Structural Building Regulations Review
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who needs a structural building regulations review?
A: Buyers who are purchasing a newly built residential property should have a structural building regulations review performed before the final purchase is completed. It is an intrinsic part of the final stage between the purchaser and developer before full payment takes place. It is vitally important to have a structural building regulations review performed to ensure that the property you are purchasing is built to appropriate standards, completely and to a certain standard of finish.
A Structural Building Regulations Review is significantly different to a Snag List. The Company that carries out a Structural Building Regulations Review will be a professional, and expert on building regulations standards and will have professional indemnity insurance.
It is very important to book a Structural Building Regulations Review when you are advised that the property is completed and ready for snagging. The majority of newly completed residential properties have many incomplete, or incorrectly completed works that need rectifying before the purchase is made. It really is a case of buyer beware
Q: What is a Structural Building Regulations Review?
A: A structural building regulations review is a professional detailed report that includes and reports on:
- incomplete works
- poorly constructed works
- visible breaches in the current Building Regulations
- issues that affect the value of the property
- direction on certificates/information that should be provided by the developer
- advise and information on how to properly understand certificates and information provided by a developer
Q: What is the difference between a structural building regulations review and a snag list?
A: A structural building regulations review is performed by a trained and qualified professional. The engineer will be looking for defects that are not obvious to the untrained eye, such as potential design defects in structural walls, roofs and floors, that currently present no visual signs of cracks or movement, inadequate ventilation in timber framed walls, breaches in fire stops and fire doors, incorrectly installed drains etc, and for items that do not comply with current building regulations. A builder is not obliged to advise you of building defects known to them. Never presume that because a property is newly built that it will comply with all of the current building regulations, that it will be built correctly, or to a recommended standard.
A structural building regulations review will cost more than a snag list because it is performed by a qualified professional, with PI insurance, has undertaken regular training, and is up to date with current building regulations. You will be supplied with a useful and valuable report that will will include additional advice, information and direction to help you understand structural certificates/documentation for the property that may be provided by the developer/builder. You will be able to discuss any issues with a qualified professional.
A snag list is usually performed by an unqualified person who will provide you with a list of cosmetic issues like paint splashes, and scratches in paint. It will also comment on minor building defects such as misaligned plug sockets, mismatched timbers, chipped bricks etc.
A snag list is usually cheaper than a structural building regulations review as it is usually performed by a non professional who will not have PI insurance,(which is generally only available to professionals with a recognised qualification). You may be supplied with a list of minor building and cosmetic issues, but it will not provide a comprehensive report on important structural issues. A typical snagger will be concentrating their attention on identifying individual cosmetic issues; their emphasis is not focused on the structure of the property and they may not even understand or recognise what is required under building regulation standards.
Q: Should a structural building regulations review be performed by an independent company?
A: It is very important to have your survey performed by a company that is totally independent to the property developer. A builder/developer may recommend a company that will overlook costly or difficult to fix issues. Property Health Check Ltd is not affiliated to any agencies, building companies or developers and have you, our clients best interests as our only focus.
Q: Is a structural building regulations review a good investment?
A: Regardless of whether a property is being purchased to live in, or as an investment, a structural building regulations review should always be performed before contracts are exchanged. When compared to the expense of the property being purchased, a professional structural building regulations review fee is a small price to pay to know that your property is built safely, correctly and to current building regulations. No one wants to have to rectify building defects and sustain additional costs after a property has been purchased!
If you are a having property built, a great incentive for your developer to finish your home to a high standard is holding back a retention until all snagging defects are complete. We recommend that this is written in to your contract.
A builder will often give more credence to a professional report and is more likely to rectify the items properly and fully, as opposed to one created by a nonprofessional.
Q: Who should perform a structural building regulations review?
A: It is important to ensure that the company performing your structural building regulations review:
- Provides a professionally qualified building engineer to perform the survey.
- Is knowledgeable on current building regulation standards.
- Has regular experience performing building surveys and structural building regulations reviews.
- Has current PI insurance cover.
Be aware that snag lists only provide you with a list of cosmetic and minor issues, but miss important, structural issues that affect the value of the property.
Q: When should a structural building regulations review be performed?
A: A structural building regulations review should be undertaken when the developer/builder notifies the purchaser that the property is ready to be snagged. Unfortunately, builders will often ask for a property to be snagged weeks before it is actually complete. We recommend before booking your structural building regulations review, that you obtain confirmation from your builder that the property is fully complete, and no work is outstanding. This will help to avoid unnecessary repeat surveys.
Most developers will include timelines in the contract about when a snag list should take place. As soon as you receive a snagging notification from your developer we recommend that you book your structural building regulations review in immediately. We are happy to book in a structural building regulations review several weeks before the scheduled date. Professional engineering companies are often booked up and will not have availability at a few days’ notice. It is important that you have enough time to book the company of your choice, and are not forced into using an unqualified surveyor or building foreman.
Q: How much does a structural building regulations review cost?
A: The cost of a survey is primarily based on the size of the property. Use our instant quote link and you will get an accurate quotation emailed within minutes to your inbox.
A structural building regulations review will cost more than a snag list because it is performed by a qualified professional, with PI insurance, who undertakes regular training, and is up to date with current building regulations. You will be supplied with a useful and valuable report about issues that will affect the value of the property you are purchasing. It will also include additional helpful advice, information and direction, to help you understand structural matters related to the property before making your purchase.
A snag list is usually cheaper than a structural building regulations review as it is usually performed by a non professional who will not have PI insurance, (which is generally only available to professionals with a recognised qualification). You may be supplied with a list of minor building and cosmetic issues, but it will not provide a comprehensive report on important structural issues. A typical snagger will be concentrating their attention on identifying individual cosmetic issues; their emphasis is not focused on the structure of the property and they may not even understand what is required under building regulation standards.
Q: How do I get a quotation?
A: Getting a quotation from Property Health Check is very quick and easy, just fill in a short form and click “Get quote now. The form is very easy to complete and asks a few simple questions about the property. (The age of the apartment can usually be found in the BER). After clicking “Get quote now” the price will be displayed on screen and a quotation is emailed to the client.
Q: How do I book a survey?
A: There are several ways to book in a survey:
- Start the booking process while viewing the quote online and clicking “Yes – I would like to book now”. Customer services will follow up to finalise the booking.
- Click the “book now” link in the quotation email and customer services will follow up to finalise the booking.
- Call customer services with your quotation number and they will guide you through the process.
Q: Can I request a recommended engineer for my survey?
A: It is always good to hear that a Property Health Check engineer has been recommended. However, all Property Health Check engineers are experienced and professionally trained. You can be confident that our clients are provided with the same level of quality service regardless of which engineer provides the service. Due to scheduling availability a different engineer may be scheduled to perform your structural building regulations review.
Q: How soon can you inspect the property?
A: This is dependent on availability at the time of booking and accessibility to the property, however a structural building regulations review can usually be scheduled in approximately 3 workings days after the booking date. Customer care will provide a more specific idea when a booking is made.
Q: How and when do I pay for the survey?
A: Payment can be made by credit card, debit card, and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Customer services will ask for payment details when the survey is booked in, however credit or debit card payments are not actioned until the day of the survey. Payment in full is required on the day of inspection.
Q: Who arranges access for the survey?
A: All access arrangements are organised by Property Health Check. We will contact the agency or vendor directly. Sometimes this can take a little time as the contact person is not always immediately available, and dates and times must be confirmed before scheduling can be completed. Clients are emailed confirmation of the date when scheduling for the inspection is completed.
Q: What parts of the building are included in an apartment structural building regulations review?
A: The structural building regulations review for an apartment or duplex is limited to the inspected apartment only.
Q: Should a buyer attend the structural building regulations review?
A: Clients (or their representative) are encouraged to attend the structural building regulations review. If you attend the structural building regulations review the engineer will run through his findings with you to give you an understanding of what rectifications are required. If you can not attend, the engineer will call you on the evening of the appointment and give you a verbal run down of his findings. If you can attend this is a perfect time to create your own list of cosmetic issues. If you wish you can provide us with your snag list and we will include it as an addendum to our report.
Q: How long will does the structural building regulations review take?
A: A structural building regulations review generally takes between 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the property and what the engineer finds.
Q: When will I receive my report?
A: The full report, included annotated photo’s, is emailed to clients within 4 working days of the inspection date. The email will contain a link to a secure site, where the report can be viewed and downloaded. The reports are provided in colour PDF format.
It is most important that the report is accurate and well written and does not have errors or omissions. We therefore do not make commitments to have the report emailed to clients within 24 hours. We are very aware that clients are working within a strict timeline and that it is important that they receive their reports in a timely fashion. We provide an efficient service and always provide our reports within the quoted time scale, as client reviews confirm.
Q: How will I receive my report?
A: You will receive your report in PDF format which is easy and convenient for you to forward on to your developer for rectification. We recommend you keep a copy of our report for re-checking purposes.
For best practice and to prevent any potential delays, we recommend that you also contact the builder/developer/foreman directly to:
- Confirm they have received the structural building regulations review
- Obtain a provisional completion date for rectification of the works
Q: Does a follow up inspection take place?
A: If required an optional follow up inspection will be carried out. The inspection can be booked in when you notify us that the items reported on for rectification have been completed. Each subsequent follow up inspection will be charged at 2/3rd’s of the original structural building regulations review cost. We recommend that you obtain confirmation from your builder that the rectification works are fully complete, and no work is outstanding. This will help to avoid unnecessary repeat surveys.
Q: Do Property Health Check Ltd provide an after care service?
A: The engineer will either meet with you at the survey or call you on the evening of the survey to give you a quick verbal rundown of his findings. Once you have read your report if you have any queries please email the details to [email protected] and the engineer will get back to you.
Our customer care team are also available to you during office hours.
Q: Where can I find out more information about this survey?
A: If you have further questions, please read our terms and conditions. These are written in layman terms and will explain what is included and not included in your report.
Viewing the sample survey video will provide a visual illustration of how your survey will look and what will be included in it.
Check out our other information sheets below. Our customer care team will provide any additional direction required.