Structural Survey: A Simple Guide


If you are intending to buy a new house, you may need to do a structural survey of the new property. You may not know what a structural survey is, or how it works. Well, to begin with, you can say that it is a way in which you can save money by avoiding unexpected repair costs. This survey can also give you an idea of how much you will need to spend on the new house, so it can help with your budget plan.

What is a Structural Survey?

A structural survey is a comprehensive or an in-depth report of the condition and situation of a property. It provides a full outline of the design and construction works to be carried out. A structural calculation is particularly useful to the buyer of a new property or a homeowner who intends to do some construction works in his house. The surveyor will investigate each element of the property and highlight the areas that will need further inspection and find out if any areas need special attention.

Why is a Structural Survey Important?

Conducting a structural survey before purchasing a property can give you an idea of how much you will have to pay for the repair and maintenance of the property. Having any major defects can reduce the price of the property. A property may be the biggest purchase of your life. So, making sure that the property is structurally sound can save you a lot of trouble from the future.

Who Will Undertake the Survey?

It is important that you appoint a chartered structural engineer to undertake the structural survey of your property. They will ensure that you get a quality survey of your property. The surveyors will inspect all the elements of the building and find any potential defects. After the inspection, they will make a detailed structural report. The report will include:

  • A through assessment of the property
  • Any structural defects
  • Advice on how to resolve structural issues or defects
  • Description of previous structural works

What type of properties needs a structural survey?

It is wise to conduct a structural survey before you buy any property. But for these specific properties are a must:

  • Listed buildings.
  • Properties that are old (more than 50 years).
  • Buildings with an unusual construction.
  • A building that has been or will going through renovation.

What Happens After Structural Survey?

A structural survey will help you decide whether the property you are intending is worth buying or how much you will have to spend on it. A through structural report will find out any small or major defect of the property. The report will help you decide what issues need immediate attention.

What does a full structural report look like?

Building survey reports are designed to be easily understandable. Surveyors use the ‘traffic light code’ to highlight the areas of concern.

Green or ‘Condition Rating 1’: These areas do not need any repair.

Amber or ‘Condition Rating 2’: These areas do need repair, but not immediately. They will not impact the value of the property.

Red or ‘Condition Rating 3’: These are the defects that need urgent repair. These areas should be taken seriously as part of the overall purchase.

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