Surveying and Conservation

Property Survey Types

People often confuse the valuation report undertaken by the lender’s surveyor with a survey. Most mortgage valuations consist of a twenty minute inspection and a report that, at best, will give you a few lines of general advice. It is amazing that so many buyers choose to rely upon such a limited report before buying what is normally their most valuable asset. If you are in the process of buying a property the two main types of residential survey are The RICS Homebuyer Report or a Full Building Survey. As a practice we only specialise in the Full Building Survey, and as a Practice feel this comprehensive approach is the best way.

The Building Survey

Previously known as a Full Structural Survey, The Building Survey is a very detailed report. We will examine closely the structure and condition of the building and undertake a surface examination of the services. Some restrictions may still exist to prevent complete inspection (such as fitted floor coverings, limited roof access), but within these limitations, the survey will be complete. A building survey does not normally include a valuation. We often undertake Building Surveys on behalf of existing leaseholders and Freehold companies who require advice on the condition of their building and assistance in prioritising works and planning maintenance.

Specific Detailed Report

If there is a particular defect with a property that requires further investigation this will be the most suitable type of report. A Specific Defect Report is written to a similar level of detail as a Building Survey, it includes a detailed analysis of the problem, an outline specification for the repair, including estimated repair costs, and details of at least 2 suitable contractors that we’ve recommended in the past and on whom we have received positive feedback.

Party Wall Advice

Following relatively recent changes in legislation clients fall under two categories with regard to Party Walls: - The Building Owner, i.e. the person(s) wishing to carry out some works or an extension that might affect the neighbouring property, and - The Adjoining Owner, i.e. the person(s) whos property is likely to be affected by the works of the neighbour. The Act is somewhat confusing and we would be pleased to receive calls enquiring as to the validitiy of works needing a Party Wall Award incepted. Some typical examples of the Party Wall Act applying include: - Loft conversions where structural works may influence the shared party wall - Extensions that are built within 3m of a neighbouring property and might have deeper new foundations - Constructing a new wall or extension directly on the boundary - General internal alterations in a home that might involve steel beams bearing into the party wall. Reasonable fees for the appointed Surveyors are remunerated by the the Building Owner incepting the work. A useful website for further information and includes a detailed booklet download is at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/partywall