FIND OUT WHICH SURVEY IS BEST FOR YOU
Homebuyers often get confused about which survey is right for their property. So, you can use this guide to help you understand the difference between surveys and help you to choose the correct survey for your prospective property. Below there is also a handy flow chart to assist you further. You can choose between three levels of a survey, a standard set by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – RICS. We have a variety of survey types suitable for both houses and flats. Check out our range below:
We do not undertake valuations. A valuation report (erroneously referred to as a valuation survey) is not a survey; it is often, in many cases, a rather quick non-technical inspection or, in some cases, a driveby valuation report performed by a VRS registered valuer to confirm the property is suitable security and is similar to comparable properties sold in the local area. The valuation report is provided for the benefit of the lender only, not your benefit, although you usually must foot the bill. You must not rely on this for peace of mind for your investment. Sometimes buyers mistakenly rely on the valuation as a survey at their peril.
the CONDITION REPORT – (LEVEL ONE)
The level one survey also referred to as a condition report, is a very basic condition report in which the building components (roof, walls, windows, doors, services etc.) are given a numerical rating to indicate the condition. The condition ratings are as follows:
- Condition Rating 1 – The component is satisfactory and normal maintenance is required.
- Condition Rating 2 -The component requires repair.
- Condition Rating 3 – The component requires replacement.
- NI – The component could not be inspected due to some limitations, such as pitched roof coverings or flat roofs with no vantage point.
Suitable for: Modern post-2013 properties in seemingly good condition, with no structural alterations. This report level is not suitable for older properties.
the HOMEBUYER REPORT – (LEVEL TWO)
This survey level is more detailed than level one but less detailed than the level three survey. The condition of components of your prospective property is objectively described, and each section is flagged with a traffic light rating to draw your attention to the respective section. However, there are no photos as part of this service.
This report contains no structural advice, such as which walls are load-bearing and whether you can extend the property. The report contains no recommendations on how to improve the property. It highlights the defects only and includes a visual inspection of the building services, such as the electricity and gas installations.
Suitable for: Modern buildings such as houses from the mid-1980s and in seemingly good condition. Not the best if you have cracks in the building or want to know whether you can improve the building by extensions etc. This survey is not suitable for properties that have been extended or converted. So, for example, if you are buying a period conversion flat, a level three survey is the best.
the FULL BUILDING SURVEY – (LEVEL three)
Our level three survey, often referred to as a full building survey, is the most comprehensive inspection and report service, designed to provide you with all the answers you could ever need and more.
This level three report aims to answer your questions, such as the cause of the cracks and the next steps, the risk of subsidence to the property, whether you can extend the property and what steps you would need to consider as part of the process. Our level three report has taken many years to fine-tune and is geared towards answering the most common questions among homebuyers.
The level three survey report also goes into the materials used in the construction, their performance characteristics, estimated remaining life, and future maintenance.
Also, the surveyor gives their opinion on improvements which could ultimately positively impact value. In older properties, say from Georgian to post-war construction up to the early 1980s, it is important to ensure that buildings are maintained using the appropriate materials to avoid damaging and even devaluing the building. Some types of defective works may affect your ability to sell the property in the future.
Suitable for: All property types (old and new) – houses/flats freehold and leasehold. Whether they have been extended/converted or not, listed buildings and buildings in a conservation area.
FULL BUILDING SURVEY PLUS – (LEVEL three +)
This report has all the bells and whistles. It has everything the level three survey provides, plus the following add-ons:
- Thermal imaging of the perimeter surfaces provides a visual representation of heat loss, thermal gain, and dampness.
- Aerial photographs using a professional drone. Our drone pilot will use the drone to capture close-up images of the roofs and associated components. This is particularly handy if the property has flat roofs and chimneys that are not easily visible from the ground. All images are integrated into the report.
- Breakdown of estimated costs: If you want to know the costs to repair, maintain and improve the property, the estimated costs to repair and improve the property are provided in each section of the report.
- Reinstatement Cost. You need this figure to provide to your building insurer. It is important to have the correct figure so that you are covered and not left financially short in the event of a catastrophe.
Suitable for: All property types – houses/flats freehold and leasehold. Whether they have been extended/converted or not, listed buildings and buildings in a conservation area.
(If you don’t want to purchase the whole level three plus survey, you can purchase the above add-ons individually when buying a level three survey.)
|Inspection of residential buildings up to 1650 Sqft|
|Fixtures and fittings|
|Dampness and timber defects check (Check for damp and rot)|
|Inspection of the building services (Gas, Electrics, solar, plumbing)|
|Inspection of outbuildings and grounds|
|Environmental factors and risks (Nuisance etc.)|
|Health and Safety hazards and risks.|
|Photographs taken during survey|
|Inspection of the accessible drainage chambers)|
|Assessment of structural cracks and alterations|
|Building control compliance check and comments|
|Flood risk assessment|
|Hazardous materials - Visual Inspection and guidance only. (Asbestos, lead Anthrax etc.)|
|Subsidence risk assessment|
|Planning, Conservation, and Extension Feasibility Guidance|
|Aerial roof and chimney images||£200 inc VAT|
|Breakdown of estimated repair costs, improvement costs and provisional costs with recommended trades.||£300 inc VAT|
|Thermal images of perimeter surfaces (visualise heat loss, thermal gain and saturation of building fabric)||£200 inc VAT|
|Insurance reinstatement Valuation (Rebuild Cost)||£200 inc VAT|
|Email summary of findings within 48 hrs.|
|RICS Survey in electronic format|
|Turnaround Time||7-10 Working Days||7-10 Working Days||10-12 Working Days||10-14 Working Days|