Domestic Surveys

"inherent attention to detail"

Our domestic surveying services...

What type of survey do I need?...

Many people mistakenly believe that a 'valuation survey' conducted by their mortgage lender will inform them of any structural faults, damp issues, or other major defects within a building. It probably won't. Its prime objective is to establish the value of the property to be used as security against the mortgage. Anyone intending to purchase a property and wishing to identify any potential defects should obtain a Level 2 or Level 3 survey. For most properties, an intermediate 'Level 2 Homebuyer Report' (also known as a 'Home Survey') should suffice. This is based on a detailed visual inspection of the building externally & internally. However, if the building is of great antiquity or is substantially suspect for any other reason then a full blown RICS Level 3 Building Survey should be carried out.

Our 'Domestic Survey' service is the equivalent of an RICS Level 2 Homebuyer Report… only better. We are not RICS Building Surveyors but are often in competition with them. We have been carrying out building surveys since 1987, so we certainly have an immense knowledge of building defects. We don’t rest on our laurels though. We continually develop our reports to reflect new scientific insights and solutions within the construction industry. However, we are also extremely keen on preservation and building heritage and so we do not ‘reinvent the wheel’ unless relevant and necessary.

And if you require a Level 3 Building Survey, we will gladly put you in contact with the RICS Building Surveying Practices we work alongside.

Detail, clarity, and sound advice...

Many of our customers have expressed their appreciation of our inherent attention to detail. We certainly strive to cover every aspect that may cause future concern in a building. We have seen many RICS reports that broadly outline the areas of the major building defects. By contrast, we go much deeper into the cause of any defects and their potential symptoms. We recommend appropriate courses of remedial action in detail, assessing the urgency and size of the repair, and we advise whether specialist contractors or professionals should be employed. If possible, every defect described is backed up with a photograph and specific annotation.

As mentioned, all recommended remedial action is rated for both urgency and size of the job. These ratings are colour coded in the right hand margin of our reports for instant appraisal of the major issues. The RICS 3-colour ‘traffic light’ coding system reflects the ‘urgency’ or ‘size’ of the action required (or a combination of the two) across broad building elements and the customer is never sure which aspect applies. By contrast, our system has 6 colours so customers can easily differentiate between, say, urgent minor repairs and non-urgent major tasks for each, individual repair. We also have a distinct colour for work to be done by specialist contractors and professionals. In addition, we have a 3-colour system to rate accessibility and our ability to inspect each building element so the customer is instantly alerted to areas where we could not gain access to carry out an inspection. In total, we use 10 easily identified colours for an instant overall appraisal, as opposed to the RICS’s ambiguous 3-colour system.

An honest assessment...

We know from experience the thrill and excitement of purchasing a dream property in Cornwall, especially on the coast, in a secluded valley or an idyllic village It is easy to see the views and anticipate the good times ahead through rose-tinted glasses. Our job is to inspect the building without such glazed vision and to provide an honest assessment of its condition, good or bad. Hopefully, our findings are minor and we have succeeded in making our clients aware of the problems to be taken on board in the years ahead. However, regrettably, we sometimes have to advise of major defects that rule out a viable purchase. In such cases, dreams may be shattered... but nightmares are prevented... and many thousands of pounds of expenditure and years of anxiety are averted. Can you afford not to have a Domestic Survey?

"We thank you very much for your input. After very careful consideration of all the facts regarding this property, we have decided not to go ahead with the purchase. We feel that it would be foolhardy for us to attempt to struggle with all the inherent problems we may well be faced with. " - Mike & Zofia Watchorn

"Thank you for the Domestic Survey Report which was very comprehensive and informative... an excellent detailed report which was exactly what I needed and allayed any fears I had about purchasing my property. Thanks for getting on to this so promptly." - James Gurney