Building Surveyors Surrey: 01932 864375

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House Survey Checklist

What does a surveyor check?

When acquiring a Building Survey for your property or a home you intend to buy, it’s important to understand what to expect and what they’ll point out and cover.

A building survey is a comprehensive report outlining any defects or problems with the property, which will safeguard your investment if issues arise. The report aims to comment on the property’s condition, structure, safety, value and construction so owners and buyers can make informed financial decisions.

Building Survey Common Defects - What The Survey Covers

What Is & Isn’t Observed

Building surveys will identify and look for issues with the property’s foundation, beams, columns, roof structure and load-bearing walls.

Common structural defects include subsidence, cracking, settlements, bowing walls and inadequate support. 

However, please note that surveys may not assess the condition of underground utilities like sewage lines, water pipes or electrical cables.

Any issues with these services will only become apparent through specialist inspections or as and when problems arise.

The building survey assesses signs of dampness, water damage and moisture ingress, including rising dampness from the ground, condensation, mould growth and penetrating dampness from leaks or faulty guttering. 

It will not include assessments for environmental contamination like soil contamination, asbestos presence or radon gas levels. Specific environmental surveys will be necessary to evaluate these risks.

Using drones, our surveyors will examine the condition of the roofer covering and materials (tiles, slates or membrane) and the flashing, chimneys and gutters.

Common defects identified are often missing or damaged tiles, leaks, inadequate drainage and deteriorating flashing.

While surveys highlight existing defects and maintenance problems, they might not predict or identify potential future problems that might arise over time due to wear and tear, weathering or ageing of materials.

Including problems with doors, windows, frames and fittings, and defects that might include rot, decay, poor installation, broken seals and drafts.

Surveys may not comprehensively assess specialised systems or equipment in the property like heating, ventilation, air conditioning, security systems or fire suppression systems. Specialist inspections might be required for these components.

A building survey will assess the condition and safety of electrical wiring, sockets, switches, pipes, plumbing fixtures and drainage systems. Commonly identified issues include outdated wiring, faulty plumbing, leaks, connections and inadequate drainage.


The survey assesses the condition and safety of electrical wiring, sockets, switches, plumbing fixtures, pipes, and drainage systems. Common issues include outdated wiring, faulty plumbing connections, leaks, and inadequate drainage.

Our surveyors will check for the presence and adequacy of insulation in walls, roofs, and floors, which might also include an assessment of the energy efficiency of doors, windows, and heating systems to identify and point out areas for improvement. 

The survey examines fire safety features such as fire doors, smoke detectors, escape routines and the condition of fire-resistant materials present, as deficiencies in these areas pose significant risks to the occupants’ safety. 

The surveyor will also look for signs of pest infestation, like rodents, insects, termites and wood-boring pests, as damage caused by these pests can compromise the property’s structural integrity.

The survey assesses the risk of subsidence, heave, or landslip, which can result from soil movement or unstable ground conditions. Signs of subsidence include cracks in walls, uneven floors, and doors or windows sticking.

The surveyor will identify general maintenance issues such as deteriorating paintwork, damaged brickwork or rendering, loose or missing roof tiles, and poor external drainage.

By identifying these defects and problems, a building survey helps property owners, buyers, and sellers make informed decisions regarding repairs, maintenance, or negotiations. It also provides a basis for prioritising repairs and budgeting for future maintenance costs.

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