Previously known as a Full Structural Survey, the Building Survey (Level 3) is a very detailed report.
We will examine closely the structure and condition of the building and undertake a surface examination of the services. Some restrictions may still exist to prevent complete inspection (such as fitted floor coverings, limited roof access etc.), but within these limitations, the survey will be complete.
A Building Survey is categorised by the RICS as a Level 3 survey i.e. the most detailed type of survey available. It not only describes the visible defects but considers potential problems caused by hidden flaws and provides an outline of repair options and the likely consequences of inactivity.
The scope of the Building Survey report is probably best illustrated by an example. Say one of our Chartered Surveyors noted during their building inspection that the ground level to the rear of a ground floor converted semi-detached flat had been recently raised to the extent that it was blocking the sub-floor vents. Although the consequences may not yet be apparent the report would set out the risks associated with obstructing the cross ventilation created by the sub-floor vents and of bridging the damp-proof course i.e. the increased risk of rot and infestation to the damp and poorly ventilated floor joists.
The obvious remedy would be to lower the ground level but as a more cost effective alternative, the surveyor may suggest creating an open channel adjacent to the rear wall in association with installing further vents to the flank wall if viable.
Other useful sections within the standard report include Issues for your Legal Advisor, Thermal Insulation and Energy Efficiency, Noise & Disturbance, Hazardous Materials, Means of Escape and Other Health & Safety concerns.
A Building Survey does not normally contain a valuation although it can be included if required.
If you’re planning to extend the property once the sale goes through you may want us to include a feasibility report examining the likelihood that planning consent will be granted and possible layouts.
We often undertake Building Surveys (Level 3) on behalf of existing leaseholders and Freehold companies who require advice on the condition of their building and assistance in prioritising works and planning maintenance. We have offices across London in Kensington, Fulham, South Woodford, Winchmore Hill, Hendon and Greenwich.