Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

For discussions about topics related to Period Property in the UK

Moderators: Simon Wright, RobT

Post Reply
mnj_sa
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 13th Mar, 2022 11:33 am

Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by mnj_sa » Mon 14th Mar, 2022 8:45 am

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and having just discovered it it looks such an amazing wealth of information on older properties.

My experience with period properties is zero, but I love them and have seen this one that I really like. However, I have no idea what to look out for and what are the things that might sound alarm bells, what are the immediately visible things that could cause problems or devalue the house.

The house is apparently from the 1700's with the extension added in the 1950's.

I do know that this has had work done on the original part, for example it looks to me like the windows have been made taller and the roof extended in the parts above them perhaps. And I don't know if the living room which is the upstairs of the original part would have always been one space with exposed beams like this or if that came later.

https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/detai ... 9fcac65fb9

If anyone can offer any advice, observations, suggestions it would be much appreciated.

Thanks

worms
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sun 14th May, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: ultima Thule

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by worms » Mon 14th Mar, 2022 3:20 pm

Interesting property. While I hate it when an old cottage gets all these raised windows and add-on flat-roofs, I have to admit that it looks like it all works from the inside. I suspect that some of the camera angles are quite creative and it is not as spacious as it appears.

I would want to have a good look at all the "joins" where old meets "new" (if a 70 year old extension can still be considered as new!) and I would want to understand the water-flow on these flat surfaces - the flat roof and above the windows - if you look at pic 13, it looks like these slope back towards the house, but there is a gutter along the external edge of the flat roof...?

Also, where does the water that flows down towards the back of the house go? Is there capacity for a summer down-pour?

And all that cement ribbon pointing. Is it all ok, or are any of the stones softer and at risk of spalling?

But it looks a nice place!

worms
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sun 14th May, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: ultima Thule

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by worms » Mon 14th Mar, 2022 3:20 pm

Looks like I double-clicked and managed to post this twice! :oops:

mnj_sa
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 13th Mar, 2022 11:33 am

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by mnj_sa » Mon 14th Mar, 2022 4:07 pm

Thanks very much for the reply, appreciate the thoughts.

I agree, I don't love how all of those parts work outside but they do work from the inside point of view. Water flow was one of my concerns too. I think you mean pic 18 perhaps but yes, I hadn't noticed that the guttering on the flat roof makes no sense as it looks like it is at the top of the slope unless some kind of optical illusion. Also strange in pic 18 is that the guttering goes across the window on the old part next to the extension.

On the other side of the house in pic 33 (all white, facing the road) do the differing roof levels look like damp magnets? And is where the house joins the road at the bottom potential for damp. FYI there is a very small stream just past around the corner past the next house and before the gate so not sure if that can have any impact.

One more question - there don't seem to be many radiators and what are there are fairly small. For example, I think the living room and kitchen both have one radiator each. Would you expect a house like this to be very, very cold?

The fear is whether a house like this would be fine as is, with ongoing maintenance, or whether it could become a money pit. Naturally a full survey would be done first before buying.

any thanks again, I appreciate sharing the thoughts.
worms wrote: ↑
Mon 14th Mar, 2022 3:20 pm
Interesting property. While I hate it when an old cottage gets all these raised windows and add-on flat-roofs, I have to admit that it looks like it all works from the inside. I suspect that some of the camera angles are quite creative and it is not as spacious as it appears.

I would want to have a good look at all the "joins" where old meets "new" (if a 70 year old extension can still be considered as new!) and I would want to understand the water-flow on these flat surfaces - the flat roof and above the windows - if you look at pic 13, it looks like these slope back towards the house, but there is a gutter along the external edge of the flat roof...?

Also, where does the water that flows down towards the back of the house go? Is there capacity for a summer down-pour?

And all that cement ribbon pointing. Is it all ok, or are any of the stones softer and at risk of spalling?

But it looks a nice place!

RBailey
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu 1st Aug, 2019 7:25 am
Location: Rutland

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by RBailey » Mon 14th Mar, 2022 4:31 pm

Very similar to Worms from me.

Looking at the photos I would want to know / be worried about:
- Cement pointing
- Blown internal plaster (if there is any gypsum / plastic paints)
- Externa ground levels above internal floor height
- The French drain at the foot of the walls in picture 33 is interesting and may be a good thing. Find out why it is there and if it worked. (They are normally to treat high ground levels and damp.)
- Joints between additions. The veranda looks questionable.
- Old mill house implies a mill, be aware of where the water runs
- If if listed be sure that all modifications have the appropriate Listed Building Consent (or the welsh equivalent).
- If you do progress, make sure you get a proper survey from a surveyor experienced in period properties. A plane RICS surveyor who recommends a PCA damp survey will cause no end of harm and mortgage hassles.

I would highly recommend the Haynes period property handbook if you are thinking about going down the old house route, best money we ever spent "on" the house.

Good luck :D

Cheers,
Richard B.

mnj_sa
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 13th Mar, 2022 11:33 am

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by mnj_sa » Mon 14th Mar, 2022 5:13 pm

Thanks too to you, I'm learning from these responses. I never knew what a French drain was for example, nor cement ribbon pointing. Whilst I would learn, should my lack of knowledge concern me or is it stuff I'd pick up as long as there was a good surveyor experienced in period properties checking things at the start? I do worry that if I bought it and then later some essential job costing 100k or something was discovered then that is not going to be an option for me.

Old Mill Cottage does indeed imply a mill but that house name did not exist in 1939 and the mill was a different building. There is a small stream around the corner, past the next house but that feeds the millpond downhill from there. However, in times of torrential rain I imagine the stream would be prone to overflowing and partially flowing down the road at the back of the cottage where the French drain is.

And yes, I think the veranda would have to go which I presume wouldn't cause any problems.

Many thanks, all great advice I am taking onboard.
RBailey wrote: ↑
Mon 14th Mar, 2022 4:31 pm
Very similar to Worms from me.

Looking at the photos I would want to know / be worried about:
- Cement pointing
- Blown internal plaster (if there is any gypsum / plastic paints)
- Externa ground levels above internal floor height
- The French drain at the foot of the walls in picture 33 is interesting and may be a good thing. Find out why it is there and if it worked. (They are normally to treat high ground levels and damp.)
- Joints between additions. The veranda looks questionable.
- Old mill house implies a mill, be aware of where the water runs
- If if listed be sure that all modifications have the appropriate Listed Building Consent (or the welsh equivalent).
- If you do progress, make sure you get a proper survey from a surveyor experienced in period properties. A plane RICS surveyor who recommends a PCA damp survey will cause no end of harm and mortgage hassles.

I would highly recommend the Haynes period property handbook if you are thinking about going down the old house route, best money we ever spent "on" the house.

Good luck :D

Cheers,
Richard B.

worms
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sun 14th May, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: ultima Thule

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by worms » Tue 15th Mar, 2022 9:32 am

I'm not sure we have answered your questions, but you asked about the original layout. I wonder if the building would have originally been a single storey plus loft space, possibly with the same ridge line as present but a steeper roof pitch (I don't know anything about Welsh building and we always do a steeper roof pitch up here, so southern cottages often look odd to my eye). The wisteria makes it difficult to see if there is a change in stonework at the point where the walls may have been raised. (Actually none of it looks 1700s to me, much more like a typical mid to late 1800s rubble-stone cottage)

I'm struggling to make sense of the pictures versus the layout plan. You can see a roof out the window in picture two, but that should surely be on/across the road and would mean that the garage is further east than is shown on the plan?

I guess old walls will always be damper where they join the ground level and that front elevation certainly shows signs of this along the gravel strip (which is hopefully a working French drain). That picture also shows staining up the gable on the outside of what is presumably the chimney - that suggests to me that there is a bit of damp in the chimney and I would be looking to see if that is replicated inside the house.

It looks as if there might originally have been two chimneys - one above the stove recess in the kitchen area (presumably an original gable before the extension was built), and the other at the opposite end, that the woodburner taps into at first floor level. I would have a look at what happens above the kitchen recess and also what is happening within the wall at the opposite end of the main groundfloor room, adjacent to the dining table. Of course, if I have my understanding of the layout wrong, the two chimneys become one and it all makes more sense. However, you may have a dead, blocked-up fireplace there which can be a source of damp, as the tars and salts from the soot absorb ambient moisture.

CliffordPope
Posts: 731
Joined: Tue 16th Nov, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by CliffordPope » Tue 15th Mar, 2022 11:20 am

I think you'd have to love it from the inside alone, which I agree is lovely.
Outside in my opinion it is a ghastly mish-mash :)

mnj_sa
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 13th Mar, 2022 11:33 am

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by mnj_sa » Tue 15th Mar, 2022 12:53 pm

I can't help agreeing on the outside apart from the original part, but yes, the inside and location and garden are the biggest appeal. But I guess a risk when you consider so much is a mish-mash in comparison with a much more original property where the originality at least makes up for that to an extent.

mnj_sa
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 13th Mar, 2022 11:33 am

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by mnj_sa » Tue 15th Mar, 2022 1:03 pm

Well, as I say I'm already learning from this so I am having some questions answered and plenty more things I didn't even know to ask.

Interesting you think it looks newer. I can research that, or at least the age of others around it.

The garage is across the road but it's almost like one building divided into two, so the roof you see is the other part of the garage building belonging to a neighbour. Getting in and out of the garage will be very tight, maybe not possible with a larger car, and unfortunately without that there is no parking outside the property, onlyy nearby, and then subject to the council being able to add restrictions.

I too noticed the staining on the outside of the chimney so good to know what that suggests and to look out for. You are absolutely right with the layout, the burner upstairs uses the chimney which is the opposite end to the stove recess. There is no chimney visible above the stove recess which is where the old part meets the new. It's a great question, what is going on above there and is there still any kind of chimmney hidden.

As lovely as it is inside, it feels such a shame that so many changes have been made not in keeping with the original, though not surprising for extensions around that time in this area which was still very much a working village at that time.

Thanks for the suggestions, all really helpful and appreciated.
worms wrote: ↑
Tue 15th Mar, 2022 9:32 am
I'm not sure we have answered your questions, but you asked about the original layout. I wonder if the building would have originally been a single storey plus loft space, possibly with the same ridge line as present but a steeper roof pitch (I don't know anything about Welsh building and we always do a steeper roof pitch up here, so southern cottages often look odd to my eye). The wisteria makes it difficult to see if there is a change in stonework at the point where the walls may have been raised. (Actually none of it looks 1700s to me, much more like a typical mid to late 1800s rubble-stone cottage)

I'm struggling to make sense of the pictures versus the layout plan. You can see a roof out the window in picture two, but that should surely be on/across the road and would mean that the garage is further east than is shown on the plan?

I guess old walls will always be damper where they join the ground level and that front elevation certainly shows signs of this along the gravel strip (which is hopefully a working French drain). That picture also shows staining up the gable on the outside of what is presumably the chimney - that suggests to me that there is a bit of damp in the chimney and I would be looking to see if that is replicated inside the house.

It looks as if there might originally have been two chimneys - one above the stove recess in the kitchen area (presumably an original gable before the extension was built), and the other at the opposite end, that the woodburner taps into at first floor level. I would have a look at what happens above the kitchen recess and also what is happening within the wall at the opposite end of the main groundfloor room, adjacent to the dining table. Of course, if I have my understanding of the layout wrong, the two chimneys become one and it all makes more sense. However, you may have a dead, blocked-up fireplace there which can be a source of damp, as the tars and salts from the soot absorb ambient moisture.

worms
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sun 14th May, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: ultima Thule

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by worms » Tue 15th Mar, 2022 1:16 pm

Ok, I've now done a Google Streetview drive-by! So the garage is across the (very narrow) road and further east than shown on the plan. The external paintwork all looks very new on the 2011 image and no external chimney staining was visible at that time. The french drain along the front (if it is that) or the new gravel (if it is just cosmetic), has been done since 2011. The flat roof does indeed slope away from the house towards the gutter, but it is a very shallow fall, so it would pay to have a very good look at the structure of that roof - it will fail in time and need work, but that could be in 20 years time...or next year.

Also be aware that there seems to be the old track up to the graveyard running along the gable and up the side of the garden - that access may or may not be an issue for you in terms of security and privacy.

The property appears to be on the 6 inch 1888-1913 OS map but not on the 1:25000 1937-1961 survey, so it may be that it was a derelict shell for a period before being refurbished and brought back into use. I'm aware of other similar instances where buildings appear and disappear depending on which survey you look at.

Bottom line, though, is that there is nothing apparent from these pictures or the Google drive-by that would put me off the property - if I was wanting to live in rural west-Wales! :)

pip&mims
Posts: 505
Joined: Thu 22nd Sep, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stunning South West Wales

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by pip&mims » Tue 15th Mar, 2022 3:49 pm

I don't think it's a "ghastly mish-mash", but an interesting, quirky property....but then I'm coming at it from the perspective of someone whose last - three-storey - house (in England) had three tiny windows on the lane elevation and was perceived as ugly by most onlookers. What they didn't know/couldn't see was the gorgeous Arts and Crafts 'front' elevation facing onto the garden, with its fifteen, mostly large windows 😁

Is it listed by CADW? Possibly not, as our current place that we purchased four years ago (not too far away, near Llandeilo πŸ˜‰) is apparently 400 years old but isn't listed, despite our front boundary wall being listed πŸ™„ Ours - called Mill Cottage coincidentally, although ours did actually start life as a mill - used to belong to the local mansion and that, plus the nearby former stables are both listed (the mansion being Grade 2*).

In our case, the building was converted to residential use during Victorian times, so sadly barely any historic original features dating from the 1600s remain, which is partly why I guess it's not listed (not helped by the fact that a previous owner in 1999 sold the gorgeous stone roof ☹️ The stables still has theirs and it's stunning.) The place you are considering is at least very characterful!

I'd agree with most of the points raised by previous posters, but imho, if you love it, it suits your requirements and the survey isn't - too - discouraging, I'd be happy to buy it. The Gower is a lovely place...good luck if you go for it πŸ˜„

Mims x

mnj_sa
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 13th Mar, 2022 11:33 am

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by mnj_sa » Tue 15th Mar, 2022 4:31 pm

Thank you so much, I appreciate you even taking the time to check it out on Streetview, especially given they got the location slightly wrong.

Yes, have also seen that the staining on the outside of the chimney was not there then, nor the presumed French drain. The sloped roofs on the road side do indeed slope away from the house towards the gutter, but I find it impossible to tell on the garden side where at best it looks flat with no slope.

That certainly scares me when you say the roof will fail, just a case of when. One concern is that if at some point after owning there was a problem that prevented someone obtaining a mortgage, then that would hugely affect the value of the house.

The path at the side would be pretty unused at the moment but I know the currently closed pub would like to make plans for the field that leads to such as camping pods. The house the other side is also an Airbnb so lots of potential for strangers to be around that path. I know the village and know that aside from that it's the kind of place where at the moment everyone will recognise each other at least, so that could change.

Interesting note that it appears and disappears on some maps. There's currently a couple of derelict places there that would look wonderful restored, though probably not financially viable to do so. Not that rural west Wales is for you! :lol:

Thank you again, really appreciate the thoughtful observations.
worms wrote: ↑
Tue 15th Mar, 2022 1:16 pm
Ok, I've now done a Google Streetview drive-by! So the garage is across the (very narrow) road and further east than shown on the plan. The external paintwork all looks very new on the 2011 image and no external chimney staining was visible at that time. The french drain along the front (if it is that) or the new gravel (if it is just cosmetic), has been done since 2011. The flat roof does indeed slope away from the house towards the gutter, but it is a very shallow fall, so it would pay to have a very good look at the structure of that roof - it will fail in time and need work, but that could be in 20 years time...or next year.

Also be aware that there seems to be the old track up to the graveyard running along the gable and up the side of the garden - that access may or may not be an issue for you in terms of security and privacy.

The property appears to be on the 6 inch 1888-1913 OS map but not on the 1:25000 1937-1961 survey, so it may be that it was a derelict shell for a period before being refurbished and brought back into use. I'm aware of other similar instances where buildings appear and disappear depending on which survey you look at.

Bottom line, though, is that there is nothing apparent from these pictures or the Google drive-by that would put me off the property - if I was wanting to live in rural west-Wales! :)

mnj_sa
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 13th Mar, 2022 11:33 am

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by mnj_sa » Tue 15th Mar, 2022 9:06 pm

Thank you. I mean, it's certainly a mish-mash, just I suppose the 'ghastly' part is up for debate.

The place you mention sounds lovely, though wonder if fifteen windows also meant cold!

Yes, it certainly has character this one, but seems debatable at least how much is original. I'm from the area so could probably do somme digging into its history. The 1939 Register (Census) has no property of this name but does have a Mill Cottage. However, it makes no sense that this would be Mill Cottage given where the mill actually is. And yes, a lovely area, with North being cheaper than South and still showing a lot of the signs of its industrial past.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and Llandeilo is a lovely area too.
pip&mims wrote: ↑
Tue 15th Mar, 2022 3:49 pm
I don't think it's a "ghastly mish-mash", but an interesting, quirky property....but then I'm coming at it from the perspective of someone whose last - three-storey - house (in England) had three tiny windows on the lane elevation and was perceived as ugly by most onlookers. What they didn't know/couldn't see was the gorgeous Arts and Crafts 'front' elevation facing onto the garden, with its fifteen, mostly large windows 😁

Is it listed by CADW? Possibly not, as our current place that we purchased four years ago (not too far away, near Llandeilo πŸ˜‰) is apparently 400 years old but isn't listed, despite our front boundary wall being listed πŸ™„ Ours - called Mill Cottage coincidentally, although ours did actually start life as a mill - used to belong to the local mansion and that, plus the nearby former stables are both listed (the mansion being Grade 2*).

In our case, the building was converted to residential use during Victorian times, so sadly barely any historic original features dating from the 1600s remain, which is partly why I guess it's not listed (not helped by the fact that a previous owner in 1999 sold the gorgeous stone roof ☹️ The stables still has theirs and it's stunning.) The place you are considering is at least very characterful!

I'd agree with most of the points raised by previous posters, but imho, if you love it, it suits your requirements and the survey isn't - too - discouraging, I'd be happy to buy it. The Gower is a lovely place...good luck if you go for it πŸ˜„

Mims x

worms
Posts: 1936
Joined: Sun 14th May, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: ultima Thule

Re: Thoughts and observations on this 1700's house

Post by worms » Tue 15th Mar, 2022 9:30 pm

mnj_sa wrote: ↑
Tue 15th Mar, 2022 1:03 pm
You are absolutely right with the layout, the burner upstairs uses the chimney which is the opposite end to the stove recess. There is no chimney visible above the stove recess which is where the old part meets the new. It's a great question, what is going on above there and is there still any kind of chimney hidden.
Just to be clear, I was more concerned about downstairs, below the wood-burner, where there is no fireplace. If the chimney continues down to ground level and the fireplace is covered over and it matches up to the staining visible on the outside of the gable, then it may be worth doing some further internal investigations.

Flat roofs are never an ideal solution and they all need work eventually. But don't let this put you off the property, it's just one of these things that you need to be aware of and prepared for. Sorting out a smallish area of flat roof on a cottage, shouldn't be too costly and should be well within the skills of the average local builder.

Please don't think I was casting any aspersions about living in rural Wales! It's simply that, living 600 miles further north, I can't envisage any scenario where I am likely to need to move to Wales!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 10 guests