building valuations


How long does it take

to do a good

Building Survey?



Independent Surveyors

We are independent surveyors, which means we are not linked to or owned by an estate agent or lending institute, and as a result we are only working with your best interests in mind.  Since we are solely surveyors, we can keep our overheads down and ultimately our prices as well.

We offer quotes on the surveys and we can usually save you money on the cost of the survey.  We do them quickly and we feel the quality of our surveys are one of the best on the market.  We offer a reasoned view, based upon our knowledge and experience, we don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.  Equally if we think the property has problems we say so in a clear, jargon-free manner.  We also use sketches, photographs and digital images to clarify what we are saying.

Having a survey carried out on the property that you intend to buy will give you the extra peace of mind that you are buying the right one.

Please call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 to book a survey for advice.


How long does it take to do a good Building Survey?

We would expect Surveyors to take as long as necessary.  From our personal experience as Chartered Surveyors, Surveys are taking everything from a few hours to all day and we have even returned back to survey, where we are not a 100% happy.


Should I be concerned if the Surveyor seems to carry out the work very quickly?

Unfortunately there isn’t a straightforward answer to this as it depends upon the knowledge and experience of the surveyor who could be very experienced in that type of building and could have carried out surveys in the area before, which ironically can lead to over confidence on the Surveyor’s part.  One thing you can look out for is that there are different grades of Surveyors which is the membership grade, which is the basic grade of Surveyors.  However, experienced Surveyors will normally be Fellows of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which means that they have good levels of experience.


What’s the best way to find out if the Surveyor has the right qualification and experience?

A very good way, is to ask for an example survey that the Surveyor has prepared on the type of property that you wish them to survey.  A Surveyor with experience and knowledge of your type of property (or one who says they have) will be able to give an example survey, if not several example surveys.


How should I compare Building Surveys?

We would suggest that you have a general look through the report; a well presented report tends to be a well prepared report and a well thought through report.  You need to choose a section of the report, for example – roofs – and just see how readable the section is. Are there photos and sketches explaining the problem?


Sketch of pitched cut roof construction

Just as importantly, are there are also solutions offered and an indication of cost. Pick a page at random, perhaps page 60 and compare those pages on each example survey that you have got.  Page 60 is a good page, as often Surveyors will have flipped into Surveyors speak by this time in the report.  So just ensure that the report is just as readable part the way through as it is on the first page.  We particularly like where definitions are added into reports, as sometimes the technical description is the best way to describe an issue.
Sketch of a Kingpost roof

Free phone 0800 298 5424


Look at the Executive Summary


1. First of all, has the report got an Executive Summary?

2. Has the Executive Report got substance?

3. Does it give you points to identify and actions required to make you think about your proposed purchase and does it indicate the sort of costs that are liable to come about to resolve the problem?


Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!

1. We always say that when you make an offer of the property, whether you offer the asking price or a reduction in it, you are offering on a property in average condition for its age, type and style.  Once you have received the report, you can then make an offer on the property based upon its actual condition.  We would generally suggest, ignore the Estate Agent’s price and make sure the price the property is selling for is what comparable properties sell for (known as comps in the surveying world).

2. Properties are very individual things and you need to be negotiating specifically on the items that have been highlighted in your survey.  Don’t get put off track by the Estate Agents saying these problems are always in this type of your property, it is your particular property that you are concerned about.

3. Take into account that the Estate Agent may be a nice person but they do need to sell the property to make their living.  Take into account that the vendor/seller may be a nice person, but they do need to sell the property to move on.


The best Building Surveyor is also someone that doesn’t just talk about it, but also has done it

Experience can speak volumes and if you can establish the Surveyor has had experience at not only surveying that type of property, but also has owned one themselves or worked up on it, then you have the ideal scenario.


Our unique sketches help you understand the survey

If the report, along with our photos, does not explain the problem or characteristics of a property enough then we also have a vast range of sketches, as per the example above, that we have had commissioned exclusively for us that we can use in our reports.


What do the ovals or circles in our building surveys mean?

Within our reports, we utilise a system of ovals and circles to highlight problem areas or characteristics within a property to better explain the issues.  If this does not explain the issue completely then we can also use one of our sketches that have been commissioned exclusively for us for use in the reports.

Crack in brick wall

Cracks in brickwork

We can email you examples of our building surveysd

We are more than happy to email you several examples of our tailor made reports that we have carried out on similar properties, although we do appreciate that all properties are unique.

We really believe that you should see what you are getting in the form of an example Survey.  What is more is that we are so confident with our higher than average standards that we believe that there is no other comparable survey available in the UK property and surveying market.


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House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax



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