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If you are thinking of purchasing

a property, you’ll need to have

some kind of survey carried out

and for a residential property,

there are three types of building

surveys to choose from:


Mortgage Valuation Report. A building surveyor will visit the property and carry out a very basic inspection to ensure that the property is in reasonable condition, and worth the purchase price. This is the cheapest type of survey, and it will not highlight any defects which aren’t immediately obvious. For example, building surveyors would spot any tiles that are missing from the roof, but would not generally test for damp problems.

Homebuyers Survey.This is a mid-level survey which is more in-depth than a Mortgage Valuation Report, but not as comprehensive as a complete structural survey. When a firm of chartered surveyors carries out a Homebuyers survey, they will make an overall assessment of the condition of the property. In addition, they will also report any problems which may require urgent attention or repairs.Once the survey has been completed, you’ll receive a comprehensive report which includes an approximate calculation of the rebuilding costs of the property. This report will also highlight any problems which have been discovered which could affect the value of the property in the future.

Structural Survey. A full structural survey is the most comprehensive type of building surveys. A firm of structural engineers will carry out a detailed structural survey of the property from top to bottom. In this structural inspection, they will look at all aspects of the building structure (for example: the types of materials used, the condition of the roof, the state of the foundations and the integrity of the walls)When carrying out a structural survey, structural surveyors will actively search for potential problems and building defects – even if they are not immediately obvious! Once the survey has been completed, you’ll receive a detailed structural survey report which will identify any problems found.What Other Areas Does A Structural Survey Look At?In addition to looking at the design and construction of the property, a structural survey will pick up a wide range of property related problems such as:

  • Damaged or removed lintels
  • If any supporting walls have been altered or moved
  • Any DIY “improvements” which have been carried out without the necessary planning permission
  • Presence of hazardous materials (e.g. asbestos) that may need to be professionally removed
  • Damp related issues such as dry rot or rising damp
  • Evidence of woodworm or other insect infestations
  • Problems with the roof
  • Rotten or damaged window frames
  • Damage to brick or stonework (e.g. frost damage)
  • Evidence of subsidence or land-slip
  • Poor plumbing, electrical work or insulation
  • Possible areas of concern {e.g. party wall issues)

Please get in touch if you need any further clarifications or you want to organise a survey for your property.

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