Home Money We have artex ceilings: should we smooth them? Would it add value to our home?

We have artex ceilings: should we smooth them? Would it add value to our home?

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Artex matters: Is it worth paying to smooth ceilings?

We have lived in our house for decades and are considering downsizing.

With all the school fees we have had to deal with over the years, the house has been a little neglected.

We live in a four bedroom detached house and have artex ceilings everywhere, and we’re not sure what the purpose of artex is.

Artex matters: Is it worth paying to smooth ceilings?

While we are considering selling the house, should we fix all the artex? Will it add value to our house?

If we soften the artex, how much would it cost? Is there any risk?

Should asbestos be taken into account? And if we don’t remove it, would this affect the price our house could achieve?

Jane Denton responds: In the context of ceilings and walls, artex is a textured coating developed using combs to form swirls, fan shapes or other patterns. It was popular in the 1970s and 1980s.

Until the mid-1980s, asbestos, now known as a health risk, was frequently used to reinforce artex. The use of asbestos was banned in 1999.

Artex has fallen out of fashion and is often considered old-fashioned. Most potential buyers will look for ceilings and walls with a smooth finish.

If you are looking to downsize, it is wise to consider removing artex from your home. However, a key question to determine at the outset is whether or not asbestos is present.

Let’s turn to a chartered surveyor, Artex expert and estate agent to determine the best course of action and outline the potential implications on the price you could get for your property.

David Parish, chartered surveyor at Gates, Parish & Co, Upminster, said: If you don’t do anything with artex roofs now, they will attract the attention of surveyors and estate agents later.

Under certain circumstances, artex ceilings or walls may contain asbestos. Before listing your home, it would be a good idea to have a licensed contractor check your property’s artex to determine whether or not asbestos is present.

If there is asbestos, you should consider removing the artex before listing the property.

A professional will need to remove the asbestos and dispose of it safely. In that case the roofs would need to be replaced, which could be quite expensive.

It won’t cost you much money to have your roofs tested for asbestos and will come in handy later on.

In my experience, artex roofs found on properties often do not contain asbestos.

If you decide to list the property without having the artex tested or the roofs replaced, it could result in a price reduction. Potential buyers will find out how much it will cost to resolve the problem.

Adam Calver, director of Shadow Environmental Services in Hertfordshire, said: I encounter many homeowners looking to sell their homes and the potential new owner raises a red flag regarding possible asbestos.

This often leads to counteroffers to cover costs or a failed sale.

Adam Calver, Artex expert

Adam Calver, Artex expert

We have to assume that artex contains asbestos, until proven otherwise.

Carrying out an asbestos survey on a four-bedroom property will cost you between £300 and £400, depending on its location.

You could even opt for a simple asbestos sample test for half the cost of the survey.

If your artex does not contain asbestos, in my opinion, smoothing the roof would not add value to the property once costs are taken into consideration.

If the artex has traces of chrysotile asbestos, you can leave it in place and inform the new owner or remove it completely.

Unless the asbestos is disturbed, it poses no risk.

Many people ask: “Can we just smooth artex even if it contains asbestos?” The answer is yes, you can.

But with this tactic you are effectively covering the cracks. Asbestos will still pose a risk to anyone working on the roof, even if it is covered.

As far as the longevity of artex ceilings if they are overlooked, I have seen cracks start to form in some cases. This means that the artex is visible again, bringing the owner back to square one.

My recommendation would be to have an asbestos survey performed to determine if asbestos is present.

If you get a negative result, it may be best to leave it as is and save the results for the new owner.

If you have a positive result on the artex ceiling sample, then complete removal of the sheetrock might be your best option.

Once this has been completed it will need to be re-covered and smoothed with a plasterer. The costs involved could range between £2,500 and £3,250 to remove the caps and almost the same again for the new caps.

Although it may not add a huge amount of value to your property, you are more likely to get the asking price.

A smooth, modern ceiling with new lighting fixtures will certainly be pleasing to the eye when someone walks through the door.

If you plan to carry out asbestos removal work, remember to check insurance and certification before starting the work.

Asbestos removal is highly regulated and should only be carried out by fully qualified and asbestos trained operatives.

Once disposal is complete, you should be issued a waste consignment note and a safety air test report, if you choose to perform one.

Send us your property question

We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about a property and want to know what the experts have to say about it.

Whether you’re having problems with your neighbors, are looking to upgrade or move house, or maybe can’t decide how to organize an extension or make a room look bigger, we want to hear from you.

If you’re a potential first-time buyer or already on the housing ladder and have a property dilemma, get in touch.

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Please write PROPERTY in the subject line.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: If you decide to remove artex from your home you have three main options.

You can remove the ceiling coverings including the artex finish, place a false ceiling under the artex finish or plaster or render over the artex.

If you can remove the roof in one piece, the chances of disturbing the asbestos are very low.

Only once the artex is damaged can it be potentially dangerous.

The most common way to remove artex is to use a steamer and then scrape or sand it, but this can be extremely risky if asbestos is present.

Having a plasterer run the artex over it is a much safer option; However, it is only realistic if the artex is in good condition, and even then it can fail over time.

Artex itself won’t necessarily devalue your home; however, the presence of asbestos certainly will.

So, once tested and discovered, you may want to take action before your home hits the market.

If artex does not contain asbestos, it is unlikely to reduce the value of your home. per se And if money is an issue, you’re better off adjusting the sales price a little to account for dated decor than putting up with the high upfront cost of artex removal.

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