This type of survey is in fact not a ‘survey’ at all, but is an appraisal of the value of the property carried out for the benefit of the lender, i.e. Building Society or Bank and is carried out by a Valuation Surveyor.
It is generally a cursory inspection of a property and is not in-depth. It is important to understand that this type of survey is NOT for the benefit of you, as the purchaser, and should not be relied upon when deciding to buy a property or not.
Indeed in some instances, the Valuation Surveyor does not even enter the property and makes a appraisal of the value of the property from the outside.
Structural Building Survey
This is usually what is referred to as a ‘top of the range’ survey. The structural building survey comments upon every element on a residential property (save for gas and electric meters or wiring which are not tested). We should add at this juncture that NO Surveyors or Engineers are qualified nor Insured to test gas or electrical installations.
Each and every item on the property is commented upon, from the chimney stacks, roof, gutters, elevations, window / joinery, boundary walls, fences, pathways, close proximity of trees, the drains are tested (if these can be located), the aspect of the land, the likeliness of flooding, any evidence of subsidence / settlement, comments regarding neighbouring properties and indeed if necessary the neighbours. Internally, ceilings, walls, partitions, chimney breasts, floors, a damp test is carried out, all the kitchen doors are opened, the toilets are flushed, all the taps are operated, the roof is inspected at the visible and accessible areas, a comment is made regarding the insulation & ventilation and suitability of roof coverings both internally and externally.