Whilst the most detailed survey available, even a full RICS Level 3 Building Survey can leave some questions that require further inspection and can lead to a longer trail of suspicion.
We often get asked which sort of survey is required for a particular property. As we only offer Building Surveys, we tend to recommend it where the property is older such as a Georgian (1714 to c.1830 ), Victorian (1837 to 1901 ) or Edwardian (1890 to 1918) property or where the potential new owner is looking to extend, remodel or has any particular concerns about their potential dream home.
The Building Survey format is an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition and includes advice on defects, repairs and maintenance options. It focuses on the structure and the fabric of the property and aims to establish how the property is built, what materials are used and how these will perform in the future.
However in many properties, a full inspection will be prevented by physical conditions, such as fitted carpets, heavy furniture, and access hatches that are painted and fixed shut. In these cases, we provide an explanation as to the limitations of the inspection we experienced. It’s important that our clients understand that a particular element of the property may require further inspection so as to avoid confusion or possible complaints in the future.
We assess a property on what can be seen, determine the risk of underlying defects that may be present and report this appropriately. There is therefore a risk that certain defects may not be found that would have been uncovered if a more substantial inspection had been undertaken. However, where there is a trail of suspicion we always take reasonable steps to follow the trail. Often in such cases, we will recommend further opening-up of an area for further investigation or a commissioning a specialist inspection report.
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