The RICS Level 3 Building Survey is the most comprehensive analysis of a property, involving a highly detailed inspection and report to provide you with the best possible advice on the condition of the property and any repairs required.
Why is a Building Survey important?
Every building material has a lifespan, which means that once your property is fifty or sixty years old, key structural components are likely to have deteriorated substantially. Add in the possibility of subsidence, damp or timber decay, and a property that seems to be in good condition to the untrained eye can have a number of serious defects under the surface.
The cost of urgent repairs can quickly add up, leaving new homeowners with a huge bill on top of the sum they paid for the property. By investing in a RICS Building Survey, a trained professional can look for potential problems and deliver an estimate of the associated repair costs. This gives buyers a valuable insight into the property as well as factual evidence with which to renegotiate the price and budget accordingly before they commit to the purchase.
What does a Building Survey include?
We aim to provide the very best quality Building Surveying service you can find, with detailed annotated reports based on an in-depth expert inspection. We are very experienced in all types of local property, including listed stone buildings, thatched properties and commercial properties.
The site inspection will usually take at least five hours and will cover every visible aspect of the property. This includes internal areas such as lofts, basements and accessible spaces between floors and walls, as well as the external grounds and any outbuildings.
What can I expect to see in the report?
The report will contain at least 50 pages of detailed information, annotated with photographs showing features of the property, along with any areas of concern. You will also find included general Ordnance Survey plans of the property and the surrounding area.
The report will start with a summary of all significant and urgent matters found pertaining to the property, including the areas requiring attention, and legal, environmental and safety aspects that should be considered before you proceed with the purchase. It will then give a detailed account of each area of the property, with urgent repair recommendations and advice about maintenance and upkeep to prevent more serious problems from occurring in the future.
In addition, we will telephone you to talk through the main points and provide free after-sales assistance to clarify any aspect of the report or subsequent repairs you don’t fully understand, including analysis of quotes and reports received from contractors.
Does a RICS Building Survey include a market valuation?
Building Surveys do not come with a valuation as standard. If required, we can provide an assessment of Market Value, an assessment of likely costs of repairs, and an assessment of reinstatement costs for insurance purposes. These will help you determine whether the price you are paying is appropriate, based on the building’s condition and likely costs of improvements, and help you budget for necessary repairs or renegotiate accordingly.
Do you offer surveys for listed buildings?
As well as our comprehensive Building Survey we also offer a unique report designed specifically for period properties, older, historic houses or any house of traditional construction, usually built prior to 1919.
Old houses with solid walls work very differently to modern houses and this survey report is designed to help you understand how your house ‘works’: how it needs to ‘breathe’; understanding quirks, defects, damp and movement, and how not to be unduly put off. The report will go into great detail and give considerably more advice, especially in terms of how to look after a house like this, what ‘listed’ and ‘conservation area’ means and the implications of these. It also provides advice that is valuable to your legal advisers as well as our best recommendations on keeping an old house as energy-efficient as possible.
Paul Gowers, who has repaired old houses himself, is a passionate specialist in period property maintenance and care and is a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
Case Study: Roughton, Lincolnshire
Gowers Surveyors was recently asked to carry out a Comprehensive Building Survey on a period property in Roughton, Lincolnshire, which was built back in the 17th century. The original building was constructed using traditional timber-frame techniques, with a complementary two-storey extension having been built around thirty or forty years ago.
Choosing a Comprehensive Building Survey is particularly important for historic properties that have been altered or extended, as the interaction between old and new construction materials is often a source of structural issues. At this property, for example, the structural timber frame had been covered with a non-breathable render (rather than traditional lime), potentially trapping damp and causing rot in the wood underneath.
To discuss your survey options or ask any questions you may have about our services, please complete the form below and one of our friendly team will get in touch.