Building Surveys of residential and commercial properties


We can carry out various types of building inspections and surveys for you. These range from brief inspections in order to report on a specific defect such as dampness and water ingress problems in buildings to detailed pre-acquisition surveys prior to a building being purchased.

Defect Diagnosis Surveys

Defect diagnosis surveys generally deal with fault finding within a building. These are particularly useful for Asset Managers, where various problems have been reported by tenants of a building. Our surveyors will inspect the property and will carry out a full diagnosis of the problem, with various remedies recommended to resolve the issue.

Schedule of Condition Surveys

A Schedule of condition will report on the condition of the property in a schedule format. These are used for describing the exact condition of a property without determining the cause of the defect. They accurately reflect the condition of the property on the day of inspection. These can be incorporated into a lease, prior to taking on a new lease, so that the tenant or landlord has a record of the condition of the property on the day the lease term commences. They can also be used for Party Wall purposes, even where you are not in a dispute with your adjoining owners.

Pre-acquisition Surveys

A pre-acquisition survey, as the name implies, is used primarily when purchasing a property. This can either be for a commercial investor purchasing a freehold interest in a building. Pre-acquisition surveys can also be useful for a prospective occupier, prior to agreeing the terms of a commercial lease, as the survey will identify major defects which could increase service charge contributions. These surveys are usually very detailed in the examination of the property, outlining causes of defects, and a typical budget cost of the works required to repair the defect. The survey will also comment on the repairing liabilities of any existing leases in place, if purchasing a freehold investment, or comment on the proposed repairing liabilities of a new full repairing and insuring lease.

A mortgage valuation by your lender is not a survey that you should rely on when buying a home.

People often confuse the valuation report undertaken by the lender’s surveyor with a survey. Most mortgage valuations consist of a twenty minute inspection and a report that, at best, will give you a few lines of general advice. It is amazing that so many buyers choose to rely upon such a limited report before buying what is normally their most valuable asset.

If you are in the process of buying a property the two main types of residential survey that you should consider having are The RICS Homebuyer Report and a Building Survey.

An RICS Homebuyer Report

Designed by the RICS as a cost effective method of minimising risk the Homebuyer Report is designed to provide buyers with enough information to make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to proceed with their purchase.  The report covers the building inside and outside, the services and the site and includes specific sections on all the main elements including roofs, walls, floors and joinery. Each element is given a condition rating for easy reference, much like a traffic light system;

Condition rating 1 (green): No repair is currently needed. The property must be maintained in the normal way.

Condition rating 2 (amber): Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way.

Condition rating 3 (red): Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.

Property related risks including movement, dampness and timber defects are also given their own section. In addition the report contains both a current market value and the cost of re-instatement for insurance purposes.  We are always happy to provide additional services beyond the scope of the standard package, such as a specification for future works, which may be useful when sourcing a builder to undertake repairs as well as a full architectural design service should you want to alter or extend your home or be considering a new building altogether.

A Building Survey Report

Previously known as a Full Structural Survey, the Building Survey is a very detailed report. We will examine closely the structure and condition of the building and undertake a surface examination of the services.

Some restrictions may still exist which prevent complete inspection (such as fitted floor coverings, and limited roof access), but within these limitations, the survey will be as thorough as practically possible.

A building survey does not normally include a valuation although it can be included for a nominal additional fee, if required.

We often undertake Building Surveys on behalf of existing leaseholders and Freehold companies who require advice on the condition of their building and assistance in prioritising works and planning maintenance.

Building Surveys of commercial and other non-Residential Buildings

We can also carry out surveys of other building types. Please call us to discuss your requirements and obtain a quote.

If you would like further information on any of these surveys do not hesitate to contact us

Sample Reports

To help you decide which type of report best suits your needs you can browse through the ‘Choosing between surveys’ document and the samples reports which will give you a clear idea of the format, length and depth of each report.Pdf - A Building Survey Report (Formerly known as a Full Structural Survey).Pdf - A Homebuyer Report