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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:46 am 
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Hi,

I'm a new house buyer and saw a house today that I'd like to put an offer down on, but this is the first time I've seen these two things.

Firstly the upstairs landing ceiling has been brought down and for some reason they've used the sort of polystyrene celing tiles you normally see in an office.
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2018-06-23 11.55.26.jpg
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I was intrigued as to why that was there and pushed a tile up, and I spotted cracks in the ceiling and running down the wall. Most of the wall is covered in wallpaper so there's no way to see how far down the cracks go, and I only got a small glimpse of the ceiling to be able to take a photo. The cracks to me are 'extensive' and are not straight which suggests after a quick Google that this isn't just plaster moving about. I've added black lines to help highlight where the cracks are on the image.
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I suspected maybe it's just a cheaper alternative to getting spotlights installed in a ceiling, but the entire ground floor has been extended out to quite some degree so it doesn't appear that they've run out of money for the sake of some spotlights.

Would it be too risky to put an offer down on this property?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:11 am 
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A few cracks in an old ceiling are not a good indicator of structural instability, I'd be more worried if the walls were showing significant cracks.

I doubt if those tiles are polystyrene, they're more likely to be some sort of fibre board. They may have been installed for soundproofing (I did that myself once in a flat I owned), or it may have been to reduce heating costs, (less volume to the room) or it may just have been for looks/preference/style statement.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:13 am 
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Its a standard suspended ceiling like you have in a office, it was popular in 70's it was the in thing along with stone cladding and cocktail bars

The wallpaper looks 80's - I take its a no chain home


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:38 pm 
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Thanks for your replies.

It's a chain home, although the entire ground floor has been extended to now include quite an impressive fourth bedroom and a wet room.

A friend of mine confirmed the "70s vibe" with the almost office style ceiling, so maybe they weren't trying to hide cracks after all. Ultimately I just wanted to remove any doubt in my mind about what these cracks might be. The camera doesn't show them properly but rather than being one continuous straight line, they zig zag about quite a bit. I would doubt this is from someone walking around in the attic, so I just wondered what might be the worst case scenario based on the limited information I've got.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:09 pm 
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How old is the house ? its likely lath and plaster it a messy job to pull it down, but cheap enough to plasterboard it, if its just hairline cracks it may take a skim or just double tac it (board it over)

If its priced right and there is a bit of give in the price go for it, a full structural survey will highlight any major issues and is worth the £800-1000


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:03 pm 
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Thanks Bob.

This is only really an issue because I have an offer accepted on a different house which I viewed on Friday and I didn't expect the offer to be accepted so quickly, so time (and money) is of the essence in regards to figuring out exactly what the problem is on this house. Basically, if I have to get a professional in then I'm going to have to leave it. I suspect I would have to get someone in though so I think I'll have to forget about this house, which is a shame because the extension to the ground was amazing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:23 pm 
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well if its been excepted, your under contract (yes you cant pull out but its not the done thing)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:31 pm 
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I would say they are superficial cracks that happen in most houses over a period of time. They could have been caused by storage and moving around in the attic and hidden by the suspended ceiling. They do not appear to have a pattern that would indicate something worse. Take a good look at the outside front and back walls and look for any indication of cracks in the walls that would indicate movement of the structure. If you get a bad feeling, trust instinct and walk away.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:34 pm 
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Thanks all.

Outside looked fine. RE my offer and being under contract, I can walk away from the property I've offered on right now with no issue, but this one with the cracks just has a dodgy feel to it. They've spent a lot of money so I suspect this might be nothing and probably hasn't been hidden in malice. I've asked the estate agent to check it out for me properly.


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