building surveys - residential

Property is expensive whether a house, flat or business premises.  You simply cannot afford to make mistakes.  Your solicitor will advise on legal matters but a number of practical matters should be investigated.

Potential purchasers should find out all they can about the property they intend to buy or lease.

  • Is it properly built?

  • Does it need extensive repair?

  • Are maintenance costs going to be high?

Even with a flat or office suite you may be responsible for a share of the cost of repairing the whole building.  The only way to find out about the structural condition is to have a building survey carried out by an expert.

At worst, serious defects may be found and at best you will have the peace of mind of knowing that the building is sound.  Many clients, armed with the full facts are able to negotiate for work to be done or the price to be reduced.  Others are prevented from making a costly or ill advised purchase.  The report can also be used to plan future maintenance.

Are both a Mortgage Valuation and a Building Survey necessary?

It is important to appreciate that a valuation is not a building survey.  The purpose of the valuation report is to ensure that the loan can be recovered by selling the property if necessary.  The valuer does not carry out a building survey.  Most mortgage valuers do not have experience in carrying out such surveys.

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The different types of survey:

Mortgage Valuation

This is a report on the value of the property for your bank.  It is not a report on the condition of your property. 

Homebuyers Survey and Valuation

This is a standardised report on condition which includes a valuation.  It is applicable for small modern houses and flats which have not been altered, extended, converted in any way, or suffered any structural damage.

Building Survey

This is the industry standard report.  It is suitable for all types of residential and commercial property including period, historic and listed buildings and those which have been altered, extended or underpinned.

Survey-Plus

A building survey, plus:

  1. A high level camera survey of the roof and chimneys using a 17m high telescopic mast.

  2. Test of the underground drains.

  3. External thermal image photographs showing areas of excessive energy loss.

  4. A gas leak air test.

  5. A carbon monoxide leak air test.

  6. An endoscope view within a cavity wall with photographs.

  7. An endoscope view beneath part of timber floors with photographs.

Survey Fees

The cost of a survey depends upon the age and type of property.  We shall give a fixed fee quotation over the telephone and in writing.

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What does a surveyor do?

We look at every part of the property which is readily accessible and give a detailed report.

The report will tell you if the property is structurally sound and if any cracks are important.  It will advise on the condition of the roof and rainwater pipes and let you know if the property is dry and weather tight.  It will mention any rising dampness or lack of pointing allowing water to penetrate walls.

Many purchasers are concerned about woodworm and dry rot.  Depending upon how much of the timber we are able to inspect, we will advise on any problems found and put them into perspective.  If further investigations should be made, where we are unable to inspect on our first visit, then we will tell you so.

The water supply system will be examined as far as possible and we will comment on the tanks, cisterns and other items which might cause trouble soon after purchase.

The report will enable you to make decisions about the property before you commit yourself to purchase and afterwards will help you to plan the repairs and maintenance.  We cannot take the property to pieces and look at every part.  We shall advise you if there are signs which might be a clue to more major defects, and if there is something important which we could not inspect.

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The building services

We make a visual inspection of the services when carrying out a survey, but surveyors are not experts in these fields. We can arrange for special tests of the services on your behalf with electrical engineers, heating engineers, plumbers, etc, if required.

Cost of repairs

Our report will give a rough guide to the costs of essential repairs recommended.  This is on the basis that you will ascertain exact costs by obtaining builders price quotations prior to committing yourself.

How long does a survey take?

We can normally inspect a property within a few days of receiving your instructions if access is available.  We recommend waiting for our written report before you commit to purchase.

Lloyd Davies Chartered Surveyors?

Ours is an independent firm of chartered surveyors established in 1996 providing advice on the value and condition of residential and commercial property in the London, Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent area.

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To contact us please select from the appropriate area link below:

London | Surrey | Sussex | Hampshire | Kent

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