Guide To Choosing A Report

There are three main types of survey:

  • valuation: this will be carried out by your mortgage company if you need a mortgage to buy the property
  • homebuyer: this is a basic survey that will give you a general overview of the property
  • full structural: recommended for older properties and those in need of work, or simply for peace of mind. Although expensive, it is worthwhile



Many buildings old or new have some defects, and require repairs and replacements from time to time, to keep them in satisfactory condition.

This style of report is a valuation and not a survey. It is a property inspection undertaken to provide an opinion on the current open market value of the property and is an equivalent to a report provided for financial institutions including building societies and banks for loan security purposes.

The principle benefit to this type of report is that it confirms the purchase price is reasonable and identifies any obvious defects, which may affect valuation.

This type of valuation can be used for a variety of purposes including lending; probate valuations; matrimonial settlement valuations; taxation and relocation.

The extent of the inspection is limited when compared to a survey and if you wish to commission a joint valuation and a more detailed report, you should, in the first instance, contact your preferred lender. If, however, you have already had a valuation carried out but now require a survey to report upon condition, you can come directly to us.

RICS Homebuyers Survey and Valuation

This type of report designed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is particularly suited for properties constructed since about 1900 although in many instances, it will be appropriate for many Victorian properties, especially those of conventional type built during the latter part of the 19th century. The reports are laid out in an easy to read document, which forms part of our ISO 9002 accreditation and is prepared in accordance with the RICS Appraisal and Valuation Manual as amended known in the profession as the red book.

Reports outline the principle constituent construction elements under standard headings and Action Points where appropriate and allows you to decide whether your intended purchase is reasonably priced whilst making you aware of any major pitfalls prior to exchanging contracts.

The Homebuyers Survey and Valuation report identifies significant or urgent repairs.

Urgent Repairs: defects judged to be an actual or developing threat to either the Fabric of the building or to personal safety. It is advisable to have these put right as soon as possible after purchase (and in some cases, even before).

Significant Matters: those, which are typically in negotiation over price and would be reflected in the amount finally agreed.

You will find that this report represents good value for money. It is the most popular type of survey available and can be carried out by a surveyor for you at short notice if required. For large individual detached houses constructed since approximately 1900 or indeed, all property before this date, it may be considered prudent to have a building survey undertaken.

Building Survey

Building Survey

Often referred to as a structural survey, or a full survey, this is a visual survey, appropriate to all building types.

It aims to provide maximum confidence and assurance and is the most detailed of our standard reports. It is an in depth report written in a free text format and tailored to the individual property or client where required.

We get to all parts that we can reach from the ground floors, fixed stairs or other vantage points. The surveyor will carry a four-metre ladder and we will open all available/known access hatches, traps and manholes etc. that we can get to safely. The building survey covers:

  1. Detailed information on construction
  2. Technical advice on problems
  3. Recommendations on remedial work
  4. Advice on future maintenance
  5. Post report consultation
  6. Custom made to meet your needs

Unfortunately, we do not have x-ray eyes and vendors don't take kindly to us ripping their buildings apart, so there will be hidden parts that we can't get to. Even so, we are trained to tell you if we suspect hidden defects.

A building survey will give you a full list of any suspected problems that might be present in one of the biggest purchases you might make.

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