What is a Building Survey?

May 1, 2020
Latest company case about What is a Building Survey?

  What is a Building Survey?

A Building Survey is the most detailed home survey. Previously known as a Structural Survey, a Building Survey is an in-depth inspection of a property. It is the most comprehensive of the surveys available for residential properties and will provide a detailed evaluation of a property’s condition.

The Building Survey report will describe the condition of each element of the house and identify the property’s defects, their apparent cause, the urgency of repair, maintenance options and may also include an approximate costs of repair.

Building Surveys are conducted by Chartered Surveyors. It's important to check that the surveyor you select is regulated by RICS, as they set the guidance for surveyors and this will ensure that the advice you are getting is independent, expert advice from appropriately trained professionals.


Building Surveys are suitable for all properties, but they are particularly appropriate for:
• Listed Buildings – a building that is on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
• Older Properties – recommended for properties over 50 years old
• Buildings constructed in an unusual way, regardless of age
• Buildings that you intend to renovate or change
• Buildings that have already been renovated or significantly altered

What is involved?
A full Building Survey will include:
• A building inspection
• A full survey report
• A property valuation (only if specifically stated by the surveyor).

The survey will inspect all visible and accessible parts of a building, including roofs, walls, floors, windows and doors, chimneys, cellars, garages and outbuildings. Surveyors have a legal responsibility to discover and inform of any major problems with a property, so during the building inspection surveyors will actively search for potential problems and building defects.

This includes looking into cupboards and manholes, and an inspection of the services but it does not, however, investigate enclosed or concealed parts of a building, such as sealed roof spaces.

Aspects of a Building Survey
Here is a list of the aspects that are included in a Building Survey:
• Most important and more insignificant defects and what they could mean
• Results of tests for damp in the walls
• Alterations to supporting walls
• Renovations that have occurred without necessary planning permission
• Presence of hazardous materials (e.g. asbestos)
• Evidence of subsidence
• Damage to masonry and roof
• Damage to timbers
• Large trees close to the property.
• Woodworm, dry rot and other damage to timbers
• The conditions of existing damp proofing, insulation and advice on non-tested drainage
• Information on the materials used to build the property and any relevant technical information
• Recommendations for further investigations on the property