When you are buying a house, it is not a legal requirement to have a survey, but it can save you money and stress in the long run. A survey will identify major structural issues such as subsidence and highlight expensive repairs like fixing the roof. We carry out RICS Level 2 & 3 surveys for homebuyers and our own bespoke surveys which are designed to suit individual customer requirements.
In addition as Conservation Surveyors we can produce reports directly for existing home owners and landlords.
We also act as property expert witness consultants to the legal profession.
Specific Defect Reports
A Specific Defect Report focuses on a single element such as damp or cracking and we investigate it similarly to a Building Survey but without checking everything else at the property that a Building Survey would. It does not preclude “following the trail of suspicion” of the cause of a defect.
Residential Building Surveys (RICS Level 3 Surveys)
When you are looking for an in-depth analysis of a building or property which provides you with detailed information about defects, repairs, and required maintenance then you need a Building Survey.
A Building Survey gives you a complete and thorough health check of a property. This type of report should be used for larger or older/listed properties, residential properties which might be in poor condition or are unusual (in their shape and material) or when planning major renovations.
Homebuyers Report (RICS Level 2 Surveys)
We provide RICS Homebuyer Reports with or without a valuation and reinstatement costs. This type of report will flag up any urgent defects, potential legal issues and give you advice on repairs and maintenance.
If the property or building is in reasonable condition and of a conventional build, then consider a Homebuyer Report. A valuation and reinstatement cost can also be requested in advance for an additional fee.
Principles Surveyors are RICS Registered Valuers, means we can provide both Building Surveys and RICS Homebuyer Reports with or without valuations and insurance reinstatement valuations.
We also specialise in expert witness, matrimonial, probate and insurance reinstatement valuation work.
Bespoke Building Surveys / Building Engineer's Surveys
Our Bespoke Building Survey and Building Engineer's Surveys together with Conservation Survey Reports have been developed because of specific client requests.
They cover all elements of an RICS Building Survey but without the simplistic “traffic light” condition grading. Instead, the tailored survey explains each element, its construction and condition. We apply our structural building engineering knowledge and consideration of the age of the building and materials utilised in its construction or alteration.
Photographs are used more extensively to illustrate defects or points being explained. We recommend our bespoke reports for listed buildings, very old properties or architect designed and non-standard construction buildings.
Do I need a Homebuyers Report or a Building Survey?
The difference between a Homebuyer Report and a Building Survey is the level of information. A Building Survey goes into much more detail about the condition of the property and can range from around 35-55 pages, whereas a RICS Homebuyer Report is typically around 15-20 pages long. Our expert team will advise you which is the most appropriate report for your property.