Need advice on house that needs work

Hi, I am usually a lurker but I need a bit of advice. We sold our house in 2007 in London just at the start of the downturn and have been renting in Ireland since. We are looking to buy a family house but not a ‘buff mansion’.
We have decided on the area and we have seen a house that we are very keen on, the only problem with it is that it is 35 years old and we nothing about older houses. Clearly it needs central heating as it only has a range at the moment and it has a cavity floor. I don’t know if a cavity floor needs to be filled these days for insulation purposes or is it just sealed? If it needs to be filled what is it filled with? Concrete?
Anyways, to get to the point, whom do I bring with me the next time I view the house? A structural engineer to tell me what needs to be done and and point out any problems? And architect to tell me what I can do to the part of the house that I want to extend and knock a few walls, and then when they give me there advice I cna pass it on to a quantity surveyor to price it up so I can then make an educated offer on the house? Or would all three come with?
This house is expected to be our last and final house.

35 years aint that old to be honest. Most houses from that period were probably better built than those in recent years.
Extensions and planning permission depends entirely on the location and the land zone on which the house stands.
No need to fill the cavity with concrete, though you should check it’s properly damp-proofed below. For insulation is more important to investigate in the walls, and roofspace. Ask for any certificates of work done since it was built.
Priority is to check the state of the roof, check for damp spots on walls or ceilings, check walls on the outside for damp, and also for any major cracks or signs of movement.
Also tap a few walls randomly with your hand, whilst giving the impression you are sucking an invisible straw. It’s no help whatsoever, but gives the impression you know a thing or two :laughing:
I’ve restored several old houses, some dating back to the last century. Love the work, and had my own crew.
P.M me if you have any queries. I’m also looking for work at present (*coughs, ahem splutters)

I’d opt for an engineer first, if they don’t give you the nod, the other 2 probably won’t be needed.

I live in a much older house and to be honest, its knackered. But it was built on a shoe-string back in the 40’s. As mentioned above, check the roof, it’s a biggy… also check the chimney(s) if there are any for cracks/fractures. Mine for example run up through the centre of the house and are in bad shape… if I was to consider doing anything with my house they would be on the very long list.

Get the plumbing checked too… nothing as bad as zero pressure due to shoddy layout/work. Waiting for the tank in the attic to fill after a couple of flushes of the loo or a shower is no joke…

Even if the house is well built, insulation will probably be something that’ll need to be addressed…

Best of luck!

First thing:
you need a Building Surveyor (who may be a structural engineer or an architect - probably an engineer) to inspect the house - to check for issues regarding the existing structure.

If there are issues, he might be able to cost them for you roughly, or you may need a QS to do so.

Provided the existing structure is sound, what you then do is up to you. Talk to an architect regarding extension.
Upgrading of insulation could be discussed with a good builder, engineer or architect.
There are plenty of free resources available on it too - I recommend: … mes/Matrix … tice-house