Countrywide house manuals

Countrywide and Haynes Publishing have released two manuals to assist estate agents in gaining technical knowledge of classical house types.

Ian Rock. Author of the books, says: One thing you notice with agents at the upper end of the market is their knack of dropping subtle references to architecture or period house construction into the sales pitch. This creates a carefully crafted impression of trust, ability and quality, which can help justify higher fees.

However, until now, there was very little to inform you technically about Britains most popular classic house types, the Victorian & Edwardian house and the 1930s House, there are about 4.5 million and 3 million respectively in the UK.

Surveyors Ian Alistair Rock and Ian MacMillan of Countrywides Aylesbury office believe estate agents have another concern, that thousands of inexperienced non Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified home inspectors are to be shortly let loose on the nations housing stock.

Sharing their expertise with the public and trainee home inspectors alike, and just in time for inclusion in those christmas wish lists, the Haynes Victorian House Manual and The 1930s House Manual make for fascinating as well as useful reading.

Written in the format of a building survey with each chapter devoted to a specific part of the building, the books are enjoyable to read. Covering the intriguing architectural history of classic mainstream house types the Haynes house manuals, which are RICS accredited, make it simple to look up any technical defect in any part of the house and swiftly identify the correct solution.

Rock says: The worry is that many houses of this age are now in need of expensive repairs, having suffered years of neglect. Even well presented properties may conceal shoddy build-quality, and superficial makeovers may disguise dangerous structural alterations .

The manuals show where to check for the critical danger signs and explain how to fix all common defects. Potential dangers are also investigated, such as those from anthrax, asbestos, beetle, dry rot, sewer rats, slugs in floors, toxic mould, carbon monoxide poisoning and contaminated water supplies. Plus some enjoyable interior design style tips such as period fireplaces and stained glass.