and the chimney properly. But whilst the scaffolding is up, you could think about putting in a wood burning stove, and dropping a flue liner down the chimney.

But if they've let the roof and chimney get in that state, you definitely need the place checked over.
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Having taken another look at the first picture of the roof, it almost looks as though the tiles at the gable end have pulled apart, and that might explain why they've added the blockwork inside the chimney - to support a bulging gable end.
Interesting, thanks guys.

Gable end looked ok from outside.
The inner skin is probably built in blockwork, but most will not be showing apart from in the roof space. The blocks look like AAC maybe Thermalite.
When were AAC / Thermalite blocks introduced?

From what you have seen here and my post on the brickwork, what era would you place the property?

The seller is unsure and i am curious to know its history.

AAC blocks were around in the UK at least as far back as the 60's, but came into common use in the mid 70's when the U values for walls changed.
Could be a 60's build, but with country properties a lot were built by farmers on their land for their kids. Many of these were put up with no planning or building regs.
Where I live most people still put up extensions without any regs.
BTW the ties should go through the blockwork. and be built in.

I'm thinking its a 60/70s property too now.

Originally I thought it was a few decades older but it's making sense if it's that era.

Yes those ties were an afterthought for some reason.

Other than requesting the old / original deeds, how can you find the age. Old maps?
Tiled verge on brick gable doesn't usually settle. The field area of tiling however is on timber and will sagged a little over time.
This can clearly be see in the photos. = tiled verge stays where it is timber settles a bit and the will tiles pull apart.
internally 2 felts are present. looks like the wasps liked it up there.
I still go with 50's/60's And a tradesman build . The sarking felt has some old fibreglass insulation with building paper under it - put on before the battens and tiles were done. The chimney flashing looks a bit minimal but I've seen worse. The rendered chimney is a good neat job - lots were just parged up by the brickie or his labourer. There are lead cavity trays over the windows. There is Georgian influence in the door and roof windows that I can't see an architect specifying, but I think the builder/owner liked it. I would get a survey done then you will know, but I personally would say it's a good one,just from what I see in your photos ( I'm a bit biased being Sussex born and bred;)) There are the services to consider, they may not have been updated since it was built. Please keep us updated here, it's an interesting one.
Thanks for the feedback. It was the features that really attracted me to it. Very unique build.

The house is in the grounds of a larger house, beleived it was built for a family member to live in, maybe they came from a grand house and wanted to bring the features with them.

Another feature is the dormers and porch have copper roofs.

Do you think the sarking / felt will need to be replaced, roof off job?

If i have time i will get a roofer to look over it, but interested to know opinions.
The house is in the grounds of a larger house, beleived it was built for a family member to live in.
As I said in a previous post, when I first saw the photo it reminded me of what a lot of the farmers used to do round and build a bungalow or house on the land, usually without any regs.
Often they are quite well built as they are for family members and farmers are normally quite capable of building to a reasonable standard with a bit of help.
Roofs like this one used to survive without felt, although if it does start leaking the tiles will have to come off for a felt and batten.
Can be difficult to date a property like this, but if it was built to Regs there could be a few clues to its age, like if there are no flue liners it was likely to be before 1965.
You could always go onto the land registry website, and for £4, you can download the deeds, and that should show the age.

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