Find a local RICS Chartered Surveyor & compare prices for your home survey!
Instant Survey Quotes
Instant, free, no obligation estimates for your home survey from local, independent RICS Surveyors.
To get instant estimates for a standard home survey - RICS HomeBuyer, Full Building (Structural) Survey, Valuation Survey, simply search below.
Which Survey Should I Choose?
Which survey should I choose?
When buying your home an independent survey is always recommended. You should not simply rely on the mortgage valuation, for several reasons:
- the mortgage valuer is instructed by the lender, and is working for them, not you
- the valuation may not be carried out by a qualified Chartered Surveyor, and may be cursory at best, because...
- the mortgage valuation is simply for the mortgage lender to check that if you default on your payments there will be enough value in the house for them to sell it, and recover the outstanding amount of the loan, and not...
- to determine whether the property has defects that will require significant sums to rectify in the future
- or whether the purchase price is a fair open market price for the property
So, which survey do you need?
The RICS has two main types of survey: the RICS Homebuyer Report and the Building Survey (formerly known as a Structural Survey). These are the most popular survey types with the Building Survey the more comprehensive of the two, although it should be noted that it doesn't include a valuation as standard - you will have to request that separately if required, and there is likely to be an additional cost.
RICS Homebuyer Report
There are two forms for the HomeBuyer Report - survey only, and survey with valuation.
A Homebuyer Report (HBR), also known as a Homebuyer’s Survey, is a survey completed to a standard format set out by the RICS, and it’s most suitable for conventional properties built within the last 150 years, which are in reasonable condition.
It doesn’t detail every aspect of the property, and only focuses on urgent matters needing attention. It’s not usually suitable for properties that have been significantly altered, or are in need of renovation, or if you’re planning major alterations.
A standard HomeBuyers Report includes details of:
- The general condition of the property
- Any major faults in accessible parts of the building that may affect the value
- Any urgent problems that might need inspecting by a specialist before you sign a contract
- Results of tests for damp in the walls
- Damage to timbers – including woodworm or rot
- The condition of any damp-proofing, insulation and drainage (though drains aren’t tested)
- The estimated cost of rebuilding the property for insurance purposes
If you require a HomeBuyer Report with valuation, then an "open market valuation" will be provided, but you will need to check with your surveyor if this is included. Only surveyors who are also RICS Registered Valuers can provide a valuation, and there is usually a higher cost.
A full Building Survey, also commonly referred to as a Structural Survey is suitable for all properties, but especially:
- Listed buildings
- Older properties
- Buildings constructed in an unusual way, however old they are
- Properties you plan to renovate or alter in any way
- Properties that have had extensive alterations.
It examines all accessible parts of the property - and you can ask to have specific areas included, so it covers any particular concerns you have about the building. It is a product which can be tailored to your needs, agreed between you and your surveyor.
A Building Survey can include details of:
- Major and minor defects and what they could mean
- The possible cost of repairs
- Results of damp testing on walls
- Damage to timbers – including woodworm and rot
- The condition of damp-proofing, insulation and drainage (though drains aren’t tested)
- Technical information on the construction of the property and the materials used
- The location
- Recommendations for any further special inspections.
A Building Survey usually doesn’t include a valuation, but your surveyor can provide this separately if you need one, but again any valuation has to be prepared by a RICS Registered Valuer, and there will be an additional charge.
It is worth noting that not all surveyors adhere to a RICS 'boilerplate' template when conducting Building Surveys - very many will use their own version, very often more comprehensive, and often tailored to the alternative building materials and construction methods common in their areas. Because the Building Survey is more flexible and can be tailored to your requirements, when instructing a surveyor to carry out a Building Survey it is well worth a discussion to check what is to be included and anything that will be omitted.
Limitations on surveys
It is worth stressing that all standard survey types are 'non-destructive' - in other words they won't cover areas that cannot be easily accessed; surveyors aren't usually able to raise carpets or flooring, insulation in roof-spaces, or remove contents of cupboards to gain access for example.
Access may also be limited by the current home owner. If you have concerns about any specific aspect of the property where access might be restricted, it's worth speaking to your surveyor about the options available, including the possibility of improving access arrangements.
Surveyors will generally not be able to advise on remedial work in many specialist areas, such as plumbing, damp-proofing, heating, gas or electrical installations. Their report may highlight observable problems, but will not offer specific recommendations other than to recommend gaining the appropriate specialist advice.
How Our Site Works
How it Works
Our RICS Surveyors cover the whole of the UK. All of the surveyors or firms listed on our site are RICS Accredited and Regulated - either AssocRICS, MRICS, FRICS, or RICS Regulated Firms, so you can be sure that your survey will be carried out to the highest professional standards.
Getting an estimate for a standard home survey is as simple as 1, 2, 3...
1. Enter your property details
2. Enter your contact details, and
3. Press Search - what could be simpler?
You will receive estimates for your survey from up to five RICS Chartered Surveyors operating in your postcode. These estimates and the surveyor details will be displayed on screen, and also emailed to you for you to follow up. Your details will also be sent to the listed surveyors so they can contact you to discuss your requirements in more detail.
If you need something other than a standard survey for a home purchase, then simply click on one of the 'Survey Types' options from the main menu to find a relevant surveyor.
I didn't get 5 results/estimates, why is that?
The maximum number of estimates you will receive is 5, and in most urban areas, for the common survey types, you will receive a full complement. But in some areas the actual number may be fewer, depending upon the number of surveyors offering the specific service you require, as:
a) not all surveyors will offer all survey types in their chosen territories, and
b) some areas, particularly more rural areas, simply have fewer surveyors covering them!
Are your surveyors all local to my postcode?
Results will list surveying firms of a mixture of sizes and locations. Some are independent practitioners, and others may be larger firms covering wider areas. Smaller firms and independent surveyors tend to be highly localised - they don't like to waste hours 'on the road' travelling between surveys!
Larger firms with offices that are located out of your immediate locality usually employ surveyors local to the postcodes they appear in for the same reason, so you can expect that the surveyor carrying out your survey for any firm appearing in your search results will have a good knowledge of your local area. Just because the main office of a surveying firm is distant from your location does not mean the actual surveyor is not local.
If you are in any doubt as to the local knowledge of the surveyors returned, we'd recommend you simply ask about their experience of your locality before you choose.
Why do you ask for the postcode and address of the property?
We need your postcode to find local surveyors actively operating in the area. The full address helps surveyors answer any questions you may have based on the specific property, and its location, for which you require the survey.
Why do you ask for my contact details?
We need these to email your estimates to you, and so the surveyors can contact you to discuss your exact requirements. If you choose to withold your contact information (by entering dummy information for example) you will still be able to view your search results on screen, but they will not be emailed to you. If you prefer not to be emailed but not called, simply enter 'please don't call me' in the telephone number field.
Can I withhold my contact details?
You can if you wish, but if you choose to withold your contact information (by entering dummy information for example) we will not be able to email your estimates to you, although you will still be able to view your search results on screen. If you want to receive confirmation of your estimates by email but prefer not to be called, simply enter 'please don't call me' in the telephone number field.
What do you do with my details?
Is your site secure?
Our website uses a Secure Socket Layer (commonly called an SSL certificate) to encrypt all data being transmitted between your browser and our webserver using the https protocol to ensure that no personal information can be intercepted. Click on the padlock in your browser address bar for details of our SSL certificate.
Are all your surveyors RICS surveyors?
Yes. All the surveyors or firms listed on our site are RICS accredited - either AssocRICS, MRICS, FRICS, or RICS Regulated Firms. Results may also return estimates for marketing networks such as Your Survey, that provide a centralised marketing service exclusively for groups of RICS Chartered Surveyors.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 is significantly affecting the property market. On Wednesday 13th May, the Government issued updated guidance which allowed Estate Agents and other property related businesses involved in moving home to come out of lockdown and reopen.
However, many surveying firms are still choosing not to carry out property inspections at present. Others are returning to work in a phased manner, but only where appropriate social distancing and medical protection precautions can be made to minimise any risk to the surveyor, or of spreading infection.
Those surveyors that have suspended services will not be returned in search results, which means that you may receive fewer results than in normal times.
We recommend you discuss the safe access arrangements to the property with both the current resident and the surveyor to ensure that there is mutual agreement on the health precautions required before proceeding with a survey.