An Introduction to Building Surveys

Part of what we want to do at LSY is to demystify the construction industry and to make it as easy as possible for our clients to understand the work that we do. In my last post, I talked about the different types of temporary works and when they should be the used. In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at building surveys.

Want to request a topic for a future article? Let me know what you’d like to learn about and I’ll see what I can do!

The Types of Survey

There are several types of survey to consider within the property and construction industries, and the amount of choice often creates confusion amongst people who own or who are buying properties – especially if they’re first-timers.

But carrying out a survey doesn’t have to be confusing. The first thing you need to do is to narrow it down by identifying what type of survey you’ll need to carry out:

  • The Valuation: Used to estimate the current market value and reinstatement value for insurance purposes.
  • Property Purchase Survey and Valuation: A cross between a building survey and a valuation which gives a top-line overview of both market value and essential repair work.
  • The Building Survey: An assessment of a building that focuses on the condition of specific aspects of the building without focusing on value.

At LSY, we most commonly carry out building surveys, and so as you can probably tell from the title of the article, those are what we’re going to be focusing on.

What to Think About

Building surveyors are largely looking at three key factors:

  • How buildings fail over time
  • How buildings deteriorate over time
  • How buildings can be returned to satisfactory condition after failing or deteriorating

During the survey, you’ll need to focus on (and record!) the following:

  • Design and construction
  • Condition
  • Cause of any defects
  • Areas requiring further investigation
  • Remedial works required

Different Types of Building Survey

As you’ve already seen, there’s a huge amount of variety when it comes to building surveys, with different types of survey for different purposes. Some of the most common types of building survey include:

  • Inspections/surveys of churches
  • Historic building surveys
  • Inspections of buildings that are under construction
  • Specialist investigations (looking for specific defects like cracking or dampness)
  • Investigations prior to alterations (carried out to measure and check structural integrity ahead of extensions or new development)
  • Reinstatement for insurance (estimates the cost of demolition and reconstruction)
  • Stock condition survey (assesses the condition of a building ahead of a maintenance programme)
  • Schedule of condition (records the condition of a building at a particular point in time)
  • Schedule of dilapidation (identifies any item in disrepair in a tenanted property under the terms of lease)

About LSY

We here at LSY are always looking to hear from people who need to undertake a building survey. If you’d like a little help, feel free to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to help!

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