As Independent Surveyors we believe that

Good Design really can Save you Money

building designWe are experienced independent building Surveyors who are knowledgeable in carrying out structural surveys on all types, styles and eras of buildings. Please call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat on property issues.

Compare our website and compare our surveys

Take a look around our website to check out the quality of our website and Structural Building Surveys, Specific Defect Reports, Commercial Building Surveys etc. 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 property across the UK.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

In our structural building surveys what do the circles and ovals mean?

building design
House with extensions

In our building surveys and structural surveys the circles and ovals are a system that we used to highlight property problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the property issue 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 include one of our own survey hand drawn sketches.

Good Building Design

We have heard it said that good design cannot be seen and bad design can be felt.  This comment was made after we looked at a range of different pub designs and interiors, some of which have been carried out to a professional standard, others of which were nothing more than the location of where the landlord had been on holiday last year!  We would also add that good design can make you money and save you money, be it for a commercial venture or an extension on your house.

Ask an independent Surveyor for advice on your extension or building alteration plans

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Rear view – circle indicates rear extension

If you would like us to consider an alteration or extension that you are proposing on a house or property you are buying, we are happy to do this when we carry out the structural building survey.  Equally, the existing owners have some building plans that are either out of date or have been prepared for something that they wished to do but never got round to, we are happy as independent Surveyors to comment on these.  We can advise you whether planning permission will need to be re-applied for, or building regulations, or party wall awards.

For a friendly chat free phone 0800 298 5424.

Commercial properties

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Shop locations

We can give you some brief examples of property problems that we have come across in commercial properties; everything from the small and irritating, but costly to replace, such as the inset floor power points, often used in offices that are set in the floor (a raised floor).  These seem to jam very quickly and end up either getting stuck or left open.  Interestingly enough, we recently came across some that had put into a brand new university building, exactly like the ones we took out of a property more than ten years before.  The owners, a corporate banking company, had put up with them for about a month and asked for them to be taken out over the Christmas period.  This resulted in us putting cabling and trunking around the perimeter of the roof and across the ceilings, which wasn't pleasant to look at but at least it worked.

A recent example we came across, in our role as independent Surveyors, was of designers designing without thought for future property maintenance was in a new shopping centre that had large glass panel shop fronts and was not of a standard property size.  Unfortunately, the only way to get them into the property was literally to take the end of the building off, which was no problem whilst it was being built, but a bit more difficult once it had been finished.  We are talking about a property problem that only took a few months to raise its head before the first shop front had to be replaced.

Here is an example of how good design can save money

As independent Surveyors we were recently talking to an architect who had been brought in to look at the re-designing of store and his brief was not to cost them any money but to make them money.  This is an interesting and hard brief for most architects, as, in our experience as independent Surveyors, they do like to stamp their mark, which will normally be costly as they don't have a good perception of the costs of what they are specifying or indeed the difficulty of carrying out some of the building work.

Independent Surveyors can give help and practical advice

building designWe were brought in to help and add a more practical angle to it as independent Surveyors.  The company in question, in theory, sold sports equipment, although in practice profits were generated on the attire that goes with the sports equipment, i.e. the clothing.

Therefore, the building surveyor identified:-

1.  that they needed to increase the display area of the sports equipment, and this is where the profit came from; and

2.  they needed to help the customer to buy the product by putting mirrors up, as most customers wanted to see how they looked in whatever they were buying.

Whilst you can't try everything on sports equipment wise you can try on, or even hold up against you, some of the items.  Training shoes issues in particular were identified as likely to be bought as a fashion accessory and therefore it was very important to see what they looked like.  Therefore, mirrors were added to the end of aisles, the sides and backs of which were used to display further merchandise and also benches were added to incorporate merchandising shelves so that customers could self-select from plus increase the accessory sales.

Interestingly enough, we have heard it argued that mirrors should be included in a shop so that people can see what they are wearing to compare within their mind that against the products available in the shop and decide that perhaps they would look smarter, neater, more stylish, etc, with the clothes from the shop.

building designWhat type of lighting and which lighting position is best?

Also, we looked at where the lighting was positioned to ensure it showed the goods off in the best light, which it didn't.  If you are going to have lights (and pay the bills for them) they may as well be in the right place, as they are going to cost the same whether they are in the right place or not.

Your new home and how independent Surveyors can help

building designAs experienced independent Surveyors we have been involved in many properties where extensions or alterations have been proposed on the property and, indeed, it is one of the reasons why they are being purchased, as the new purchaser has seen the potential to extend, alter, or, in one case, demolish completely (it was a bungalow and they were going to build a house instead).  We are more than happy to talk through your ideas by meeting you at the property and looking at any building plans or property sketches that you have and indeed we, will of course, comment as to what alterations and improvement we have seen in the past that have worked well.  We have found it is always worth asking the planning officer what they can and can't do.

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Flat roof extension with balcony

A good example we had quite recently was a client who really liked balconies and the architect employed didn't and simply would not add a balcony to the design, which we were more than happy to do, once we had had discussions with the planners and, although they weren't keen on it, they weren't utterly against it and the client got their balcony and when it goes up we think it will look quite spectacular.

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Inverted roof

Economical design

As knowledgeable independent Surveyors we often find that architects and designers design without thinking very much about building costs.  We are more than happy to advise you on the sort of cost the design that you have already had will be and look at ways of saving you money, both initially and in the long term.

Flat roof or pitched roof?

For example, are flat roofs a good saving in money over a pitched roof, both in the short and the long term?  The answer is, in our opinion as independent Surveyors, it depends on the quality of flat roof that you are using, as a good quality inverted roof incorporates insulation, which can last for a very long time, as long as the workmanship is of a good building standard.

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building design

Inverted roof

Flat roofs can often have no insulation present

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building design

Pitched roof

Pitched slate roof- circle indicates some spacing to the slates

We are happy to give you advice on different costs and future maintenance liabilities.  Why not call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 ?

These are just some of the ways in which we can help you.  Good design is rarely seen, however bad design is felt and ultimately affects the sales figures.

You may be interested in these surveying articles too:

Basement Conversions

Loft Conversions

It is important to remember where builders come from

Estimating Building Costs

Definitions of Building terms

Cowboy Builders and Cowboy Clients! How to get on with your Builder

Flat Roofs

We can email you examples of our structural surveys

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to leases, licences, landlord matters, rental issues, agreements , commercial surveys, building surveys, structural reports/engineers reports/specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.

We can help by sending you examples of our surveys as over the years we have carried out surveys on every type, style and age of property and covered a wealth of property problems so can forward an example of one of our reports similar to your requirements.  Our reports are always tailor made to your specific property or property issue outlining property problems, how to solve the property issues and approximate costs involved.

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 .

Surveying articles

We hope you found the property 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 included 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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