London’s Leading Party Wall Surveyor, Building Surveyor & Third Surveyor – Bruce Spenser MSc MCIOB

Bruce, uniquely, provides the combined Building, Structural and home survey which he has evolved as the optimum and ideal Survey for London properties; period, mid-war, non-traditional design, new build, cavity, solid, modern methods of construction etc.

Please provide the full address & post code of the property to be surveyed, its asking price and a photo of the front elevation (estate agent’s link) for a fully comprehensive offer of professional services or email or call Bruce:


The non-invasive Building Survey will follow a disciplined iterative methodology and structural appraisal, including advice on loading and foundations to determine the structural serviceability and adequacy of property.  Survey will advise of all possible and probable defects and their causes some of which are contained in the menu below:

Tides and Storms – Stromness –  9 Feb 2016 – Tide height 3.9m (by tide table), pressure from BBC weather 973mb, all measurements taken on pier adjacent to Double Houses, Stromness.

The atmospheric pressure is measured in millibars (mb).  The standard pressure assumed by tide tables is 1013 mb.  The lowest pressure ever recorded was 925db.

As more pressure is exerted per mb the sea height decreases by about 10mm and of course the reverse is true.  Generally the maximum effect pressure has is 300mm.

By measurement the tide maximum height today was 400mm below the top of the pier.  The pressure was 973mb or 40mb below the presumed standard pressure.  Therefore the tide was 300mm higher than the standard pressure and of course the maximum tide height (4.2m) will be 100mm above the top of the pier when the pressure is at the lowest level ever recorded.

From the above measurements can be calculated the height of each pier/shore front property in Stromness and whether or not they are likely to flood when only affected by pressure (by comparable measurement or by utilising Ordnance Survey data).

Tides are caused by the effect of gravity on the seas by the moon and the sun, the amphidromic systems of the oceans and the shape of the coastline etc.  As air warms, it rises leading to low pressure at the surface.  As it cools it descends leading to high pressure at the surface.  In general, the lower the pressure the higher the winds and unsettled weather (rain etc) and the higher the pressure the lower the winds (sunshine etc). 

High winds in combination with high tides cause storm surges generally in the direction of the wind – this raises the tide level.  The tide damage is caused by the waves which store energy and then release this energy in combination with the winds.

The perfect storm conditions for a sea front property in Stromness are when the moon and sun align and are at their closest to the earth, when pressure is low and when the high winds and storm surges come from the South East. 

Rarely, a transient or a temporary oscillation may be experienced causing a tide which continues beyond the tide table predictions – this is not correctly understood – this condition may be known as a tidal strand and also a double high tide.  The conditions required are hypothesised as a sudden change in force, an entrance protected by island(s), pressure, winds etc. etc.

Importantly extreme and unusual conditions will occur periodically which will seriously affect water side properties (for example the great storm of 1953 etc).

A pier or shore front property owner should ensure they are correctly insured or have adequate funds to cover any maintenance, repairs or storm damage.  Communal owned piers would be well advised to put in place a sinking fund managed by a company.  It may well suit burdened owners who are not at risk to give up their rights to a pier to an at risk  owner who in exchange for the ownership would take on the maintainence costs.  When purchasing a pier or shore front property they should ensure they commission an adequate survey.  Should damage or suspected damage occur they should advise their insurance companies and utilise the professional services of an appropriate Chartered Construction Professional.

The Chartered Construction Professional, when assessing any damage, will be seeking data and analysing it as follows:

  • Construction of the pier, its mass, its bonding, its foundations and signs of damage.
  • Historical storms, their strength and damage caused.
  • Local conditions ie it has been suggested that the newest Ferry may be undermining the piers.

The Professional will be able to advise how the piers/structures should be repaired and maintained.

In extreme conditions Local Government etc assistance may be required.

Bruce Spenser MSc MCIOB | Party Wall Surveyor | Building Surveyor | Third Surveyor

 12 Forburg Road, Stoke Newington, London N16 6HS

Chartered Building Consultant Bruce Spenser MSc MCIOB
Rosie Wedderburn
Rosie Wedderburn
20:54 19 Jan 20
Bruce was exceptionally quick to respond to survey request and the survey was conducted speedily and extremely... thoroughly. Bruce organised access to the property via the estate agents (so I didn't have to send lots of chaser emails to either party). Definitely more
Mark Lazarus
Mark Lazarus
12:17 16 Jan 20
Detailed survey, organised efficiently. Very pleasant to talk to. Would recommend!
Kimmy's Hands
Kimmy's Hands
19:55 13 Jan 20
Prompt & professional service. Bruce went above and beyond what I had hoped for. I would recommend 100%
Rod Jones
Rod Jones
21:26 18 Dec 19
In August 2019 Bruce Spenser carried out a survey for me on a Victorian flat conversion, to a very high standard,... saving me from a potential bad purchase. He is highly professional and his vast experience is clear. Highly recommended. Subsequently I used Bruce to survey an alternative property in Dec 2019. Again his expertise did not disappoint and this time will result in a successful purchase subject to negotiations etc. Highly more
Felipe Castrillon
Felipe Castrillon
12:32 28 Nov 19
Helpful advice answer my questions out of hours and responded very promptly
Samuel Myer
Samuel Myer
10:21 02 Oct 19
Bruce was recommended to me via my brother after he provided excellent party wall service when he had a dispute with... his neighbour and the council. Very happy with the service he provided. He is a fair and just person operating in what can be a very confusing and ultimately exploitative part of the more
Tom Neff
Tom Neff
17:09 20 Sep 19
I’ve met a few true craftsmen in my time, and I can say with confidence that Bruce is one of them. In less than week... of calling him to see if he was available, he had performed a comprehensive survey of a property with a tight time constraint I had put an offer on, sent me a full report, then called me to discuss his findings. Thorough, professional, timely. I can’t recommend him enough. I will be using his services again in the more
Carlo Giovine
Carlo Giovine
09:10 18 Apr 19
Bruce's home survey was excellent, thorough and prompt. Albeit he is roughly 50% more expensive than other surveyors,... his review has been tremendously valuable to us and helped us to potentially save tens of thousands of pounds of works that we would incurred into after home purchase. He discussed his survey in details, provided advice on the overall negotiation process and offered to further review additional documents to ensure our purchase is sound. We feel Bruce has been our partner in this process as opposed to a transactional advisor, simply completing his more
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