What is a Building Surveyor?


A London Building Surveyor, or RICS Chartered Surveyor is a professional who can assess the quality and condition of buildings in order to provide advice and guidance on defects or potential risks. This may include residential, commercial properties or public buildings.

By undertaking a detailed inspection of the property, they will provide a comprehensive and professional report on all the major components of the property such as the structure (walls, roof, floors, ceilings) and services (heating, electrics, waste pipes and plumbing).

UK Chartered Building Surveyors are regulated by the RICS - The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. This standardises surveys and ensures that the surveyor must meet guidelines and standards set out by the organisation in order to provide a high-quality service to its clients.

In addition to building surveys, RICS surveyors can also provide a range of services including:

  • Advising on building design, maintenance, repair and works
  • Negotiating dilapidation claims
  • Handling planning applications
  • Assisting with insurance assessment and claims
  • Handling project management and monitoring
  • Advising on property legislation
  • Investigating defects and providing maintenance advice
  • Conducting building surveys and measured surveys
  • Carrying out building inspections to ensure compliance with building regulations;
  • Undertaking pre-acquisition surveys

 

Do I need a Building Surveyor? – Pre-acquisition Surveys

Whenever you’re planning to buy a property, you should ask a Building Surveyor to carry out an in-depth assessment, such as a Level 3 - RICS Building Survey. This applies to both residential and commercial buildings and all ages of property including new builds, older properties and those you plan to renovate.

The building surveyor will look for structural damage and whether any repairs are needed. With this essential insight, you’ll better understand the true value of the property, have peace of mind and potentially save money in the future.

If your property or home is older, has undergone significant changes or you have a renovation project in mind, an RICS Building Survey is the best option. This is a customised service that takes an in-depth look at the state of the property and provides a detailed report. This will allow you to understand any pre-existing issues as well as the potential cost of making repairs.

For newer and more conventional London properties that were built after 1960 using traditional methods and materials, an RICS HomeBuyer Report may be enough. The RICS Chartered surveyor will conduct a visual inspection of the property and identify any issues that need addressing and use a simple 1,2,3 rating system to help you identify the most serious issues.

New builds should undergo a professional snagging survey or Homebuyer Level 2 survey conducted by an RICS Building Surveyor to identify any works that are outstanding and ensure the building is built to current industry standards.

Building Surveyor London
Building Surveyor London

Building Surveyor Quotation



Jonathan Biggs
13:25 31 Aug 21
Incredibly efficient and professional service. Survey report was very through and helpful in identifying areas of work needed to be undertaken urgently, together with a ball park cost. Speed with which they undertook the survey and turned around the report ensured the transaction kept to the tight timeline set by the vendors. Can 100% recommend them.
Juriana Spierenburg
13:34 02 Jul 21
Very good communication and fast turnaround! I highly appreciated their service.
Alex Durbidge
13:09 10 Jun 21
Professional, helpful, friendly, prompt, value-for-money. I cannot speak highly enough of their thoroughly excellent and efficient service - in particular I really commend Kate's quick and friendly service (I always heard back same day on any query), and Jason's thorough but clear survey (he also phoned me to talk through report as well as submitting formal in writing).

Building Survey Benefits


  • A peek into the future
    Our detailed reports help you save money in the long run by highlighting even seemingly minor issues that could exacerbate and become costly to repair if neglected.
  • A comprehensive insight into a property’s condition
    You don’t need to risk borrowing hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of pounds to buy a home that could prove to be a poor investment because a building survey details the condition of the roof, timber defects, all internal and external areas and more.
  • A powerful bargaining chip at the negotiating table
    Not all problematic properties need to be avoided, but you need to know whether the asking price is a true reflection of the home’s value. You could secure a property for much less than its asking price by highlighting the areas which require attention.

What does a Building Surveyor do?


A Chartered Building Surveyor will check the property integrity by looking for defects that will require attention and highlight any future maintenance requirements. What this includes depends on the type of building survey the individual requires, either a level 3 building survey or a level 2 Homebuyers survey.

Building Surveyor London

Building Surveyor London

Building Survey- Level 3

Building surveys are the most comprehensive and in-depth of the property surveys and offer a detailed description of the condition of the property inside and out. Most chartered building surveyors in London recommend this building survey, especially if the property is old, has undergone renovation projects or is built from unconventional materials. It’s also the best choice if you plan to carry out building work in the future as it helps protect you from any nasty surprises.

Our Full Building Survey is the most comprehensive report we provide, featuring written reports, photographs and quotes for any required works. Our Chartered Surveyors use advanced equipment, such as Pole Cams, to inspect every accessible nook and cranny of the property and provide reports that detail:

  • Areas of Movement
  • The Structural Condition of the Building
  • Timber Defects
  • Dampness
  • Condensation
  • Insulation
  • Roof Structure
  • External Walls
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Services (Gas, Electricity, Water, Drainage, Heating)

They will check any accessible areas such as the roof or cellar and will fully advise on any defects including what remedial action should be taken and an idea of the costs.

RICS HomeBuyer Survey - Level 2

For an RICS HomeBuyer survey, chartered surveyors look at the inside and outside of a building to assess the condition of a property and check for defects, but don't check beneath floorboards, inside walls or roof spaces or open cupboards.. They may also check outside of the property. With this information, they will create a simple report to highlight potential problem areas and but they do not go into detail about explain what should be done to address these. This survey is more basic than the full building survey, which is why it is only recommended for newer properties.

  • As with the full building survey, the property surveyor will look for issues with things like:
  • Damp
  • Dry rot
  • Woodworm infestation
  • Timber defects
  • Areas of movement
  • Insulation
  • Condensation
  • Roof structure
  • External walls
  • Potential exterior hazards

For more information about the difference between the two surveys, please click here.


Cost of a Building Surveyor?


RICS Chartered Building Surveyors spend several hours analysing different elements of the property. They also provide a detailed report that helps explain anything you need to know about your London property and provide advice so you can protect your investment.

The cost of building surveys in the residential and commercial sector depends on what kind of building survey you require, the size and age of the property and its value.

For London building surveys, prices start from £750, an RICS HomeBuyer Report starts at £650 and a professional snagging survey costs between from £340 on average.

 

Building Survey Example Report


Click on the button below to download an example of the typical Building Survey report that we produce.

Example Building Report

Building Surveyor LondonEstablished in 1997, Harding Chartered Surveyors is an independent firm of RICS building surveyors in London,  who can provide you with the right building survey for your unique needs. Whether you’re buying or selling a home or a residential property, we will provide you with a bespoke building survey that can help support you through the process and protect your London property investment.

Our team consists of RICS Chartered Surveyors and RICS registered valuers who can provide you with a trustworthy, open and honesty building survey to meet your needs and turn that dream of owning a London property into a reality.