Building Survey

Building Survey

Building Survey

What is a building survey?

A building survey is an inspection carried out to ascertain the general condition of a property. A building survey can be carried out by various professionals but it is very important that the professional you do engage is experienced and competent to do so. A building survey will identify any obvious defects that would ordinarily be missed by the untrained eye, and report on these to the client whilst also outlining recommendations. Click to find a local surveyor.

Why do I need a building condition report?

Purchasing a house is probably one of the biggest financial commitments a person will ever make. Therefore many potential property purchasers find solace and peace of mind engaging the services of a competent and experienced professional to carry out a pre-contract inspection to highlight any issues with the fabric of the building and report these to the client.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland issued guidance to our Chartered Building Surveying members which references the provision of three types of surveys to clients as follows:

Survey Type One:

This type of service includes a visual inspection and a report on the condition of the building, its services and the grounds. It highlights relevant legal issues and any obvious risks to the building, people or to the grounds. The report is succinct and objectively describes the condition of the different parts of the building and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems. Type One reports do not generally include advice on repairs or ongoing maintenance and so are better suited to conventionally built, modern dwellings that are in a satisfactory condition.

Survey Type Two:

This intermediate type of service includes a more extensive visual inspection of the building, its services and the grounds. Accessible concealed areas are inspected if it is safe to do so (typical examples include roof spaces and underfloor areas). The report objectively describes the condition of the different elements and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems. Although the report is concise it does include advice about the repairs and any on-going maintenance issues. This type of service suits a broader range of conventionally built properties. This type of service is unlikely to suit:

  • Complex and/or unique, older properties,
  • Those in a poor condition, or;
  • Where the client is planning to carry out extensive repair and refurbishment work.

Survey Type Three:

This type of service consists of an extensive visual inspection of the building, its services and the grounds. Some concealed areas may be opened and accessed where it is safe and appropriate to do so and although the services are not tested, where possible, they are observed in normal operation (in other words, they are switched on and/or operated). The report objectively describes the form of construction and materials used for the different parts of the property. It objectively describes the condition and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems. This type of report is more extensive than Survey Type One and Two. This type of service will suit any domestic residential property in any condition.

Why use a chartered building surveyor?

Chartered Building Surveyors are highly valued professionals who offer a variety of services across the whole of the built environment. The knowledge base of a Chartered Building Surveyor is broad but based on a solid technical understanding of how buildings work both technically and functionally. Their role therefore touches on all aspects of the construction and property industries, allowing them to approach their jobs from a holistic angle.

Read our guide to find out how a building surveyor can best serve your needs:

A Clear Guide to Chartered Building Surveyors

Find a building surveyor in your area

Trust the experts to ensure you avoid property issues and have the information you need to make the best property decisions. Contact a chartered building surveyor to ensure your survey is of the highest quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

To find out about residential surveys read our comprehensive professional guide:

Surveys of Residential Property 

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