Why Get Your Property Surveyed?

A Chartered Building Surveyor makes the job of assessing a property before purchase simple.  Whether you are interested in a residential house, an office building, industrial or warehouse unit our building surveyors can help.

Estimate the Repair and Upgrade Costs

When buying commercial property Cambridge, you should check for any damage or defects that exist and assess what is needed to rectify those issues.  It is important to assess the true cost of the works as this will inevitably ????????????????????????????????????????have an impact on your own assessment of value.

Help You to Save Money

Our Building Surveyors will provide you a report after the completion of the survey containing all the information and detail you need.  Depending on the type of building survey you wish to commission you will be able to ascertain the full condition of the commercial property Cambridge as well as its cost.   And depending on the recommendations of the report you may be able to negotiate with the seller and reduce the asking price.

Explain What Areas You Want To Be Surveyed

It may not be necessary to get the whole commercial property Cambridge assessed.   There may be different parts of the property that could be in a different state of repair: for example are there new extensions or parts of the property already refurbished?  It may be that you can decide which areas are requisite to be surveyed and which don’t need assessment at all.  At the point of instruction you should tell the surveyors your requirements in order to reduce the extent of the work that you are to be billed for.

Old Surveys, Insurance Policies and Related Documentschartered surveyor

If possible it is always helpful to provide your surveyor with copies of any old surveys, insurance policies, plans/drawings and related legal documents as these may help in assess the property more effectively and efficiently.   If you don’t have such documents with you, ask the seller to provide you with everything they may have available.

Building Surveyors are teams and individuals that help people buy properties after a thorough analysis in order to make the right decision.   A full survey clearly helps in providing advice whether or not one should buy the property, and, with additional valuation advice, what should be the right price to pay.


Industrial, warehouse or trade counter? Does your use comply?

As you can imagine at Barker Storey Matthews we sell and let many types of Industrial Properties.  But if you are interested in buying or leasing it is important to ensure that your proposed use is acceptable in planning terms.logo

The different uses for industrial properties are defined in the Use Classes Order which breaks down use into a number of categories.  Generally speaking an industrial property is a building that is occupied by a company directly involved with the manufacturing of goods and / or storage of goods. How the space inside the building is used is critical in planning terms

Light industrial buildings

These are covered under use class B1.  The “test” really is to consider whether the use can be considered “appropriate in a residential area”.  Uses within this category include research and development of products and processes and ”light industry”.

Heavy use manufacturing buildings

These are generally covered under use class B2.  As an example buildings involved in the production and manufacture on heavy industrial equipment fall within this category.  The actual wording for planning is “use for industrial process other than one falling within class B1 (excluding incineration purposes, chemical treatment or landfill or hazardous waste)”.


Quite straightforward really.  Storage and distribution of goods is covered under use class B8.  It should be noted that outside storage also requires this consent.  Trade counter use generally falls within use class B8 but other criteria needs to be taken into account, particularly relating to the percentage of the total floor-space given over to retail sales.

Other uses

There are exceptions and there is a specific phrase known as “Sui Generis”.  Such uses include scrap yards, sale and/or displaying motor vehicles, retail warehouse clubs, launderettes etc.Activists go after pollution from Schnitzer yard

If you are looking for an Industrial Property in Cambridgeshire Suffolk or East Anglia in general and need some help then why not call us for an informal discussion.

Add Value to Your Commercial Property

commercial propertyIn this article we discuss various ways in which you can add value to your Commercial Property in Peterborough or your Commercial Property in Cambridge so you are able to sell it or rent it out at a higher value.


  • If possible, it is a good idea to convert your property to a multi-use commercial property. By making your property more versatile you can increase its value, this can be done by adding showrooms or offices which will make the space more attractive to a wider range of users and buyers.


  • Adding ponds or landscaping the grounds around the commercial property will make the office a nicer place to work and therefore an attractive commercial property to rent or own.


  • As you would if you were selling your home, nip round the property with a tin of paint and paintbrush, touch up any areas where paint is chipped or there are marks – try and make the property as modern and clean painting-new-commercial-property-300x242looking as possible.


  • If your commercial property is in a less desirable area, such as near a recycling unit or similar, then consider in investing in landscaping that will shield surrounding unsightly areas from view.


When you contact a Commercial Property Expert in Cambridgeshire you will be advised as to how you can improve your commercial property to be able to sell it for as much as possible.

Awkward Moments Day

awkward moments daySelling or letting commercial property, perhaps more so with residential property, tends to have awkward moments when there are several bidders in the market at the same time.

The words “gazumping” and “gazundering” appear more often in the residential market and often the practices lead to frustration by the purchasers with blame often directed at the agent.  What buyers fail to understand in a lot of instances is that the residential agents’ client, in a majority of cases, is the vendor who is usually keen to get the best price.  Under the estate agents acts the agent must report all offers to the client (and in writing) regardless of when they are received, even if the property has gone under offer.

Most agents prefer not to get involved in “gazumping” if a higher price is subsequently received post a property going under offer but the ultimate decision rests with the client / vendor.  This often creates an awkward position for the agent and frankly all parties involved.  The agent has a more difficult and awkward position with the client when a prospective purchaser pulls out of a property but re-offers at a lower price or “gazunders” and this can often happen in a falling market.  Perhaps the best solution would be to adopt the Scottish system where a bid, once accepted, is binding on both parties.  This is a source for much debate in the industry.

These positions tend to happen less in commercial property albeit in a falling market there is a tendency for tenants to request rent free periods or reduced rents after solicitors have been instructed, especially if there are other factors to be taken into account, for example the condition of a property following a survey.  Again an awkward moment for the agents and their clients!

Ask a Question Day

Its ask a question day!  At Barker Storey Matthews it is important that we ask the right questions when dealing with customers looking for commercial property so we know what details to send to them.  Equally it’s important for customers to know what questions to ask so here are a few pointers for the different types of commercial property.

ask a question day










If you are looking for an industrial unit or warehouse property then, apart from the size of the property, relevant questions may include:

  • What is the eaves height and maximum height of the roof – important to gauge volume of stock that can be stored or for fitting in machinery
  • How many loading doors are there, what are the heights and are their dock levellers?
  • How big is the yard area – important for vehicle access, turning etc
  • What is the floor loading – important for industrial buildings with heavy machinery
  • What is the power supply – again important in industrial units that are to be used for manufacturing processes

When looking for office property quite often companies, especially smaller firms looking at smaller office suites, cannot really gauge how much floor space they actually need.   Of course much hinges on whether the use is for, say, a call centre or for say a professional practice that needs private interview rooms.  Much hinges on whether the space is to be used on an open plan basis or not.  So floor space density can be as low as say 65 sq ft per person up to say 120 sq ft per person.  However other questions that are relevant include:

  • Is there comfort cooling or air conditioning?
  • Are there raised floors – important in larger buildings for computer and telecoms wiring etc.
  • How many car parking spaces are there – possibly one of the most commonly asked questions
  • What is the standard of lighting – is it energy efficient, is it VDU compatible etc

Retail enquiries tend to be more location orientated.  Clearly shop units located in city centres and more specifically in shopping centres will inevitable be more costly to rent.  Location is also dependent on what good are being sold, whether specialist or not.  Specifically relating to the property common questions are likely to include:

  • What is the net frontage – important for display purposes
  • What is the level of service charge – higher in shopping centres where services are provided such as security, cleaning etc
  • What retailers are established in the immediate vicinity
  • Is parking and delivery access acceptable

If you have any questions that you would like to ask about any of the industrial units, warehouses, office property or shop units we are marketing feel free to contact one of our offices and we hope to be able to give you the right answers!