Cheap Building Surveys,

or being wrongly advised by your Surveyor

Independent Surveyors

Our highly qualified independent surveyors will offer you advice on your property problems and can carry out a building survey on your prospective purchase; whether it is residential or for business.  We can prepare a schedule of condition and property report in relation to your lease.  We carry out dilaps reports for landlords or tenants.

We recommend you look are our sample surveys Example Building Surveys to see examples of our surveys.

Please free phone us on 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.


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Why we always recommend having an independent building survey?

Always have an independent building survey as this will pinpoint any property problems.  Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a building survey to find out if there are any problems within the property; the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any.

Remember the independent building Surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart.

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Cracking in an internal wall
below window

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

In our building surveys and structural surveys the circles and ovals are a method that we used to highlight property problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the property problem is. In addition to this if the survey photographs do not, we believe, explain the property problem enough together with our survey report we also add in one of our own survey sketches.

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Suspended timber floor sketch showing air flow racking in an internal wall

Our Survey Executive Summaries make things simple and easy to understand

Our Good, Bad & Ugly Surveys!

Furthermore, we would also like to introduce to you what we call our Good, Bad and Ugly survey, which is a building survey, sometimes known as a structural survey, and is something that we have developed over many years, in fact several decades.  We have listened to feedback from our clients and amended and altered our building surveys to make them easy to read and describe property issues clearly.  The key factor, we believe, is that our surveys are easy to understand in plain English.


Cheap building surveys

There are many companies out there carrying out cheap building surveys.  The problem is that if they carry out a cheap building survey they have to be quick at carrying out surveys, as the surveyors need to make a living.  There is no magic formula to surveying, it is literally the amount of time spent at the property and preparing the report relates to the cost.  Equally, there is no magic formula in that a survey generally costs you a small percentage of your overall house value, yet in nearly 90% of cases it saves you that money in negotiating the price, particularly in a normal market or a downwards market.  In an upward market sometimes, no matter how much information you have on problems with a property, the owners won't negotiate down, in which case it is best to walk away.


Cheap and cheerful building surveys

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We have heard people say that all building surveys are the same. We would argue that all the cars are the same, as they get you from A to B, but there is a great deal of difference between a budget end car and a luxury end car.  Our aim is to give you a good quality car, or should we say survey, by the use of technology, which allows us to survey the properties for longer and produce a better report.

Cheap and cheerful building surveys

In a competitive market surveyors are vying for work, just like everyone else.  Many, although they are in theory selling all three types of survey, which are:-

  1. a valuation – not really a survey at all, but many people call it that, particularly estate agents,
  2. a home buyer's report, which was designed as a budget survey for a standard house construction, not more than 75 years old and certainly not to be used on houses prior to the war years, have been abused, we would say, by larger surveying practices and is used as a standard survey for them, or
  3. a middle survey, which it certainly isn't in terms of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) uses a budget survey.  The reason it is being used is that the surveyors that carry them out don't have to be as qualified as those that carry out building surveys.

So, many companies are full of valuation surveyors who can carry out valuations and home buyers reports, but have very few building surveyors.  For example, there are approximately 100,000 surveyors, with 20,000 building surveyors, of which some of them specialise in project management and dilapidations and party walls and various other areas, so we would guesstimate that that leaves approximately 5,000 to 10,000 surveyors, so it is 1:20 surveyors that are qualified to carry out building surveys.

The rare building surveyor

There are some very big companies with large numbers of surveyors and have a few building surveyors, but normally have surveyors who, despite having no training, feel that they have a good enough knowledge of buildings to carry out building surveys.  To give you an example; we worked for the largest surveyors in the country, with literally hundreds of surveyors and they only had half a dozen building surveyors that were prepared to carry out building surveys.  On a regular basis they only had three or four of these.  The reason being that the risk for the surveyor is vast if they make errors, as these are an all encompassing tailor made survey, which gives the client complete piece of mind, but from a business point of view it is high risk for the surveyors carrying them out.  This is why you are often talked into, or advised, that a home buyers report will do.

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Crack repaired not taking care to match mix and quality of mortar


Questions to ask the surveyor that you pick

1.  Are they a qualified building surveyor?

2.  Do they have experience with the type of property you want to have surveyed?

3.  Have they had recent experience, as many building surveyors will be carrying out other types of work, such as project management, design, dilapidations work, etc.

4.  Can I see an example of your survey on your website?  You can see examples of ours the Compare Reports section of the website Example Building Surveys

We would also just comment that many surveyors are linked to estate agents and mortgage companies.  We would advise that we are independent surveyors and part of the Independent Surveyors and Vaulers Association (ISVA).

If your surveyor is not part of the Independent Surveyors and Vaulers Association (ISVA) then it is likely that they are not truly independent.  Do not be misled by them advising that they are, as many have links to estate agents and financial companies and you certainly don't want the surveyors to be acting for you and also the “opposition”.

See our surveying article:

The unhealthy alliance between local surveyors and estate agents

Compare our Building Surveys but don't compare Apples with Thursdays

If you are interested in having a Building Survey or a Structural Survey on a home, house or commercial property we believe as Building Surveyors we have a wealth of experience and expertise that we can utilise to help you.

We are more than happy to send you examples of our Surveys that we have carried out on similar properties to yours and pretty much have always carried out a survey on similar property to the one that you are looking at 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 before you purchase a property.  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.

Independent Surveyor's Advice

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to structural surveys, building surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, defects report, including things such as cracks, dampness, condensation, foundation problems, etc, dilapidations, homebuyers reports or any other property matters please free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat regarding property matters.

Independent Commercial Surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

Articles regarding property matters

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the website are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions.  Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.

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