Exactly What Is A Building Survey?

A building survey is a study of a property that you are intending to buy or have constructed. When purchasing a home or a commercial building, you will need to have some sort of property survey carried out.

  • Building surveys for residential properties

With residential properties, you usually have two survey options either a building or property survey or a homebuyer’s report. If the house is an older house i.e. more than 75 years old or it is built from unusual building materials you will need to have a full building or property survey carried out.

This is also the case if the property has been structurally altered in some way or you plan to renovate or extend the building yourself. Likewise, if you suspect the building has structural issues such as damp you should also have a full survey carried out before buying the property. This comprehensive survey should uncover major issues like subsidence. If you are buying a home or buy to let property in an area where mining used to take place it is very important to have a full survey carried out.

  • Property surveys tailored to your needs

A building or property survey can be personalized to meet your needs. Taking this approach means that the survey will be a high-quality and comprehensive assessment of the property. Any concerns you have will be addressed and it also means that you do not end up paying a surveyor looking at aspects of a building that do not need checking.

You need to understand that individual surveyors have their own style and approach to the job. There is certainly no such thing as an archetypical surveyor. This is good, but it means that you should check exactly what was looked at and ask how the survey was carried out and the conclusion was reached. If you are not happy with the technique used you can ask for that aspect of the survey to be repeated.

A highly regarded building or chartered surveyor will notice even small faults and produce a very long list of issues. Do not be alarmed but do take the time to read it thoroughly. While doing so bear in mind that some problems will be major, whilst others on the list will be of no real concern. Discuss the report with your surveyor to make sure that you understand it and the implications of each fault highlighted in the report. Doing this will help you to determine if the building is worth buying.

Chartered Surveyors not only offer building survey services they are normally also able to undertake mortgage evaluations, estate management, auctioneering, quantity surveying and other building related advice.

If you are planning to build then the building or property surveyor you choose to work with is responsible for ensuring that the resulting building is safe, accessible and energy efficient. They will communicate with your team of architects, engineers and builders to ensure that the building is compliant with the law.

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