Testimonials and quotes about previous building surveys
The company I used to carry out the building survey was Gem Associates Ltd, which is marketed by 1st Associated. I found their website particularly useful in helping me to identify the type of survey I required, a rough guide to the cost, the benefits of having a survey done and amongst other good information, an example of a surveyor’s report:
The full article:
The company I used to carry out the building survey was Gem Associates Ltd, which is marketed by 1st Associated.
I found their website particularly useful in helping me to identify the type of survey I required, a rough guide to the cost, the benefits of having a survey done and amongst other good information, an example of a surveyor’s report: http://www.1stassociated.co.uk/default.asp.
My initial contact with the company found the service to be efficient and friendly. On the day of the survey, about an hour before the surveyor was due to arrive, he called to say he was running a little late. I actually appreciated being kept informed because in the past I have had to contact organisations to try and find out why people haven’t turned up!
For me, going through this process was quite scary... it’s the fear of the outcome! By nature, I’m quite proactive and would rather anticipate problems and minimise the risks of problems occurring in the future, but this survey thing took some guts!!!
Anyway, on a previous post titled; Hmmm... will the house fall down?, I have provided a brief overview of the surveyor’s visit. Now I am just going to comment on the report (I received an electronic copy this morning and a hard copy along with a disc of photos, is in the post).
I did mention to the surveyor that I found it a little confusing when doing some initial online research on the company that 2 names were involved (Gem Associates and 1st Associated). Anyway, there appeared to be a logical reason for this.
Back to the report... if it hadn’t been about my house, I would have enjoyed reading it! Seeing the problems recorded in black and white is far more daunting than discussing them face to face with the surveyor on the day! The report included a sort of idiots’ guide to the technical terms used, which was really appreciated. In fact, the entire report was pitched at the right level (I hate it when professionals attempt to blind Joe Bloggs with terminology... I think it demonstrates the poor communication skills of the professional).
Whilst it isn’t great to get a list advising of the maintenance / repair jobs needing to be done, the whole point of the survey was to obtain this constructive advice! I liked the way that each ‘job’ was titled and supported by a photo of the problem area. This was followed by an explanation of the specific action required and estimated cost... both will be invaluable when getting quotes. For example, there is a part of my roof which needs some attention next summer... the area is approximately 3’ square. Without the report, a roofer may have been able to persuade me that a much larger repair job is required. Then of course I have to consider what future problems may have occurred had the surveyor not brought the matter to my attention. This is an example of where I feel the survey provides excellent value for money.
During the surveyor’s visit he gave me a checklist to complete. In fact, when you have someone like myself, who has quite a poor knowledge and understanding of most things pertinent to the survey, it probably would have been advantageous to have been issued with a checklist prior to the visit, steering me from room to room.
There was something additional that I would have liked to have discussed with him, but had completely forgotten about it on the day... this is where an earlier receipt of a checklist might have helped. Saying this, you get a great sense of the ‘after care’ available from the company. For example, the email received from them today invited me to contact them if I need any clarification or assistance to understand any part of the report. They also provide support, if requested, when dealing with the actions required (but I don’t know the additional costs). Most importantly, I don’t feel as though I have been left high and dry!
It was very fortunate for me that the surveyor has a specialised knowledge and interest in period properties. To be honest, he helped me to be less fearful of my house and by the time he left, I actually liked my home again (I think I was unnecessarily stressed by fear of the unknown). He was also able to recommend organisations / websites which could provide useful information regarding older properties / listed buildings.
The report wasn’t just about matters that required attention, it also provided information about the general structure of the property. The surveyor hadincluded diagrams to aid my understanding... so this whole event has been quite an education! Just a handful of positive comments had been recorded (probably to prevent me from packing my bags and selling up),along with some snippets of what was going on in England at the time the property was built.
I had a full building survey done when I first purchased this property 8 years ago. The detail provided in that survey report was full of jargon and contained only about 20% of what I received this time round.
So... I would say that my experience of this company was a positive one!