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Cottage House


Also known as the RICS Building Survey

When buying a new home, you may feel confused over which type of survey you actually need. Typically, the two main house surveys are a Level 2 report and a Level 3 report.

 If you are buying an older property or a more unusual building – or one that has complications of any sort – you should always invest in a more thorough investigation. The safest choice is a RICS Level 3 Home Survey, which provides a full breakdown of the fabric and condition of the property.

A Level 3 Home Survey (otherwise known as a Building Survey) is an in-depth inspection of a property. It is the most thorough of the surveys available for residential properties and will give a detailed assessment of a property’s condition. 

The Level 3 report will give details on the  condition of each element of the house and identify any defects, the apparent cause of these defects, the urgency of repair and maintenance information.

Your surveyor will inspect all visible, and accessible, parts of a building, including roofs, walls, floors, windows and doors, chimneys, cellars, garages and any outbuildings. Surveyors have a legal responsibility to uncover and inform of any major problems noted during the inspection, so your surveyor will actively search for potential problems or defects. This includes inspecting cupboards and manholes, and looking into the services. However, your surveyor will not investigate enclosed or concealed parts of a building, such as sealed roof spaces.

List of the aspects included in a Level 3 Home Survey:

  • Most important defects

  • Results of tests for damp in the walls

  • Alterations to supporting walls

  • Renovations that have occurred without necessary planning permission

  • Presence of hazardous materials (e.g. asbestos)

  • Evidence of subsidence

  • Damage to masonry and roof

  • Damage to timbers

  • Large trees close to the property

  • Woodworm, dry rot and other damage to timbers

  • The condition of existing insulation, damp proofing and advice on non-tested drainage

We will also provide:

  • Maintenance and repair details, what could happen if repairs and maintenance are not carried out.

  • Technical information about how the property was constructed, and the materials that were used during the construction process.

  • Bespoke advice on how the property’s build type can affect the structural integrity and the maintenance required.

  • Information on hazards and considerations that may be relevant for your legal advisor.

  • Proposals for any further inspections or works which may be needed due to findings during the survey.

The report, however, will not go into detail about particular things, for example, heating or electrical equipment.

You should choose a RICS Level 3 Home Survey if you’re dealing with a run-down, larger or older property, listed properties, a building that is unusual or altered, or if you’re planning major works.






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