Pre-Georgian Properties

3 min read
Pre-Georgian properties are traditional English homes which were built in the 17th Century, after the Tudor period (ended 1601).

They are a rarity and are found, where they are present, in rural areas.


What do Pre-Georgian properties look like?

These homes have frequently been described as ‘chocolate box’ homes, in that they are pretty and compact.

They are characterised by generally being small, with low ceilings and most often a thick thatched roof. Stairwells are tight, they have open window seats and normally have a hearty, welcoming fireplace.

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What issues are associated with Pre-Georgian properties?

Issues are mainly associated with how long ago these properties were built including, for example, degradation of materials and the fact that certain architectural improvements were not practised at the time of building and so these features have been added subsequently later, and perhaps with less than satisfactory workmanship.
Flint and brick property from early 17thy Century

Bullet-1-2Gzbx3.png Chimney
You can often find weathering of the pointing to the chimneys, ridge tiles and perimeter.

Bullet-2-WfUhyi.png  Flashing
Flashings are often replaced with a cement wedge, where it is advisable if possible to return it to its original lead material.

Bullet-3-ypFQAh.png Roofs
Thatched roofs require regular maintenance. Click to get a thatched roof survey quote.

Bullet-4-6mcuEU.png Walls

These vary enormously and often they have been refurbished, using bricks for example. Original stone-builds may last well, but pointing may be an issue and settlement may make lines crooked.

Bullet-5-pEU7G2.png Damp Proof Course
Damp proof courses were not commonly laid until the 1770s, after this period, so they will have been added during periodic improvements of these kinds of properties. Bad workmanship in particular can mean rising damp problems.

Bullet-6-o9ekxG.png Window problems
Lintels and frames can rot over the years and replacements may be subject to fault.

Bullet-7-GFUv5V.png Floors and foundations
Foundations are often entirely absent. Combining this with inadequate drainage and faulty pipes can mean properties are subject to subsidence, which will be exacerbated in areas of predominantly clay soil. If you are thinking of buying a property built in this era, if you instruct a chartered surveyor to carry out a home buyers survey for you, they may recommend you get a structural engineer to carry out a subsidence survey.

Also, the original build may not have had any dedicated drainage features or at best very primitive ones. More than likely, drainage systems have been added over time, with refurbishments. These often degrade, even if they were well enough built in the first place.

Bullet-8-0YfXrT.png Lath and plaster ceiling issues
Problems can arise because original ceiling work is constructed of lath and plaster but refurbished sections may be of plasterboard. Where these combine, there can be cracking.&

Bullet-9-m2EgVs.png Sub-standard refurbishment work
While a property may have been very well-built originally, subsequent refurbishments may not be and may contribute to a plethora of issues. We always advise therefore that you instruct a skilled, experienced RICS surveyor to examine these properties for soundness if you are thinking of buying one.

What sort of home buyers survey would this property require?

Given the age of these properties and the materials involved, if you are considering buying one, you would be strongly advised to instruct a chartered surveyor to carry out a Building Survey or Full Structural Survey on it.

Your building surveyor, depending on their findings, may also recommend you get a timber survey and a thatched roof survey. Thatched roofs demand a lot of love, needing repairs and maintenance and replacement every 30-50 years.

*RICS Surveyors – Local Knowledge – Same Week Availability
Want help now? Call us on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply)

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