Oakfield Building Chartered Surveyors

How much does a house survey cost in 2024?

Although you are not legally required to conduct a house survey in the UK, doing so ensures you avoid paying for expensive repairs or faults in the long run. The cost of a home survey can vary depending on several factors – such as the type of survey and the property under inspection. In this article, we provide a complete guide to house surveys to help you get started.

What is a house survey?

A house survey is an inspection of your property that is carried out by a licensed surveyor. It involves examining the condition of a property and identifying any problems that may affect your decision to buy the house. It makes you aware of any costly repairs you may have to perform, thereby making you more aware of your budgetary requirements. Home buyers oftentimes arrange a home survey after they’ve had an offer accepted by a seller.

House Survey cost

The benefits of surveying a property

The type of survey you choose determines how much you’ll pay for a home valuation survey. Three different types include:

A home condition report, otherwise known as a Level 1 survey, is the most basic survey option. It is the least thorough and does not include a valuation, making it the cheapest option. Homeowners can expect to pay around £380 for a condition report on a standard British home. Such reports also don’t contain any advice or recommendations or estimates on how much repairs will cost. Home condition reports provide general information about the physical, electrical, and mechanical condition of a property. Home condition surveys also detail any risks the property may contain which could undermine its integrity. As a surface-level inspection developed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), it is designed to only highlight obvious home defects and major issues that could affect a purchase.

Surveyors use the traffic light system when conducting a home condition report. This is a visual summary that shows what areas require immediate attention (highlighted red) and which don’t (highlighted green). This visual is accompanied by a summary that details the property defects and the risks associated with them. This type of survey is recommended for conventional homes that are new or less than five years old. You should ensure the property is in reasonable conduction and you have easy access to its maintenance history.

A snagging survey is designed to identify problems within a new build home. It is usually carried out between building work being completed and the legal completion date so that developers can fix any issues identified. Where this isn’t possible, it is recommended to complete one as soon as possible after moving in. Doing so means that the developer is still likely to be onsite. Such problems may be small and cosmetic or structural and significant. A visual survey involves checking whether the quality of workmanship is in accordance with compliance standards. Surveyors check every aspect of the home, including both the interior and exterior. The most common issues picked up in a snagging report are usually centred around the home’s tiling, plastering, skirting boards, and external brickwork. This home valuation survey costs between £300 and £900.

Otherwise known as a building survey, a full structural survey is a comprehensive inspection regarding the condition and construction of your residential property. It is recommended for buyers looking to purchase a property that is over fifty years old or buildings that are in a dilapidated state. During a thorough inspection of the home’s interior and exterior, the surveyor will:

  • Scan the property for hazardous substances, such as asbestos
  • Identify any potentially serious defects
  • Examine the property for any signs of damp on wall surfaces
  • Determine what material the property is made from
  • Highlight any structural work carried out without permission
  • Signpost any threatening trees or structures near the property
  • Check for any damage to the roof or the structural foundations

The survey also includes tailored recommendations on repairs and maintenance based on the problems identified – including an estimated cost. It also looks at the building’s history to determine any previous structural work conducted. A structural survey costs around £1000 for an average UK property.

The time it takes to conduct a house survey varies depending on several factors. The most notable time-affecting factor is the type of property survey you undertake. For instance, while a snagging report will be issued usually within two working days of the inspection, a home condition report can be completed in as little as four to five hours in total. Other factors that may affect the length of a property survey include:

  • The size of a property
  • The type of property
  • The number of surveyors

Factors that affect house survey cost

When determining how much a house survey will cost, it’s important to note that costs vary depending on the following factors:

Timeframe

The longer a house survey takes, the higher the cost. Nonetheless, if you are given a set charge for the job, the time duration will not affect your bill. This is because, with set jobs, the labour cost will be the same regardless of how long the survey takes to carry out. A full structural survey takes the most amount of time to complete which contributes to its higher price. Such surveys usually take between three to seven days to complete.

Number of tradespeople

It’s not common to hire more than one surveyor when carrying out a home survey. Yet if you have a large property that requires more than one, costs are likely to increase. Whether they’ll increase significantly depends on the individual case as a higher number of surveyors may help cut down on duration costs.

The type of survey carried out

This is the main cost-affecting factor when getting a home survey. Building surveys can cost up to £1000 or more, with the cheapest option being a new build survey that equates to around £300 to £400. Indeed, more comprehensive surveys – such as a full structural report – can cost anywhere between £600 and £1,300. Whilst it is more expensive, the price is offset by the amount of detail contained in the report.

Property type and value

The cost of a house survey is typically linked to the property’s value. Where properties are bigger and more expensive, survey costs are likely to increase. It has been determined that an average UK house priced at approximately £277,000 will cost around £380 for a basic condition report.

Benefits of surveying a property
What is a house Survey
Full Structural Survey

Building Surveyors

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

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
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What are the benefits of house surveys?

The main benefit of conducting a house survey is to become aware of any potential defects with a property. Surveyors take an impartial approach to the home, which makes it more likely that they’ll spot problems that the buyer may not notice. As well as their knowledge and expertise, surveyors also have a broad knowledge of properties local to your area – such as overhead cables, flooding, underground mining, or proximity to electromagnetic fields. All of these factors pose unique risks that you may not have already considered. House surveys are highly cost-effective as the expense is usually offset by the amount you would have to pay for any major problems left unidentified upon moving into the property. Therefore, while it may cost you money in the short term, a house survey can help you save in the future. It also ensures you pay the right price for a property as you’re made aware of any additional costs.

Another reason to consider a house survey is for peace of mind. A full structural survey provides you with a comprehensive report notifying you of all problems or potential defects in a property. Having this information ensures you make an informed decision when choosing to purchase a home. What is more, where problems are identified early, you can consult with contractors before signing a contract and use the home survey report as a negotiation tool. That is, you can use it to reasonably ask for the price of the property to reflect the cost of repairs.

Tips for saving money on house surveys

We understand that committing to a home survey may seem like a big investment. Yet there are certain ways to reduce the cost and save money, including:

Choose the right survey: There is no point in paying for a full structural report on a new build home. Consider what survey is best for the property you’re purchasing and stick to it.

Negotiate: If your survey report documents issues that you’ll have to pay to fix, negotiate with the seller and see if they’re willing to reduce the price to accommodate these expenses. Doing so means you can offset the repair costs by incorporating them within the house price.

Conduct one early: Conducting a home survey early, especially a build snagging survey, means you may be able to consult the contractor regarding the issues found. They may be able to repair the problems before moving jobs, meaning you don’t have to.

How to find a qualified surveyor

When it comes to finding a surveyor to conduct your home survey, we advise you to search beyond those recommended by your estate agent or bank. Sticking with their recommendation may cause you to pay more and may take longer. Purchasing a new property is expensive enough, so you don’t want to incur unnecessary costs hiring a surveyor. Here are some tips on how to find a qualified surveyor:

Compare quotes from several different firms: Once you know what type of home survey you need, shop around different firms to gain a range of quotes. Eliminate those that are overly priced. We recommend getting at least three quotes to make an informed decision.

Ask for previous report copies: It’s not just about price when it comes to finding surveyors, but also the quality of their service. Ask for past reports so you can see the level of detail contained in them. Speak to the surveyor about talking you through the report so you know what to expect from them.

Ensure they are qualified: Make sure that your surveyor is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). RICS ensures all its members comply with professional standards and have professional indemnity insurance. You can determine this by seeing whether they have the acronyms FRICS or MRICS after their name.

Go local: Choosing a local surveyor means you can benefit from someone who knows the area and its housing market. They are aware of any problems local to the area and can also give some insight into the property’s locational value.

Qualified Chartered Surveyors
How to find qualified surveyors

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Getting a home survey is a worthwhile investment that can save you money in the long run. If you’re looking for a professional surveyor for your next property purchase, contact Oakfield Chartered Surveyors today for more information and advice.

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Picture of James Peck

James Peck

James has worked the residential property sector since 2005 with roles in Asset Management, Probate, Insurance, Party Wall Matters, Valuation and Building Surveying in both local and national areas having spent several years working within the London area and the Home Counties. James specialises in building surveying with a particular interest in non-traditional construction properties and historic buildings. James has an in-depth knowledge of residential buildings and provides clear and concise advice to clients.
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