Building Surveys London

What is a Building Survey?

Full Structural Building Surveys are essential when an incredibly detailed report is needed. At London Chartered Surveyors, we inspect the structure and construction of the property in our Building Surveys and then conduct a surface examination of any connected utility services.

Occasionally, we are restricted from completing a full inspection due to constraints such as fitted floor coverings or limited roof access, but regardless of these limitations, we will complete a full structural building survey and issue a comprehensive report according to RICS guidelines.

Every building survey includes a check of the following:

  • Internally: rot and woodworm, damp and condensation, walls, floors and ceilings, chimney breasts and joinery
  • Externally: chimneys, roof, gutters, main walls, doors and windows, drainage and boundaries
  • Roof space: detailed inspection of the roof
  • Garages, brick outbuildings and conservatories
  • Tenure

Do You Need A Building Survey But Aren’t Sure What Is Involved?

This easy-to-follow guide will explain in simple terms what a Building Survey is and includes all the relevant information you need.

What Is A Building Survey (Level 3)?

A Building Survey, which was formerly referred to as a Structural Survey is an in-depth, thorough inspection of a property. It is the most comprehensive survey that can be carried out on a residential property. Its aims to provide a thorough assessment of the current condition of the property surveyed.

A Building Survey (Level 3) report provides an overview of the condition of each aspect of the property and reports on any problems or issues found at the property, their possible cause, how soon they need to be repaired, and also any maintenance work you may need to carry out.

At London Chartered Surveyors all of our Building Surveys are performed by qualified, experienced Chartered Surveyors. To ensure that you obtain a thorough survey, conducted to the highest standards, it's vital that the surveyor you choose is regulated by RICS, which we are, as RICS provides excellent guidance for surveyors, meaning that our professional surveyors are able to provide independent and carefully considered advice.

Any type of property can be the subject of a Building Survey, but it is mostly applicable to the following types of properties:


  • Listed buildings: this includes any building listed on the Statutory List of Buildings and structures of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
  • Older properties – this usually means properties over 50 years old
  • Buildings built in an atypical way, regardless of age
  • Buildings that you are planning to renovate or change
  • Buildings that you have significantly already renovated or modified

What Is Involved In A Full Building Survey?

A full Building Survey usually includes the following:


  • An examination of the building
  • A thorough survey report
  • A property valuation (if specifically requested by the surveyor).


The survey will include an inspection of any visible and accessible parts of the property, including roofs, walls, floors, doors, windows, chimneys, cellars, any outbuildings and garages. All surveyors are required by law to identify and provide information on any major issues found at the property. This means that our surveyors will look for any potential issues and building defects during the building inspection.

Whilst conducting a full Building Survey, we will examine the inside of cupboards and manholes, and any services present will be inspected. Sealed roof spaces and other enclosed or concealed areas of a property, however, will not be examined during the Building Survey.

Should you have any general or serious concerns about your property in London, you can ask our surveyors to inspect certain areas during the Building Survey. Unlike in the case of other surveys, such as a Homebuyer Report (Survey and Valuation - Level 2), which we also offer, there is no particular required format to a Building Survey report, so our building surveyors can tailor the Building Survey to meet your needs.

A Building Survey will generally report on the following:


  • Major defects and what they mean
  • Outcome of damp tests in the walls
  • Modifications to any supporting walls
  • Renovations carried out without the required planning permission
  • Any hazardous materials (e.g. asbestos)
  • Proof of subsidence
  • Masonry and roof damage
  • Damage to timber
  • Large trees in the vicinity of property
  • Dry rot, woodworm or any other timber damage
  • The current state of the existing damp proofing, insulation and guidance regarding non-tested drainage
  • Information concerning the materials used to build the property and any technical information deemed relevant
  • Advice on any further investigations on the property


A Building Survey report will not provide any details of things like heating or electrical equipment. It will, however, review the findings of the Building Survey and provide recommendations regarding any additional specialist surveys that may also need to be performed.

The Building Survey (Level 3) Report

When your survey is complete, you will be given a final report which will show whether the inspection has uncovered any major and minor defects with the property. The Building Survey report will also identify and describe any issues found and their possible cause. In addition, it provides recommendations for any additional investigations that may be required, give an indication of any repair costs, and inform you of the potential consequences of not resolving any problems identified.

RICS Building Surveys

According to RICS, a Building Survey is categorised as Level 3, which makes it the most detailed RICS survey available. It looks for any problems or defects that may be concealed by flaws and provides a summary of the repair options and likely consequences of not taking any action, in addition to highlighting any visible defects.

Are You Planning To Extend Your Property?

Once the sale has been completed, you may want us to carry out a feasibility report for you assuming that the planning permission applied for will be granted. We also specialise in prioritising which works need to be completed first and planning maintenance work.

A building survey does not usually include a valuation. However, if you need a valuation, please let us know.

A building survey report will also include issues which will be useful for your legal adviser, hazardous materials, noise and disturbance, means of escape, energy efficiency and any health and safety concerns you may have.


Request a Callback

Enter your details below and we’ll get back to you with a free no-obligation quote, or ask one of our experts a question.

  [caldera_form id="CF5ef9fced66b3b" fld_1213828="Building Surveys"]


Not only are we regulated by RICS – The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, but we can conduct all three RICS survey levels.

We can help you with any professional surveyor service you require and at London Chartered Surveyors we also provide our clients the latest expert and cost-effective support.