Alan Potter MRICS
Call Me: 0191 542 0794 / 07500 381451

Building Surveying Services

Building Services in Sunderland

Your home will probably be the Your home will probably be the biggest purchase you will ever make and it is worth paying for a building survey to check that the property is sound. You will often be asked to pay for a mortgage valuation in order to secure a mortgage offer but this should not be confused with a building survey. The mortgage valuation merely confirms to the lender that the property is worth at least what it is lending you – it is not its responsibility to point out any repairs that need doing. Sometimes, defects which become apparent during a survey can provide scope for a re-negotiation of the purchase price and a survey will also help you to budget for any future repairs that may be needed.

A survey is intended to help you make a reasoned and informed decision on whether or not to go ahead with buying the property; whilst taking into account any repairs or replacements the property needs.

I can offer you solutions to your property and building surveying requirements through a range of cost effective surveying services including:

ABuilding Survey (also known as a Structural Survey) provides a detailed report on the property’s construction and condition which can be applied to any age of property but is particularly helpful for older properties, those that have been extensively altered, and those for which renovation or conversions are planned.

A Building Survey report will provide the Client with guidance in respect of the form of construction, the nature of any defects identified and recommended remedial measures; covering all accessible elements of the property and includes roofs, chimney stacks, rainwater guttering and downpipes, main walls, windows, doors, loft, ceilings, floors, internal walls, fireplaces, chimney breasts, internal joinery/fittings and decorations.

The inspection will pay particular attention to significant and potentially costly structural defects namely, damp, timber rot, wood boring insects and structural movement/cracking. A visual inspection would be undertaken of the building services, including the electrical installation, gas installation, water, central heating and fire detection; along with a cover lift inspection of accessible drainage inspection chambers.

Externally, inspection will include the gardens/grounds, boundaries and garages/outbuildings.

The Report will offer an overall conclusion on the condition of the property, including potential future maintenance issues; along with budget cost estimates relative to those repairs identified from the inspection; which can assist with Client budget considerations and, in certain instances, enable the proposed purchase price to be re-negotiated.

A Main Elements Survey is an alternative to the Building Survey, focussing upon the property’s main structural elements including roofs, chimney stacks, walls, and floors, with particular emphasis upon identifying the presence of the structural defects of damp, timber rot, wood boring insects and structural movement/cracking.

A Main Elements Survey is an economical means of establishing the condition of the property including the identification of defects and necessary repairs and is recommended in those instances where the Client intends large-scale refurbishment works, including the replacement of internal joinery, fittings and building services.

The Main Elements Survey report layout is generally similar to that adopted for a Building Survey, including budget cost estimates relative to those repairs identified from the inspection; but specifically excluding rainwater goods, windows, doors, internal joinery/fittings, building services and external areas.

A Specific Defects Report may be useful if you have a particular concern with a property, relating to for example, dampness, cracking, movement or timber defects; and can often be required where a previous survey, such a valuation for mortgage purposes, had identified a particular element/defect requiring further investigation and reporting.

A Specific Defect Report is used to identify the nature and cause of a defect and including recommendations relative to appropriate remedial repair works.

Such a report can be a cost effective means of assisting a householder to ensure their property is restored to an appropriate state of repair; reducing the potential for future more significant defects arising. Alternatively, the identification of a specific defect within a mortgage valuation can sometimes lead to delays or a breakdown of the conveyancing process and a Specific Defect Report can be an economical way of getting the purchase moving again.

S nagging Reports are carried out prior to completion of all newly built property in order to establish the extent of any outstanding or substandard workmanship to be completed by the builder prior to legal completion.

Whilst the overall build quality of a new property is usually good, a number of areas requiring making-good can be present at the time of “completion” and whilst each item may be in itself, insignificant, in total they may amount to a considerable quantity of work.

I am aware that the home buying process can be both stressful and time-consuming; and instructing me to carry out a snagging inspection on your behalf can assist in reducing the demands on your time, with experienced eyes ensuring a comprehensive snagging list is provided for the builder’s attention.


With over 25 years of experience in property surveying I can offer advice and practical solutions to all of your property issues and building surveying requirements. Please contact me for more information.


member of the royal Institution of chartered surveyors