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Forde George News

Bridgwater Surveys

Posted on March 29, 2016 by Forde George

Having undertaken numerous Commercial Building surveys previously for Staunton Property, the preparation of detailed Survey Reports of Industrial units in Bridgwater enabled a swift acquisition of the units.  As with all Commercial Building Surveys our ‘Due Diligence’ Reports include a detailed review of building fabric and environs with a review of both Freehold and Leasehold documentation, the latter critical in the assessment of current and future Dilapidation issues.



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Fire Damage Reinstatement

Posted on October 29, 2015 by Forde George

Before and after photographs of a recently completed Grade II Listed cob and thatch fire damaged property. Forde George liaised between the owners and loss adjuster when acting as designers, specifiers and contract administrators.


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Axminster Heritage Centre

Posted on October 27, 2015 by Forde George

The Axminster Heritage Centre nears completion. The Conversion and refurbishment of this Grade II Listed building, Designed and Project Managed by Forde George Chartered Building Surveyors will provide the next phase of a publically accessible Heritage facility focussing on the history of Axminster and its carpet making heritage, based in the original home of Axminster Carpets, Thomas Whitty House.

IMG_1995 IMG_1996 IMG_1998

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The Importance Of Contracts And Professional Assistance

Posted on October 6, 2015 by Forde George

The steady stream of property improvement programs on television has led to an increasing number of homeowners electing to act as Project Manager on domestic improvement and even new build schemes. Unfortunately, TV shows often do not give a true representation of the potential complexity of managing a project and the importance of documentation on which a Contractor’s order should be based. It is not uncommon for Forde George to be contacted by parties in potential dispute where the “contract” comprises a single letter with description and a single price. The apparent cost saving in avoiding professional assistance is often significantly outweighed by the extract cost of the Client’s own time and necessary variations to the contract.

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Building Surveys – Horses For Courses

Posted on September 22, 2015 by Forde George

Forde George are often approached by prospective purchasers who have not acquired a property for some considerable time and are unaware of the types of surveys available.

The RICS promotes a number of survey alternatives which, whilst consistent in the degree of survey, do vary in respect of the extent and detail of reporting. The basic mortgage valuation, instigated by a lender, is an assessment of their risk should the purchaser default on mortgage payments. This would be fairly limited in the survey detail and reporting.

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Posted in Purchasing Property | 1 Comment |

Expert Witness And Disputes

Posted on September 8, 2015 by Forde George

The RICS provides advice on dispute resolution, including arbitration and Chartered Building Surveyors acting as Expert Witness. The Directors of Forde George are often instructed to act as an Expert Witness, increasingly at an early stage in the life of a dispute.

The RICS protocols for Expert Witnesses and the Civil Procedure Rules set out protocols and requirements for the Expert and for those instructing: the Expert being appointed on behalf of the Courts, providing impartial advice to the Court rather than to either party within the dispute. This is often a matter misconstrued by the instructing parties.

In such circumstances, Forde George emphasize the importance of establishing whether there is a need for an advocate report, acting for the appointing party or whether indeed Court action will result, in which case ideally making an application to Court for an Expert Witness to be appointed. An inappropriately worded, premature report could compromise the appointing party if the appropriate legislative guidance is not observed.

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Is Dampness In Buildings Always An Issue?

Posted on August 25, 2015 by Forde George

This is an issue which is invariably dealt with in detail within our residential Full Building Survey and in particular in respect of Listed or historic buildings. Dampness within modern commercial or residential buildings is relatively straightforward and usually due to specific internal or external defects, an item for a different discussion.

Dampness levels in older traditional buildings is more complex and, to some degree, subjective, dependent largely upon the ability of the owner to manage the dampness and emotionally cope with its presence.

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Listed Buildings And Unauthorised Alterations

Posted on August 11, 2015 by Forde George

Forde George Chartered Building Surveyors based in Exeter, Devon undertake a significant number of pre-acquisition building surveys of Listed Buildings and are able to provide in depth dialogue on buildings design, chronology, construction, condition, repair and likely future management. Of particular interest to a purchase is the impact of the building’s ‘Listed’ status and whether any unauthorized alterations have previously been carried out.

The impact of a building’s ‘Listed’ status is often misinterpreted by owners. There is the prevalent misconception that the degree of protection varies between Grades II, II* and Grade I and, for example, that such restrictions only apply to features contained within the description, such as entrance porticos, fireplaces, stairs, etc.

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Energy Act 2011

Posted on July 28, 2015 by Forde George

Due Diligence Pre-acquisition Surveys incorporate numerous statutory issues which any commercial purchaser should be aware of however, the proposals enshrined within the 2011 Energy Act continue to be of most concern. The 2011 Act encompasses many aspects of energy efficiency relating to both residential and commercial property. Those relating to commercial buildings and highlighted in the Forde George Commercial Building Surveys, potentially impose significant responsibilities on both Landlords and Tenants requiring a potentially significant proportion of non-domestic properties to be uprated to EPC levels F and G.

Improvement of the energy efficiency of certain buildings could potentially be fairly easily made compliant, subject of course to the nature of the construction which would also be a subject matter for review within a Due Diligence Report subject to a specialist EPC assessment. Whilst the requirement would currently only apply to properties being marketed or to new leases, in 2023 this is to be extended to all eligible buildings.

There are of course opportunities to obtain exemptions to the requirements in respect of impracticability, viability and when dealing with, for example, Listed Buildings

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Developers and Investors

Condition Surveys Derelict Barn Complex Tonedale Mill Dilapidation Survey Party Wall Matters Planned Maintenance Programs

Specialist advice for those owning or purchasing property.

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Commercial Occupiers

Condition Surveys Condition Surveys Shedules of Dilapidations Fire Reinstatement Defect Analysis

Specialist advice for Commercial Occupiers.

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Residential Services

Pre-acquisition Condition Surveys Refurbishment and Design Contract Administration Reinstatement Valuation New Build and Design

Specialist advice for Residential Services.

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Historic Buildings & Estates

Condition Survey Conservation Services On-going Conservation Commissions Planned Maintenance and Conservation Advice

Specialist advice for those owning or purchasing Historic Buildings or Estates.

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