Local Building Surveyors Logo - Find Local Chartered Surveyors

 

Which type of survey do I 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.

The RICS describes the Homebuyer Report as:

"most suitable for conventional properties which are in reasonable condition"

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 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.

The Building Survey is described as:

“a comprehensive inspection of a property reported in a style to suit the property and your specific requirements"

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' when conducting Building Surveys - very many will use their own version, very often more comprehensive, and often tailored to the alternative building construction materials and 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.

» Download RICS Guide to Property Surveys

It is worth stressing that all standard survey types are 'non-destructive' - in other words 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.

Get quotes for RICS Surveys...

RICS Tech Affiliate Logo

Also proudly powering the surveyor search on...

Thatch Advice Centre  The Moving Centre  Mortgage Squared

User feedback for our Find a Surveyor service

4.11 Average

1254 Reviews

Anonymous

A lot of options were provided including different costs and the experience of the providers. 4 of them emailed me within hours and within 4 working days I had a surveyor on site. Brilliant

Posted 19 hours ago

Anonymous

The team were very thorough and professional, throughout. Very timely and very customer facing. Very impressed.

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

Very easy to find a surveyor and made the whole process less stressful. Would definately recommend.

Posted 3 days ago

Anonymous

I used Capstick Surveyors in May 2020 for my house purchase Steve was punctual and professional he kept me updated at all times. The report was sent to me very quickly no waiting for weeks. I would have no hesitation recommending Capstick Surveyors to anyone.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

‘I found Capstick Surveyors through www.localbuildingsurveyor.co.uk , Steve got in tough with me the morning after I’d put an enquiry and talked me through the various options a available for surveys. We had a Building Condition Survey carried out on the property, this was very comprehensive and included advice on energy efficiency savings as well as detailing costs for any work that needed to be carried out. The whole process from finding Capstick Surveyors to reviving the report was done in just over 1 week, a great service.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Great service, was able to find a surveyor very quickly and Steve at Chapstick Surveyors got in touch the next day and talked through all the options for having a survey. This was all booked in and completed within a week of me making an enquiry, great service

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Quick response to emails, very detailed report which was also delivered in a timely manner, very professional and knowledgable

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

The site was simple to use and the surveyor was so friendly. Thank you so much

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

I found Local Building Surveyors to be quite useful. Through contacting the site, I was graciously given contact details of a person, by a surveyor, who was an expert on the Party Wall Agreement who was very informative. I was also contacted by another surveyor who also offered his services. Thank You

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Great service, easy to use. Had 2 quotes come through. Fast and efficient, would use again.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Fantastic put where I need a survey done they sent me 4 surveyor's, them emailing me back and a survey booked all within 20 minutes

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Really straight forward painless process, very happy and would come highly reccommend!

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Had an excellent experience, quick and efficient. Thanks!

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Excellent service from start to finish very professional, very detailed report , would highly recommend.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

I have to say that I did not expect a positive response. However, within a short time of my request, I had a reply from a company who could carry out the Job and in turn they were very efficient.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Good response to my enquiry. The one I chose was very thorough and provided a detailed report, including photos of any areas of concern within a few days.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Jim was excellent from start to finish and he communicated the report in a clear and understanding way. I would highly recommend him

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

brilliant. just what we required without any hassle

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

The site is easy to use and quotes can’t through quickly. Very happy with it.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Gave several good options in my area.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Plenty of good local choice

Posted 1 month ago

What is the RICS?

RICS - London

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is the organisation responsible for the training and regulation of Chartered Surveyors. To be listed on Local Building Surveyors, surveyors must be either a RICS Member (MRICS/FRICS) or a Firm Regulated by the RICS, so you can be assured that your survey will be carried out by a fully qualified regulated professional.

Find out more about the RICS

What Survey Do I Need?

What type of survey do I need?

If you are looking for something more than a simple property valuation (highly recommended if you are buying a new property), there are two common "standard" types of survey.  Check out the links below to find out more:

RICS HomeBuyer survey

Building Survey (Structural Survey)


Moving Home?

Moving home? Need a mortgage advisor? Want quotes for other services?

Save time, find a local mortgage advisor, get quotes for conveyancing and more from reputable companies in your area. Our search and quote service is quick, easy-to-use, and FREE!

Secure Site

Secure Site - PadlockThis site is secured by SSL (https) so you can be sure your information is secure and cannot be intercepted. Click the padlock in your browser address bar for the certificate details. 

Surveyor Signup

If you are a RICS Chartered Surveyor and want to sign up, click here to find out more and sign up.

Become a Partner

Do you want to add value to your property website by adding our find-a-surveyor search facility to your site? Click here for more information...