How long does a building survey take?

One of the most common questions we are asked is how long does a survey take or how much time do you spend on a Homebuyer Report?  And the answer is… it depends, closely followed by as long as it takes!

Firstly it depends on whether it’s a Homebuyer Report or a full building survey, It depends on the size of the house, the age of the property, the type and manner of construction, the extent of the defects we may find, the extent of furnishings and carpets, whether it’s raining and we have to keep nipping in and out between showers, and whether the vendor makes us a cup of tea or not!

How long does a survey take? - depends if we stop for tea!

But… if we assume a normal three-bedroom semi-detached house, perhaps with an extension or conservatory, on a nice day,  typically furnished and with no particularly awkward defects, we would expect to take at least two and a half to three hours on site to carry out a building survey .

On the other hand, a survey of a a five-bedroom grade 2 listed country property in dilapidated order may well take six or more hours and we recently spent two days on one of these.  At the other end of the scale a recently built one-bedroom starter home may only take an hour and half.

A Level 2 Homesurvey Report needs less inspection time and we would expect to spend about an hour and a half on a three-bed semi; an hour on the starter home; and no time at all on the listed chunk of country estate because the Homebuyer Report is not a suitable product for a property of that type.

 (Originally published by Steven Way, 8 June 2012)

Collier Stevens – Chartered Building Surveyors in London and Kent – Regulated by RICS