What to expect from a building survey

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. As a professional Building Surveying company we at Property Health Check, provide our building surveying clients with the tools they need to make an educated choice regarding the quality and condition of their potential new home. We inspect for common defects and not-so-common ones. By hiring an experienced building surveyor who has your best interest solely in mind, our clients are better able to judge the strengths and weaknesses of the home in which they are under contract to buy. Depending on the client’s requirements, we can visually inspect the structure, structural walls, exterior, drainage, grounds, roof, floors, stairs, windows, doors, ventilation, dampness, and attic.

The engineer will do a cursory visual inspection of the utilities at the property, e.g., turn on and off the electricity, water systems, etc., where possible to do so. Photos and comments will be included to that effect in the survey report. However, this cursory overview is no replacement for an inspection of utilities by the appropriate professional, e.g., qualified electrician, plumber, etc.

A clearly written detailed report with annotated photos will be provided. We ensure our clients receive their reports three working days after the survey.

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 building survey report may include approximations of repair costs and recommendations of useful upgrades to the property systems. The general result of a professional building survey is that the property buyer will make a significantly more informed purchase.

Screening for problems

All 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 building survey performed by an experienced professional building surveyor. A good building surveyor works through a very long checklist of potential concerns to identify the major and minor deficiencies in the home. A good report will clearly describe the problems in plain English.

Provide owners benefits

Homeowners who are planning to make improvements to their homes in order to increase its market value would be well advised to have it inspected first. A building surveyor can help prioritize home improvements and offer advice on the best ways to approach repairs. More importantly, a building surveyor can help the seller identify potential or undiscovered problems before those problems become material for contract contingencies. By taking a pro-active approach one can avoid the frustrations many owners encounter when they are asked to re-negotiate their contracts because of unanticipated problem areas.


Like any other professional, building surveyors have varying degrees of expertise. All building surveyors, architects and engineers should be carefully screened. Building Surveyors learn from experience. It takes a few thousand building surveys for a building surveyor to LEARN what it takes to satisfy clients. I have spent over twenty years as a building surveyor and have carried out over 10,000 building surveyors and I still see things I have never seen before. Would you want the biggest investment of your life inspected by a person who normally does not carry out building surveys? MAKE SURE YOU ASK FOR A RESUME FOR THE PERSON WHO WILL CARRY OUT THE BUILDING SURVEY ON YOUR HOME!

Many people without specific building surveying qualifications offer pre-purchase building surveys. Likewise, qualifications are not always what they seem. Engineering and architectural qualifications alone do not prepare anyone to competently survey homes and communicate the findings. A helping attitude, good communication skills, and mature judgment must supplement technical competence AND EXPERIENCE. Make sure you work with a 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?

Our Building Survey includes an examination of the following:

  • 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

For more information on the price of structural surveys and defects please read through our website.