Buying a property will likely be the largest financial investment you make in your lifetime. As such, it’s important you feel confident in your decision. Your home should be both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. But how can you be certain that the building you’re eyeing up doesn’t conceal any hidden dangers beneath its surface? For most people, employing a structural surveyor to assess the building’s quality is the way to go. But what does this actually consist of?
What is a Structural Survey?
A structural survey is essentially an investigation on the condition of the structural elements of a property. Its purpose is to identify the presence of any existing defects which may impact long-term stability. This could include looking for cracks, subsidence, damp, and asbestos to name a few examples. If the survey reveals any serious issues that require immediate or future maintenance, they are recorded in a detailed report. Because of the serious nature of a structural survey, they should always be carried out by a RICS-certified surveyor.
What Should a Full Structural Survey Contain?
As the costliest form of building survey, structural surveys go into a great deal of depth when investigating a property. A full structural survey conducted by a specialist structural surveyor should always include:
- An in-depth assessment of property defects and potential future hazards.
- Advice on repairs and maintenance for each issue.
- Cost breakdowns for immediate and future maintenance.
- EPC and energy efficiency advice.
Do I need a Structural Survey or Homebuyers Report?
If you’re planning on purchasing any property, you should always invest in some form of building survey. For homes under the age of 50 with no obvious defects, your ideal choice will be a homebuyer’s report. This survey provides a basic level of information about existing visual issues and those which could arise in the future.
For properties over 50 years old, however, a structural survey will absolutely be worth investing in. These surveys go into far greater depth than a homebuyer’s report, providing you with a much more informed buying perspective. This can prove to be particularly useful for older, larger and more complex properties where defects are likely more commonplace.
When Else Might I Need a Structural Surveyor?
Structural surveys are not only useful when buying properties, but also if you’re planning any extensive renovations or building work. They identify any pre-existing structural issues that must be addressed or considered before construction or demolition can actually begin. This not only can help to keep your property structurally sound, but also preserve its value in the long-term.
If you’re looking for the services of a RICS-certified structural surveyor, get in touch with our team today! Call us on 01245 326 200, or simply click here to fill out our contact form.