Having a building survey carried out
The purpose of a Building Survey is to provide detailed advice upon the condition of a property, having due regard to its age, character and location.
The survey will be undertaken and the report prepared generally in accordance with the RICS recommendations for Building Surveys, the salient points of which are outlined below.
The report will be based on our inspection of the property and any information made available to us, which House Surveys shall assume to be correct. Parts of the property that are covered, unexposed or inaccessible cannot be inspected and House Surveys shall not therefore be able to report that such parts are free from rot, beetle or other defects.
The report is for the benefit of our client only and House Surveys cannot accept liability to any third parties for the whole or any part of its contents.
Inspection of a building
The inspection will be as detailed as possible and access will be gained to all accessible voids, roofs etc. House Surveys must point out that damage will not be caused to the property or to the contents which will inevitably restrict the extent of the inspection to some degree. Where that is the case an assessment will be made of what lies hidden from view.
Our inspection will be made with the aid of usual surveyor’s equipment to include the use of a torch to inspect voids and a 3 metre ladder to reach higher parts of the building. If additional means of access is required House Surveys can make arrangements for a longer ladder or a builder to be in attendance but any additional costs will be chargeable to you.
The exterior of the roof will be inspected as closely as possible along with the rainwater plumbing. The interior of all accessible loft spaces will also be inspected. Access to the roof surface will be gained if reasonably possible.
Floor surfaces not covered with carpeting will be inspected as far as practicable. Boards will be lifted if possible without causing damage to the boards and floor coverings.
We shall assess the effectiveness of ventilation and insulation in reducing condensation liable to damage elements of the structure and in limiting heat loss.
Exposed wall surfaces will be inspected both internally and externally. Brickwork within accessible voids will be inspected as far as possible. Flues and wall cavities cannot usually be inspected, except from existing points of access. Wall foundations will only be exposed by arrangement with the Vendor and only if other matters indicate defects below ground. The effectiveness of damp proof courses will be noted and all vulnerable areas of wall will be tested with a moisture meter.
The condition of structural timbers in floors and lintels etc will be checked where practicable and noted where it is not possible.
All sanitary fittings and associated taps will be inspected visually and checked by the normal passage of water. The presence of any lead piping will be noted where possible. Boilers and controls will be visually checked for signs of corrosion or leakage. The nature of the space heaters will be noted and checked as for hot water installations.
The electrical installation will be checked visually as necessary to advise on the apparent age and suitability of the wiring and equipment. Tests will not be carried out but House Surveys shall give an opinion on the need for tests.
Accessible inspection covers will be opened if possible and a visual inspection made and the direction of the flow noted. Covers are sometimes seized but attempts will always be made to raise them. The means of foul and surface water disposal will be identified and the effectiveness of installations checked.
Further and more detailed investigations will be recommended if House Surveys consider them to be necessary.
Fences, Paths & Outbuildings
The inspection of fences, paths and outbuildings will be undertaken in a briefer manner than the main building and reported upon in a more general nature.
If instructed, House Surveys can give an indication of repair costs. Such costs should be regarded as budget figures only as builders’ prices vary considerably. Before proceeding with the purchase you are advised to seek at least one builders quotation to confirm the cost more accurately.
We cannot comment upon contamination of the site as that can normally only be established by specialists. However, House Surveys will comment on any known hazards, such as historic mining in the vicinity or nearby overhead power lines. House Surveys will note if the property is known to be in a area where radon gas levels are high.