Independent Surveys SW’s BUILDING SURVEY

1. Our inspection deals with the following matters:

External inspection of all accessible parts of the property from ground level covering the main walls, the roof, the chimney stacks, the window frames, the guttering and downpipes.

Examination of the drainage system so far as this can be examined by the removal of manhole covers without causing damage.

Examination of the boundaries, walls,  fences, banks and hedges.

Examination of the internal parts of the property wherever access can reasonably be gained without causing damage including wall surfaces, stud partitions and floor surfaces, providing this inspection can be carried out without the need to remove fitted floor coverings.  If floor coverings impede inspection then the examination will be limited to those areas such as the corners of rooms where carpets can be raised to allow restricted observation.

Inspection of accessible timberwork for deleterious organisms.

Examination of ceiling surfaces, doors and door frames, window and window frames internally and externally at upper floor level so far as windows can be opened to allow examination of the outer parts of the frame from within the property.

Examination of roof voids so far as access hatches are available to allow entry for inspection.    This part of the inspection will cover inspection of water header tanks located within the roof void areas.

Examination throughout the property for indications of dampness rising from ground level or penetrating through roof surfaces and walls and floors.

Visual inspection of services so far as access can reasonably be gained.  This inspection will cover a visual examination of exposed parts of the electrical system, the water supply and hot water system boilers, heaters and central heating system.

When premises are inspected in which the services have been taken out of commission (i.e. turned off or disconnected), or where water systems have been drained down (central heating radiators and circulatory systems, storage tanks etc.), these will not normally be re-commissioned, re-filled or turned on by the surveyor within the scope of initial inspection.  Clients are advised to ensure that before and during re-commissioning of any services which have been out of use, careful monitoring is carried out for defects such as leakage, defective valves and other performance faults.

Inspection of chimney breasts and flues so far as these are accessible and available for inspection.


2. Limitations

In a survey of this type a short ladder is used giving access to a height of approximately 3 metres off ground level but no more. The surveyor will use experience and expertise to make qualified comments on the structure and to examine those areas where problems are likely to be encountered.  However it must be appreciated by the client that the surveyor does not have x-ray eyes and will not be able to identify defects in concealed areas.  The client should also appreciate that the surveyor is inspecting another person’s home in which  care must be exercised not to cause damage.

The Building Survey is a short form of survey taking into account all parts of the property to which access can reasonably be gained from within the curtilage of the property.  It will not include inspection of all concealed parts and the cost of the survey is set accordingly at a lesser rate than a full structural survey, although any elements justifying further detailed investigation will be referred to as necessary.

 If the client so wishes, the Building Survey can be extended to include the items in the exclusion list below or specifically selected items providing the surveyor is notified in advance in writing by the client or subsequently by agreement following survey.

3. The Survey Inspection carried out for the Building Survey does not include the following:

Wall cavity inspection and examination of wall ties by endoscope.

Underfloor examinations of joists and joist bearings by opening up and exposing timbers.

Inspections of roof areas where access cannot reasonably be gained including the examination of the internal parts of flat roof cavities.  

Closed circuit television inspection of drainage systems and measurement of drain gradients.  Drain tracing where manholes allow limited access.  Hydraulic testing of drainage systems.  Soil permeability estimation and testing of soakaway systems

Examination of concealed parts of the property and examination of masonry, lintels and timberwork concealed by plaster or rendered surfaces.  (This is not feasible without causing some damage and is not undertaken unless consent from the owner is given).

Exposure of foundations and testing of soil load bearing capacity.

Examination of roof areas and chimney stacks by use of crawling boards and ladders.

Examination of concealed flues by camera techniques.

Earth testing, insulation resistance testing and circuit continuity testing and polarity testing of electrical wiring circuits.

Water quality testing (bacteriological and chemical analysis) and (in the case of wells and boreholes) pumping and flow testing for quantity.

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