Bowcliffe Chartered Surveyors

Residential Surveys

The “Bespoke” Building Survey

The Building Survey or Structural Survey is the most detailed of our Surveys and is generally recommended for properties pre 1950 or any properties which have been extended or significantly altered. This form of Survey would also be recommended for properties of significant value in excess of £350,000.00.

Our detailed Building Survey will examine and report on Chimney Stacks (both exposed and within roof voids), all Roof Coverings, Soffits and Fascias, Gutters and Downpipes and close examination of all External Walls (including details of any Damp Proof Course and Supports to Structural Openings) to determine if there is any current, or historic, evidence of settlement or subsidence. Windows, Doors and any other External Timbers will be examined and comment provided.

Internally the Survey provides detailed comment on the Roof Void, where access is available, to inspect the Structure of the Roof, the Insulation, any Water Installation that may be present within the void. Internal Floors, Partitions and all other internal aspects of the structure will be examined and reported upon in detail. A Damp Test is generally carried out to all accessible ground floor areas. This will provide an indication of whether sub-floor timbers, which are not usually inspected where there are fixed floor coverings, or if floor boarding has not been lifted, are at risk from dry or wet rot problems.  A brief review of electrical, gas and other services will be provided but we advise you should obtain specific specialist reports in relation to these elements. 

Our Survey will also provide comment on the Site, identifying any visually apparent problems with the Boundaries, Trees that may represent a threat to the stability of the Building plus all Inspection Chambers will be examined, where possible, to identify Drain Runs, advising on the necessity or otherwise of a drains test if there is visual evidence within the inspection chamber or around it, or on the Building, of drainage problems.

The “RICS Homebuyer” Report

The RICS Homebuyer Service is standard format report designed specifically as an economical survey and is a cost-effective way to determine the condition of the property and any potential risk involved with the purchase. The Homebuyer Report focuses on essentials: defects and problems which are urgent or significant and thus have an effect on the value of the property. The Homebuyer Report, unlike a Building Survey, provides not only a Survey but also a Valuation as an integral part of the service.  This type of report is much more detailed than the standard mortgage valuation and is normally instructed by house/flat buyers for their own use on properties constructed post 1950’s.

The main objectives in providing this particular service are to give guidance on value and to assist the prospective home buyer to:

  • Make a reasoned and informed judgment on whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
  • Assess at what price it would be reasonable to purchase the property.
  • Be clear what decisions and actions should be taken before making an offer to purchase.

The report format is standard, compact, and easy to understand. It covers the building inside and outside, the services and the site. It focuses on the defects and other problems which the surveyor judges to be urgent or significant. It also covers:

  • General condition and particular features.
  • Particular points which should be referred to your legal advisors.
  • Other relevant considerations concerning, for example, safety, location or perhaps insurance.
  • Matters which are judged not to be significant are generally not included in the report but where necessary, we would generally include additional comments on any relevant findings that would normally require an additional defect report thus preventing further additional cost to the Client.