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Nice things people say about us...

 

   

 

Steve Murray recommends Heritage House Building Conservation: "I'm highly qualified and very experienced with working on listed buildings. Peter Wards knowledge is exceptional and shouldn't be brought into disrepute. I have no worries in writing this review even though technically Peter is a competitor of mine. I know heritage house holds the same values as my company and that is primarily to do the best thing to conserve the building so it lasts long into the future."

 

February:

We would just like to say a big thank you. Your website has literally saved us thousands. We too had the unfortunate experience of Mr Wally Damp Man when buying our Victorian home. His quote was not far off £15,000. His survey, if you could call it that, missed literally all the causes of damp in our home - open air vents in the floor causing moisture on the walls, windows that had been painted shut for more than 30 years causing condensation, artex on the walls (yes I know), plastic underlay on a floor that had been partly cemented causing it to sweat and retain moisture (and a putrid smell to boot), external plastic paint down one side of the house, air vents blocked by paint, air vents blocked by soil, external ground level too high in most places, land drains cemented up and a tree as tall as the house right outside the front window. Most of the radiators in the house had been switched off for god knows how long and we believe the central heating was never used as the boiler was broken. NONE of this was in his report yet he recommended injecting a damp course and replastering the whole of the downstairs of the house without any proper investigation and he wouldn't give us the report until we had given him a google review! The sale nearly fell through because of him and as he is on the PCA register the mortgage company believed his report and called the house 'unmortgageable' . He had the cheek to phone when we finally completed to ask when we wanted the work to start. Nearly a year later after many second opinions, although we still have a job list as long as my arm we have fallen in love with our house and know exactly what we have left to do and how to do it without doing any of the remedial work he suggested. We can't thank you enough for the help this website has given us and we have also shared it with others. Gill and Richard Cookson, Garstang, Lancs

 January

Good morning...

Thank you so much for this, as said before cannot thank you enough for all the help you’ve given us, it’s been a pleasure having you here and the advice you’ve given us to date has been exceptional. 

To find a company that cares from first contact and throughout is a rare thing, yourself and Sarah have smashed it! Think a pay rise should be on the cards! (After you’ve finished at The House obviously!) 

Many thanks 

May 

Hi ,

Sorry for late reply, we’ve been away so just catching up with emails and being as yours was a bill it somehow made it to the bottom of my priority list............

I will make payment by bank transfer today.

I haven’t had chance to read the report in full as of yet but you’ll have to let me know if you want me to leave a review anywhere or anything like that. I was really impressed by the survey and I’m more than happy with the service you’ve provided thus far. Feels like we finally know which direction to head in with the house and is now just a case of sorting out various quotes and contractors. 

Really pleased I made the phone call !

Thank you

All the best

Ollie

December 2019

Hi

Your a gentleman and a scholar,

Had damp problems to the back of my house surveyor told me to remove kitchen units, hack of internal plaster inject chemicals into wall total £2000.

Followed your advise worked out patio was above damp proof course, so now removed, walls drying £2000 still in my pocket.

Thank you

Simon 😊

 

May 2019

Had a fantastic day with Peter, please pass on our heartfelt thanks to him. Really filled us with confidence to tackle the property in question, and most importantly in an informed and sympathetic way. Although nothing structurally wrong (which is great news), I fear all the little suggestions will add up to quite a bit of cost in the end, but at least we now know what we are in for and where we are going.

I know Peter will be hard pressed to draft anything up (hence I did take copius notes during our discussions), especially given his excellent news regarding RICS, so will be in your hands as to whether we do receive anything - we did discuss him providing a short statement if the mortgage lender takes a dim and uneducated view on "damp".

Hopefully you (Peter) would be okay to provide any future advice or support if needed on our project pathway? And we would be more than happy to pass on updates if you do collect client feedback?

Once again, many thanks and we really appreciate him traveling down to us - it must have been a long day for him. 

Kind regards

Julian & Nicky

 

May 

Hi  - Just a quick testimonial for you -

The crew from Heritage house did a full building survey for us on our grade II listed Georgian house in Worcestershire. They did an incredibly thorough job, highlighting any current or potential problems with the building. They also looked into the history and construction of the building and produced one of the most comprehensive and complete surveys I have ever seen. They were not the cheapest, but they were certainly competitive. In the long run, it has actually saved us money. We are currently having some fairly extensive building work done to the house, and because the heritage house report was so detailed, it has formed a large part of the planning and conservation application! It has also given us a great insight into the history of the house and has helped us to understand its journey. 

A Fantastic service all round, a pleasure to deal with, and so worth the slightly higher cost!

Thanks so much,

Sarah

 

August 

Dear All,

I just transferred the money for the invoice. 

It's been a pleasure dealing with Michael and you and I appreciate the work you do to help people like us (knowing next to nothing about houses) to look after our homes without pumping them full of chemicals.

Thank you very much

Hana

August 2017:

Just wanted to let you know your videos have potentially saved me a fair amount of money from what we thought was ‘rising damp’.

We had a wet floor and wall in a downstairs room that seemed to be coming up form the solum, I went down there and right enough, the area and wall below the damp was wet. I didn’t think it could be rising damp initially and thought it might be a leaking heating pipe – but I inspected all of them and couldn’t find any problems. That’s when we decided that it must be rising damp. I’m pretty handy and have been doing the house up myself, so my first port of call was YouTube to see if damp proofing was something I could do myself. I watched a few videos and decided I’d give it a go using stuff you can get online and drilling into the wall below the floor. Then, one of your videos came up. Then another, then another. My wife and I must have watched almost all your uploads in one sitting and felt much more educated about what the problem could be.

I checked the under floor vents outside the house, we’re in a victorian terrace and only have one at the front and one at the rear. The one at the front was clogged with dirt and dust on the inside presumably blocking the movement of air somewhat – so I sorted that straight away.

I didn’t think that was enough too cause the wet though and I remembered from when we bought the house two years ago that the upstairs shower had been leaking but repaired before the sale. The shower isn’t above where the damp is so I wasn’t convinced, but I dismantled the bath front (installed and tiled up like Fort Knox) and low and behold – wet. The tiling around the bath was awful, I removed all the sealant and was left with a 10mm gap between the tiles and bath – installed by a wally! I’ve managed to patch all the gaps until we redo the bathroom, but within 24hours we noticed the damp downstairs had started clearing up.

Cost – £30. I’m not entirely sure of the route the water was taking down the wall to below the floor because there’s no signs of damp higher up the walls, but I’m not bothered now, it’s fixed! Just so glad we didn’t call a 'damp specialist’ out.

So thank you!

Richy

March 2017:

Hi Peter, and team,

I just want write to say thank you for your absolutely fantastic website and blog. I have recently purchased a wee terraced house with solid walls (1904ish) which is generally in good shape but needs a lot of TLC. Yesterday I was researching lime plaster and stumbled across your website. After reading through it I decided to take a look at an area that has been bugging me above the stairs where it looks like the paint is bubbling. Sure enough, someone has used modern gypsum plaster on the ceiling and wall down to the picture rail to cover a crack in the old ceiling plaster and the whole lot had blown and just fell off (with minimal prodding) to reveal patches of mouldy, rotten lining paper between the new and old plaster. The old lime plaster, despite being cracked is still intact. I still need to investigate to find the source of the moisture in case its not just condensation but I'm pretty sure that bit of the house is happier now it can breathe.

I also found the section on breathable insulation very helpful. There are a lot of DIY bloggers online showing how they have successfully insulated their old draughty Victorian homes. I would like to reduce my energy bills and impact on the environment as much as the next person but something didn't sit right with the way they were hermetically sealing their houses, as my limited knowledge of old buildings is that they are designed to breathe. Anyway, after finding your website the most I will be doing is using hemp lime and in the loft hemp fibre boards and sheepswool to replace the fibreglass stuff that's up there just now. (by the way your comments regarding sheepswool gave me a good chuckle)

My only disappointed with your website is that I didn't find it sooner i.e. I would have used you for my buildings survey pre-purchase! The surveyor I used, who at the time I was impressed with, I now realise has told me some very bizarre things - for example when I specifically asked if I would need to repoint with lime mortar, he told me no it would be ok to use cement :-/

So, a heartfelt thank you for making your knowledge and experience available online and for sharing your enthusiasm and love for old properties. 

Kind Regards

Viki

February 2017:

Hi

I’d just like to thank you for the information on your website regarding damp, especially rising damp!

We bought a 17th C cottage last February, which had damp problems, and fortunately looked on the net for info because the surveyor had said we needed a damp proof course!  Fortunately we spotted your site and having read the horror stories you highlight we dug into it a lot more and went on the SPAB homeowners course.

Following all that we have stripped the concrete render off the outside, removed the concrete floor and “damp proof” membrane from our lower than outside ground level floors inside, ripped off all the gypsum / tanking plaster and hey presto the walls are all drying out nicely, surprise surprise! 

We have a fair bit of work to do but should end up with a nice dry little cottage with lime plaster/render and limecrete floors.

I now use your site as a reference every time someone says to me "I've got damp in my old house".

Cheers

Terry Collins

East Yorkshire

 

December 2016

Hi Peter

Just read your web page and a smile crept across my face like a cheshire cat! I have been banging on about the same things for years and people think I am mad, I laughed out loud at the restaurant wall by the river...answer that Mr damp man! I manage a large private estate of around 400 assorted houses mostly mid late victorian and am slowly and painfully reversing the carnage, keep up the good work

regards

Tim Hunter

December 2016

Thanks Pete,

Your advice is much appreciated and it is refreshing to get facts rather than the speculation and conjecture that comes with getting normal builders to look at a problem. I've taken off a test area of the render and it comes off fairly easily so I've now got to decide whether to take on the whole house. Brickwork is stained with cement but hoping a chemical brick cleaner can remove that. I honestly think that the house is just absorbing moisture from the outside that is getting trapped behind the render and the moisture that is generated inside the house itself can't escape either. I'm already going to have to fit airbricks in the gables due to the fact I checked the loft in this our first winter and it was like it was raining indoors. No sofitts although insulation wasn't blocking the cavity at least.

Thankfully I put the screws to the surveyor and after months of letters with them starting out with an offer of £500 I got them to pay £5,000 to stay out of court.

Thanks again for your help.

Edward.

P.S. if only your comment on PVC windows could get the same amount of coverage as they installers do!

Hi,

I came across your website and was wondering if I could ask for a piece of advice. I live in a detached house circa 1910 that has had some problems with damp, including the odd patch upstairs. The house has been rendered and I'm wondering if this is perhaps part of the problem. The paint job on the render is starting to blow in a few places and having stripped a lot of the paint off one wall there are a few long small cracks and some larger ones that would need raking out a filling. I'm not sure what a cement render looks like but this looks like the grey of cement is places and is more sandy in others.

My question is should I just take the render off and allow the house to breath again? If so what is the best way without destroying the brickwork? I'm in no rush so happy to take it slowly with a hammer and cold chisel to carefully remove the render if that is a viable way to do it. Likewise does removing the render affect the UPVC window and back door fittings or would they just be fitted to the brick cavity and not the cavity formed by the render?

Sorry for all the questions but it is so easy to get bad advice or ripped off as I only learnt all this about damp after we had bought the property a year and a half ago and then on the surveyors say so paid for a number of sections of the internal downstairs to get a chemical damp proof course where there had been damp patches. As such, I'm really keen not to make the same mistake again.

Regards,

Edward

October 2016

"Using his unique knowledge base and passion (and I do mean passion!), Pete Ward not only rubbished many of the generic recommendations of our mortgage company's appointed building surveyor, he also found several structural issues with our house which were not brought to our attention. 
They were instrumental in bringing our complaint with the third party surveyor to conclusion, and expertly prepared spec sheets for the remedial works required. This gave us the tools to take on the third party's insurance company to a satisfactory conclusion.
 
If you are buying a historic home or have issues such as "rising damp", Heritage House should be your first port of call.

Steve & Kirsty"

November 2016

Hi,

Last year I moved into a Victorian stone-walled cottage. The mortgage company insisted on a survey using their appointee, who did the "meter oh you've got rising damp need a PCA timber and damp survey" piece. Thanks to your website, National Trust, English Heritage and RICS own info, I was able to convince the mortgage company their appointee was incorrect. Now I've had the leaking gutter fixed, and removed the Anaglypta-stuck-on-with-Copydex-and-sealed-with-plastic-paint, the walls are drying out nicely. Fortunately most of the mortar is still lime, as is the plaster; the latter needs a bit of repair still, and there's a bit of concrete mortar to remove when I get rid of the plastic windows, but at least this house has a chance!

I also own a stone cottage in Wales, which had a roof leak where a chimney hadn't been removed properly in the past. Asked the agents to find a builder/roofer, but they got a damp-proofer instead who didn't even look at the cause but quoted for wrapping the house inside with impermeable material ( he said it's used on the London Underground so guaranteed to hold water back)!!! Obviously he didn't get the job, because I don't want the water trapped in the building structure.

So thank you for your website and keep up the good work. I'm actually amazed they can get away with this.

Regards

Pat

 

April 

Tom emailed me with a few questions about issues he had with his house.  I suggested a damp survey was a bit over the top and to let me know what the problems were.  A few pings by email and we had gotten to the bottom of most problems and shown Tom the way to go forward.  

Pete,

Thanks so much for your free advice that you have given us. We have been sorting out damp problems on an 1890s property, and your advice has certainly saved us a lot of wasted money with cowboy builders. 

We would recommend you to anyone who has encountered damp problems in their homes, as your solutions and advice are sensible, pragmatic and not just a temporary fix. 

Thanks Pete. 

Tom

Our surveyors are Regulated by RICS