Building Surveying
Apr 30, 2024

Building Survey Report Examples: A Comprehensive Guide

Building surveys are very important in the process of purchasing property since it helps you to know about any defects and..

Building surveys are very important in the process of purchasing property since it helps you to know about any defects and possible financial consequences for the property that you want to buy. The full building survey report is a professional inspection of a building’s condition which reveals to the buyer any problems with the structure.

An investigation showed that 87% of UK homebuyers who were surveyed regarded such reports as important in their buying process. Types of building surveys include Condition Reports, HomeBuyer Reports or Home Condition Surveys, and Full Building Surveys. The cost of getting a building survey done can vary between £500 to £1,000 for standard properties and will take at least a few hours.

Building Survey Report

A building survey report summarises the general state of repair or disrepair of buildings so as to assist buyers in making informed decisions about whether they should invest in them or not. It covers internal layouts, including structural components like floors, walls, roofs, etc.

Additionally, the document also focuses on various problems that can be present including dampness, movement in supporting walls; existence of dangerous materials; depressions at ground level, etc. An executive summary is usually included in addition to a breakdown containing all findings.

Building Survey Report Example

Here are a few examples of building survey reports:

Bespoke Report

Customised reports do not (only) contain the set format prescribed by RICS but may have more sections filled than usual in a surveyor’s own Full Building Survey template. Usually, this starts with opening comments regarding address and client information. The analysis considers specific areas in addition to assessing construction details both inside and outside. Furthermore, there is usually some commentary included on facilities such as plumbing and other fittings. Environmental issues, outbuildings, grounds, and boundaries are also described in addition to some legal points for your solicitor. 

RICS Surveys: Example Reports

These use the RICS template (e.g. HomeBuyer Report). As with bespoke full building surveys, these reports cover a wide range of elements to be examined on the property. As with many bespoke reports, RICS templates are particularly easy to read because they are written in Plain English with photographs displaying any defects that were discovered. The advantage of using industry-standard templates is that it puts pressure on a surveyor to stick to a fixed format without leaving behind anything, but there may be aspects to the property which some surveyors would prefer to elaborate on in detail with a bespoke format.

Building Survey Report Conclusion

For building inspection reports commissioned in respect of purchasing properties, these will all assess the property condition and guide buyers accordingly in their decision-making process. The choice boils down to personal preference, but we believe bespoke reporting enables each surveyor to develop their own workflow in how they inspect a property, whereas an industry standard template forces the surveyor to cover the fundamentals, even though they should already be doing this with their own style of reporting.