The Value of Comissioning a Full Building Survey

We were recently instructed to undertake a building survey of this charming double fronted farmhouse from the 18th Century which was in need of considerable modernisation.

When widespread modernisations are required, as was the case here, the value of commissioning a building survey can often be overlooked.


Full Building Survey

Fortunately that was not the case here as on arriving at the property it very quickly became clear that the stonework was in poor condition and considerable cracking was evident to the random coursed rubble stone walling.  In an effort to improve the situation, one of the walls had been rendered, but that too had cracked due to a combination of poor workmanship and the condition of the underlying walling.  Subsidence was also identified to a small extension which had been added at the rear.

Having assessed the situation we recommended that structural repairs were undertaken to address the bulging  and more significant cracking to some of the stonework, the render completely removed and the walls repointed to a depth of 50mm using an NHL 2.5 well-graded lime mortar in accordance with English Heritage guidance.

Had the client commissioned a cheap and cheerful homebuyers report, which should never really be used on a property of this age, (but they are!) then the cracking would have been identified but the report would almost certainly have recommended further investigations to assess the cause of the damage, the remedial works required and the costs for undertaking the repairs.  All of this advice was included as part of the building survey which clearly demonstrates the value of commissioning a building survey particularly on a property of this age.



The client was so pleased we received this commendation:

Hi Julian,

Thank you very much for sending the report through so promptly, it’s a big help & will be a necessary part of the negotiations. 

It was an extremely comprehensive report, so it took us a while to read and digest it! There are no immediate questions as you’ve covered everything very clearly.

Your report will be hugely useful in planning the works needed, and no doubt we will need to turn to you again further down the line. Thank you so much for all your help and doing everything so quickly. I hope it hasn’t been too much stress to fit it in?

Kind regards, Liz



The outcome of the survey was that the purchase price was reduced by £18,000 which is extremely good value for a small investment by comparison to the value of the property and the sum which was saved.

Conversely, we are currently working on the conversion of an old property into a shop with flats above which was purchased by an investor who did not commission a building survey.  Having completed the purchase, we recommended that the property be completely stripped out to ascertain the full extent of the property, whereupon it has become clear that the property is somewhat older that was anticipated and the property is in significant disrepair.  Parts of the structure now need to be rebuilt, strengthening work undertaken and the roof completely renewed much of which would have been identified, and one would hope provision made, had a survey been commissioned.

If you would like to get in touch with us to discuss the survey of a property you are considering buying, investigate a building defect or simply need a safe pair of hands to help you extend or redevelop your property then please email Julian, feel free to contact us here or call on 01743 821 814 today and we’d be delighted to discuss your requirements.