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A Homebuyer’s Guide to Understanding Survey Reports

house survey reports

A Homebuyer’s Guide to Understanding Survey Reports

Survey reports should never be seen as a waste of money.  This guide will try and help you navigate your way around the various surveys available, and help you decide which one is right for you. 

Snagging Inspection

A basic snagging inspection report which will report visible defects and issues that need rectifying.  This is aimed at new builds, refurbished or converted properties to ensure all works done meet the required standards.   If these aren’t met, a snagging list is compiled for the builder to fix before the job is complete.

Homebuyers Survey

Homebuyers surveys are aimed at the majority of modern properties that have been kept in good condition and not older than 50 years.  It will bring to light any major problems and confirm any defects that need urgent attention.

What should be included:

  • Inspection of all internal areas including roof spaces
  • Inspection of all exteriors and any permanent outbuildings
  • Inspection of the roof 
  • Inspection of any visual parts of gas, electricity and water services
  • Inspection of any boundaries, ie walls, fences and shared areas
  • Any background information on the property and its location
  • Inspection of damp proofing and damp tests of the walls
  • Drainage
  • Inspect the condition of the building’s timbers (including woodworm / rotting)
  • Provide estimated costs of urgent repairs and maintenance 

What’s not included:

  • Efficiency or the safety of energy sources (gas / electricity) 
  • Efficiency of the plumbing, heating or drainage, or if they meet regulations
  • Internal condition of any chimney or boiler
  • Contamination or other environmental dangers, ie asbestos (if the surveyor suspects a problem, they should advise further investigation)
  • An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property 
Stone Survey Ltd

Full Building Survey

This survey is also known as a structural survey, the most comprehensive of all survey’s offered.  These are normally carried out on larger properties, those over 50 years or those that have previously had alterations and/or extensions carried out.  If you are wanting to extend the property, this level of survey is ideal.  

What should be included:

All that’s mentioned in the homebuyer’s survey as well as

  • Detailed information on potential defects or risks
  • Detailed information on the urgency of any repairs required 
  • Detailed inspection of all visible and accessible parts of the property, inc. roofs, walls, floors, windows, doors, chimneys, cellars and outbuildings
  • Able to ask your surveyor to look into any concerns you may have about the property
  • Able to ask your surveyor for a property valuation

What’s not included:

  • Any guarantees.  No survey report is 100% foolproof 

Remember, if you’re looking to buy a property, a home, building and property survey is there to protect you and your investment.  If it throws up problems, you can use that information to re-think, renegotiate or for the seller to fix whatever needs sorting before proceeding with purchase.  

“Forewarned is forearmed.” 

If you would like more information about which survey would be right for you, please get in touch

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