Q         Do I need a survey if the bank have carried out a valuation?


        The valuation that the bank asks for is to help them decide whether there’s enough security in the property to cover the loan you are looking for. The report is pretty brief and certainly isn’t designed for the benefit of the buyer. It doesn’t pretend to be a survey and most reports come with a warning that says just that.


So, if you’re looking for an idea of what condition the property is in and what you might have to spend on it, then always get your own survey.


Q         Aren’t surveys very expensive?


A         To be honest, they’re not. You’re getting an experienced professional providing many hours of focused work, both at the property and putting the report together. If you break it down, the hourly rate is usually very good. Also, the benefit you get from the advice is well worth the money – you’re dealing with a very high value item in property and defects can be expensive. So, good advice that helps you budget properly and pay the right price is great value.


Q         What different types of survey can I have?


A         There are two main types of survey, though a good surveyor will always provide bespoke advice for you if you have particular concerns.

1.The Homebuyers Report – a general view of the property, with advice broken down into elemental parts (roof, floors, walls etc) and succinct, but clear condition comments on each.

2.The Building Survey – a more detailed report with deeper analysis. The surveyor spends longer at the property and longer on the report, so you have more information on why the condition is how it is and more recommendations about what you need to do.

For a thorough guide, check out our ‘Buyer’s Guide to Surveys’


 Q         How long does it take to get reports back?


A         We’ll arrange the appointment just as soon as our diaries and the seller will allow and then the report should be back within a week.


Q         What extra do I get for the added cost of a Building Survey compared to a Homebuyers?


A         You get a lot more background and explanation of the building and what needs to be done to it. You also have the report’s content illustrated by a full set of photographs. The Homebuyers report is great for telling you clearly and concisely about a property’s condition and actions you’ll need to take. The Building Survey explains why things are that way – that’s why it’s often the best option for buildings where construction is more complex (eg older timber-framed houses) or where there are known issues that you want to understand fully. A Building Survey may also be needed for very large properties where descriptions won’t easily fit the succinct format of a Homebuyers Report. If you’re not sure, call us and we can help you decide.


Q         Do you look in the loft space?


A         Yes, as long as access is possible, in both a Homebuyers and Building Survey, the surveyor will enter into the loft space to check its condition. A Building Survey will offer more background and analysis of the structure and any defects found.
which survey type tests for damp?


In both types of survey, internal wall surfaces are checked using a moisture measuring instrument and levels of any dampness are recorded. The patterns (‘profiles’) of dampness are then interpreted in the report and appropriate advice given. Wall surfaces are tested every meter or so, where they can be reached.


Q        Do you test the boiler, electrics etc?


A         Both are given a visual check in our surveys. We’re not qualified contractors so can’t carry out tests. If there are visual defects that raise concerns, however, we will report them and recommend that an appropriate contractor carry out further tests. It’s always important to check the most recent test certificates and service history.


Q       I’m not sure what type of survey I need – can you help?


A         Of course! In most cases, we’d like to take a look online at the property you’re buying so that we can advise which type of survey will be best. We regularly give quotations for both types of inspection and will happily carry out the type of survey you prefer. If the property warrants it, however, we might recommend that a Building Survey is definitely needed.