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HomeChartered SurveyorsSurveysStructural or Building Surveys
What is a Structural Survey?

Officially known as a Building Survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, this inspection has been better known over the years as a "Structural Survey".

This is the more in-depth inspection and report about the home you intend to purchase. A Building Survey is a customised service suitable for all residential properties and gives full details of their construction and condition.

You are likely to need this type of survey if, for example, the property is unusually built or run-down, if the proerty has been significantly altered, or if you are planning a major conversion or renovation.

Building Surveys are usually tailored to your needs. The report includes detailed technical information on materials and construction, as well as details of the whole range of defects. Fees charged reflect the length of time it takes to both carry out the inspection and produce the report, which is in free format.

Most buyers have specific points of concern and may have seen something when they carried out their own inspection, which worried them. The surveyor will be pleased to endeavour to answer specific questions about the property you intend to purchase within the limits of what is available for him/her to look at.

To help you decide, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have produced a short initial guide about the difference between surveys.


 RICS HomeBuyer ServiceBuilding Survey
Type of PropertyTraditional houses, flats, bungalows and so on, in apparently reasonable condition.Any residential or other property, in any condition.
Type of ServiceA shorter, less detailed report in a standard format.A detailed report that is tailored to suit your needs.
Aims of the ServiceTo help you - make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to go ahead with buying a property.Gives you - a detailed assessment of the condition and construction of the property.
 To help you - make an informed decision on what is a reasonable price to pay for the property.Gives you - technical advice on any problems and work needed to put them right.
 To help you - take account of any repairs or replacement the property needs. 
 To help you - consider what other advice you need to take before exchanging contracts. 
Special FeaturesProvides condition ratings for elements of the building, services and any garages and permanent outbuildings.Provides full details of the property's construction, materials, uses, defects and need for future maintenance.
ValuationIncluded as part of the RICS HomeBuyer Service .May be provided as an agreed extra.
Form of ReportRICS HomeBuyer Report which is a compact, standard format.In the surveyor's own format and usually longer, more detailed and technical than the RICS HomeBuyer Report.

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