Here are the Top 10 misconceptions about building surveys that Peter comes across frequently, in the course of his work:

Yes – there is a difference between a mortgage valuation and a property survey.

A mortgage valuation is instructed by the mortgage company to assess whether the property is valued enough to cover the cost of the loan.

A HomeBuyer survey, or property survey inspection, is a detailed inspection of the internal and external particulars of a property. This type of survey helps the home buyer understand any potential structural issues that may need to be repaired in the future.

A property survey is a type of building inspection suitable for most properties built after 1800.

This type of survey brings to the attention of the homebuyer any structural damage or elements of the property requiring alterations or repairs.

A property survey is beneficial to the buyer of the property as the true condition of the property is revealed before you have signed the contracts and agreed to purchase the building.

Please find more information about this type of building survey here.

No – a mortgage valuation does not inspect the building in as much detail as a property survey and is only interested in knowing that they can get their money back if they needed to repossess the property.

A staggering 80% of property buyers do not have a survey of the property done. Though the cost of a property survey is only a fraction of the total cost of the property, many people do not realise how valuable an investment these types of surveys are.

Yes! Both are types of rot caused by dampness with each caused by a different type of wood-destroying fungi.

Wet and dry rot need persistent moisture to grow. Wet rot can often be found externally as well as internally, whereas dry rot is generally associated with unventilated, damp spaces such as cellars and under floors.

You can learn more about wet and dry rot in our extensive guide here.

Finding cracks in your home does not necessarily mean that there is a serious issue with your property.

A survey will reveal whether the cracks are serious and whether they are caused by any of the following:

  • Subsidence
  • Settlement
  • Thermal Movement
  • Vibration
  • Differential Movement

A crack up to 5mm in width is usually easily repairable and does not normally require major or complex work.

Diagonal or tapering cracks can often indicate subsidence. The underlying issue causing the cracking can often be identified during the course of a Building Survey or HomeBuyer Survey.

You can find out more about cracks in house walls here.

Our property search investigations take anywhere between 3-6 hours dependent on the size of the property.

Within 2 to 5 days of the inspection, dependent upon the size of the property and type of survey, you will be provided with the written report.

We are also happy to meet with our clients, usually at the end of the inspection, to outline our findings verbally.

Our house surveys and building reports vary in price. As each house is different, so is each report. Our advisors would be happy to discuss the benefits of one of our detailed inspections whilst taking some information regarding the property to determine the cost of the building survey report.

We are often asked whether rising damp is always the cause of dampness.

In fact, though rising damp can affect many older buildings, 90% of cases reported to us reveal that condensation is one of the main causes of damp.

Excess condensation can be caused in homes with poor ventilation that do not open windows, dry their clothes inside and do not properly ventilate their kitchen when cooking.

Penetrating damp is caused when water invades your home from the outside in, such as;

  • Rising Damp
  • Leaky Roofs
  • Excess moisture from shrubbery and plants near the home

If damp is suspected in your home, our property survey will reveal the cause of the damp so you understand how and what needs to be repaired.

A property survey does not always reveal something serious or worrying. However, the peace of mind a property survey can provide a homebuyer is a great investment against the future value of your home.

Purchasing a home, whether it is your first or your third, is a decision that should be considered carefully. Doing anything to protect both your finances and the property is money well spent.

If a property survey does reveal some issues with the property you are interested in buying, it does not mean that you are no longer able to continue with the purchase of the property.

The results of our survey can be used to inform your decision about continuing with the purchase of the property. You could also use a property survey as evidence justifying a renegotiation – perhaps if you wanted to factor in the cost of the repair work in the purchase price.

It is extremely important to follow the guidelines for building regulations and the advice of a structural engineer to assist in any building works that could temporarily weaken the structure of the house.

In this type of building project, support beams must be used to hold up any masonry above to avoid structural distress, damage, or even the collapse of the building!

Our building surveys can advise your decision in removing chimney breasts in the most practical and safe way possible.

Electrical installations inside a property can become damaged through age deterioration or from issues such as damp inside the walls.

It is important to check the safety of the electrics inside a new home you are purchasing or living in every 10 years.

For landlords and tenants, it is a good idea to have an electrical inspection taken every 5 years.

Interestingly, for properties with a swimming pool, it is recommended to have electrical inspections every year.