What Does a Structural Survey Include?

If you have been looking for a property and found one that you have put an offer on, experts recommend that you should always have a building survey carried out on the property before you complete the sale and move into your new home. When you’ve made an offer on a property that has been accepted by the seller, before you start packing and getting ready to move, you will want to ensure that you are investing your money wisely. The purpose of having a building survey such as a structural survey carried out is to ensure that you are as informed as possible about the property before you buy it. During a structural survey, a chartered surveyor will perform a thorough inspection and assessment of the property before compiling a report that tells you everything that you need to know about it.

What is a Structural Survey?

A structural survey is the most comprehensive and in-depth type of survey available for property buyers. Compared to other survey types such as a homebuyer’s report or condition report, this is a comprehensive and more invasive survey that will require the surveyor to be granted access to all areas of the property. The structural survey leaves no stone unturned when it comes to finding out as much as possible about the property, ensuring that you can go into the sale without being unaware of potential issues and problems that you’re going to have to deal with as the new owner.

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During a structural survey, the surveyor will inspect every aspect of the property, both indoors and outdoors. They will inspect the roof for structural integrity and assess the foundations of the property. The walls and ceilings will be checked along with floors, underneath floorboards, and all the woodwork in the home. An evaluation of the plumbing, heating and electrical systems will be carried out and the surveyor will look for any potential issues such as mould, damp, wet rot, dry rot, subsidence, pest infestations, and more. They will also check for the presence of asbestos and other harmful materials that may be present in the property.

Whether the property that you are planning to purchase requires a full structural survey to be carried out will depend on several factors. Older homes are more likely to benefit from this type of survey; properties over the age of fifty are likely to have hidden issues that may not always come up in a homebuyer’s survey. A structural survey is also going to be the best choice if you are planning to purchase a property that has obvious issues and defects. Any property that you are planning significant future renovation work on should also have a structural survey carried out to ensure that you are aware of anything that might impact the work and to ensure that the property is safe to carry out the planned jobs on.

How Long Will a Structural Survey Take?

Being the most in-depth of the survey types, a structural survey is also likely to last longer than a homebuyer’s survey or condition report. Since the surveyor is required to go through the property with a fine toothcomb and inspect everything, this type of survey can take anything from a few hours to an entire day to complete, depending on the size and condition of the property. Larger properties will usually take longer to survey than smaller ones. If you are planning to purchase a property that you know has some defects and issues, you can expect the surveyor to take a while as they will need to go through them all along with looking for any more. When getting a quote for your structural survey, the surveyor may be able to provide you with an estimated time frame that they believe they will be able to have the survey completed in. Sellers can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the survey by ensuring that the surveyor has access to all areas of the property easily including underneath floorboards, behind furniture, and in the attic or loft.

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When Do I Get the Report?

Once the structural survey has been carried out, your chartered surveyor will then put together a report detailing everything that they have found during their inspection of the property. This will include any defects and problems that have been found along with anything that has the potential to worsen over time, even if it is not causing a serious issue right now. They will also include recommendations for future repairs and work that should be done on the property either by the seller or by you once you have purchased it. They may also be able to give an estimate for how much you can expect to pay for the necessary work.

How a Structural Survey Can Save You Money

While a structural survey does not come cheap at around £1,000 for an average property, it’s well worth investing in as it can be one of the best ways for buyers to save money in the future, especially when buying an older property or a property that has known issues and defects. One of the main reasons why buyers save money by getting a structural survey is because it makes the buyer aware of everything, so there is no risk of them only learning about problems in their new home once the issue has gotten worse and an expensive repair is needed. Along with this, some buyers might be successful in using the findings of the structural survey to get the seller to drop the asking price, especially if it would cost a significant amount to make the necessary repairs. While it’s the decision of the seller to make, many are willing to reduce the price to factor in the cost of repairs since they know that they are only likely to get the same result in the future with a different buyer.
A full structural survey involves a complete inspection of every area of the property, and is the most comprehensive option available.

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