Find a local RICS Surveyor & compare prices for your Building Survey!
The RICS Level 3 Building Survey, often referred to as a 'Full Survey' or a 'Structural Survey', is the most comprehensive of the 'standard' RICS home surveys. It's most appropriate for older or unusual properties, or ones that have either been significantly modified in the past, or that you intend to modify.
A Building Survey is less standardised, and is often tailored to suit the specifics of the property, and the local building conditions and materials. Although a Building Survey should meet the minimum Level 3 RICS standards, the content, format and scope of the report may vary somewhat between surveyors. So when choosing your surveyor we recommend discussing your requirements to make sure the report covers any particular aspects you may have concerns about.
Most surveyors will be able to provide you with a sample report so you can check the normal scope of their reports.
RICS describes a Level 3 Building Survey as:
a comprehensive inspection of a property reported in a style to suit the property and your specific requirements"
A full RICS Level 3 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 any valuation has to be prepared by a RICS Registered Valuer, and there will be an additional charge.
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 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!
Do quoted fees include VAT?
Yes, fees include VAT where applicable. But note not all surveyors are VAT registered, particularly independent surveyors or smaller practices who's prices will be shown without VAT.
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 regional or semi-national firms with main 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 carrying out your survey 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 and administration service for individual RICS Surveyors.
Why is there a difference between quotes from different surveyors for the same type of survey?
Most surveyors base their fees on the amount of time taken to carry out the property inspection and prepare their final report.
They will generally include an allowance for covering their travel time and mileage to and from the property, and time to answer any follow up questions.
Although Level 1 and Level 2 surveys (RICS Condition Report and RICS HomeBuyer Report) have to meet the RICS standard minimum scope, there can be variations to that. For example, some surveyors may include more detailed photos and additional information. Although the minimum RICS specification should be met, the survey may include 'extras' that add to the cost. This variation can be more marked for Level 3 surveys (Building Surveys), where reports may be more in-depth and more customised.
Many surveyors will provide sample reports, and it is worth requesting a copy of these to compare before giving your instruction to proceed to check you are comparing 'like-with-like'.
Another factor to consider is VAT. The fees quoted on our site include VAT where applicable. However, not all surveyors are VAT registered, particularly independent surveyors with smaller practices, and that will be reflected in their quoted fee.
Are the quotes on your site binding?
No. The fees quoted on our site are estimates based on a conventional property of standard construction, so should be correct for 'normal' urban properties.
However, if properties are older, or have been modified, for example through the addition of extensions, garages, conservatories, or loft rooms etc, then there might be extra costs involved. This would particularly apply to properties that have additional outbuildings or annexes. You should always check that the surveyor is aware of these, or any specific concerns you want addressed, in order to obtain a confirmed quotation.