Oakfield Building Chartered Surveyors

Building Survey Reading

When it comes to ensuring the quality and safety of your property, it is essential that you commission a building survey. These can be carried out by building surveyors in order to work out what condition the property is in and to make sure that the structural integrity is sound. Read on to find out more about what a building survey is, what types there are available, and how getting one could benefit you.

What are the 3 types of house surveys?

There are three types of house surveys that you can choose between, and the one you need will usually depend on the age and condition of your property.

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Surveyors Reading

Level 1 – Condition Survey

A level 1 survey, also known as a condition survey, is the most basic option that is available. This is a simple survey that gives you a general overview of the property in question, and the surveyor will provide you with a rundown of the current state of the building in their report.

– A visual inspection of the property

– A summary of any obvious surface-level issues and the possible risks of these

– No advice on necessary repair work or maintenance

– No property valuation


Since this is only a basic survey, it usually takes around an hour to complete and is less expensive than the other options available. It’s most suitable for newer buildings where an in-depth survey isn’t necessary.


A condition survey is only a suitable option if you’re working with a modern building (less than 5 years old) that seems to be in good shape already. For anything older or with obvious damage, you will need a more in-depth survey to ensure you have a thorough understanding of its condition.

Building Surveyors Reading

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire 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.

Level 2 – HomeBuyer Survey

A level 2 survey is commonly referred to as a HomeBuyer Survey. Like a level 1 survey, the surveyor will carry out a visual inspection, but it’s usually more in-depth. As well as evaluating the overall condition of the building, they will highlight any obvious problems, both inside and out. Usually, any areas that are concealed but still accessible can be inspected as long as it’s safe to do so.

– A visual inspection of the property, including all building elements

– An evaluation of major faults and defects, along with recommendations for further action

– A visual appraisal of utility services

– No property valuation


The main benefit of a HomeBuyer Survey is that it can help you make an informed judgement on whether or not to proceed with a house purchase. What’s more, it’s suitable for all properties built in the last 130 years that haven’t been extensively altered.


The main drawback of opting for a HomeBuyer survey is that it doesn’t include areas that aren’t deemed safe or are not commonly accessed. This means that problems could be left uncovered. For older properties or those with clear damage, a full building survey is the better option to choose.

Level 3 – Full Building Survey

A level 3 survey is the most detailed option and is usually recommended for buildings that are over 70-80 years old or have significant damage. It’s a fully comprehensive survey, so it will even include details about how much it will cost to repair the issues found. You will also gain a much better idea of what needs to be done to bring the property up to building standards.

– An in-depth visual inspection of the property, including major building defects, structural problems and internal and external building elements

– Advice regarding disputes and planning and building control issues that need to be followed up by a conveyancer

– Informed recommendations for repairs, including costs

– A property valuation, if requested


The biggest advantage of a Full Building Survey is that it’s the most detailed option. The whole property (including the grounds) is inspected, something you don’t get from level 1 or 2 surveys. This means that, if there is a problem to find, the surveyor will spot it.


The only drawback of a Level 3 Survey is that it does take longer to do (usually a day for the inspection and a week for the report) and it can be more expensive.

How much does a building survey cost in the UK?

There are a lot of factors that can impact how much a building surveyor will charge you for their services. Things like the size of your property, the location of it and the type of survey that you choose will impact the cost. For a smaller property or a basic survey, it could be as little as £400.

However, if you’re wanting the surveyor to assess a larger property or to carry out a more in-depth survey, you may have to pay up to around £1,500. To get a more accurate idea of what you will need to pay, make sure to get in touch with us at Oakfield Chartered Surveyors. Our team will be happy to provide you with a more personalised quote and advise you on the next steps.

Is a Level 3 building survey worth it?

While some people will be put off by the price, a level 3 survey is worth the cost, as it goes into much more detail, meaning that you can be entirely certain of how sound the property is. This option is especially important if the property is large, it was built before 1850 or it’s in a bad state of repair.

With a level 3 survey, you can expect a bespoke report, with the surveyor looking into specific issues for you. It will address all areas of the property, including an in-depth look at heating and draining systems. You will get not only information on its current state but also any costs and steps that must be taken to fix the issues discovered. Furthermore, you can even get estimated reinstatement costs and a market valuation if this is something you require. With so many additional benefits and the assurance that all grounds will be covered, opting for a level 3 survey is definitely worth it.

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Window Building Survey
Moisture Meter Chartered Surveyor
Damp Found from Homebuyers Survey

Building Surveys Reading Berkshire

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.

Why do you need a building survey in Reading?

A building survey is beneficial in a lot of ways, including:

Firstly, a surveyor will always take an objective look at the building. This means that you can trust them to give you an entirely impartial view that’s free from bias.

Another benefit of a building survey is that it can actually end up saving you money. Spending money on a survey now means that you can find the root of any issues and fix them before they escalate. Problems that go undiscovered can quickly become very serious, especially when it comes to underlying structural issues.

Discovering any issues in advance means that they can be addressed prior to a sale going through. This means you may be able to get the seller to address the issues before the exchange or even agree to reduce the sale price. In some situations, it can also help avoid the sale from falling through at the last minute.

Hiring a local surveyor in Reading means you’re working with somebody who knows the area and any specific problems that are common here. For example, they’re more likely to be aware of prior flooding issues and other risks, like pylons and overhead cables.

An RICS building survey is the best service you can choose. RICS surveyors are proven to have the relevant skills and qualifications, so you can trust they know what they are doing. Here at Oakfield Chartered Surveyors, we have an experienced, professional team who can help you with whichever level of survey you require.

If you are still unsure which survey to go for, our friendly team would be more than happy to answer any questions you have and provide more information, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can also let us know if you have any specific requirements and we will make sure to include them in your package.

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