Buying a property will likely be the biggest individual purchase that you make during your lifetime. Whether the property is to be a family home or an investment, investigating the place thoroughly is essential for helping to establish a fuller picture of what you’re taking on. Whilst a property can be a lucrative asset and investment, it can also come with substantial liabilities that you ought to be aware of before making your decisions.

RICS research has found that 1 in 5 homeowners who didn’t have a full building survey carried out on their property later uncovered defects that cost £5,750 on average to put right. The research also found that 17% of homeowners had to spend more than £12,000 to make their homes habitable after failing to appreciate the scale of the disrepair. You do not want to realise these costs when it’s too late to change your mind. Research by Churchill has shown that Britain is a nation of gamblers, with over 7 million homeowners not bothering with a survey at all. Madness.

we experience the same issues on the properties that we look at:

Roof Coverings

Traditional roof coverings that look fine on the outside but have never been renewed with a water-proof felt and are vulnerable to leaks. Installing a water-proof felt usually costs thousands of pounds.

Building Services

Dated electrical and heating installations that can cost thousands of pounds to bring up to modern standards – especially on commercial properties.


Dampness in walls and floors and condensation issues that cannot be seen easily with the naked eye.

Building Regulations

Building work that has been carried out without Building Regulations approval or Planning Permission. Sometimes this work involves poorly executed structural alterations.

examples of recent building surveys carried out:

A Listed 1890’s terraced house
A mid-18th Century detached farm workers cottage
A large storage and logistics unit constructed in 2007
A 1960’s semi-detached with a single-storey extension at the rear

Though your budgets can be constrained when buying a property, neglecting to have a building survey carried out for the sake of saving money up front is a false economy. You could find yourself stranded with a property that you cannot afford to repair, and one that nobody else wants to buy or rent from you.

If your building survey report flags up repairs on the property then this gives you the opportunity to renegotiate the asking price to reflect the repair bill that you’re facing so that you don’t lose out.

We offer building surveys on most kinds of residential property, including Listed buildings. We also provide pre-acquisition advice and surveys on commercial and industrial properties to businesses and investors. In addition we can arrange for services to be tested, drainage to be inspected and specialist investigations to be carried out, if required.

Contact us to discuss your survey requirements and we’ll be glad to offer you our thoughts and advice.