Your home is probably the biggest purchase you will make and it is therefore worth ensuring it is sound by having a survey done before you buy it.
This used to be known as a Full Structural Survey and is wide ranging and detailed. It is suitable for all buildings but especially for older properties, listed buildings, unusually constructed properties or one that either you intend to significantly alter or renovate, or that has been already.
It will alert you to the most important or significant defects from looking at the brickwork, roof, guttering etc. outside and also the ceilings, fireplaces, insulation, state of the décor etc. inside, and give you costs for possible repairs, results of test for damp, woodworm and dry rot, technical information on the materials used to build the property and will recommend areas for further investigation.
It does not however automatically include a valuation, although if requested the surveyor can usually supply one.
This survey is a user friendly report that covers both the outside of the property and the inside. It will let you know if there are areas that either must be fixed or that you may want to change in the future and give you an idea how much any improvements will cost, which is useful for renegotiation of purchase price. If you require estimates for a Homebuyer Survey rather than a Building Survey. please click here
This is the most basic valuation and generally required by your mortgage provider to confirm the property is worth the amount of the mortgage but it provides no information about the building beyond that. If you require a Valuation Survey rather than a Building Survey, please click here
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) was formed in 1868 and now covers everything from asset valuation to land management to construction. Their members (MRICS or FRICS) are required to keep up to date with current practice and legislation through Continuing Professional Development and abide by a code of professional and ethical standards.
Another body for professionals specialising in the design, construction, evaluation and maintenance of building construction is the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE). Professionally qualified members will have the letters MCABE or FCABE after their names.
There is also the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) . Their members work in the development, conservation and improvement of the built environment. Chartered members will have the letters MCIOB or FCIOB after their names.
It should be noted that registered Architects also sometimes carry out surveys.
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