Four Types of Building Surveys

Although building surveyors tend to “customize” their surveys in order to meet the specific demands of their clients, all surveys can still be categorized into four types. These are: Full Structural Survey Main Elements Survey (also called the Major Defects Survey) Homebuyer's Survey / Report Specific Survey / Report The cost of each survey depends…

Although building surveyors tend to “customize” their surveys in order to meet the specific demands of their clients, all surveys can still be categorized into four types. These are:

Full Structural Survey

Main Elements Survey (also called the Major Defects Survey)

Homebuyer's Survey / Report

Specific Survey / Report

The cost of each survey depends upon the professional rate of the surveyor mandated and the specifics requested by the client. The type of survey performed is dependent on the kind of result that the client desires to obtain. Thus, the client will get the most of his / her money if he / she is fully aware of why he / she requires the survey to begin with. Each type of survey is explained below:

Full Structural Survey

From the name itself, this survey covers every detail about the property – even the most trivial ones. The findings will be reflected in a comprehensive report that is to be presented to the owner or buyer of the property. The surveyor is also required to write down the limitations and scopes of the survey conducted.

Main Elements Survey

This survey is as thorough as a full structural survey when it comes to determining the exact physical condition of specific parts of the property. However, the difference between the two is that with this type of survey, the building surveyor is only bound to check the major parts of the structure. Examples of such parts are the roof, floor, windows, walls and ceilings. Other parts like doors, decorations and fittings will not be inspected.

Although this survey can also give the owner of the property a substantial insight about the overall physical condition of his / her property, this is still not recommendable for properties which are very old. Property owners should consult with their building surveyor if this type of survey fits their property.

Homebuyer's Survey / Report

While the first two surveys give the surveyor full freedom to write anything in his / her report, this type of a survey is completely restricted by the standards imposed by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or RICS. The association has prepared an outline of the report which surveyors must fill up. Such restrictions inhibit the surveyors to maximize their inspection thus paving way for inaccurate reports. This type of survey often comes with a cheap price tag because of this reason.

Specific Survey / Report

There are times when the owner or the buyer of the property would need a report on a specific aspect of the property. This can be triggered by a bad experience or a bad reputation about the property. Specific Surveys or Reports are designed to meet such needs. With this type of survey, the surveyor has to consult with the owner or buyer with regards to the specific things that he / she wants to find out.