A Building Survey is carried out by an RICS or RPSA Building Surveyor and includes a full inspection of all accessible parts of the property and reports in detail upon everything that can be seen. The report is produced in a bespoke style to suit your requirements and those of the property in question and the report will deal with all parts of the building and covers defects or maintenance issues in detail.
A Structural Survey is carried out by a Chartered Civil or Structural Engineer. They specifically look at the structural integrity of the property in detail.
There is often a lot of confusion around this and it is worth talking with your chosen firm about what they are providing as you may find it is not what you need.
Often on a homebuyer report, the inspection may highlight some issues for further investigation and recommend having a structural survey undertaken. This is the most common scenario that we experience, and, in this case, we have a few local contacts who we have worked with in the past who we can recommend. But what if the client did not call and just emailed for a quote, received one and said yes lease proceed? Who is at fault? Have we given enough client care for instance? It is an exceedingly difficult situation and one that can be easily avoided.
The RICS changed the name of the Structural Survey to Level 3 Building Survey several years ago due to the confusion, however we rarely meet estate agents or property professionals who know the difference.
If in doubt, contact us and have a chat through the various options.