You will need to provide certain information when providing instructions to us; The price you are paying, the location, the size of the property, the approximate age, the approximate size of the site and whether there are any substantial outbuildings on site. All these factors will need to be known in order for us to provide you with an accurate fee quote.
At Smith and Knight we understand that we are dealing with one of the most important purchases you will ever make. Both financially and emotionally.
We do not allow Chartered surveyors with less than five years post qualification experience to undertake a Building Survey on their own.
Either Nigel Smith or Mark Blooman will undertake your survey. Both surveyors have been qualified for more than 28 years as Chartered Surveyors and have been involved in the property profession for well over 30 years.
The most comprehensive inspection and report of a building that you can have.
A building Survey previously known as a structural survey provides a comprehensive and detailed report on the property you are about to purchase. Full details of what Smith and Knight provide as a service is set out below under What does a Smith and Knight Building Survey provide.
The surveyor undertaking this report should have many years of experience and should employ his or her own abilities properly in order to ensure that they do not walk away from that property, without knowing without doubt, that they have understood and fully comprehended the building both in respect of the construction and condition.
Whether it is a house or a flat you will need to know that it is constructed to a proper standard. Further, you will need to know whether there are extensive repairs required and also if the maintenance costs are going to be high. Please be aware that even with a flat you may well be responsible for the shared costs of repairing and redecorating the whole building.
This is the order in which we undertake our inspection when we arrive on site:
We look and feel every part of the property both externally and internally that is accessible and provide a detailed report. Even though this is a visual inspection an experienced surveyor will knock walls and ceilings to identify the type of construction. For example a solid masonary wall compared to a lathe and plaster or stud frame wall will sound differently when knocked. This is very important for example when a client requires you to advise as to whether a wall can be taken down to create further open plan space.
We tend to walk around the property first for about 15 to 30 minutes to get a feel for the building and any grounds making any initial relevant site notes. Once we feel that we have a good understanding of the property we start our detailed inspection.
We describe the building, its age and the accommodation it provides to include garages and substantial out buildings.
Provide a brief description of the weather conditions
Comment on the reasons for the report which is usually for a proposed purchase.
We then start on the outside of the building.
Beginning at the top of the property, we report on the construction and condition of the following:
Chimney stacks, roof coverings, parapet walls, valleys and gullies , water goods- gutters, down pipes and hopper heads to include the maintenance of the same. External walls- to include any signs of cracking or structural movement whether historic or recent, damp proof courses. We then enter the roof void, if accessible and comment on roof structure, condition, loft insulation, and if requested, if the roof void can be converted. We then look at external joinery this will include soffits, facias, windows and doors.
We then look at and report on the site. We give a general overview on gardens, patios, boundary fences etc.. Any substantial outbuildings will be reported on. However, not to the same extent as the main house. Temporary structures are usually outside the remit of our report but we tend to make a general comment on the same.
We then go inside the property and report on the construction and condition of the following:
Ceilings and walls, floors, joinery, fire places (if present), decoration. We then test for damp using a protometer and look for any visual signs of timber infestation or rot.
Our last part of the inspection involves the Services. We are not experts in this area and make it clear that we will test electricity, gas, plumbing and drainage. You will find that our comments are more general but will identify any specific areas of concern. If we are concerned we will recommend further reports from qualified and experienced service engineers.
The last part of our report brings all our findings together into a conclusion. We, by this stage, are as fully aware as we can be about the construction and condition of the property you are about to buy.
If you have any questions please give the surveyor a call. We have no problem with discussing our findings.
We continue to take photographs during our survey, we provide all these photographs taken on site together with a simple house diagram and a bibliographical explanation to you in our posted report.