Large buildings can mean large problems

surveying warehouses

Independent Building Surveyors

We can provide independent help and advice on both commercial and residential properties. We carry out Schedule of Conditions, building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, independent valuations, property surveys, engineers reports, specific defects report, home buyers reports or any other property matters.

If you are in the process of either purchasing or leasing a commercial or residential property please Free Phone on 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat with one of our surveyors.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Client brief

We have been asked to survey a large 1960's warehouse unit with offices where our client was in the process of taking an FRI lease.

General condition not to FRI Lease standard

A Full Repairing and Insuring lease requires full repair and redecoration when the lease comes to an end typically a few months before which is known as yielding up or giving the property back.

Generally we find that many commercial properties we survey are not to typical Full Repairing and Insuring lease standards and that the previous tenants have not carried out normal repairs and redecoration and reinstatement and statutory regulations. In this particular case there were ongoing problems with the roof.

Roof problems

In particular we have found on warehouses that there can be problems with the roof which can be costly to repair due to the height of the property in terms of access (i.e. scaffolding or a cherry picker will be required) as well as the sheer size of the roof with regards to either repair or replacement.

Accessed via cherry picker

Cherry picker

In our experience of carrying out structural surveys over the years, the areas that are difficult to get to or the areas that simply cannot be viewed from the ground are often the most problematic areas. Whilst a good surveyor can make an assessment of what the condition of the roof is like, for example from the interior of the property and understanding the age, type and style of the property it is never as good as physically seeing the roof and associated elements.

In this case we viewed the roof from a cherry picker so that we could have a thorough inspection of the roof.

Asbestos roof

In this particular case the warehouse had an asbestos panel roof which was in poor condition with breakages and cracks to some of the panels.

Asbestos roof

Breakage to asbestos panels not replaced, sealant used will leak

Anchor bolts

There were also problems with the anchor bolts on the roof where some were rusting and some were broken.

Anchor bolts defined

These are the bolts that hold the roof sheets on.

Anchor bolts

Rusting parapet anchor bolts

Broken bolts

Poor repairs to roof

Where the profile doesn't meet gaps are left

Repairs had been carried out previously to the roof in the form of replacing some of the defective asbestos panels with profile metal sheets however there were gaps which resulted in leaks in the roof.

Quality of repairs

In Dilapidations we often talk about Rolls Royce jobs and Reliant Robin jobs referring to the makes of cars of Rolls Royce and Reliant Robins. The reason we use these terms with dilapidations is because often we find that landlords are discussing the cost of repairs at the Rolls Royce end of the market whilst tenants are discussing them at the Reliant Robin end of the market. The work really required is somewhere in between.

Dilapidations defined

A list of work given at the end of a lease of things that are not to the standard set out within the lease. This often comes as a shock for tenants who think that they only have to give the property back as stated within the lease.

Exclude the roof from the lease

In this case, we recommended that due to the poor condition of the roof our client should not accept liability for it and that they should negotiate with the landlord to exclude the roof from the lease.

Other articles that may be of interest

We have written many surveying articles which may be of interest to you:

Asbestos retail

Surveying from cherry pickers

Compare Commercial surveys

Asbestos and industrial units

Dilaps and the important of a Schedule of Condition


Don't regret that you didn't have a survey

One of the main things that we hear from our clients is that they wish they had had a survey when they took on the lease of a property or decided to buy a property. Particular problems can be caused where a lease is taken on without a schedule of condition and survey as you are then legally liable to repair the building to the standards set out within the lease which can cause all sorts of problems. You are legally liable to do the repairs whilst you occupy the building however should the lease end and you still have outstanding repairs you are then in a position where a monetary settlement (money only settlement) is the only option.

Landlords perspective

We would add that from a landlords point of view they expect to get a building back in a rentable condition as the renting of the building is how they make their money and a Dilapidations is one of the ways they get their building back in the condition they want it.

The plus points, medium priority and high priority survey

We would like to introduce to you what we call our plus points, medium priority and high priority survey which is a commercial building survey which is sometimes known as a structural survey which we have developed over many years, in fact several decades. We have listened to feedback from our clients and amended and altered our commercial surveys to make them easy to read and describe issues clearly. The key factor we believe is our surveys are easy to understand in plain English but do not take our word for it call us on Free phone 0800 298 5424.

We have normally carried out a commercial building survey similar to the property you are considering buying/leasing and therefore we can show you an example of the type of structural survey you will be receiving.


Our unique sketches help you understand the survey

Purlins on portal frame

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 that we have had commissioned exclusively for us that we can use in our reports.

The sketch of a portal frame is an example of one of the hundreds of unique sketches we have to help our clients understand their survey fully.

What do the circles and ovals mean in our reports?

The red circles are a system that we use within our structural surveys, building surveys and schedules of condition to highlight problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the problem is.


Why have an independent building survey?

Always have an independent building survey as this will highlight 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 building Surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart.

We would highly recommend you always make sure when you have a survey you meet your Surveyor at the property.


Compare our website and compare our surveys

Please feel free to have a look at our website to see for yourself the quality of our website, articles and our Building Survey reports. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports which we have been carrying out for many years on every age, type and style of residential and commercial property across the UK.

We can email you examples of our building surveys

We have normally carried out a commercial building survey similar to the property you are considering buying/leasing and therefore we can show you an example of the type of survey you will be receiving.

Commercial Property

If you are looking for commercial property, whether it is freehold or leasehold, we would recommend a survey as this will prevent dilapidations claims in the long run. You may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site , both of which we have been advised are very helpful!


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