Residential Surveys

At Smith Marston, we provide honest, reliable reports to provide you, as the potential purchaser, with the appropriate information to make an informed decision about the purchase and possibly to renegotiate the purchase price.

  • Building Survey and Home Buyer Report

    Beyond the limitations of the Mortgage Valuation Survey, the two standard forms of survey available are the HomeBuyer Survey and the Building Survey.

    For most relatively modern, standard properties in generally reasonable condition, the HomeBuyer Report is adequate to advise upon the essential matters of concern and the reasonableness of the value of the property. The Building Survey is a more thorough and detailed bespoke survey. At Smith Marston Ltd, we are able to provide a full independent surveying service and can also provide an architectural service for extensions, barn conversions and alterations to houses. The table below shows the differences between the HomeBuyer Report, and a Building Survey Report.

    Home Surveys Comparison

    Service FeaturesHome Buyer ReportBuilding Survey
    Describes the construction and condition of the property on the date of the inspection.
    Aims to identify any problems that need urgent attention or are serious.
    Aims to identify things that need to be investigated further to prevent serious damage.
    Aims to tell you about problems that may be hazardous.
    Aims to show up potential issues and defects, before any transaction takes place.
    Includes the standard visual inspection during which secured panels, electrical fittings, inspection chamber covers and other similar features are not removed.
    Aims to help you decide whether you need extra advice before committing to purchase.
    Aims to advise you on the amount of ongoing maintenance required in the future.
    An enhanced service that includes all the features of the standard inspection plus a more extensive roof space inspection.
    Provides a reinstatement cost to help you avoid under- or over-insurance.
    Provides market valuation.
    Aims to establish how the property is built, what materials are used and how these will perform in the future.
    Aims to describe visible defects, plus exposing potential problems posed by hidden defects.
    Aims to outline the repair options and give you a repair timeline, whilst explaining the consequences of not acting.
    A longer and more detailed visual inspection of a wider range of issues including a more thorough consideration of the roof space and ground floors.


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  • Planned Maintenance

    Once a party has purchased a property, it is necessary to plan ahead to ensure that the building performs satisfactorily for future years.

    If you have purchased a property, whether a home, or a commercial property as an investment, it is essential that the building is maintained and perhaps enhanced to ensure that the asset value is realised to its full potential.

    In either situation, without planning for such repairs in advance, problems can arise. What often happens is that people tackle maintenance on a reactive basis, which is often an expensive way to deal with remedial works. All too often, people fail to prevent problems prior to them occurring, which can often result in downtime to a business operation, loss of productivity and also more extensive and thus expensive repairs.

    At Smith Marston, we can survey your property, and put the results into a report that looks to spread required actions out over a period of years. This helps spread expenditure, and make savings from economies of scale, for example, planning re-pointing works to walls, at the same time as external decorations are to be carried out, so as to avoid the need for duplication of scaffolding costs. We can custom the report over whatever timescale you prefer. 5 years, 10 years or whatever your occupational term is.

  • Structure-Only / Bespoke Surveys

    We realise that clients do not always want a full survey of the building.

    On occasions, a client may simply wish to know if the property is structurally sound, without comment upon internal ceilings, joinery, services, boundary walls and outbuildings or other such matters. If so, we can undertake a bespoke survey specifically tailored to our client’s requirements, possibly for example a Structure-Only Survey which reports in the same was as a Building Survey but just in relation to the walls, floors and roof. This type of survey often suits somebody who intends carrying out significant alteration or internal refurbishment, who does not wish to know the condition of many parts of the existing building, because they know those elements will be renewed in any event as part of the fitting out/refurbishment plans.

  • Defect Inspection

    Sometimes there is just the need to inspect one particular part and/or defect of a building, possibly following queries raised during a Mortgage Valuation survey.

    Does this sound familiar? You have noticed some damp on your wall and you wish to know what is causing it. Or a crack has developed, you are worried about it, and you would like some advice upon the cause and whether it is ongoing or not? If so, then clearly there would be no need to survey the whole property. An isolated inspection and report can be undertaken specific to your needs. Just call us and ask; we would be pleased to help.

Because we insist upon the highest quality of surveying and reporting, we are not always the cheapest but, when buying a home for hundreds of thousands of pounds, we would suggest that it may well be false economy to simply opt for the cheapest survey option.

If you would like to discuss any matters at all regarding surveys, please do not hesitate to call.

For a free quote for a house survey, please complete our online enquiry form.
Free Quote Enquiry Form

Why choose Smith Marston?

We think that there are various reasons why you should choose Smith Marston to carry out a survey regarding the most expensive purchase you will probably make in your life:

  • All surveys are only carried out by experienced Chartered Building Surveyors – we do not have unqualified staff undertaking the survey with the completed report then ‘signed-off’ by a qualified surveyor.
  • We provide a thorough and comprehensive report complete with photographs of the most important matters.
  • Clearly, we will report significant concerns about the house to you. However, the experience of our Surveyors is such that all have the confidence to reassure you where there may be matters which appear to be alarming but which are, in fact, not of a serious nature.
  • We can provide a verbal report the same day if time is of the essence.
  • Following your receipt of the report, we are more than willing to discuss any matters of concern or aspects which require any clarification.