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What is a Building Survey

What is a Building Survey?

What is a Building Survey

A building survey or structural survey is an in-depth survey of the property. It informs a potential buyer of any building issues. A surveyor visits the property to finish the examination and creates a report detailing any problem.

A building’s windows, doors, walls, floors, chimneys, cellars, garages and outbuildings are all inspected during the examination, along with all other visible and reachable sections. Finding and disclosing any significant issues with a property is a legal obligation for surveyors. To discover any building flaws, the inspection surveyors will aggressively look for them.


Even though significant flaws in a building aren’t typical in building surveys, several issues are always covered. This often allows the buyer to renegotiate the purchase price. A thorough survey can frequently be conducted for substantially less money than it costs to run.

A comprehensive measured building survey consists of:

  1. An examination of the building
  2. A comprehensive survey reports
  3. A property appraisal
  4. Personalised guidance on upkeep and repairs, along with a ballpark figure.

What Makes a Structural Survey Crucial?

Performing a thorough assessment is crucial as it uncovers any significant structural problems, assisting you in evaluating whether the property warrants the offer price or not. If you move in without it, you face the danger of having to pay unforeseen repair and maintenance bills. If the survey identifies a lot of problems, you can bargain for a lower price or ask the vendor to address the issues before you buy. It’s also crucial if you want to do significant renovations to your home after you move in since you’ll need to be aware of any structural restrictions before moving forward.

Is a House Survey Necessary?

Is a house survey necessary
A redundant expense like a survey may seem like it when you’re already shelling out a lot of money for a house. However, it’s far preferable to know about any issues before purchasing a house, allowing you to make an educated choice before overpaying for it and, if needed, setting aside money for repairs. Should significant issues be found, you might be able to utilise the survey data to bargain with the vendor. For instance, you might request a £10,000 discount on the purchase price of the property or require the seller to undertake the required repairs before the exchange of contracts if your survey reveals that you would need to perform repairs that will cost £10,000.

Types of Building Surveys

Three types of building surveys exist:

1. Report on condition

A level-one survey is called a condition report. This examines the state of the property, considering any hazards, legal problems, and urgent flaws. Usually, it applies to ordinary residences and somewhat new, well-maintained dwellings.

2. Report on homebuyer

A level two survey is the Homebuyer Report, often called the Home Condition Survey. Along with any flaws that might impact the property, it will have all the features of a level-one report. It also offers guidance on maintenance and repairs. If necessary, it can also give a market valuation. This kind works well for typical properties that are in fair condition.

3. Complete building inspection

A level three report is a complete building survey. This is essentially a thorough inspection of the property with guidance on fixing any issues and how to keep it maintained. Older homes, unique homes, remodelling projects, and properties in bad condition are good candidates for a level three survey. It is the more costly and complete solution as a result.

Common Issues in Building Survey Report

Common Issues in Building Survey Report
Measured building surveyor report will identify many problems in a measured building survey which will be simple to fix, but to fully comprehend each problem’s severity, it’s vital to read the recommended repairs and maintenance advice. Among the frequent problems identified are:

1. Inadequate ventilation or moisture problems

Properties with problems with rising dampness, condensation, or mould may need a lot of maintenance when combined with inadequate ventilation. It is common for older houses to have damp problems since they were built without suitable ventilation or weatherproofing.

2. Movement in structure

When essential components of a structure that provide stability and strength move, it is known as a structural movement. Over time structures such as roofs, floors, walls, frameworks, and foundations may expand, compress, bulge, or crack, endangering a property’s safety if the movement is extreme. Surveyors frequently find some kind of structural movement in older homes due to natural deterioration and differences in material quality.

3. Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, clump-forming plant that can harm buildings by growing around vulnerable structural points. It spreads its roots widely and thickly, invading and aggravating mortar joints and brick fissures.

4. Drainage and electrical problems

Electrical difficulties can range from minor inconveniences to ones that might require the entire property to be rewired. Similarly, malfunctioning drain lines can lead to a range of problems in a structure, such as water damage and pooling.

5. The asbestos

Although it was outlawed as a building material in 1999, asbestos can still pose a health risk, therefore properties constructed before that time may still contain it. If asbestos is discovered on your property, you should get in touch with a professional to get it removed.

6. Roof problems

In older houses, surveys typically uncover evidence of ponding water, slipping slates, faulty installation, and inadequate ventilation; these problems can prove disastrous if left unchecked. Even though many issues are simple to fix, it’s crucial to assess the roof’s overall condition and consider future property implications into account.

Following a Structural Survey, What Happens?

You may wish to haggle over the price of your new house if the report has revealed issues with the property or if the surveyor has evaluated the property at less than what you offered. Most building survey reports use a traffic light system to classify concerns according to severity, which helps you determine the issues most critical. After fixing the flaws, you can go forward by getting in touch with your mortgage lender and attorney. This phase of the process might be stressful. You will now receive the final contract to sign to consummate the transaction. For any future development projects on the property, a Topographical Survey might be required.


In conclusion, a measured building survey is an essential step in the property buying process, providing invaluable insights into the condition of a property and potential issues that may need addressing. Whether it’s a level-one condition report, a level-two Homebuyer Report, or a comprehensive level-three building survey, investing in a thorough inspection can save buyers from unexpected expenses and help them make informed decisions.

Contact Survey2Plan today to ensure your next property purchase is backed by knowledge, confidence, and professional expertise. Let us help you build your future, one step at a time.
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