SSJ Chartered Surveyors

Residential Property


Why do I need a survey?

Purchasing a home is probably the biggest purchase that you make throughout your lifetime and having a detailed survey undertaken by an Independent Chartered Surveyor is undoubtedly one of the most cost effective and best investments you can make.

As Independent Chartered Surveyors, Silk Sharples Jennings are not affiliated to any estate agents, banks, or building societies and we can therefore inspect and assess a property with complete independence to make sure that when you buy a property you have the peace of mind to know that it has been thoroughly inspected by a qualified Chartered Surveyor.

We undertake a variety of survey types, including, Valuation Reports, Homebuyers Survey and Valuations, Building Surveys (formerly known as Full Structural Surveys) and Building Defect Reports.  Whether you are buying an apartment in a modern block or an old renovated building, a terraced, semi-detached or detached house, a newly built property, or a Listed building, Silk Sharples Jennings Chartered Surveyors can provide the right survey to ensure that you have all the information necessary to make an informed judgment as to whether to proceed and purchase the property.

Undertaking the survey and providing the report are, however, only part of the process. We feel the most important aspect is being available to discuss the contents of the survey with each client, if required, once they have had an opportunity to read through the report.

Surveys can be tailored to your specific requirements, although please refer to our general guide on what type of survey to have below.

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This type of inspection is similar to that which will be undertaken by your mortgage company and is primarily designed to assess the correct market value for the property and incorporates a brief inspection of up to an hour to assess the basic construction and condition and advise on any obvious defects.

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This is the most popular survey for the majority of purchasers and is a recognised survey format offered by the RICS. This is a relatively detailed report which assesses individual elements of the property offering a rating system ranging from 1 – 3 (1 - satisfactory, 2 - requiring repair as part of normal maintenance, 3 - requiring urgent repair or further investigation for a significant defect).

The inspection will normally take 2-3 hours dependent upon the size and type of property and the report aims to highlight any significant defects found and give advice and direction as to the most appropriate to proceed in terms of obtaining further quotes and information.  The final report, which is presented in a standard report format of up to 15 pages, also includes a market valuation of the property and also a valuation of the reinstatement cost for insurance purposes.

A Homebuyers Survey and Valuation is normally most suited to properties of traditional construction and probably less than 150 years old and where there are no suspected significant defects and where the property has not been significantly extended or altered.

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The Building Survey was formerly known as a 'full structural survey' and is a detailed and comprehensive report on the construction of the property and any related defects.  The RICS recommends that all purchasers should have a Building Survey as this is not only the most comprehensive report, but also one which gives far more detail and recommendations on how to approach any remedial work and also gives an overall indication of the potential costs involved.

The Building Survey inspection will normally last between 3-5 hours dependent upon the size and type of the property. This report is more extensive and will incorporate photographs of the property including the identification of defects where possible.  Whilst the building survey is suitable for all types of property, it is particularly relevant for those that are larger, have been significantly extended or altered, or are particularly old.  Properties of a more unusual or non-traditional construction should also be considered for the building survey as well as those with a Listed status.

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There are occasions where a survey may not be required for purchase, or where a previous survey has highlighted a defect which requires further or more skilled investigation.  As Chartered Building Surveyors we are able to offer specific Building Defect Reports relating to such areas as a structural movement, cracking, drainage issues, damp penetration, or issues to do with isolated parts of the structure that require further assessment.  These reports by definition are tailored to individual requirements and can be a more cost effective option, although clearly do not assess the whole property in the way that the building survey does.

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Silk Sharples Jennings are also Chartered Valuation Surveyors and we offer a full range of valuation services for private and corporate clients.

We are able to provide RICS compliant valuations for a variety of purposes including:

  • Matrimonial Settlement
  • Probate
  • Taxation
  • Mortgage/Secured Lending
  • Investment Portfolios
  • Reinstatement Cost Assessments/Insurance Valuations

Should you have any queries regarding the type of valuation that you require, then please contact Mark Jennings MRICS.

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Silk Sharples Jennings are qualified Domestic Energy Assessors and undertake inspections to provide Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for residential properties and these can be provided on a larger scale to estate agents and letting agents, or on an individual basis to property owners and landlords.  We also offer a floor plan drawing service suitable for the majority of estate agents details.

Should you require a detailed measured survey of your property in order to provide full building drawings, then we are able to provide this as part of our architectural design services.

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