Finally, you have accepted an offer on your new home. However, the next step to getting closer to picking up your keys is knowing if you need a full structural house survey carrying out. This article is going to break down everything you need to know about a structural surveys.
What is a building Survey/Structural Survey?
Previously known as a Full Structural survey, a structural or building survey is basically a large inspection on a property regarding it’s condition.
During a survey, a surveyor will inspect a property and note down any problems with the building such as subsidence. They will also document any major repairs that need to be fixed such as tiling problems on the roof. Within the report, it will also provide expert opinions from the surveyors on other aspects such as the types of glazing used.
A building survey is one of the most expensive surveys that can be carried out on a property, however it provides a very detailed evaluation on the construction of the building.
Who will carry out a Building Survey?
A building survey should only be conducted by a qualified surveyor. The surveyor should be a RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) member as surveyors’ part of RICS are the most qualified as they have professional indemnity insurance.
What is included in a Building Survey
Overall, the survey will include:
- A full survey report
- A full building inspection (inside and out)
- A property valuation (however this is only if it is specifically stated by a surveyor)
The survey itself inspects all accessible and visible areas of a property. This includes windows, doors, roofing, flooring, basement levels, any out buildings and chimneys. A surveyor has the legal responsibility to look at all these major problems in and around the property. Throughout a survey, a surveyor will be actively looking for any structural issues.
Do all houses need to have a Building Survey?
In short, no, having a surveyor carry out a building survey is optional. However, most house buyers pay to have a survey carried out as it can help avoid expensive and unwanted surprises. A building survey only costs a few extra hundred pounds, and in the grand scheme of things will give you peace of mind.
If you didn’t get a building survey completed, then you may end up having to pay thousands on issues with your new property that you were unaware of.
Costs of a Building Survey
Costs of having a building survey conducted depends on the property size, location and type. The costs could start as low as £500 and could be as expensive as £1,300. It also depends on the different ‘property level’ and the depth you would like the report to go into.
Condition Report (Level 1) – this is the most basic survey and comes in the cheapest having a base cost of around £300. The report doesn’t go into much detail and is designed basically to complete a mortgage valuation.
HomeBuyers Report (Level 2) – the next level up costs a base of £350 and will tell the buyer any major problems with the property. However, a surveyor that conducts this survey is non-intrusive. Meaning, they won’t lift floor boards up and look in in a lot of depth.
Building Survey (Level 3) – These surveys are the most expensive as they can cost as low as £500 and spiral upwards. The survey will be carried out in extensive detail as any surveyor carrying out a level three survey will be a member of RICS.