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Building Survey: Cost, Report, Checklist, Types, Uses & Surveyor in UK

What is a Building Survey?

In a building survey, there is an inspection and establishment of property values, repair, and replacement, etc.  for potential purchases to engage the professional services of a building by a surveyor. A building survey (house survey) is an advanced form of a structural survey. The extent of service depends on the clients’ requirements.

Building sellers should have to provide a survey report on the condition of the property, including requirements for origin tour significant affairs that are called property home information pack (HIP) of a house survey.

Building Survey document preliminaries

Flowing play documents are required for proper evaluation of poverty: title and address of the property, client’s name, address and contact numbers, survey date, and time. Related Post: What is Shoring? Types and Uses

Status of the property is also important including freehold, leasehold, or come on hold building occupancy area, the extent of survey e.g. full structural and services reports specialist in attendances eg. Electrician, heating engineer, etc.

A typical well developed Building
A typical well developed Building

 It is also to determine how old is the property, the number of rooms for bedrooms, kitchen rooms, waiting rooms, etc. The detailed plan and elevation of building the RL of building plinth level (flooding potential) and the sunlight falling on the building (solar effect), the playground and garden/State area, the proper right-of-way, service roads, pedestrian access, vehicle access, etc.

Building Survey tools and equipment

The following are the tools required for a survey of building according to the Uk surveyor: drawing of the site, notebooks, pencil, pen, measuring tape, spirit level, and plumb bob or plumb line. In some cases, other tools like small hammer, torch, screwdriver, lifting iron rod for men hole openings, a moisture meter is also necessary for moisture testing and control.

For the purpose of eaves access and loft access ladders are also used. Sealable bags are also used for taking samples e.g. wood rot asbestos, etc.

The following features are considered while surveying to a building (house):

Estate and garden

For estate and garden, it is necessary to judge about location and establishment of boundaries, the length and extent of fences, gates, and hedges, and the material used for this purpose and condition and suitability.

The other points to consider are tree types and heights, proximity to buildings, the pathways, and drives with the using materials and conditions. It is necessary to identify outrebounding like garages, sheds, greenhouses, barns, etc.

The proximity of watercourses for drinking purposes, for cleanliness for first with proper drainage facilities are so important things to consider at the time of building survey.

Roofs of Building

 At the time of the building survey these points should be considered for the roofs of building:

The building surveyor report should include the types of tile used in building with treatment possibility at ridge, hips, verge, and valleys. Also, consider the age of covering, repairs, easy of replacements, renewals, general condition, any defects on each and its effects and growths, eaves finish, type, and condition.

Also reported on the gutters, material used in the gutter, its size condition, and any variance of leakage. Rainwater flow facilities as downpipes etc. At the roof the chimney condition it’s material DPC, flashings, flaunching, pointing, a sign of movement, etc are also determined there.

If there are any flat roots then its materials, repairs, abutments, flashing and drainage conditioned are surveyed by the surveyor.


House survey works cover the following points for walls in building:

The material used in walls is are identified in which type of brick, rendering, and cladding, etc. Any repair works and conditions and evidence of repairs with treatment methods are surveyed.

The surveyor has to identify solid and cavity wall construction, if the cavity is there then the extent of insulation and its type, painting of masonry, painting of rendering, and cladding. The survey report to have to also include the location of every air brick it’s fluctuation and stability.

 The materials used in DPC and its condition and its position relative to ground labor with the indication of plinth level. The condition of windows and doors this material life, and any sign of rot or damage, original or replacement, and frame seal condition.

If there is any sign that exists then the server has to find any sign of cracking, distortion of window and door frames, etc.

Drainage for building

A building server should have to clearly identify the condition of the drainage and sanitation installation. In some cases, specialist surveyors are haired to make a full test for leakage and determination of self-cleansing and floor conditioned to include fiber optic scope examination and interpretation of results.

Roof space

A good building survey report might contain detail about the access to all parts, type of construction in a roof, it may be trussed or traditional, the ventilation facilities at eves, ridges, etc.

Evidence where should have any changes of moisture due to condensation, evidence of leakage and water penetration, any existing chimney flashings, abutment, and valleys.

The roof condition must be insulated and the type and quality of insulation are must be described there. In the building, the survey reports the following information should be also included cavity walls in semi-detached and terraced dwellings and partition wall stability as fireproof, the plumbing works like adequacy of storage cistern, insulation, overflow fluctuations, etc.


The building surveyor may provide floor condition of the building, is the material used like Timber, precast or cast in-situ concrete, also the finishing condition of the floor. If there is a timber floor then any evidence of dampness, rot, wooden worm, ventilation, DPC, etc, should be included in the survey report.


The building survey report should include the construction method and type of stairs, method of finishing where it is built in-situ or preformed, any soffit uses, re-fire protection methods, or any plasterboard exist.

The stability of stair is also determined by balustrading, etc. all are referred with the provision of proper safety, adequate screening, balusters, handrail, pitch angle, open tread, tread wear, etc. all should be mentioned there.

Finishing of Building

The building’s finishing material, paint, and wallpaper condition, whether it is damaged or faded, any woodwork, joinery, any leakage, etc. should be included in the building survey report. The plasterwork in the ceiling and wall is plasterboard or lath or plaster and its stability and conditions may be mentioned in the survey report.

The surveyor has to take serious attention to the staining work, any leaks on plumbing work in the ceiling, the level of moisture penetration, and rising of the damp label in the wall opening and plinth level.

Building serviceable condition

The building occupied area and occupied land are inspected and ascertain of location must be described by a specialized server for the ground serviceable condition of a building. That check for planning approvals permitted development and building regulation approvals, exemption, and completion certificates are justified.

Others building communicating tools

Followings are the others building communicating tools below:

●          Home information packs (HIPS)

●          Energy performance certificate (EPS)

●          Bar charts programs

●          Method statement

Home information pack (HIPS)

Home information flags are also known as (sellers packs). A surveyor specifically trained in energy performance assessment can prepare a HIP as part of their seller literature by property developers. Where marketing house, home information pack (HIP) provides supplementary data to the estate agents sellers.

Building survey report compulsory content

It includes index, energy performance certificate, seller statements, other standards data, line planning consents, drainage arrangements, utilities provided, and LA inquiry. It also contains general flats and maisonettes like leasehold and commonhold, property information questionnaire, landslide and flood risk, gas and electricity safety, service charges, structural damage, and parking arrangements like lift parking,  underground parking, etc.

Energy performance certificate (EPC)

The energy performance certificate is a rating certificate that provides a rating between A and G. where A is the highest possible great for energy efficiency and lowest environmental damage in terms of CO2 emissions.

This certificate is similar to EU energy levels and it related to SAP numerical ratings. EPC certificate is an asset of existing buildings on the basis of its age, location, exposure condition, size, plinth area ratio, applied efficiency e.g. boiler, glazing used in building, construction types, insulation, and acoustics, and general physical condition.

EPC rating (SAP rating)

The EPC rating (SAP rating is devided in to the followings Groups:

●          A(92-100)

●          B (81-91)

●          C (69-80)

●          D (55-68)

●          E(39-54)

●          F(21-38)

●          G(1-20)

(Ref. The home information pack regulation 2006).

Method statement

A method statement provides the necessity of each element of building construction projects and its programming for construction. It provides the following information:

●          Brief functions of components for site staff.

●          Sequence and schedule for every activity.

●          It indicates the resources available.

●          The quantity of each activity.

●          The time required for each element of construction.

●          It provides a details analysis of each activity.

An example of a method statement for foundation excavation is shown in the following format below:

A typical Example of method statement for foundation excavation.
Fig.3. A Typical Example of “Method statement” for foundation excavation.
Bar chart

Details about the bar chart are mentioned in my other post.

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3 thoughts on “Building Survey: Cost, Report, Checklist, Types, Uses & Surveyor in UK

  1. I appreciated it when you shared that a building surveyor needs to take serious attention to the staining work, any leaks on plumbing work in the ceiling. Besides, the level of moisture penetration and rising of the damp label in the wall opening also needs to be checked. I would like to think if a company needs to conduct a survey on its building, it should consider hiring a reliable service that can help to do so.

  2. It really stood out to me when you talked about how a building survey is used to determine the value of a property. I would imagine that a building survey is used to ensure that a structure is safe to use. It would be important to make sure that a structure is sound before people start using it.

  3. I like how you mentioned that understanding the construction type could help with a proper engineering approach. My uncle mentioned last night he and his business partners were planning to build commercial real estate on their vacant site for their clothing company project. He asked if I had any idea what would be the best option in choosing the best civil engineering service. Thanks to this informative engineering guide article for the best planning approach. I’ll tell him it will be much better if we consult a trusted civil engineering service as they can provide the proper layout for their desired real estate property.

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