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Which Building Survey Do I Need?

To help you understand which building survey you need for your property, please find below an overview of the reports used via the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for domestic properties.

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What is a Homebuyers Report?

The RICS Homebuyers Report is a more comprehensive check of homes in a reasonable condition and the most popular of all available surveys. It’s designed to spot any areas of a building that may be of concern and need repairs, as well as provide advice on ongoing maintenance or repairs. This also includes a comprehensive photographic report.

An RICS Homebuyers Survey should include information about:

◇ the existing construction
◇ the building condition inside and out
◇ the problems found and the likely repairs that could be needed
◇ maintenance advice and possible future defects
◇ health and safety matters
◇ possible legal issues to bring to the attention of your solicitor.

A Homebuyers Survey does not include a valuation and a building reinstatement figure. This should be requested separately. For an additional fee, this type of survey can include cost estimates for any items of major concern.

What is a Full Building Survey?

If the house you’re buying is especially old, or you are planning on doing some work to
the property, it’s likely that you will need a Full Building Survey. As the most comprehensive of all survey
types, this survey includes all the reporting of a Homebuyers Survey with a specific focus on potential structural issues. It is suitable for older, more unusual properties and those that have been already altered in any way, such as with extensions.

A Full Building Survey is not to be confused with a structural report. A structural engineer will typically inspect a property when a defect such as ‘movement’ has been identified by the Building Surveyor in the Full Building Survey. At an extra cost the Building Surveyor will provide a diagnosis and can provide estimated costs of any other repairs or issues that are found, which can then be used by the mortgage provider if necessary.

This survey is aimed at the New Build Sector and is produced to assist the client when purchasing a new property. It is a cost-effective way to get a detailed list of acceptable snagging items that the builder should deal with prior to the tenant moving in. If this is not possible then the survey could be carried out after completion. The list would then require completion at the Builders earliest convenience but always prior to any defects inspection (normally 6 months and 12 months).

As with most surveys it reports on the condition only and does not give additional advice.

If you are looking for a building surveyor in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire or Sussex, please get in touch today.