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Structural Survey vs Building Survey

Most people get confused between what a building survey and structural survey is. A structural survey is a former term used for the building survey but for the clarity purpose, Chartered Building Surveyors only use the term building survey, as ‘structural’ could be way too vague for people to comprehend on precisely what could be included in the survey.

Moreover, building survey is the survey that is carried out by Chartered Surveyors that include detailed inspection of all the accessible parts of the property and provide a comprehensive report on everything in sight (this include roofs, walls, windows, doors, floors) and cover defects, maintenance costs in length. It’s ideal for older buildings or for building that needs major renovation. Apart for valuation, and in-depth analysis of the property’s condition, building survey report provides unbiased advice on the defects, repairs and maintenance options. 

Structural Survey now is defined altogether differently as in this survey; the structural integrity of the property is specifically looked into detail. This survey is carried by Chartered Civil or Structural Engineer.

Homebuyer Report

A Homebuyer report is an economic report that is recommended for the modern property with a traditional construction. It is basically an updated version of previous Home Buyers Survey and Valuation. It was introduced by RIC in 2016 as an attempt to streamline format and make it more consumer friendly.  The homebuyer report helps the customer to make a reasonably informed judgment on whether or not to proceed with the house purchase or not. It helps the potential purchaser to assess whether or not the property is a reasonable purchase at the agreed price.

Building Survey vs Homebuyer Report

Building Survey is comparatively more comprehensive and detailed whereas Homebuyer Report is a standard format report designed specifically for a value for money package. Building survey can be conducted on all sort of properties whereas Homebuyer Survey is intended for only particular types of homes such as houses, flats, and bungalows which are of a conventional or traditional type construction and are still in reasonable condition.

What type of survey should the potential buyer opt for?

As a general rule Homebuyer report is better for properties that are:

  • Properties that are built after 1900
  • Are of conventional design
  • Build from regular common material
  • Are in reasonable condition

A building survey is better for properties that are:

  • Properties that are more than 100 years old
  • Have undergone extensive renovation
  • There are plans to alter or renovate extensively
  • Are of non-traditional construction

Hopefully, the article helped you clarifying any confusion between Structural Survey, Building Survey, and Homebuyer Report and what is the best option for the potential buyer. A surprising huge number of people chose to carry out the survey by themselves; although, it requires a trained eye to catch the architectural glitch that is hard to notice otherwise. Surveys may cost hundreds of pounds but it is an investment worth making because it is always a wise idea to have the right experts evaluate the property before making the major financial decision.

If you have recently had a building survey or homebuyers report and it has specified that you should seek the advice of a structural engineer for a structural survey we can help. We have fully qualified engineers that carry out structural surveys every day, we offer free consultations for any enquiries so feel free to get in contact with us.