Buying a property is likely to be the biggest and most stressful purchase that you will ever make. Thorough building surveys are essential for understanding what you are buying. While a property can be a lucrative asset and investment, it can also be a serious liability. The overall picture should be clear before making a commitment. This approach applies to investment property as well as private homes.

Recent RICS research found that 1 in 5 homeowners who didn’t commission a survey on their property later uncovered defects that cost an average of £5,750 to resolve. The same research found that 17% of homeowners spent more than £12,000 making their homes habitable after failing to notice defects.

Research by Churchill shows that Britain is a nation of gamblers, with over 7 million homeowners not bothering with a survey at all in 2016. It’s insane to think that so many buyers don’t look under the bonnet before handing over their life’s savings.

we often uncover 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. 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 with the naked eye.

Building Regulations

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

examples of recent building surveys carried out:

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

Understandably, budgets are often limited when buying a property. Everything has to be covered; from removal costs to solicitors’ fees. However, neglecting to commission a survey for the sake of saving money up front is a false economy. Without a survey, you may find yourself stranded with a property that you cannot afford to repair. You may not be able to sell on or rent the property out if it’s in poor condition.

A detailed building survey provides enough key information to determine whether the asking price is appropriate in the circumstances. Further negotiation on the asking price may be necessary to cushion the risk.

We offer building surveys on most kinds of residential property, including Listed buildings and certain types of non-standard property.

We provide pre-acquisition advice and surveys on commercial and industrial properties to businesses and investors. We can also arrange for services to be tested, drainage to be inspected and other 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.