The Building Survey

The Building Survey is undertaken to help you, the potential property buyer, understand the property’s condition.

We record risks and potential expenditures that may be required, enabling you to develop the appropriate remedial or maintenance plans. Building Surveys also be prepared for investors with property portfolios to help inform future investments.

All our surveyors are RICS registered, AssocRICS, MRICS or FRICS. The building survey provides you with a snapshot of your future property at a particular point in time. We inspect all the parts of the property that are accessible.

What Type of Property Suits the Building Survey?

While all buildings may benefit from a Building Survey, the most appropriate typically include:

  • Listed buildings.
  • Older buildings (usually 80 years old or more).
  • Buildings facing renovation or redevelopment.
  • Buildings that have previously been renovated, altered or redeveloped.
  • Buildings with unusual designs or construction features.

We use the RICS Level 3 template for the Building Survey. However, please make it clear to us if you have specific concerns or interests in certain elements. This will be included in the report for you. For instance, may have a particular interest in the roof or floor structure, which the surveyor may not gain access to unless this has been arranged.


Common Defects

The most common issues identified by Building Surveys include:

  • General property condition.
  • Any obvious defect
  • Any structural movement, through subsidence or settlement or otherwise.
  • Deterioration due to rising damp, penetrating damp, surface condensation or interstitial condensation.
  • Rot or infestations such as woodworm or wet rot.
  • Heating ventilation and air conditioning services.
  • Other building services such as electrical services, plumbing and drainage issues.

The Home Survey report will not go into detail about things like heating or electrical equipment. However, we recommend that Electrical Certificates and Gas Safety Certificates be in place before you exchange contracts.

Building surveys also identify aspects of the property that it has not been possible to inspect or issues that may require further investigation by a specialist.

The report will detail what was found during the Home Survey and recommend further specialist surveyors, if required. As the most in-depth survey we offer, the Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) is more expensive than a HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 Survey). However, getting one could save you thousands of pounds or stop you from buying a property that has hidden problems.

The price varies on the price and size of the property, as it will take longer to assess a large house than a small flat or 2 bed terraced house.

  • Problems with any alterations that may have been made.
  • Environmental issues such as clay soil or mining area.
  • Legal issues that may require an additional expert investigation or advice, such as boundary issues.
  • Energy performance such as storage heating or electrical underfloor heating.

What do we inspect?

When carrying out a building survey, we inspect the following:

  • Visual examination, instead of an invasive one where carpets, floor coverings, furniture, etc., may need to be moved or taken up.
  • An external examination from the ground level of roofs, chimneys and other surfaces of the building. This includes examining boundary walls, fences, permanent outbuildings, and common (shared) use areas.
  • The use of equipment such as a camera, damp-meter, binoculars, torch, a short ladder.
  • An internal inspection of the roof space, if we can gain access.
  • Floor surfaces and under-floor spaces this is subject to safe access.
  • Photographs showing defects are annotated where necessary within the report.

Shape Surveyors will produce a final report that reveals whether the property has any major and minor defects when the survey has been completed. The Home Survey report will identify and describe any problems and their cause. We provide recommendations for further investigation if damp, movement or other significant issues are identified.

A detailed building survey of a house usually takes 3 – 4 hours and can take up to a day to complete. The final report is sent to you via our portal within 5 to 7 days.

If you’re unsure which survey is right for your property – call us on 0121 769 2175. We can give you independent advice on which survey would be the most suitable for you and your property. Or click the button below to get a quote.If you’re unsure which survey is right for your property – call us on 0121 769 2175. We can give you independent advice on which survey would be the most suitable for you and your property.