Why a survey is crucial for 'fixer-uppers'

What’s your property dream? For many, it’s buying a wreck of a house and transforming it into the luxury home they’ve always wanted – regular viewers of BBC’s Under The Hammer will confirm there’s a bit of the property developer hiding in all of us.

Finding a bargain place that is structurally sound enough and can be turned around in quick time without breaking the bank might be the ideal scenario for many. And then there are the mighty renovation projects, like the one Auction House Scotland is offering for the princely sum of just £1.

A traditional sandstone, semi-detached house, the Victorian structure is formed over three levels with an extension to the rear already in place and a garage, too. But it’s in a completely dilapidated state, and whoever rises to the challenge of restoring the house to its former glory will need deep pockets and plenty of time and patience.

If you’re pining after a grand designs-style project, check out the wreck of the week website that highlight the properties around the UK that “need a huge dollop of TLC” and those aforementioned deep pockets.

Surveyor’s expert eye reveals the flaws

Maybe you’re waiting for that lottery win to finance your big vision, but pipe dreams aside, if you do want to carry out your own renovation project on a property that’s going cheap because it’s in a bit of a state, the very first thing you have to do is instruct a building survey.

Yes, you know the place looks a wreck inside and out, but a full structural survey – carried out by a chartered surveyor who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – will delve much deeper into the building. A building survey will uncover any potential structural defects, the presence of dry or wet rot, any hint of rising damp or subsidence.

A surveyor carrying out a comprehensive structural survey will be actively looking for potential flaws and defects, examining not only the exterior walls and roof but also interior supporting walls, floors, window frames, plumbing, electrics and insulation.

In short, this is the full bhuna of property surveys. And if you want to make a success of your own grand design, you cannot afford to cut corners right from the start and not pay to know the full extent of the work you are about to undertake.

Advice tailored especially for you

Any or all of those issues could add thousands of pounds to a budget to restore or renovate a property if they are not identified before you put pen to paper on a contract to buy.

At Surveyor Local, our expert sales team can advise you on exactly which survey is right for the property you hope to buy. We use only chartered surveyors registered with the RICS, ensuring you are in professional, expert hands from the off.

Call our team now on 0800 038 6667 or find out more about a structural survey before getting a no-obligation quote.

Post Author: Frances Traynor