Tony Lewis FRICS – Chartered Surveyor

Building Surveys

Building Surveys (Level 3)

A Building Survey is a bespoke survey product designed around the client’s particular needs and is carefully matched to the requirements of the subject building. It is suited to larger, more complex, older, perhaps listed buildings, or those in particular disrepair or having some peculiarity in their constructional type.

I will agree with the client the extent of access (for example, to high roofs) and what additional investigations are required (for example, energy, asbestos, electrical, heating, core samples, wall ties etc.) The report is highly detailed and sets out all necessary repairs in priority order. It discusses future maintenance wants and risks and it forms a useful framework for the future planned maintenance or refurbishment of the subject property.

RICS publish a Guidance Note – currently (but soon to be replaced) entitled – “Surveys of Residential Property, 3rd edition, May 2016 (reissue)” The Guidance Note sets out the hierarchy of survey types and their respective scope at Level 1, Level 2 & Level 3.

Surveyors can offer their own survey product but it must be ‘mapped’ against and meet the standard set down for Level 3 if it is to be entitled a Building Survey.

The L3 Building Survey meets these standards.

This level of service consists of a detailed visual inspection of the building, its services and the grounds that is more extensive than survey level two. Concealed areas normally opened or used by the occupiers are inspected if it is safe to do so (typical examples include roof spaces and underfloor areas). Although the services are not tested, they are observed in normal operation – in other words, they are switched on and/or operated where appropriate.

The report objectively describes the form of construction and materials used for different parts of the property. It describes the condition and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems. Additionally, it will:

• describe the identifiable risk of potential or hidden defects in areas not inspected
• propose the most probable cause(s) of the defects based on the inspection
• outline the likely scope of any appropriate remedial work and explain the likely consequences of non-repair
• make general recommendations in respect of the priority and likely timescale for necessary work
• identify and describe the legal implications of ownership in detail; and
• give an indication of likely costs.

A survey level three report should aim to provide the client with all the information they need to make a purchase decision.

This level of service will suit any domestic residential property in any condition.

Tony Lewis’s Level 3 Building Survey includes as standard:

• A reinstatement cost valuation for insurance purposes (please see additional page on Insurance Valuation that describes how these are calculated)
• A full suite, typically around 50, high resolution colour images of the property and the particular features or defects referenced in the repot.

As an extra cost option:

• A Market Valuation Appendix can be added to the Building Survey. Please see additional pages on Valuation to RICS Valuation – Global Standards (The Red Book).

The Terms of Engagement for each Building Survey vary with the particular circumstances but a copy of standard Terms of Engagement are available upon request.

Cost is very dependent upon size and complexity. L3 BS prices start at around £500 plus VAT. Please speak to the office to discuss the particular property you have in mind and to obtain a precise fee quotation.

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