A RICS building survey (also known as a full structural survey) is the most comprehensive building analysis governed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. An RICS-certified surveyor will inspect your property for defects (both inside and out) and assess any environmental concerns, such as dampness.
When an RICS surveyor performs a building survey on your property, you will receive a thorough internal and external inspection of your property.
Areas of interest will include:
The surveyor is looking for:
- property defects that could be potentially harmful
- problems that may arise in the future
- hazardous materials used on the building
- any signs of damp within the floor, walls and ceiling
During the survey, the surveyor will:
- ensure that all structural work has been legally permitted
- report all materials used to build the property
- assess damage that may have occurred on the roof or to structural timbers
- assess the environment to make sure that there are no problems surrounding the property
They will also suggest solutions for any issues they may be concerned about after the comprehensive examination.
An RICS surveyor will pay special attention to specific parts of your property (unless otherwise specified in the contract), these include:
|Woodworm and rot||Roof Chimneys||Garages|
|Dampness and condensation||Gutters||Conservatories|
|Ceilings||Main walls||Surrounding environment|
|Walls and floors||Windows and doors|
|Chimney breasts and joinery||Drainage and boundaries|
The time from the initial quotation to the finished RICS building survey report will vary from property to property and will also depend on the company you choose to provide your survey.
To speed up the process, ensure there aren’t any complications when the surveyor arrives. Perform a quick access examination beforehand. For example, if the inspector needs to survey a loft, make sure they have a certified loft ladder to gain access to that area of the property.
Most companies that offer RICS building surveys charge a similar amount, but you should still consider doing some background research on the company before choosing them.
Out of all the residential property surveys, the most comprehensive is an RICS Level 3 building survey.
Additional charges may be incurred if the surveyor lacks access to certain areas of the property and any potential difficulties should be clarified before the survey. That’s why an access examination is recommended before your survey date.
Price will depend upon the size and type of property. For a competitive quotation, contact us today.
Commonly known as a “Level 3” or “full structural survey”, an RICS Building Survey (supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) is the most in-depth survey available as it provides a comprehensive analysis of the property's condition and structure.
As it’s the most thorough survey, you can expect to pay more than a Level Two survey. However, you will want to consider this an investment as it can save you significant amounts of money in the long run.
If you’re purchasing an old home that may have various defects or unwanted materials within it, you may wish to consider a Level 3 survey over the others.
Older properties may look appealing but can hide serious problems, invisible to the untrained eye. To avoid any unexpected repair bills, a Level 3 Building Survey is recommended when purchasing a home that:
As well as the comprehensive Level 3 Building survey, there are other surveys to consider.
Arguably the Level 2 survey is the most popular within the industry. This is because it fits the criteria for most properties. This type of survey is suitable for a fairly standard house, between 10 and 40 years old, which looks visually sound and doesn’t have any clear indications of defects.
During this survey you’ll receive an entire condition report, along with some extras. The surveyor will record a list of problems that may be wrong with the property and provide advice on repairs or ongoing maintenance.
Unlike the Level 3 Building Survey, Level Two is non-intrusive. This means the surveyor won’t look behind any furniture or inside cupboards, etc.
Before purchasing, you may be able to add this as an additional extra, but read the contract beforehand to ensure that you are investing in the service you require.
Fore more information, see our article What is a HomeBuyer Survey Report?
You will not only receive an RICS valuation survey, but also a confirmation report on the property's structure.
If you want to make sure that you are paying the market value and the rebuild cost for the insurance, this is the ideal survey.
If you are looking to buy, sell, or re-mortgage your property, this is the best survey. It is also used in "Help to Buy", shared ownership transactions, and for inheritance tax purposes.
RICS 'Red Book' Valuation tells you whether you are paying a fair price for the property. However, it doesn’t give you any information on the structural integrity of the property.
While the RICS 'Red Book' Valuation is offered as a standalone service, it can also be integrated into our RICS Level 3 Building Survey.
RICS - www.rics.org