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Hi everyone, I was after a bit of advice. We are set to purchase a fairly new house(5 years old) which still has 5 years remaining on the structural build warranty. Anyway as he pictures attached show on the back of the house was this crack. It is only hairline but because it looks like a step/staircase crack I understand people usually associate these with movement of the foundation or potential subsidence. Looking at the picture would anyone be concerned about this crack ? As I mentioned it is only hairline and runs from the corner of the window to where the top of the conservatory begins. Any advice/help massively appreciated 👍

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Don't cut corners, get a survey done, every major problem starts with a small crack. 

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Is there a matching crack inside ..?? 

 

Get hold of the claim registration number for the warranty provider and start the claim now. Don’t wait to register it. They will send the surveyor - if you don’t like the answer you get then you get your own but no point in paying if you don’t have to. 

 

Have you planted any trees nearby..??  

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No there is no signs of cracks inside and. I trees nearby either 

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12 minutes ago, PeterW said:

Get hold of the claim registration number for the warranty provider and start the claim now.

 

OP doesn’t own the house yet but is in the process of purchasing it. 

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The trouble that we found with cracks like this is that surveyors get it wrong.  

 

Our last house was bought with an ongoing subsidence claim.  We knew about it and bought it on those terms.  The house next door  had also had cracks which had been investigated by the insurers surveyors.  They had been sent a letter confirming that they were not suffering from subsidence so repaired the cracks and subsequently sold up and moved away.  The people that moved in noticed after about a year that cracks were re-appearing.  Eventually subsidence was confirmed and they contacted the previous owners as they felt they had “covered up” the issue.  Luckily they had the letter confirming that the house was subsidence free.

 

It meant that the new owners ended up getting over £350k to cover the cost of a re-build  rather than nothing.  Luckily they had continued to use the same building insurance company which did stop insurers battling between themselves over liability.

 

The only way to actually know if is it subsidence is to put pins each side and measure the distance regularly.  We ended up with about 10 pairs of pins around our house for nearly 2 years before a payout was offered.

 

If all the houses are new, are they all showing similar signs?  What type of ground is it on?  What area of the country?  Are you on a hill?

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It’s on flat ground no hills near by and is the only crack of its kind on the house 

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Soil type?

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The only way to be reasonably confident that this isn't a major problem would be to get a competent surveyor to look at it.  One concern I'd have is that if there is an obvious defect like this, in a 5 year old house, what other defects might there be that aren't so visible?

 

I'm not a fan of paying for advice usually, but this looks to be a case where, if it were me, I'd get a professional opinion.

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Was the conservatory added after the initial build? I ask to establish how much wiggle room the warranty provider will have.

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I’ve seen 4 full surveys on the same house come back with completely different values and reports. 

 

The mortgage survey most people rely on is beyond basic. They just say check damp and timbers to cover themselves. 

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