Building Surveys

WHY HAVE A BUILDING SURVEYOR?

GEA are Chartered Surveyors with over 40 years’ experience in the industry.

A Building Survey is a health inspection of a property that is carried out by a Chartered Surveyor.

The type of survey dictates how thorough it is and what kind of areas will be inspected within the property. More on the different types of survey later.

In the end, the person who arranged the survey receives a report detailing the building’s exact, current, structural state. It also covers all the findings of the survey.

A Chartered Surveyor’s job is to evaluate the condition of a property and its structure, identifying any issues that may be present.

They can also provide their clients with advice on construction, property, and other related environmental issues.

BUILDING SURVEYS ARE SUITABLE FOR ALL PROPERTIES, BUT THEY ARE PARTICULARLY FOR:

  • Listed Buildings – a building that is on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
  • Older Properties – recommended for properties over 50 years old.
  • Buildings constructed in an unusual way, regardless of age.
  • Buildings that you intend to renovate or change.
  • Buildings that have already been renovated or significantly altered.

WHAT IS INVOLVED?

A full Building Survey will include:

  • A building inspection.
  • A full survey report.
  • A property valuation (only if specifically stated by the surveyor).

 

The survey will inspect all visible and accessible parts of a building, including roofs, walls, floors, windows and doors, chimneys, cellars, garages and outbuildings. Surveyors have a legal responsibility to discover and inform of any major problems with a property, so during the building inspection surveyors will actively search for potential problems and building defects.

This includes looking into cupboards and manholes, and an inspection of the services but it does not, however, investigate enclosed or concealed parts of a building, such as sealed roof spaces.

ASPECTS OF A BUILDING SURVEY REPORT

We give below is a list of the aspects that are included in a Building Survey:

  • Most important and more insignificant defects and what they could mean if not addressed.
  • Results of tests for damp in the walls.
  • Alterations to supporting walls.
  • Renovations that have occurred without necessary planning permission.
  • Presence of hazardous materials (e.g. asbestos).
  • Evidence of subsidence.
  • Damage to masonry and roof.
  • Damage to timbers.
  • Large trees close to the property.
  • Woodworm, dry rot and other damage to timbers.
  • The condition of existing damp proofing, insulation and advice on non-tested drainage.
  • Information on the materials used to build the property and any relevant technical information.
  • Recommendations for further investigations on the property.

The Report, however, will not go into detail about things like heating or electrical equipment, but often the surveyor will be able to arrange for an expert to assess these areas for you, if requested.

The report will summarise what was found during the survey and make recommendations if further specialist surveys are required.

CONDITION SURVEYS

A Condition Survey provides an assessment of physical property conditions. The survey will identify deficiencies, and maintenance issues including, but not limited to structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, site layout, site utilities, storm water management, soil erosion, decoration, maintenance and life safety systems. To facilitate an informed decision-making process, a Condition Survey should result in a clear understanding of the current condition of operating systems by a Client.

The extent of a Condition Survey can vary depending upon the Client’s need for information. Starting with a visual observation of existing conditions to periodic monitoring and testing of building and site systems, the Condition Survey can be summarised in a one-page letter or prepared in a bound report complete with test results, calculations, detailed narrative and photographs.

A Condition Survey includes:

  • A description and narrative of findings,
  • Clear condition grades of individual premises within the estate,
  • Recommendations for remedial works or replacements,
  • Full costings
  • Identification of associated risks and priorities,
  • Information about other benefits such as energy savings.

ASSET MANAGEMENT PLANS (AMP’S) FOR SCHOOL AND ACADEMIES

An Asset Management Plan is similar to a Condition Survey, with the main difference being that it is costed.

An Asset Management Plan (AMP) will help the Academy to set a maintenance budget in advance, over a given period of time, to ensure all the School’s buildings are kept in a good state of repair.

 

The costed AMP will provide a school or Academy with a priced condition survey to provide the following information:

 

  • Full Condition Survey (20-year projection)
  • Condition Survey for forward urgent works
  • Condition Plan 5-year projection
  • Projected budget costings for the above

 

Once the Asset Management Plan is in place, reference to the document will enable you to allocate funds in advance, to cover potential maintenance expenditure year on year, to ensure you have sufficient funds ‘in the pot’, to meet repair and maintenance costs.

It also provides crucial documentary evidence when prioritising its Schools Condition Allocations (SCA), or for an Academy in support of its applications for a Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) grant.

Our fees are extremely competitive and are calculated using the gross floor area of the school.

Further details are available on request.

The survey will be signed off by a qualified Chartered Surveyor with many years of experience in this field.