As a Chartered Surveyor in Northern Ireland I come across lots of different house defects and I find that on many occasions surveyors talk to clients about these defects assuming the client knows exactly what they’re talking about.
But some of my clients have asked me to provide them with a little background on the most common house defects the affect houses in Northern Ireland.
The Most Common House Defects in NI:
Although there are literally hundreds of different defects that could affect your next (or current) home, the ones that tend to get the biggest reaction tend to be movement and damp. These two groups house lots of different sub-groups but that will become self evident as you read through them.
I’ve no doubt that you’ll have heard of the terms settlement and subsidence. But do you know what the difference is between them from a property defect point of view? Don’t worry if you can’t I would imagine that very few people outside the surveying community really give this much thought.
In fact if you look up subsidence in the Oxford English Dictionary it will refer you to settlement and vice-versa. But the take home definition of both of them when thinking about houses is that both mean a property or part of a property is sinking.
- Settlement - settlement is where the building is sinking due to a failure in the fabric of the building.
- Subsidence - this is where the property or parts of it are sinking because of a failure in the ground.
The distinction is an important one as insurance policies tend to cover subsidence but not settlement.
There are other forms of movement that can affect your home but settlement and subsidence are the ones most people ask me about.