The ins and outs of roofs, windows and doors.
Every property has them and, apart from being a necessity, they’re often the defining features that can make or break a home. They’re also essential for security as well as protection from the elements.
So, if you’re looking at a property which you love, but are perhaps less than enamoured with its windows, doors and roof, it’s worth pulling together a budget for their replacement as part of its long term property renovation. Wooden doors and windows that have rotted or showing signs of age not only make your property less energy efficient but also pose a security risk.
Similarly with a roof, this is an essential asset which, if defective, will be pulled up in a structural survey. With older slate roof properties one of the recurring issues is either damaged tiles, rotten battens or a leaking lining.
Here’s our checklist:
- An external check is a great way to see the general condition and to see if any tiles are broken or slipped or if the mortar has cracked along the ridge
- Check the upstairs ceilings for damp patches as evidence of leaks
- Ask the vendors if the roof has been replaced or repaired. Have they got receipts or a guarantee?
- You might not be able to do a loft inspection yourself, but it's worth asking about the roof lining and loft insulation. Your surveyor will certainly gain access to the roof space
- If you're planning to replace the roof, get recommendations from a trusted roofer and ask to see samples of their work.
- On wooden windows look out for signs of rot, broken latches or failed double glazing - indentifiable by a non-removable water deposit on the inside. The same applies to uPVC. Early models of double glazing may show signs of yellowing (if white) and poor security.
- The latest range of uPVC sash or casement windows, already hugely popular in Scandinavia, bring all the aesthetics of traditional windows but with the energy-efficiency and security features of 21st century glazing.
- Since 2003, all new windows have to meet tough new standards with regard to energy efficiency, which includes the standard of glass they use. As a minimum this should be Pilkington KS, or similar. The rating scale from A-G makes it easy to identify the most energy efficient. A is the best, but watch out for windows graded in the middle C-E areas as these might meet energy standards, but fall down on security.
- For security you need strong S-lock composite doors, which normally come with 5 integrated locks. Wooden doors, unless very robust, should have a main lock with bolts at the top and bottom. On Bi-fold and sliding doors check that they open and close safely and securely. If recently installed, check for guarantees.
Some of these issues will be picked up in your surveyor’s report so it’s worth doing your homework on the cost of their replacement if you need to negotiate these points with your vendor.
Only invest in replacement windows and doors from a FENSA-registered installer. Companies registered with FENSA have to meet exacting standards with regard to installation. Also, double check on warranties to cover installation and manufacturing defects.
Whatever you do, before you buy make sure you pay for a full survey. And if you’re selling a property, pull together any documentation you have in terms of certificates of work done on these key features of your property.
Need more help? Why not give Max or Oliver a call at either our Holmfirth or Mirfield offices on 01484 680800 or 01924 497801 respectively.