Why Get a Structural Survey?
If you’re thinking of buying a new home, it’s important to have a survey carried out on the property before you complete the sale, get the keys and move in. With several types of surveys available, prospective home buyers may be wondering whether they should get a more basic type of survey or whether it is worth spending more on a structural survey om the property.
Experts recommend having a survey carried out on any property before buying it, and in many cases, it may be required by your mortgage lender in order for you to get the necessary funds to make the purchase. The purpose of having a survey carried out on the property is to ensure that, as the buyer, you have all the information you need regarding the property, including potential defects or issues that may not have been obvious when you viewed the house. A structural survey is typically required for older properties or if you are planning to purchase a property to conduct significant renovation work on.
What’s Included in a Structural Survey?
A full structural survey is the most comprehensive type of building survey available. It is carried out by a chartered surveyor who will conduct a detailed inspection of the property from top to bottom. They will look at all the different aspects of the building structure including the roof condition, the condition and integrity of ceilings and walls, the condition of the foundation and the types of construction materials used. Surveyors will also actively search for any problems or defects in the building, including ones that may not be immediately obvious. Since a structural survey is the type of survey that is most likely to uncover problems with the home that may be hidden or hard to find, this is often the most cost-effective type of survey to go for.
What Does the Surveyor Cover?
The chartered surveyor will look at several different factors when conducting a structural survey on a property. They will look at the overall construction and design of the property and perform an active search for any defects or issues that may be present. They will look for alternations or damage to supporting walls, damage to or removal of lintels, mould and damp issues, subsidence, dry rot, and any building work that has been conducted without the necessary planning permission. Surveyors will also inspect the property for the presence of anything that could pose a danger to health or safety such as dangerous materials like asbestos. They will inspect all the woodwork in the house and check the roof’s structure and integrity. The survey will also include a full inspection of the heating, plumbing and electrical systems in the home for any signs of damage or hazards. During the survey, it is important to ensure that the surveyor has full access to all areas of the property.
When is a Structural Survey Recommended?
A full structural survey can be conducted on any property, but it is usually mostly recommended for properties that have obvious defects and problems, higher-risk properties, properties constructed with unusual materials, properties with an unusual layout, and older properties. In addition, a structural survey will usually be recommended if you are planning to conduct significant renovation work on a property since this type of survey is the best way to uncover more information about the property.
Is Getting a Structural Survey Worth It?
While it is typically the most expensive survey option offered, getting a structural survey can sometimes be the most cost-effective option for buyers depending on the type of property that you are planning to purchase. While a structural survey is probably not worth the cost if you want to buy a fairly modern or new-build property in good condition, those buying older houses and properties that are more likely to have hidden issues can often find that a full structural survey is more likely to help them save money in the long run. This is because compared to other survey types, the structural survey is a more invasive option that will leave no stone unturned. Surveyors will need to access every area of the home including in the attic or loft, underneath the floorboards, and behind furniture to gather as much information about the property as possible for your report.
What Are the Benefits of a Structural Survey?
For buyers, getting a structural survey can often be a beneficial investment since it is likely to bring up more information compared to other survey types by exploring more factors of the property. Buyers who are purchasing a property that has a higher risk of issues, such as an older home, listed building, or a home that has obvious defects will benefit from a full structural survey that will leave them more informed about the property. One of the main benefits of having a full structural survey carried out is that it can save you a significant amount of work and money in the future by informing you of problems that may have only gotten worse and more expensive and difficult to repair otherwise.
How Much Does a Structural Survey Cost?
The cost of getting a structural survey carried out on a property will vary depending on a range of different factors. Surveyors will often have different prices, so it is worth getting a quote from a few different chartered surveyors before making a decision. Your price will also be based on the size of the home that you are purchasing and whether there are any obvious defects present. On average, buyers will pay around £900-£1200 for a full structural survey on a home of average value and size.
While there are cheaper survey options available, some buyers may find that getting a more comprehensive structural survey is a better option. This type of survey is more thorough and is typically recommended for homes that have a higher risk of defects such as older buildings or unusual properties.