Oakfield Building Chartered Surveyors

Should I have a Building Survey?

Building Surveys / Home Condition Survey

A full structural survey gives you a very detailed report on the structural integrity of the property. Structural surveys are often now referred to as Building Surveys. A Building Survey can only be carried out by a registered RICS property surveyor.

A Building Survey report will include a detailed description of the construction of the property. It entails a thorough inspection, examining the structure and condition, and it will take several hours, even up to a day to carry out. This goes beyond a visual inspection, for example, your surveyor will look for signs of damp, but will also use a moisture meter to identify the levels of moisture in the walls.

The surveyor may inspect concealed areas of the property which are normally accessible to residents, provided it is safe to do so. This means furniture may be moved to check for signs of defects, such as mould on the wall surfaces.

Building Surveyors are not able to investigate behind walls or under floorboards, as these surveys are designed to be non-destructive. However, they will include in their report any suspected defects which cannot be confirmed without further or destructive exploration.

Building Survey from Oakfield Chartered Surveyors

You can expect your building survey report to cover the following, as a minimum:

We also review risk factors which could affect the property such as:

Looking for a Building Survey?

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.


Oakfield Chartered Surveyors - RICS Member

Oakfield Chartered Surveyors is an independently-owned firm, providing expert surveying services across London and the Home Counties. Regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Our building surveying practice is made up of a team of highly qualified surveyors, with many years of experience.

All of our surveyors are RICS members. The RICS is a UK-based professional body recognised globally for its work in setting the highest standards for the management and development of land, real estate and infrastructure.

Our team is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality building surveys, so you have the information you need to make decisions on property purchases with confidence. Everything we do is centred on our clients and we tailor our services to meet the needs of the individual. Every property is different, and every client has their own requirements, so at Oakfield we work closely with you to make sure we are delivering the service you need. Our team is here to answer your questions and give you advice from start to finish.

At Oakfield we offer a range of building surveys, aligned with the RICS 3 Level system. This system sets a minimum standard for each level, whilst allowing us, as MRICS chartered surveyors, the freedom to customise our reports to meet the requirements of our clients and to suit the property in the local area.

Arranging a building survey is an essential part of any property purchase. Without the information a survey will give you, you risk buying a property that has defects and issues of which you are not aware. A survey will identify problems with the property and gives you the chance to decide on how to proceed.

Once you have this information you can find out how complex and costly any defects will be to remedy. You can then make an informed decision on your next steps – whether to proceed with the purchase as planned, renegotiate the price, or withdraw your offer completely and abandon the purchase of the property.

Oakfield Chartered Surveyors
Building Surveys, Regulated by RICS

We use the latest technology to ensure that we have as much information as possible on the condition of the property. This includes using pole cameras and drones to inspect areas which would otherwise be inaccessible. Poles can extend up to 15m, allowing our surveyors to get detailed images of high level areas, while specialist drones can be used to reach and view parts which are awkward to access. Using this technology helps to ensure that potentially hidden defects are picked up and reported.

Our surveyors provide full details of known and suspected defects, together with recommendations for remedial work required to address the defects, and an estimate of the associated costs and timescales for carrying out the work.

Your building survey report also provides details of the materials used in the construction of the property. You may need these details when you come to arrange buildings insurance for the property.

Your report can also include a reinstatement value. This is the amount of money that you would receive in a buildings insurance pay out in the event of your property being destroyed and needing to be reinstated, such as after a major fire.

You may be interested to learn more about the difference between a building survey and homebuyers report.

You may also wish to have a Valuation included within the building survey.

A valuation and a survey serve very different purposes. A valuation looks at a property from a different perspective. A survey is conducted for the benefit of the prospective buyer, to assess the condition of the property and identify issues that the buyer should be aware of prior to deciding to proceed with the purchase.

A valuation is carried out to determine the market value of the property and can be used for a range of purposes. A valuation will take into account the condition of the property, recent improvements, the location and local amenities. It will give you peace of mind to confirm you are paying a reasonable price for the property.

There are benefits to having a building survey for any property, even for a new building as it will give you the assurance that you know the condition of the house or flat you are planning to buy. It is very important to have a building survey for older properties or a listed building. You should also consider having a building survey carried out if you are planning to do any major work to the property since this could be impacted by any structural anomalies.

Looking for a Building Surveyor?

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.


The HomeBuyer Survey is a concise form of survey for home buyers. It identifies structural issues in buildings, such as subsidence or damp, but does not provide the same level of detail as a full structural survey.

The Homebuyer Report is best suited to new build properties, and flats and houses in reasonable condition, where few problems are anticipated. It is not recommended for older properties, or buildings with unusual features, such as a thatched roof. For more details of the areas covered in a HomeBuyer Report click here.

Your main survey may identify damp or dry rot problems in the property. If this is the case, the building surveyor will usually recommend that a specialist damp survey or timber defects survey is undertaken, to assess the scale of the problem in more detail.

If you are planning to have major structural work done to the property, we can offer advice on any additional points which should be included in the survey. At Oakfield our team of MRICS chartered surveyors includes Party Wall specialists who can help with party wall disputes, in line with the Party Wall etc Act 1996. If you are planning building works that may have an impact on a neighbouring property, we can help you with the steps you need to take, such as ensuring that notices are served on neighbours.

The cost of the survey is determined by several factors, including the age and size of the property, and any additional requirements identified by the client. Your RICS survey is a worthwhile investment as it can end up saving you money.

A comprehensive building survey report ensures that you know exactly what you are getting when you buy a property, and avoids unpleasant and costly surprises further down the line.

A typical Building Survey will cost between £600 and £2500, depending on the property, while the cost of a HomeBuyer Survey usually starts at around £400.

A house survey should usually be carried out within a few days of your offer on a property being accepted. Arranging the survey promptly helps with the efficient management of the house buying process, which can easily become protracted. It means that you find out quickly whether there are any major issues with the property you are planning to buy. If there are issues you may then want to get more quotes to compare for remedial work before you make a decision on whether to go ahead with the purchase.

It is important to choose the right survey or valuation for your circumstances. If your survey is not as comprehensive as you need it to be, you risk investing in a property with problems that may cost a lot to repair. However, if you simply need a valuation, there is no need to incur the cost of a full structural survey.

Get advice from Oakfield Chartered Surveyors.

If you are not sure which service you need for your property transaction, you can call us for advice. A member of our team of MRICS chartered surveyors will be very happy to talk through the options for RICS surveys and our valuations, and help you decide on the best service to meet your requirements.

The team at Oakfield Chartered Surveyors is here to help you buy your property with confidence. Our head office is located in Beaconsfield, and we serve customers in London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Contact us if you would like a conversation with one of our MRICS surveyors to find out more about our building surveying and valuation services, or to get a quote.

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Alternatively please call us on 01494 926326.

One of our team of professionals would be delighted to help you with any queries.