House Surveys – Explore Our Guide to Your Options and Prices

The author of this page knows from experience that not all house surveys are created equal, but that’s a story for another day.

Did you know that there are four different types of house survey to choose from?

This page is all about surveys and how much they cost.

We last updated this page ion the

house building survey

Our Survey Price Guide

In 2018 we got in touch with dozens of surveyors by email and asked them how much it would cost to survey a 3-bed house we were thinking of purchasing.

The prices you’ll see are an average of the figures given to us.

You can use this data as a guide to how much a house survey costs in 2018.

New Build Survey Cost

Are you looking to purchase a newly built property?

A “new build survey” will detail any parts of the build that haven’t been completed or completed to satisfaction.

With so many different tradespeople working on a build, including subcontractors, often working to tight deadlines, it’s not uncommon for parts of the project to be left incomplete.

These are usually minor issues, and a survey like this will usually be the basis of a sagging list you can pass on to your builder.

A new build house survey usually takes 1-2 hours.

A new build survey for a typical three bedroom house will cost around £400.00 inc VAT

Condition Report

This type of survey, or to be more accurate “report” is one of the most basic available.

The surveyor will provide you with an overview of the property’s condition that highlights major issues.

The report will not go into much detail and this type of survey is best suited to modern houses that appear to be in good condition.

The survey will again take between 1-2 hours.

You can expect a condition report for a typical 3-bed house to cost around £400.00 inc VAT

Home Buyers Report

A home buyers report takes a little longer to complete than a condition report and will go into more detail.

The surveyor should list any items that don’t meet current building regulations standards. These will be items you may need to spend on should you purchase the property.

The survey will take around 2-3 hours for a three bedroom house.

You can expect a home buyer’s report to cost in the region £550.00 inc VAT for a three-bed house

House Building Survey Cost

A full house survey is the most comprehensive type of general survey you can get, most commonly arranged for older properties or those that are obviously in need of repair.

While the most expensive option, you also get the most protection. The issuer should highlight all problems with the house in this report.

Unlike with other types of survey, the surveyor may lift utility hole covers, go in the loft, lift carpets/floorboards (if necessary) and also dig and poke around.

Building surveys cost more than other reports, but they are also the most comprehensive.

For a three-bedroom house, you can expect a house building survey to take at least half a day.

When gathering quotes for a full house survey, we noticed a big difference between the figures given to us. All the more reason to shop around and compare prices.

We recommend surveyors approved by RICs (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).

The cost of a house building survey is around £900.00 for a three-bedroom house inc VAT.

DIY Surveys

While we would never suggest you carry out a DIY survey instead of instructing a professional and registered surveyor, you can do some checks yourself to compliment any official survey:

  • Check maps, Streetview and do Google searches, look for major roads, railway lines, nearby housing estates etc.
  • Contact local council to see recent planning applications.
  • See if any neighbouring or nearby houses have had extensions.
  • Check the neighbourhood at different times of the day, note any traffic and parking issues.
  • Check crime maps. Look at the general condition of nearby houses.
  • Locate the nearest stream or river and do a flood risk assessment, do Google searches to find any information about any previous flooding to the area.
  • Check for local transport links; A roads, motorways and mainline railway stations.
  • Search for local amenities; banks, doctors, shops, schools etc.
  • Check the roof from ground level, use binoculars if required, check for broken tiles, the condition of any cement and the roof in general.
  • Examine areas beneath the guttering, look for any damp or green/mouldy patches that may indicate a roof/gutter leak.
  • Check exterior of all walls, look for any bowing and general condition of cement. Check damp course is above any patios, bedding or timber decking.
  • Open and close all windows and check the condition of frames and glass.
  • Switch on/off all lights and appliances. Note general condition of switches and plug sockets.
  • Check hot/cold water and central heating, check the age of boiler and any strange noises/rattling.
  • Check ceilings and walls for signs of damp penetration.
  • Note any drill holes just above ground level – obvious signs that the house has suffered from damp in the past and a damp proof course has been attempted.
  • Note any work that has not been completed to a professional standard (DIY).
  • Go in the loft and check the condition of felt and timberwork.
  • Get home insurance quotes, if they are unusually expensive this could indicate an issue (high crime area, previous flooding, etc.) that needs further investigating.

Photos of Defects

You can see a selection of photos here showing defects typically discovered during an inspection. You could look for similar defects if you were carrying out a DIY inspection yourself.

Recommended Websites

We suggest you explore the following sites before arranging a house building survey from a professional:

RICS website

Money Advice Service

Homeowners Alliance

Feedback – House Building Survey Prices

Are you a homeowner? Have you received quotes for a house survey? How much were you charged and what was your experience?

If you are a surveyor, have you got any tips or advice to share with our visitors?

Please feel free to leave a comment at the base of this page.

5 Responses to “House Surveys – Explore Our Guide to Your Options and Prices”

  1. Mr MistryJuly 11, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    Interesting and useful advice.

  2. Jenny HowellFebruary 2, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

    I’ve been give a quote of £1200 for a comprehensive home buyers survey stretching to 40 pages. Is that a rip off. I live in Hampstead London but buying 2 bed house in Archway

  3. Jay JayFebruary 20, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

    I have been quoted £600 for a defect inspection report. The defect is a ceiling leak in one bedroom of a first floor flat that has two bedrooms. Is this too high a quote?

  4. Sandra PearsonMay 31, 2019 at 11:44 am #

    How much does it cost to do a survey on. 2 bedroom bungalow in Shrewsbury.?

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