What should you expect from your building surveyor?


What To Expect: Many home buyers sometimes buy their home on impulse. Experienced building surveyors can help home buyers avoid buyers remorse by reporting on building defects and problems before the home buyer finds them after closing. All detailed surveys should provide clients with the tools they need to make an educated choice regarding the quality and condition of their potential new home.

Buyers Benefits: A professional pre-purchase Building Survey is the best way for potential home buyers to effectively evaluate the risks of a property purchase. A major concern of home buyers is being suddenly confronted with major and costly problems after they take possession of a property. A professional pre-purchase building survey can reduce anxiety by screening for problems and itemizing them in a comprehensive report.  The general result of a professional building survey is that the property buyer will make a significantly more informed purchase.

Screening for Problems: Most homes have strong and weak points, they are not always what they seem. Gain the perspective and sound information you need to make better decisions with a detailed building survey. An experienced building surveyor will use both his experience and also work through a checklist of potential concerns to identify the major and minor deficiencies in the home.

Credentials: Like any other professional, building surveyors have varied degrees of expertise. All building surveyors, architects and engineers should be carefully screened before engaging their services. Not all survey reports are equal and vary from almost useless to very informative.

Many people without specific building surveying qualifications offer pre-purchase building surveys. Likewise, qualifications are not always what they seem. Engineering, surveying and architectural qualifications alone do not prepare anyone to competently survey homes and communicate the findings. A helping attitude, good communication skills, and mature judgement must supplement technical competence AND EXPERIENCE. Make sure you work with a registered building surveying company that shows you upfront a sample report which specifies both what is offered and what limitations apply before you engage that company. Most verbal “warranties” offer little comfort.


What does a typical building survey cover?

  • Movement or settlement in the house foundations
  • Movements or cracks in the house’s exterior walls
  • Condition of windows and exterior doors
  • The roof of the property, including roof coverings, flashings, chimneys and gutters
  • Interior attic space
  • Interior walls, ceilings, floors and stairs
  • Standard of insulation throughout the property
  • Inspection of exterior aspects to the property, including drainage, paths and driveways and boundary walls / railings
  • An overview of the plumbing, heating and electrical system