27 January 2023

What does a surveyor look for during a house survey?

So you are in the process of purchasing a new property and are wondering whether to instruct a surveyor but not too sure what the visit would include? Read more today to find out.

How can I instruct a surveyor?

There are several avenues that lead to the instruction of a survey. One will be the individual homebuyer contacting a survey provider directly, like Legal & General Surveying Services typically after your offer has been accepted. Another route would be for the mortgage lender to offer a survey in addition to their mortgage valuation. This means that a surveying company will fulfil the mortgage valuation for the lender and will also deliver the survey for the home buyer. The last avenue is the advised referral, whereby mortgage brokers, conveyancers or protection advisers will come to a survey provider to instruct a home survey on behalf of their clients.

What does a surveyor inspect during a survey?

A surveyor will attempt to inspect all the main visible and accessible elements both inside and outside the property you’re purchasing to record any potential issues or likely future risks. More specifically a surveyor will comment on the condition of both internal and external elements, property services (such as meter type, presence of stop tap, visual check on drainage if easily accessible), environmental matters (such as risk of floodings or adverse nearby developments), any evidence of risks to health and safety of people (such as unsafe glazing and inadequate safety rails) and will look for matters which may need to be investigated by your conveyancer, (such as alterations which may have needed planning permissions or building regulations approval). Each area examined will have a detailed write up on what the surveyor found, along with a condition rating and reasons for the rating.

You can find more details on areas of inspection here.

If you have any specific concerns or questions about the house you are purchasing, you should raise this prior to the house survey with the surveyor. You can do so by adding any concerns in the comment section when purchasing a survey with us. The surveyor will then discuss these areas both during the pre and post inspection calls.

Will the surveyor examine any outside buildings?

Yes, surveyors will comment on any accessible areas, including any permanent outbuildings situated within the boundaries of the property. Permanent outbuildings include garages, summer houses and sheds of significant sizing.

It’s important to remember that surveyors will only assess these areas if they are accessible and considered safe to inspect. If any outbuildings are dilapidated, run-down, or not easily accessible they will not be inspected or included in the final report.

Does a surveyor examine the roof space?

Our property surveyor will examine all easily accessible areas inside the property.

Surveyors will endeavour to examine the roof space, but it might not be possible if there is little or no access or if their view in the roof space is seriously limited. Both the Digital Home Survey and RICS Home Survey Level 2 are non-intrusive, therefore, surveyors won’t move or interfere with possessions to enter the roof space.

Will the surveyor test gas and electrics?

Surveyors will do a basic visual check of the main services in the property. However, surveyors won’t carry out specialist tests and their basic inspection won’t examine if the services work safely. You should always hire a professional to check electrics and plumbing. Furthermore, your solicitor should provide you with the relevant safety certificates from the seller.

Are you ready to instruct a home survey? Get started by visiting our quote engine and requesting a quote today.