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We work with RICS qualified surveyors around the country who offer high quality property surveys at a great price. Surveyor Local gives you piece of mind about your future property, and offers RICS HomeBuyer Reports, Building Surveys and Property Valuations.

The surveyor who produces your report will be local to you with local knowledge of the area.

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  • RICS qualified surveyor
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Home Buyers Survey in Colchester

  • Next day bookings available
  • Fast turnaround of report
  • RICS surveyors in Colchester

The content of survey reports will vary considerably due to factors including the age, type, location and condition of the property, and materials used in its construction.

Click preferred survey type to begin download.

Download sample HomeBuyer Report  HomeBuyer Report sample
Download sample Building Survey  Building Survey sample
Download sample Property Valuation  Property Valuation sample

Survey reports can be large files containing many photos of a property. On slower connections these files may take a short while to download.

Do you need a Home Buyers Survey? Which survey is the right choice?

  • House suitable for a HomeBuyer Report

    Homebuyer Report in Colchester

    The Homebuyer Report is the best choice if planning to purchase a home made of conventional materials i.e. brick & tile, in reasonable order and built in the last 100 years. Find out more

  • Property suitable for a Building Survey

    Building Survey in Colchester

    The RICS Building Survey (often referred to as a Full Structural Survey in Colchester) will also be carried out by a MRICS or FRICS accredited surveyor and is more exhaustive. Choose this for non standard property such as thatched or older homes. Find out more

  • Surveyor carrying out a Property Valuation

    Property Valuation Report in Colchester

    This is an independent chartered surveyor valuation of the property. This is typically chosen by mortgage free buyers or someone requiring a formal valuation e.g. matrimonial dispute. Find out more

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Home Surveys in Colchester

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Home Buyers Survey in Colchester

Asbestos roof-tiles

The vendor has mentioned that there may be loose roof-tiles containing blue asbestos at the bungalow in Colchester. What is asbestos, what are the risks, and can it be treated?

Asbestos is the general name for the fibrous materials that are now known to be harmful to organisms, when the dust or fibrils are released into the environment (although inhalation of one fibre or dust particle is not, contrary to popular misconception, life-threatening).

Asbestos has been mined for hundreds of years, but it was only in the last century that it was found to be so detrimental to health, although it still took until 1999 for there to be an outright ban in the UK, as part of an EU-wide directive, even though restrictions were placed from 1985.

The most common type found in the UK is white asbestos (chrysotile), which was often used in roofs, floors, ceilings, walls and insulation, thereby appearing in all manner of construction materials. From 1986, it was only white asbestos that remained in use in the UK for construction purposes.

Of the other types:

  • brown asbestos (amosite) was used in in cement sheets, ceiling tiles and pipe insulation
  • blue asbestos (crocidolite) was used in spray-on ceilings, insulation, and plastic and cement products
  • green asbestos (anthophyllite), although limited, was used in insulation and general construction, and
  • tremolite and actinolite were not used commercially

During a survey, your chartered surveyor will not be able to confirm the existence of asbestos, since they will not investigate further than visual inspection because of the dangers highlighted above. However, they will be experienced in looking for it and will report their suspicions in the survey, recommending that it be checked out thoroughly.

For more information and advice, why not call our waiting team of advisers at Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667?

Subsidence resulting from soft clay soil

We are buying a home built in the mid-30s on very clay-rich soil in Colchester. Is this going to be a source of difficulty?

One of the principal defects that a chartered surveyor will look for during the inspection of a property is the dreaded subsidence, which conjures up images of sagging walls, large cracks along the property and even collapse.

The primary causes of subsidence are both natural and man-made:

  • clay soil is particularly susceptible as it dries out
  • dissolution or wearing of underground layers, such as rocks, permafrost or vegetative substances such as peat
  • removal of subsoil fluid
  • oxidation of soils where they comprise a significant organic construction
  • mining and other extractions
  • washing away of soils
  • location of trees and other vegetation sucking up the moisture from the soil causing shrinkage
  • damaged drains washing soil away from the foundations
  • vibration from nearby heavy traffic
  • nearby construction works

The Institution of Structural Engineers don’t recommend underpinning for the large majority of subsidence issues; rather this is treated as a last resort, where piles are dug and filled with concrete to support the existing foundations. Since the biggest percentage of subsidence issues are caused by trees and other plants in the vicinity draining the soil, judicious pruning or evening removal may be enough to rectify the problem (but note that such activity may also create other issues, so an expert’s advice should be sought). And, of course, if the drains are broken, then these should be repaired as soon as possible.

Because of the severity of these issues, it is crucial that an expert chartered surveyor from Surveyor Local looks at the property in order to report on the condition, the diagnosis and recommendations for any immediate action to be taken to resolve the situation.

Get your competitive survey quote from Surveyor Local by filling in few details in the form at the top of this page, or you can get the survey process started by appointing an experienced chartered surveyor by calling us on 0800 038 6667.

Damage caused by high rainfall

What effect can rainfall have on a house in Lexden? Where there are problems, what should we do?

The Environment Agency has estimated that around 1 in every 6 homes around the country is at risk from some sort of flooding, with more than half of those susceptible from surface water alone. The risk of floods needs to be taken seriously, since ingress of water to a property can threaten safety as well as causing major damage and disruption in the aftermath. It also has an impact on the property’s value and its insurability and the premiums that will be required to be paid. So, it makes sense to get your survey carried out by an experienced firm like Surveyor Local.

Because of the increasing likelihood of flooding in the UK and the problems it causes, it becomes an essential part of looking for a new home to establish its history with flooding and the risk to the local area. There are several steps that can be taken:

  • search for your location on the Environment Agency’s flood map for planning service to establish the level of risk of flooding (based on historical and geographical information)
  • appoint a specialist search provider (such as Landmark) to identify the position in more detail (you can talk to your conveyancing solicitor about this option and costs)
  • check with the sellers to confirm anecdotal evidence of prior flooding issues

The chartered surveyor will check the likely impact of any flooding on the property and its contents, providing recommendations to reduce or even eliminate the effects should it occur.

Try Surveyor Local’s instant Colchester survey quote generator (scroll to the top of this page for the form) or call our advisers on 0800 038 6667 to talk through your surveying needs and to assign one of the best chartered surveyors in the country.

Stone-block wall damage

Can Beer stone-built properties in Colchester be hard to upkeep? Which issues should we consider before putting in an offer?

Stone walls often appear more robust than they really are. Issues impacting the lifespan of stone-built elements of a house are as diverse as the stone varieties themselves. The two main forms of mortared stone-wall construction found in Colchester are regular (where the stone is cut into geometrical shapes) and irregular (which is the more rugged and jagged look to the blocks).

Dry-stone construction is frequently used in garden walls and field boundaries but is rarely employed for inhabited structures. In addition, lime mortar may feature in the building's construction, which is susceptible to severe wearing and decay when open to the elements and sources of pollution. Guidelines for better stone-wall upkeep include clearing of ivy-like plant-life and weeds.

If you would like more information on what aspects of stone-wall construction the survey will look into, and which type of survey is best for you, call a Surveyor Local adviser on 0800 038 6667.

House prices

There is a terraced house in the CO1 postcode area priced at £235,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Colchester?

A qualified RICS surveyor will go to the property as well as considering the wealth of area knowledge and factors that have a bearing on the value of property. There are a huge number of issues that could affect house prices (for example, the quality of nearby schools, or whether the garden is overlooked). It can help to benchmark selling-prices recorded for similar properties in Colchester.

This means the average price of completed transactions for terraced houses in Colchester in December 2018 was £227,811, which is £7,189 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Colchester were:

PriceProperty type
£266,542All properties
£162,027Flats/maisonettes
£227,811Terraced
£278,519Semi-detached
£439,917Detached

Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 13 February 2019

An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a HomeBuyer Report, which includes a Property Valuation Report (PVR) as a core component. A qualified RICS surveyor will be part of the Valuer Registration Scheme, which reinforces professional standards.

If you need further guidance, why not try our online Colchester survey quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information) or call our team on 0800 038 6667?

Conservatory

For the Colchester HomeBuyer Report, what impact will a ‘condition 2 rating’ have on a conservatory and porch?

The RICS HomeBuyer Report replaced the original HomeBuyer Survey and Valuation, and, since 2016, the option of choosing the HomeBuyer Report without the valuation product has also been on offer.

The HomeBuyer Report is specifically designed and laid out so that clients can find what they want easily and, more importantly, understand what the report is saying. In summary, the product provides:

  • a clearer layout, so that the information within it is obvious and can be found easily and swiftly
  • an energy performance rating, bringing it in line with current legislation
  • modern design broken down into the clear areas of the inspection (e.g. about the property, inside, outside, services, etc.)
  • colour-coded condition ratings using a traffic-light system for instant visual understanding (1 (green) – no repairs required; 2 (amber) – needs repair or replacement but not immediately urgent; 3 (red) – needs urgent repair, replacement or financial investment)
  • performed by a skilled chartered surveyor, such as the thorough and focused surveyors we have available at Surveyor Local
  • less comprehensive and detailed (and therefore cheaper) than the Building Survey, but significantly more detailed than the Condition Report
  • written in plain English with no technical or jargon terminology for easy understanding of the condition of the building

A ’condition 2 rating’ suggests that that aspect of the Colchester property in question will need some work. The condition of this particular part of the building is unlikely to require urgent action, however. Parts of the report which do not apply to the specific property being surveyed in Colchester will be indicated with a 'NI', or 'not inspected'. If a Colchester property does not have a porch or conservatory, for example, these aspects of the report will obviously be omitted.

An example of a ‘condition 2 rating’ for a conservatory might be the rotation of beams in a conservatory roof. Section E7 (Outside the Property) defects include those problems that affect any porch or conservatory attached to the home, since they are considered to be external additions to the original structure. Safety hazards, including floor-level glass and blocked escape routes from upper-storey windows should also be reported on in this section.

The HomeBuyer Report costs an average of £400, although this is dependent on the size and location of the property. Surveyor Local offers a quality survey product for a very competitive price, so it makes sense to try our online quote calculator (simply fill in a few details in the form at the top of this page) or call us on 0800 038 6667.

On the Surveyor Local website, we have a number of sample reports that we have generated to give you an idea of what you would receive from each type of survey, including the HomeBuyer Report. This should help you understand the purposely easy-to-read nature of our offering.

Ready to appoint your chartered surveyor? Call Surveyor Local now on 0800 038 6667.

Timber damage by insect larvae

I am worried about bugs in the Colchester house we plan to buy. Will a residential surveyor look into this?

The issue of pests in and around the home is often seen as a small or minor, even irrelevant, inconvenience or annoyance that simply needs to be accepted and managed. However, the threat of many pests is very real and, with certain examples, will have a risk to the occupants’ health or destroy the fabric and structure of a building.

In addition, evidence of an infestation of pests is not always easy to find. Some obvious examples of common pests include (but not limited to) rodents, cockroaches, death-watch beetle, woodworm, and carpet beetle larvae.

Your chartered surveyor will look out for evidence of the common problems, such as droppings or holes in wood, and make recommendations based on the severity of the problem and how recent the infestation appears to be. Solutions and remedies to eradicate pests may include the use of poisons, insecticides and traps, but more humane ways of removing pests are available. It’s always worth obtaining a number of quotes from companies qualified to handle such issues so that you can request a reduction in the asking price from the seller.

Because there are so many different pests, the chartered surveyor will not be able to test and check for every single type other than the common instances. If you suspect that a specific issue with pests exists, then you should bring it to your surveyor’s attention and they will be able to focus on finding the particular evidence, should it exist.

If you’re at all concerned about this or any other aspect of the survey process, why not give Surveyor Local’s friendly advisers a quick call on 0800 038 6667 and they will walk you through it and assign you one of the best chartered surveyors available.

Damage resulting from flooding

We believe this residence is located in a low-lying area of Colchester. Is there a major flood-risk? Would our chartered surveyor check any flood damage, or if neighbouring properties have been affected?

The Environment Agency has estimated that around 1 in every 6 homes in the UK is at risk from some sort of flooding, with more than half of those susceptible from surface water alone. The risk of floods needs to be taken seriously, since ingress of water to a property can threaten safety as well as causing major damage and disruption in the aftermath. It also has an impact on the property’s value and its insurability and the premiums that will be required to be paid. So, it makes sense to get your survey carried out by an experienced company like Surveyor Local.

There are many causes of flooding, and, even if your home is not anywhere near a body of water, this is no reason for complacency. The sources of such flooding include manageable issues and the more unpredictable, such as surface water, groundwater rising, rivers bursting banks, coastal areas with higher tides than normal, burst water mains, or a broken water tank, radiators and other plumbing issues.

Because of the increasing likelihood of flooding in the UK and the problems it causes, it becomes an essential part of looking for a new home to establish its history with flooding and the risk to the local area. There are several steps that can be taken:

  • use the Environment Agency’s flood information service for the current situation
  • search for your location on the Environment Agency’s flood map for planning service to establish the level of risk of flooding (based on historical and geographical information)
  • appoint a specialist search provider to identify the position in more detail (you can talk to your conveyancing solicitor about this option and costs)
  • check with the sellers to confirm anecdotal evidence of prior flooding issues

The chartered surveyor will check the likely impact of any flooding on the property and its contents, providing recommendations to reduce or even eliminate the effects should it occur.

For more assurance as to what your surveyor can do for you, contact Surveyor Local’s waiting advisers on 0800 038 6667.

Timber damage by insect larvae

I am worried about bugs in the Colchester house we plan to buy. Will a residential surveyor look into this?

Infestations can range from the mild and harmless, to the seriously harmful. Unfortunately, the impact to a house and its inhabitants can affect the health of residents and affect its value. It may not be obvious that a building is suffering a severe pest problem, as evidence can be overlooked. As an example, woodworm, or larvae of the common furniture beetle, may be identified after finding neat small holes in wood, accompanied by piles of wood dust beneath. Treatment for pests may include chemical treatment. The surveyor may include notes on any signs of vermin or other pests in their report. It is, however, advisable that specific worries you may have be raised ASAP.

Damaged Render

What defects will your Chartered Surveyor examine on a smooth stucco Victorian house in Colchester.

Stucco is really just smooth type of render. Normally stucco render is applied to brick to form a smooth and even finish. The finish is highly appealing and was often applied to Regency houses. It can have lime in it in addition to a plastic under mesh to help stop cracks. it can be problematic and Surveyors commonly detail issues for example trapped moisture leading to damp problems.

Another example of problems associated with stucco may involve sulphate attack from salts sucked out of underlying brickwork. Fixing Stucco problems may be costly as the skills are getting harder to find.

For a local stucco advice contact M R Long Plastering, 14 Birch Avenue, Colchester, CO7 8LL Tel. 07790 776652

Gas flame

Does the chartered surveyor go into detail on the safety of the gas appliances?

The chartered surveyor will locate and visually survey the easily accessible parts of the system. This will mean gas related areas such as whether the meter is in an escape route as part of the survey, as well as gas related fixtures such as chimney breasts. The gas fittings won't however be detached. Of course, gas is potentially hazardous, should you have any worries relating to gas installations, contact a gas safe engineer without delay.

Gas Safe Register firms in Colchester include L S Harvey of 7 Maryland Court, Brisbane Way, Colchester, Essex Tel. 07886559174 and C & F Engineers of 6 Salamanca Way, Colchester Tel. 07720 078803.

The 1998 Gas Safety Regulations require that all landlords have to carry out appliance and installation inspections annually. Non compliance penalties are severe .