Survey it right – Types of Building Survey

Whenever you need to get help of a building surveyor, it is common that they tend to “customize” their surveys in order to meet the specific demands you make as a client. Despite the customization, all surveys fall into 4 major categories. Hence, you can easily make the right choice out of these four which we bring to you today. The cost of each survey depends upon the professional rate of the surveyor commissioned and the specifics requested by you, the client. The type of survey performed is dependent on the kind of result that you desire to obtain. Thus, you will get the most value of the money you pay if you are completely aware of what survey to begin with. Each type of property survey is detailed out here –

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1) Full Structural Survey

As the name suggests, this survey encompasses every detail about the property — even the most trivial ones. The findings are reflected in a comprehensive report that is to be presented to the owner or buyer of the property. The surveyor also writes down the limitations and scopes of the survey conducted to make the buyer aware of every detail of the property.

2) Main Elements Survey

This survey is as thorough as a full structural survey when it comes to determining the exact physical condition of specific parts of the property. However, the difference lies in the fact that with this type of survey, the building surveyor is only bound to check the major parts of the structure. Examples of such parts are the roof, floor, windows, walls and ceilings. Other parts like doors, decorations and fittings will not be inspected. Although this survey can also give the owner of the property a substantive insight about the overall physical condition of his/her property, this is still not recommendable for properties which are very old as the buyer is prone to missing out on certain important details and risks. Property owners need to consult with their building surveyor if this type of survey fits their property.

3) Homebuyer’s Survey/Report

While the first two surveys give the surveyor full freedom to write anything in his/her report, this type of a survey is completely restricted by the standards imposed by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or RICS. A proper exhaustive outline, provided by the association, has to be adhered to and filled up. Such restrictions inhibit the surveyors to maximize their inspection thus paving way for inaccurate reports. This type of survey often comes with a cheap price tag because it is barely customizable and requires very basic surveying skills.

4) Specific Survey/Report

In a few cases the owner needs a report on a specific aspect of the property. This can be triggered by a bad experience or a bad reputation about the property, or any bias in the buyer’s mind. Specific Surveys or Reports are designed to meet such needs. With this type of survey, the surveyor has to consult with the owner or buyer with regards to the specific things that he/she wants to find out.

Apart from conducting accurate surveys, the building surveyor is also bound to write down his/her comments about each part of the property being inspected and give suggestions as to how its condition can be maintained or improved. Hence it is necessary that you choose the right surveyor, not only in skill but also in responsibility and trust.

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