Do I Need a Building Report When Buying a House?

When you’re buying a house in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you don’t have to arrange for a survey, but it is highly..

When you’re buying a house in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you don’t have to arrange for a survey, but it is highly advisable, especially if the property is of an older type, unique or is poorly maintained. In Scotland though, the procedure is different. The seller has a legal duty to provide any potential buyer with a Home Report which includes a survey.

A property survey refers to an assessment of a home done by a qualified surveyor. It gives buyers useful information on defects, repairs required and details about construction. This article discusses why having a building report when purchasing a house is helpful.

What is a Building Report?

A building report involves a comprehensive assessment of property condition by a qualified professional known as either a surveyor or building inspector whose purpose is to provide detailed information on the structural integrity and the overall state of the premises, hence helping the interested parties make informed choices about them. Building reports involve an extensive examination of the structural framework, both inside and outside, aimed at reducing risks to purchasers.

Why Building Reports Are Important When Buying a House

There are several reasons why having a building report during the property buying process is very important.

Firstly, these reports provide vital insight into the structural integrity and condition of the building. 

Local building authorities may be in possession of (planning or building regulation) documentation relating to the state of the property in question and these documents help facilitate decision-making among prospective purchasers. This information empowers buyers in negotiating better terms with sellers.

In general, building reports provide peace of mind to purchasers because of transparency and clarity throughout the acquisition process. As a result, they are essential in avoiding unforeseen costs while deciding on the whether a property is worth investing in.

What Does a Building Report Cover?

To make an overall assessment of the property’s state, a building report looks at various key areas such as:

  • Structural Integrity: this means that the report analyses aspects like roofing, walls, and foundation to ascertain stability and soundness of these structures.
  • Defects: such visible faults include among others cracks in walls or damp.
  • Maintenance Issues: commentary is made on what can be repaired instead of replaced in order to save on costs.

Who Needs a Building Survey Report?

Building survey reports can be useful for different people involved in the home buying process like:

  • Buyers: you get to know about any problems early enough before deciding whether you want to go ahead with purchasing the property.
  • Sellers: if you take the initiative of providing the building survey report to the buyer, this can promote trust and speed up the buying process.
  • Lenders: lenders may require a building survey report as part of the mortgage application process to evaluate whether or not it is possible to use the property as security for the loan.

When Should You Get a Survey Report?

The best time to organise a home inspection during the real estate transaction process is when you make an offer that is accepted. A house surveying report carried out early in the buying process helps prospective purchasers gain insight into the state of the property and identify any flaws or defects that may exist. By having a building report done as soon as you make an acceptable offer, buyers can know what they are getting into and negotiate with confidence.

Cost of Building Reports

The price range associated with building reports varies depending on factors like the size of the property, location and extent of investigation required. In general, expect building reports to cost between £500 and £1,000 each. Factors affecting prices are:

  • Property Size: more extensive inspections often necessitate more time-consuming work which results in higher fees for carrying out such a service.
  • Location: location affects how much it would cost to commission a survey. Building reports prepared for urban areas will be more expensive than those prepared in rural zones where it might be cheaper living-wise.
  • Extent of Inspection: the nature of the inspection has an impact on pricing in that more in-depth assessments may attract additional fees.


Obtaining building reports when purchasing properties is key towards peace of mind and assurance in your investment decision. A building report enables you to have an understanding of the property condition and avoid bad investments. With Survey Merchant's trusted services, you can proceed with confidence, knowing that you have received a thorough and reliable assessment of the property's condition. Contant Survey Merchant for professional building reports services.