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Home Surveys - What Type Do You Need?

Home Surveys - What Type Do You Need?

Published: 31/10/2019

Home surveys are the best way of finding out if the property you want to buy has any problems or issues. It will help you to decide whether to go ahead with a property purchase if any red flags show up. There are various types of property survey you can choose from so which one is best for you? Here is our short guide to each one:

Full Structural Survey


This is the most expense survey and the one that provides the most in-depth study. It is a good idea to get this type of survey if you want a buy an older property, or one that isn’t in good condition. It tells you what defects there are and gives you advice about repairs and maintenance.

The surveyor will look for damp in the walls and woodwork. They will also look at insulation and damp proofing. The report will tell you about the property’s structure and the materials used in the build. Any defects will be explained and include estimates on how much repairs will cost. You’ll probably be looking at around £800 to £1000 depending on the size of the property.

RICS Building Survey


RICS stands for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. They work globally and train and regulate chartered surveyors. This means you should get a high standard of service from a RICS surveyor.

Their report will be as in-depth as a full structural survey report. They use an easy to read 1 to 3 rating system for defects, which helps you to easily spot more serious matters.  As well as the property analysis, they also give advice about repairs. There are guides which help you to deal with common problems. Expect to pay around £600 for this service.

RICS Homebuyer Report


This survey isn’t as in-depth as the others. It will look inside and outside the property, but it won’t look underneath floorboards or inspect behind walls. It will highlight problems such as damp or subsidence. Some surveys also include a property valuation. This can be useful if there are issues that are going to be costly to repair.

RICS Condition Report


This is a simple report which will highlight any defects which need to be dealt with urgently. It won’t give you a property valuation or any advice. It’s a quick and cheap method of flagging up any problems in a home that’s otherwise in good condition. The service costs around £250.00.

Snagging Survey for New Builds

This is an inspection on a new-build property to spot any faults. You can then insist on the repairs being carried out before you move in. It will pick up any structural problems. It will also detail minor issues with doors, windows and kitchen fitments.

You can also have a snagging survey carried out during the first two years after purchase and the developers will still be under obligation to fix the faults.