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Building Surveys

The Most Comprehensive Building Survey in London, the Home Counties and Yorkshire

Buying a home is an exciting time, but it can also be incredibly stressful - is the property right for you, does the area meet your needs and is the house a sound investment now and in the years to come? Fast-moving markets such as London, the South-East and Yorkshire can be particularly tricky to navigate, with pressure to make big decisions quickly. At Novello, we're here to give you the information you need to proceed with confidence and give you an accurate picture of the actual state of your property. But more than that, we'll act as a trusted adviser, sharing our insight on how to rectify problems, when to avoid poor investments and when to renegotiate a lower asking price.

We put honesty, reliability and value at the core of everything we do, and our Private Client Surveying Service is no exception. Benefit from our years of experience, our RICS qualified surveyors' vast property knowledge and our most comprehensive survey report with a Novello Building Survey.

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1Type of Survey:

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Download Building Survey Example Report

Private Client Surveying Service

  • check iconGuiding you through the whole property buying process as your personal advisers
  • check iconWe liaise with your solicitor beforehand to discuss any crucial matters with them
  • check iconThe Building Survey inspection includes a drone and/or high level camera inspection
  • check iconReflective market valuation, floor area measurements and building insurance cost assessment
  • check iconFollow on advice; helping obtain quotations/further investigations and then advise on a negotation strategy if appropriate

What is a RICS Building Survey?

A RICS Building Survey, also known as a Structural Survey, is the most in-depth and comprehensive report available and provides a detailed picture of the property's construction and condition.

During a RICS Building Survey, a RICS qualified surveyor will carry out a thorough inspection of the property and deliver a detailed report based on that inspection. By opting for a RICS Building Survey, you can be sure you're receiving an impartial assessment of the property and that your surveyor will adhere to industry best practice standards.

Our Private Client Surveying Service is about more than just the Building Survey report. We provide the wrap-around care and advice as your strategic personal surveyor. You will be allocated a surveyor and an assistant surveyor who will work with you directly throughout the whole process. Each surveyor only works with 3-4 clients a week, ensuring they can allocate you the time and care required.

man handling a measuring rod and surveying home

What Does A Building Survey Cover?

A Novello+ Building Survey inspects a minimum of 20 internal and external elements of a property, including:

  • As much of the property as is physically accessible, including cellars, lofts, under carpets and behind furniture, windows, doors and external walls
  • Insulation, condensation and dampness
  • Outside areas and outbuildings
  • Roof spaces and flat roofs where safe
  • Visible parts of the available services, such as electricity, gas, water, heating and drainage
  • Energy efficiency and environmental issues

A comprehensive Building Survey will highlight both significant issues and wear and tear defects and explain the implications of these faults. It will examine structural integrity, property build and construction materials in detail and highlight any repairs that have already been made or works that have been carried out. We'll even use a specialist Pole Cam to access those more challenging to reach areas and include flood maps, broadband speeds, asbestos, and energy efficiency advice. Potential legal concerns will also be flagged.

For any issues that are discovered, the Novello+ Building Survey report will include photos of the defects and explain repair options and costs. The report will also share future maintenance issues you may need to know about and highlight any specific or costly issues you need to be aware of here.

If you have any specific concerns about a property, you can also discuss them with your surveyor to ensure thoroughly investigate them for added peace of mind.

If you're still unsure whether a bespoke Building Survey is worth the expense, our experience has shown us that most properties have hidden defects, often costing thousands to repair. We're confident our services can help save you money and help you plan your purchase better.

When Do You Need a Building Survey?

As a Building Survey is the most detailed type of survey available it is the best option for house buyers and will make sure you enter into the purchase fully informed. A RICS Building Survey from Novello is the best option to ensure you have a complete understanding of the state of your property, and it could help to make sure you don't waste thousands of pounds on a house that simply isn't worth the money. It is especially essential for older houses, those that have undergone major renovations, are in a state of disrepair or have an unusual design, as well as if you're planning on carrying out major works to the property.

What Does A Building Survey Report Look Like?

As a Building Survey is so extensive, the survey report can be a lengthy document containing a lot of information. That's why the Novello+ report has been designed to be easy to understand and action. We follow a simple traffic light system, where severe or urgent repairs are highlighted in red, less serious defects are amber and elements where no significant repairs are currently required but ongoing maintenance or upkeep will be needed are highlighted in green. This, combined with photos highlighting any areas of concern, make it easy for you to see exactly what's going on and how bad any issues are.

You can download an example Novello Building Survey Report here.

HomeLevel Report vs Building Survey

Deciding on the proper survey for you is an essential part of the house buying process. While a Novello+ Building Survey will be the best option for the most buyers, other surveys are available. Novello also offers the HomeLevel Report, a level 2 survey equivalent to the RICS HomeBuyer Report.

The HomeLevel Report is a less thorough survey, making it an option for modern properties that appear to be in a reasonable condition. Like a Building Survey, the HomeLevel Report involves a visual inspection of accessible areas to identify aspects that require repairs or further investigation. The report follows the same easy to understand traffic light layout. As with the Building Survey, it will be accompanied by a Solicitor's Summary Report that will be sent to your legal advisers.

However, the HomeLevel Report will not be as comprehensive as the Novello+ Building Survey and won't utilise technology to access those more tricky to reach areas. It also won't look into key factors such as flood maps, broadband speeds and asbestos, including photographs of defects or repair advice.

Remember, even the best-looking properties can hide serious defects, so if in doubt, a full Building Survey can be the sensible choice and can save you serious time and money. Of course, we're always here to discuss your needs and help you to decide on the best way to proceed.

When Will you Receive the Report?

Once the surveyor has visited your property, they will compile the report and deliver it to you via email within a few days. Novello's service doesn't stop here, however. We remain available to talk through the report, answer any queries and advise on the next steps until you're confident in how you want to proceed. We may suggest avoiding certain properties or negotiating lower asking prices. Alternatively, we can simply tell you how much problems will cost to rectify.

Whatever the report uncovers, we guarantee to use our in-depth knowledge of the property market and our years of experience to guide you through the process and help you find the perfect property.


How Long Does A Building Survey Take?

How long the survey takes to be carried out will depend on the size of the house and its condition, but expect anything from four or five hours to a full day for a Building Survey.

Get a RICS Building Survey Quote

If you want the most comprehensive survey report we offer before you commit to one of the most significant purchases of your life, or if you wish to learn more about our bespoke Building Surveys, get in touch today via email, phone or live chat.

You can also obtain a free quote or book an instant consultation now. We encourage you to compare quotes with other providers so you can be confident you're choosing one of the best value building surveyors in the area.

At Novello, we pride ourselves on being honest, transparent, responsive and always working with your best interests at heart. Let us examine your potential home, and we'll let you know what action to take.

Click here to download an example Novello Building Survey Report