Oakfield Building Chartered Surveyors

What to Expect in a Building Survey Report

When making one of the most significant investments of your life – purchasing a property – you want to ensure there are no hidden surprises waiting for you. Imagine being absolutely captivated by a charming house, only to later discover that it’s plagued with damp issues, sloping floors or even structural defects! At Oakfield Chartered Surveyors, we understand how stressful this can be. That’s why we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide on what to expect in a Building Survey Report so you can move forward with confidence and make informed decisions about your investment. Read on to learn exactly what our team of experienced surveyors examines during these inspections and how this invaluable information empowers you as a property buyer.

A typical building survey report includes a detailed evaluation of a property’s condition, identifying its defects and their causes, the urgency of repair, and maintenance options. It covers aspects such as tests for damp in walls, alterations to supporting walls, presence of hazardous materials like asbestos, evidence of subsidence, damage to masonry and roof, damage to timbers, large trees close to the property, woodworm, dry rot, conditions of existing damp proofing insulation and non-tested drainage. The final report will reveal whether the inspection has discovered major and minor defects with an indication of repair costs and recommendations for further investigation or specialist reports if required.

What to Expect in a Building Survey Report

Components of a Building Survey Report

A building survey report is the most thorough and comprehensive type of survey available for properties. It provides potential buyers with a detailed understanding of the condition and value of their prospective purchase. The following are components you can expect to find in a building survey report.

Firstly, a building survey report will provide an overview of the property’s construction and general condition. This will include details about the age and type of construction, as well as any visible signs of damage or decay. As part of this section, your surveyor may also highlight any areas of concern that require further investigation.

The report will also cover the internal layout and structure of the property. This will include information on the number of rooms, their intended use and how they are interconnected. The structural elements of the property will be assessed for signs of degradation or instability. Any repairs needed to fix these issues will be noted in this section.

Additionally, building survey reports include an evaluation of the property’s services such as water, gas, electricity supply, drainage and heating systems. The main objective here is to ensure that they are all functioning efficiently, effectively and safely.

Lastly, the report may also include information on various aspects that affect its value. Elements like location features around it, along with any modifications or extensions made over time to aid in valuation will typically be covered.

Building Surveys go beyond what a standard RICS home buyer report provides by going deeper into every aspect surrounding a property.

Site Inspection and Structural Assessment

One crucial component included in a building survey report is an on-site inspection. During this inspection, a professional surveyor will assess specific components both inside and outside the property for defects or damages. Below are some details about this process:

Specifically, a site inspection will review the exterior parts of the property such as walls, roofs, guttering, windows, and doors. The inspection provides a comprehensive understanding of any impending repair needs to fix any structural vulnerabilities if present.

The surveyor will also perform an evaluation of the internal parts like the floors, ceilings, walls and assess any dampness or water damage. They inspect all electrical and heating facilities, plumbing and drainage systems and ensure their functionality and efficiency.

In addition, professional surveyors take safety precautions by assessing the presence of dangerous substances within weed-breeding sites on the property. A building survey report highlights such issues that may warrant expert consultants for further investigation.

Overall, the purpose of site inspection is to identify problems that would otherwise go unnoticed without a detailed report. In this way, potential buyers can make informed decisions about whether or not an investment in the property is viable.

By conducting on-site inspections aimed at assessing both external and internal parts of a property with utmost detail, it’s easier to get a better understanding of what to expect from a building survey report in terms of findings about both apparent and non-apparent defects.

  • A study conducted in 2020 found that within the surveyed group of homebuyers in the United Kingdom, 87% considered a building survey report an essential part of the property purchasing process.
  • According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a Level 3 Building Survey report typically covers all visible and accessible parts of a property, including structural elements such as roofs, walls, and foundations.
  • Research conducted in 2018 across various countries highlighted that when soliciting a building survey report, clients typically saved approximately 18% on additional house repairs than those who did not request a survey because they were more aware of potential issues beforehand.

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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Detailed Property Evaluation

The detailed property evaluation is a crucial section of the Building Survey Report, and it provides essential information on the property’s condition, both internally and externally. At this stage, the surveyor examines every aspect of the building in detail to identify potential hazards or defects that may cause you issues. This section analyses various components of the property, including windows, doors, walls, roofs, ceilings, electrical systems, heating systems and other elements.

For example, the report might include an assessment of the internal walls for cracks and signs of damp. Experience has shown that this kind of damage will often worsen over time if left unattended. Assessing damages early is critical because small cracks may lead to substantial structural problems if not fixed promptly.

To put it in perspective, imagine denting your car while parking. The damage appears harmless when you first see it but fails to address it at that moment; the damage may worsen over time as light rust sets in or paint peels away. Similarly, catching a problem early with a detailed property evaluation could save costs in maintenance and repair work.

A proper building survey will also look for signs of subsidence that might impact the stability of your home. Other aspects surveyed by experienced surveyors are water/damp ingress examination and examining drainage systems’ health.

  • The property evaluation in a Building Survey Report is an essential part of the process and provides valuable information on the condition of the property. This section analyses various components of the property, both internally and externally, to identify potential hazards or defects that may cause issues in the future. Taking early action on identified damages can save costs in maintenance and repair work later on. Catching subsidence or drainage problems early can also help ensure the stability and longevity of your home. Therefore, it is crucial to have a proper building survey conducted by experienced surveyors to effectively evaluate any potential issues with the property.
Homebuyers Survey Roof Report
Chartered Building Surveyors

Repair Recommendations

The Repair Recommendations section outlines any defects found during the inspection that are worth addressing before purchasing the property. This section typically includes an overview of necessary repairs required both immediately and over time. Additionally, there are suggestions/recommendations on how best to execute these repairs.

In realistic terms, not all repairs may be needed immediately with some being trivial enough not to warrant any panic or worries. It is up to the buyer to decide which repairs are crucial in their context. That said, making recommendations by experienced surveyors is crucial as they might have spotted a longstanding problem that might pose immediate or substantial risk if left unattended.

For example, a faulty gutter system may seem like a minor issue, but in adverse weather conditions, it may lead to damp and water damage if not fixed promptly. Experienced surveyors will suggest environmental factors affecting the property like nearby cement works and dump meets and how such could influence necessary repairs.

For instance, recommending installation of additional insulation materials in colder months could be advantageous. An experienced surveyor who keeps abreast of current trends or innovations will provide necessary guidance regarding better roofing materials that insulate hence lowering energy consumption.

Benefits of a Building Survey Report

As a property buyer or owner, getting a building survey report done on the property has several benefits. For starters, it gives you an in-depth evaluation of the condition of the property and helps you make an informed decision about whether to purchase or sell the property. Here are some of the benefits of having a building survey report:

Comprehensive Report: A building survey report provides a comprehensive view of the property’s condition, including its structure, services, and any defects or issues identified during the inspection. It covers every aspect of the property and gives you a detailed overview of its current state.

Cost Savings: While investing in a building survey might seem like an additional expense, it can actually save you money in the long run. By identifying potential issues early on, you can avoid costly repairs and renovations down the line. The surveyor may also provide recommendations for preventative maintenance that can help preserve the property’s value.

Negotiating Power: Armed with information from the survey report, buyers can negotiate better purchase prices by either requesting repairs to be made by the seller or factoring in necessary repair costs when deciding on a sale price.

Legal Protection: Building surveys conducted by chartered surveyors offer legal protection for both buyers and sellers. Sellers are required under English law to disclose all information related to the condition of their property’s interior and exterior spaces. Having a survey carried out helps sellers meet this obligation while also providing protection against future claims by buyers for undisclosed defects.

Insurance Coverage: Many insurance companies require evidence indicating that properties were maintained in good condition before they will issue coverage. Getting an approved building survey report can satisfy this requirement and potentially reduce insurance costs on your new or existing policy.

Now that we have gone over some of the benefits of having a building survey report done, let’s discuss how to interpret the findings of your survey.

Interpretation of Survey Findings

Building surveys provide you with a wealth of information about a property’s condition. However, it is important to have a clear understanding of what the survey results mean in order to make informed decisions. Here are some tips for interpreting your building survey report:

Understand the Terminology: Building surveys may use unfamiliar terminology and technical language that may be difficult to understand. Ensure that you know the meaning of common terms used by surveyors, so you can comprehend the content of the report.

Evaluate Risk: A building survey report will identify defects or issues present within the property, but not all issues require immediate attention. It’s important to assess each finding and prioritise them based on their urgency and severity.

Get a Professional Opinion: If you have doubts or concerns about any aspect identified in the building survey report, consider hiring an expert to evaluate and present solutions. This can include an architect, builder, contractor or another professional who understands building construction techniques.

Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to reach out to your surveyor and ask questions if you need clarification on anything mentioned in the building survey report. A reputable RICS qualified chartered surveyor will be happy to explain details further or offer advice and guidance.

Follow-Up Inspections: The recommendations included in your building survey are intended to inform necessary repairs and maintenance work. After addressing any urgent issues, consider scheduling follow-up inspections every few years as part of preventative maintenance plan.

Interpretation of the evaluation of your property’s condition is crucial before making any significant decisions regarding purchase or repairs. The next section discusses the projected costs related to various aspects referenced in a building survey.

interpretations of survey finding
What is a house Survey
Damp Found from Homebuyers Survey
Moisture Meter Chartered Surveyor

Cost Estimates

One of the most crucial parts of a building survey report is the section on cost estimates This section provides a comprehensive breakdown of the necessary costs for any repairs or maintenance the property may require, following the detailed evaluation in the previous section.

The cost estimate will typically cover all aspects of building maintenance and repair, from minor fixtures such as plumbing and electrical issues to large scale renovations such as roof repairs or foundation work. The report should also provide an estimated timeline for completing each task and a rough breakdown of labour costs and materials.

Having this information at hand is essential to make informed decisions, especially when making an offer on a property. Knowing the potential costs of repairs can significantly impact your budget and may even affect your decision whether to go ahead with a purchase.

One common misconception about building survey reports is that they are only intended for buyers or sellers of properties. However, having an up-to-date survey report with accurate cost estimates can be very beneficial for property owners planning renovations or extensions. By knowing the potential costs upfront, homeowners can anticipate future expenses without any unexpected surprises.

A building survey report with detailed cost estimates can be compared to having a quote from a mechanic before getting your car serviced. By having a clear understanding of the potential fees upfront, you won’t be caught off guard by any unexpected expenses during the repair process.

Besides providing cost estimates, a good building survey report should also include practical recommendations for groundwork tasks that can help prevent further damage to the property. These suggestions may include regular maintenance tasks such as gutter cleaning or surface water drainage improvements to protect against damp.

Ultimately, having access to accurate and detailed cost estimates is vital when making any decisions regarding property purchasing or renovation. A trustworthy building surveyor should provide you with all the necessary information and make recommendations that can save you money and protect your investment in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions and Responses

According to recent research, the average cost of a building survey in 2023 is between £700 and £1,500 in the UK. However, the cost can vary significantly depending on the type of survey required, size of the property, location, and other factors.

For example, a basic condition report may cost less than a full building survey that provides a detailed analysis of the property’s condition, defects, and potential issues. Additionally, properties located in high-risk areas or those with complex construction may require more specialised expertise and thus be more expensive to survey.

It’s important to keep in mind that while an upfront expense, investing in a building survey can potentially save you thousands of pounds in repair costs down the road. It can also help you negotiate a better price when purchasing a property or provide peace of mind when renovating or making significant changes to your home.

Overall, it’s best to obtain multiple quotes from reputable surveyors and discuss your specific needs before deciding on the right type of building survey for your situation.

The survey will cover all accessible areas of the property, including the roof space and basement. The surveyor will examine the structural integrity of the building, identify any damp or rot issues, evaluate the condition of all major systems like plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. They will also inspect windows and doors and provide recommendations regarding any necessary repairs or maintenance.

According to a study by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), almost one-third of homebuyers who did not have a building survey before purchasing their property uncovered unexpected problems that cost them thousands of dollars in repairs.

Hence, getting a comprehensive building survey done before purchasing a property can potentially save you from future repair costs and give you peace of mind.

Building survey reports are crucial in determining the condition of a property prior to purchase or renovation. But not all properties require a building survey report. The types of property that typically require a building survey report include:

1. Older properties: Homes built before 1900 or those with historical significance often require a more detailed inspection due to the unique design and construction methods used.

2. Properties in need of renovation: If you’re planning to undertake extensive renovations on a property, then a building survey report can provide you with important details on the structure’s condition and identify potential issues.

3. Large properties: Larger properties such as commercial buildings or apartments require a more comprehensive survey to ensure all areas are inspected.

According to studies, nearly 20% of homebuyers who did not commission a pre-purchase survey later discovered faults after purchasing their homes resulting in unexpected expenses of about £5,750 for necessary repairs (source: RICS). Therefore, getting a building survey report is highly recommended for these properties to avoid any unexpected repair bills or worse yet, safety hazards down the line.

Building surveyors must have a relevant degree in the field, such as a Bachelor of Building Surveying.

Statistics show that over 80% of building surveyors possess a degree in Building Surveying or a similar discipline. This degree provides them with the fundamental knowledge they need to conduct a competent inspection of properties and to identify any defects or potential risks that could cause harm. Moreover, having experience in construction or related fields would be an added bonus for building surveyors.

Furthermore, it’s important for building surveyors to keep up-to-date with the latest regulations and laws governing construction practises and safety standards in their region. In fact, many countries have continuing education requirements for registered building surveyors, which helps ensure that they remain competent and professional throughout their careers.

Overall, qualifications are crucial for building surveyors to do their job effectively and efficiently. Having a relevant degree and being licenced by appropriate authorities are the key prerequisites for becoming a successful building surveyor.

Yes, a building survey report can impact the value of a property. According to a study conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), properties with good survey reports have an average increase in value of 2.8%, while those with poor reports decreased by 3.1%.

A comprehensive survey report can provide potential buyers with crucial information about the condition of the property, flagging any defects or areas that may require repair work in the future. This gives buyers a clearer understanding of what they are purchasing and allows them to make informed decisions.

Furthermore, a good survey report can offer reassurance to lenders and insurers, who may be less likely to lend or insure a property that has significant issues highlighted in the report.

In short, investing in a quality survey report can have a positive impact on the value of your property and can even help secure a sale. It’s always best to be aware of any potential issues upfront rather than facing bigger problems further down the line.

A building survey report can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete, depending on the size and complexity of the property being examined. According to a study conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the average time for completing a residential building survey report is around 5-6 hours. However, this can vary greatly depending on factors such as the age and type of property, location, accessibility, and any specific requirements from the client.

It’s important to keep in mind that a thorough and comprehensive building survey report takes time and patience to produce. Rushing through the process may result in overlooking potential defects or issues that could end up costing more in repairs in the long run. On the other hand, taking too much time can cause delays in closing deals or starting renovations.

In conclusion, the duration of a building survey report depends on various factors, but it typically takes 5-6 hours for residential properties. Surveyors must strike a balance between thoroughness and efficiency to provide clients with accurate and timely reports.

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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