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“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

Walt Whitman

Got a Question about your Property?

Then our expert Chartered Surveyors can help



Don't detay call our surveyors today

We are frequently asked questions regarding surveys, property matters, valuations, home buyers reports, queries regarding dampness, woodworm, condensation as well as many other property related questions.

Our property experts are always happy to address any of your property queries just call us today or see some of our example questions and answers below.


A Homebuyers Report

A Homebuyers Report some would describe as a “tick box” survey.  These surveys are carried out by Surveyors using a survey template with standard wording relating to the condition of the property.  Surveyors will often carry out several surveys in one day and are unlikely to inspect areas such as the roof space or lift manhole covers.

You will be employing the Surveyor directly who carries out a Homebuyers Report therefore you will be able to make a claim if they overlook a property defect.  However, Homebuyers Reports are full of exclusion clauses and caveats so beware you may have issues if a case ends up in court trying to prove negligence!

A Homebuyers Report will not include estimates of costs for repair work required on the property, which if there are major defects can be extremely costly and will need to be budgeted for if you plan to purchase the property.

A Full Building Survey

A full building survey which is also called a full structural survey or house survey is carried out by a Building Surveyor and although the more costly survey it certainly is value for money and we would highly recommend.  A full  building survey is a detailed inspection of the property externally and internally carried out by a highly qualified Chartered Surveyor.  The Building Surveyor will lift manhole covers, have ladders to climb up into the roof space to inspect the roof timbers, use cherry pickers to inspect the roof itself and even, with the permission of the vendor, lift floorboards where necessary if major dampness is an issue.

If in doubt always choose a Full Building Survey when investing in a property – get peace of mind and a full understanding of your new property.


Don’t necessarily be alarmed when you see cracks, as some cracks can simply be seasonal changes and variations in a house. This is known as differential movement, which is when a houses components move at differential rates and cause cracks to a property.

However, some cracks can be a cause for concern and may be a sign of serious structural issues.

A full building survey carried out by one of our highly qualified Building Surveyors will give you the answer to your concerns regarding cracks in a property.  Don’t delay call our friendly Building Surveyors today to have a chat about any building concerns.  Free phone 0800 298 5424



Condensation is sometimes found in properties, which is a concern to purchasers; our survey reports outline the cause and effect as well as giving advise to help resolve such issues.



We recommend when possible to meet the Surveyor at the property where you can ask any questions or raise any concerns.


As Independent Surveyors we highly recommend a full Structural Survey report which looks at the entire building in detail from the roof to the foundations whereas a typical HomeBuyers Report generally refers you to other specialists rather than giving you an idea of the costs involved in repairing or carrying out work to resolve or lessen a property defect.


A Residential Building Survey is a comprehensive Survey of the property which is essential so you know the condition of the house before you commit to buy the property.  A Residential Building Survey will identify any property problems, give solutions and anticipated costs so you do not have any costly surprises once you have moved in.  For peace of mind always have a Residential Building Survey for an in-depth analysis of the condition of the house which you can use to negotiate to get the property at the right price.

A Valuation Survey is purely what the name suggests and it will not identify structural problems that you will have to pay to fix once you have moved in! Generally, a Valuation Survey is for the mortgage lender to decide whether the property is suitable to lend on and up to what amount.  Remember do not rely on a mortgage valuation survey it is not a full, in-depth survey of the property.

Is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy the same as a Building Survey?

A Certificate of Structural Adequacy normally relates to one specific issue to one element of the property whereas a Building Survey looks at the whole property.

How long does it take to carry out a survey?

This really depends upon the era of construction whether it is:-






War Years

Post War Years



and the complexity of the buildings and the construction techniques. Whilst a house has a very similar function being somewhere for people to live and bring up their families etc they can be built very differently.

A survey generally takes as long as necessary and our Surveyor will return to the property if need be.  Typically a structural survey can take anything from three to five hours at the property and then doubling this time to carry out any research, write up the report, check the report and ensure that it is readable.

Does the surveyor check the electrics?

We carry out what we term a “Gran Test” which means “would you let your Gran live there?”  We do not carry out Institute of Electrical Engineers tests and reports as qualified electricians only carry these out.  However, to give a full report we carry out a gran check which is a visible inspection of the electrics, fuse board and consumer unit, check of wiring in the roof as well as general awareness of the wiring.  We carry out various tests via socket points.  We can give a very good indication of the electrics and will of course advise if we believe new electrics are required which can range from a few thousand pounds upwards so it is important to ensure that the Surveyor is carrying out an electrics survey.

Do our reports stand in an insurance claim?

We have had many successes in relation to insurance claims, everything ranging from the poor standard of workmanship carried out by insurance companies workman which are not dealing with the property problem in the most appropriate way.

For example in one particular case the insurance company workman had used a modern gypsum plaster onto an old property rather than a lime based plaster, which resulted in all sorts of problems.

In another case the insurance company appointed building contractors to organise the work which they did not do properly which resulted in the work taking a considerable time and work had to be re-done as well as the owners not being able to go back to their house for some time.

The other thing to remember is insurance companies’ often act in their own best interest; it may sound obvious but often their own best interest is not your best interest.  Probably the worse case we came across was where an insurance company recommended removing trees, the trees were removed and then the insurance company would not insure the couple when the insurance came up for renewal.

Do we have professional indemnity insurance as advised by the RICS?

Generally we have double the recommended insurance.  The most important thing is that you have a Surveyor who does not get you into a situation where you need to use insurance and to date we have not had an insurable claim against us.

Do you have to meet the surveyor at the property?

We first should explain the benefits of meeting the Surveyor at the property as:-

1.   It means you get to have a view of the property without being rushed around the property by the estate agent or being distracted by the owner.

2.   Most importantly it means that you get to know and meet the Surveyor and get to understand a bit more about the property whilst you are they.  Also the Surveyor gets to know and understand a bit more about what your requirements are and what your risk profile is.

For example:  Some people are very comfortable with carrying out building work and alterations and may have refurbished a property in the past a report for this type of client would be written very differently than for someone who is not interested whatsoever in DIY and just wants to understand the property problems and be able to negotiate the right price for purchasing the property.

Do you have to have a survey when buying a property? Is it a legal requirement?

The legal situation on property is interesting and as it is one of the only things you buy, which is caveat emptor (buyer beware) meaning what you see is what you get.  You will have to deal with sorting out any property problems.  Sometimes mortgage companies will insist on you having your own Building Survey to find out if anything is to be considered to be a structural problem.  Interestingly the banks, building societies and mortgage companies which have a lot more money than most of us always have their own valuation carried out and a warning on this is that the valuation report is just for the bank or building society and you should have your own Building Survey carried out.


Here at Survey Quotes our experienced Independent Surveyors pride themselves in their exceptional service.  Our Building Surveyors aim to be the best with a reliable and efficient approach to providing you with a survey report.

Our Surveyors provide excellent structural surveys in swift response to your enquiry meeting all your criteria and exceeding your expectations.

Contact us Today 0800 298 5424


Our Chartered Surveyors are members of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and The Independent Surveyors & Valuers Association ISVA


Over the many, many years we have been surveying some amazing properties and been involved in many interesting project and have a legacy of hundreds of satisfied customers.

Want to learn more? Then don’t take our word for it read some of our many happy clients reviews on our testimonials page.


With many, many years of experience Surveyors have been providing professional structural building surveys and consultancy services, party wall surveys and expert witness reports.

Our property experts are knowledgeable and can offer comprehensive survey reports at very competitive rates and have carried out thousands of surveys over the years.