Monday 25th January 2021
Carl O'Boyle BSc MRICS FCIOB MFPWS
Surveying Artegan Houses.
We at Tayross chartered building surveyors in Pinner were asked to survey an Artegan house in the Pinner Wood Estate.
Generally Artegan houses are very well built, they were built mainly in the 1920's up to the outbreak of the Second World War.
I am unaware of any major subsidence and heave issues generally in the Pinner Wood Estate. I have personally experienced flood issues in Woodhall Gate with the surface water extending up to the green opposite Bede Close.
The buyer was particularly interested to know whether they could extend into the attic and create a further room with an en-suite.
Although it is possible to convert an Artegan house most of them are located within a conservation area.
The biggest problem is always the head height above the stair case. Conservation will rarely allow any modification of the roof planes that are visible from the street.
This particular Artegan house was of the smaller variety and therefore the roof space itself was quite small so in my opinion the attic cannot be converted.
The clients were also interested to know if the large rear garden (which was quite soggy on our visit) was usual in this area and if it was anything to worry about.
The garden was gently sloping and we did not observe any excessive waterlogged ground; like most gardens in the London area they are not very functional during the winter months. However, they dry out very quickly in the summer and sometimes to the extent large fissure cracks appear to open up which most people try and fill with clay and sand only to have them reappear somewhere else, not much one can do about this.
The roofs of Artegan houses are always steeply pitched with plain clay tiles which are pegged onto a timber Sarkin. This makes them easy to replace when they get damaged this is because the tiles themselves are very fragile, sometimes referred to as cornflakes.
During the recent survey we conducted there were a couple of issues such as lateral damp where the outhouse had been incorporated into the main property and the trip switch board where the electrics are were not up to the latest regulations.
We use the traffic light system in our reports so that the reader gets a good understanding of the defects and how these should be considered.
We also cast up the critical items that most buyers are able to use as a negotiation with the sellers.
We had a recent survey where the seller; because of the condition of the property; received a £15,000 reduction as these defects were not apparent during their sales visit.