What is a defect analysis survey?

Before you purchase a property, it’s important to know the exact condition of the building, framework and structure. From structural concerns, such as cracks, to issues regarding damp or roof repairs, a building survey allows a full understanding by a trained professional to bring any issues to attention. For this reason, they should be an essential part of anyone’s property purchase journey.

So, what exactly is a defect analysis survey? Also known as a building survey, a defect analysis is an in-depth report that details any current or potential problems with a building, and solutions on how they could be fixed. 

To learn more about building reports and why they’re important, simply keep reading this short guide written by our chartered accountants at Crest Surveyors.

When do you need to get a building survey report?

If it’s the first time you’re purchasing a property, you may be wondering when the best time to get a building survey completed is. To ensure that you’re happy to continue with purchasing the property, the best time to get a defect survey completed is after you’ve put in an offer and it has been accepted. 

This will enable you to discover if the building has any issues that you should be aware of before you’ve completed the purchase. In other words, it provides you with the opportunity to not go through with the sale if you’re unhappy with anything that you discover in the report. 

This safety net is especially essential to ensure that you’re protected against any unwanted costs to have the property repaired. For example, if you had a survey completed after purchasing a building and discovered that a crack in a supporting wall needed to be urgently repaired, it would be your responsibility to cover the full costs. 

How long does a building defect analysis take?

If you’re selling your house and the buyer has paid for a defect survey, you may be wondering how long it’ll take to complete, and how invasive the survey will be in your home. Typically, a survey can take around 2 hours to complete

It’s understandable to feel aprehensiveor nervous before having your property surveyed. Any surveyor that enters your home will be a trained professional, so they’ll understand your needs and concerns. For peace of mind, a surveyor should not need to look at any of your wardrobes or cupboards unless they are fitted into a wall. If you have any questions, you should be able to contact the surveyors in advance to have any worries eased. 

What type of issues does a building survey look for?

When a property is surveyed, the surveyor will typically look for any issues or concerns regarding:

  • Dampness.
  • Wall conditions.
  • Structural defects.
  • Roof defects (including the guttering and draining).
  • Extension conditions, including any porches or conservatories. 
  • External issues, such as trees or retaining walls. 
  • Chimneys. 
  • Building movement.

From any concerning cracks, to issues with dampness, leaks or problems with the roof, all areas of the building’s structure will be examined to determine any fault or potential issues. This will then be written up into a report for you to explore, including suggestions for repairing any problems quickly and in a cost effective manner. In some instances, the surveyor can also suggest approved and recommended tradespeople to fix any problems. 

What does a defect survey look like?

Once you receive your completed building survey, you’ll discover a completed report that details the date, time and weather conditions during the time of the survey, along with an outline of the property conducted room-by-room. Each section will detail if any issues with the property were found, along with their significance and recommended suggestions to fix any problems. 

If any issues are found, your report will also include the cause of any issues. For example, if there’s damp found on a wall, the report will detail if this was caused by a leak, ventilation issues, or any other found source. This will help to budget in any potential cost repairs if you wish to continue with purchasing the property. 

Do I really need to get a defect analysis survey?

Having a building analysis survey completed before you purchase a new property is not a legal requirement. In fact, it’s estimated that only around 20% of people have a survey completed to reduce costs, as highlighted by Churchill Insurance. But is this the right thing to do?

The truth is that while a property might appear structurally sound, only a trained professional will be able to tell you if it really is. Cutting out the cost of a survey during the buying process may open up the risk of any surprise payments after you’ve purchased the property that could be significantly higher than what a survey would be. So, is this really worth it? For peace of mind, and to ensure that you’re happy with your purchase, having a survey completed is always recommended. 

Why choose Crest Surveyors?

If you live in London or the surrounding counties, Crest Surveyors is here to help you on your property purchasing journey. We offer a full building analysis survey with budget in mind, meaning that we offer a fair and affordable price to help you find any issues with your potential new purchase. We are a RICS-approved surveyor, meaning that we’re fully qualified, trained and trusted. 

The team at Crest Surveyors also work to have your completed survey with you within 2-3 weeks. We know that purchasing a new property can be a stressful time, and we want to make sure that your survey is completed thoroughly and quickly so that you can focus on your new move. 

Our team is also here to help you with any questions that you may have. Whether it’s related to your survey, or you’re unsure how to use your completed survey, simply get in touch and we’ll guide you through any questions or concerns you may have. 

For a friendly and helpful service, get in touch with Crest Surveyors to learn more. 

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