This question can usually throw up some confusion as there are different surveys for different purposes, and often undertaken by different types of surveyors too. So let’s clear this up first before answering: how much does a house survey cost?
Types of survey
If you’re buying a house
During the house buying process, it’s most common for buyers to commission either a condition report, a homebuyers report, a valuation survey or a full structural survey (also known as a full building survey).
If you’re renovating a house
You will need a set of existing drawings, so you will need a measured survey (ie a set of drawn plans). However, a structural survey (as mentioned above) might also be useful to you. Ask your architect what would be required – see the end of this article for more information and guidance.
Please note the costs given below are approximate and will vary depending on your property type, size and where you live in the country. It’s always worth getting a few quotations for comparison.
Condition report cost – £250-500
Valuation survey cost – £350-500
Homebuyers report cost – £400-800
Full structural house survey (or full building survey) cost – £900-1,800
Measured house survey cost – £1,000-2,500
What can I expect from a house survey?
1. If you’re buying a house
A common question is, ‘what’s the difference between a homebuyers report and a full building survey?’
Commissioned by you, this survey would be appropriate only for properties that are new-ish and appear to be in a reasonable condition. It is the least thorough when compared to a homebuyers report or a full building survey, but will cover the essentials including any risks, potential legal issues and urgent defects.
A homebuyers survey will cover everything contained within the condition report described above, but will go into more detail including defects that may affect the property’s value and will offer advice on maintenance too.
Here is a sample homebuyer’s report produced by RICS, provided by Legal and General.
A valuation survey can be done alongside the homebuyers report, but it is often done separately and arranged by your mortgage lender instead. However, if you are not getting a mortgage, it’s still a good idea to get this done as it will give you re-assurance on your purchase price but also give you a re-build cost, necessary for arranging your buildings insurance.
Full structual survey / full building survey
This is a good idea if you are buying a larger or older property as it is the most comprehensive of all of the above. It is also useful if you are planning to undertake renovation or extension works to your house in the future. It’s worthwhile letting your surveyor know how you intend to develop your property so they can report back on what structural and other alterations may be required and potential issues for your consideration.
2. If you’re renovating or extending a house
One of the first things that any architect will need before starting to design your renovation or extension is a good set of existing drawings (survey drawings). This is called a measured survey.
For smaller projects, especially if they are confined to one part of your house, e.g. a rear extension, your architect should be able to undertake the survey and produce a set of existing drawings themselves, and should prove to be more cost effective.
For larger and more complicated work, it’s often beneficial to use a separate survey company. They can also produce a ‘topographical’ survey as part of this, which shows the grounds of the building and changes in level. Speak to your architect to see whether this would be necessary for your project.
Here at Design for Me we can match you with the best architects and design professionals for your project and arrange initial consultations for free. Use the form below to get started and we’ll be happy to help!
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