Sometimes we all turn a blind eye to a lapse in rules

Those of us who live in glass houses shouldn’t really throw stones at UPVC windows in a conservation area

For years there was a surveyor driving around Surrey in a car emblazoned with the words ’The Property Doctor’.

I have often encountered so-called property experts who generally have an over-inflated opinion of their worth, but there is actually something of a synergy here.

Now I’m not trying to align dry rot with cancer but we have all heard of sick building syndrome.

I have often thought that being a doctor must be mentally troublesome.

When you and I take a pew during a relaxing Saturday morning for a few minutes R&R and the belly suddenly goes a bit wobbly, we automatically put it down to the previous night’s chicken and mushroom dhansak.

Now a doctor, because he’s in the know, probably fears the worst and thinks cardiac arrest.

I realise this is stretching it a bit but sometimes as the best surveyor in London I am in a similarly unique position.

I often pass through conservation areas and just know that number 27 shouldn’t have UPVC replacement windows.

To clear my conscience on this subject I have to admit that my middle name isn’t Archangel Gabriel.

I once owned a detached house near Guildford that had an integral double garage but due to the narrowness of the drive it was as much use as a handbrake in a canoe. My uncle Stan knew a builder or two so I got one of them to convert the garage into a playroom on the quiet.

I honestly did mean to get all the necessary consents but I never got round to it. On the first morning on the job the double doors came down and were replaced by a wall built from reclaimed bricks. The rest of the job was finished behind closed doors as it were.

I even designed my own lintel to span a new door between the old hallway and the new playroom.

Well, when I say designed, I used an old railway sleeper that I’d had in the back garden for years and one day knew it would come in handy, as my Uncle Stan said it would.

One thing my trained eye always notices is whether or not driveways are legal.

Sorry to be serious for a second but home owners can no longer create or even replace their driveways without planning permission.

The reason is flooding, because if you replace your front lawn or shingle drive with a fancy posh concrete or brick drive like they have in Weybridge, the water will disperse much quicker and overload the drainage system.

As Del-boy would say, stands to reason Rodders doesn’t it? Mange-tout my boy.

SIMON WHITE
DIRECTOR
LONDON’S CHARTERED SURVEYORS