Why do I need a Building Survey?

There are three main types of survey:

  • Valuation: this will be carried out by your mortgage company if you need a mortgage to buy the property, but can be used for other purposes including Matrimonial settlement, Probate or Taxation purposes.

  • Homebuyer: this is a basic survey that will give you a general overview of the property and includes a Valuation.

  • Full Building Survey: recommended for older properties and those in need of work, or simply for peace of mind. Although expensive, it is often worthwhile.

Any property, be it your home or a commercial building is a major investment, for which you will be wise to ensure that the building is structurally sound.

Where a mortgage is raised you will be asked by your lender to fund a Valuation Survey. Do not mistake this survey as providing a structural report. The Valuation Survey will purely confirm whether or not the building will provide your lender with adequate security for the loan and may not address building faults or defects if these do not affect your lender’s security, but any such faults or defects will affect the Property Owner.

There are different levels of Building and Structural Surveys from a Simple Overview, Valuation, Homebuyer’s report through to an in-depth Building Report. The cost will vary depending upon the level of report required, the size of the building and its current condition.

Seymour Surveyors can advise you on which type of survey you need and we make no charge for an initial consultation. We can carry out a building survey for you and you can trust in our experience and knowledge in this area.Contact our office to speak with our Chartered Building Surveyor, Katie Thilthorpe for information and advice on building surveys.

More information can be found on RICS website.

What is a Building Survey?

Often referred to as a structural survey, or a full building survey, this is a detailed visual survey, and can be completed on all building types.

One of the main aims is to give you as the prospective buyer maximum confidence and assurance and to ensure that you are proceeding with your eyes open. It is the most detailed of our standard reports, and therefore the most expensive.

It is an in depth report written in a long hand form often amounting to 40- 50 pages in length together with Appendices containing Maintenance Notes,  a Glossary of Terms and a Schedule of Photographs.

This type of report can be tailored to a clients’ individual needs, and typically can include additional information on specific defects, feasibility of proposed alteration and/or extension / loft conversion work,  or budget costings (where agreed beforehand). An insurance rebuilding figure can also be included (at additional cost).

We will inspect all parts of the property that can be accessed from the ground floors, fixed stairs or other vantage points. The surveyor will carry a three metre ladder and we will open all available/known access hatches, traps and manholes etc. that can be opened safely. The building survey will usually cover the following areas:

  1. Detailed information on construction
  2. Technical advice on performance of the elements and reasons for problems
  3. Recommendations on remedial work
  4. Advice on future maintenance

Despite many attributes, our surveyors do not have x-ray eyes,  and vendors would not take kindly to us causing damage to parts of their property without assurance that this will be made good in the event that the sale does not proceed. Therefore, unless we have written permission from the vendore before the survey,  inevitably there will be hidden parts of a building that we cannot inspect, and you will be made aware of these areas. Even so, we are trained to ‘follow the trail’ and advise you if we suspect hidden defects, and a course of action required. Please contact us for a fully inclusive quotation

Further information and a full copy of the RICS Guide called “Understanding Property Surveys” can be obtained by contacting the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Telephone 0870 333 1600 or Emailcontactrics@rics.org.uk, Website www.rics.org.

Why do I need a Chartered Building Surveyor?

Seymour Surveyors are registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and as a result are subject to their quality assurance.

RICS promotes and enforces the highest professional qualifications and standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. The RICS name promises the consistent delivery of standards – bringing confidence to the markets we serve.

Any customer or client who work with an RICS registered professional can have confidence in the quality and ethics of the services they receive.

How much does a Building Survey cost?

The cost of the survey will depend on many factors, such as the size, age and type of the property. Contact the office and speak with our Chartered Building Surveyor, Katie Thilthorpe who will speak to you and will give you a free, no obligation quote. Please see below an approximate fee matrix.

Fee Matrix for Residential Surveys (Approx Fees)


Condition Report                   Building Survey

2 bed                                       £350                                           £550

3 bed                                        £450                                          £650

4 bed                                       £550                                           £750

5 bed +                                    £550 +                                       £750+


Condition Report                   Building Survey

2 bed                                       £395                                           £595

3 bed                                        £495                                         £695

4 bed                                       £595                                          £795

5 bed +                                    £595 +                                       £795+

All Fees above are subject to VAT at 20%

Why do I need a Quantity Surveyor

A Quantity Surveyor is an expert in the art of costing, whether that be the costing of a building, road or rail project.

Seymour Surveyors have a team of professional and highly trained quantity surveyors who offer expert advice the costing of any project, whether that be a property redevelopment, conversion or new build. They are essential for life cycle costing, cost planning, procurement and tendering, contract administration and commercial management.

This is a specialist area, which is far more complex than often appreciated. A Quantity Surveyor will be highly methodical and logical and be able to identify and cost all resources required on a project from initial sketch ideas through to refining the cost forecast as more detailed drawings evolve. This is essential to establish an accurate and realistic budget at all stages of the design.

The Quantity Surveyor will then monitor actual costs as the works proceed to continually report that the project is on budget, or to advise that the costs are varying from budget and will recommend alternative courses of action.

Additionally, the Quantity Surveyor will Prepare or agree the Contract Documents, Valuations, Change Instructions and Final Account.

For an Employer or Bank, a Quantity Surveyor will produce Feasibility Studies, Budget Costings, Tender Documentation and manage the cost process from Invitations to Tender and receipt of Tenders right through to the End of the Defects Period with all that this entails.

For a Contractor a Quantity Surveyor will Prepare the Tender, Negotiate the Contract Sum and Form of Contract and manage the entire cost process from Valuations and Change Instructions right through to the Final Account.

Not appointing a Quantity Surveyor on a small straightforward project may appear low risk, but on larger, intricate, refurbishment or adaptation high risk projects, the appointment of a Quantity Surveyor is not only wise, but ultimately cost effective.

How do Quantity Surveyors work?

Before the commencement of any construction project, a Quantity Surveyor will need to study drawings and specifications about a building normally provided by architects or engineers.  From this information, the Quantity Surveyor will be able to calculate the quantities of materials for the build, this must also provide accurate labour and work costs. All Quantity Surveyors will have to have a thorough understanding of Building Regulations in order to adhere to them and ensure that the project passes Building Control. During the build they keep a constant check on costings.

How much will it cost to engage a Quantity Surveyor?

The cost of quantity surveying will vary dependent upon the works required. We usually operate on a time charge basis, however, if the work is quantifiable we are happy to provide a lump sum price. Our hourly rates range from £55.00 to £75.00 per hour (plus VAT).

FAQ didn’t solve your problem?

Here are several ways to contact us:

Seymour Surveyors, 2 London Road, Tetbury GL88JL – by post

info@seymoursurveyors.com – by email

01666 331614 – by phone

Speak with a Building Surveyor

For Building Surveying queries, speak directly with Katie Thilthorpe, Chartered Surveyor.
Phone: 07887 406530

Katie Thilthorpe

Speak with a Quantity Surveyor

For Quantity Surveying queries, speak directly with the Managing Director Phil Seymour.
Phone: 07961934414

Phil Seymour