Building Surveying Equipment

12/09/2017
Building Surveying Equipment: we're often asked about what equipment a RICS surveyor takes to a residential property to conduct an inspection, whether for a HomeBuyer Report or a Building Survey.

Here's an excerpt from RICS' website, which sets down the 'core set of equipment' which a RICS surveyor will use for surveying a building.

"For all levels of service, surveyors should have a core set of equipment available for use during the inspection. This would typically include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Equipment for recording information: as technology and professional practice develops, the method of recording information will vary. Currently this includes paper, pens, pencils and personal recorders, through to the latest digital cameras and tablet-based software packages. The main requirement is to produce an accurate and comprehensive record of the property at the time of inspection as this will allow reflection during the report writing stage.

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  • Measuring equipment: the surveyor should collect appropriate dimensions and other property characteristics to a suitable level of accuracy and the usual variety of tapes, rods, laser-measuring devices, moisture meters and standard spirit levels will help achieve this.
  • Equipment for assessing remote and concealed areas: the surveyor should have a variety of tools and equipment available that can help with the assessment of remote and concealed areas (depending on the nature of the instruction). This will typically include standard lifting equipment for inspection chamber covers, meter cupboard keys, hand mirrors, a ladder that gives safe access to spaces that are three metres above floor level, and binoculars or telescopes for parts of the property at high level.
  • Health and safety equipment: surveyors should carry out all parts of the service safely and this covers work done in the office, travelling to and from the property, and during the inspection itself. Practitioners should have appropriate health and safety procedures and policies in place that match sector standards. For more information, see Surveying safely published by RICS in June 2011. Health and safety related equipment would typically include a mobile phone, personal alarm, protective headgear and shoes, appropriate facemask, first-aid kit, means of personal identification, and protective overalls and gloves.

Additional equipment normally associated with level three services [i.e. Building Surveys]:

Depending on the nature of the instruction, surveyors may need additional tools and equipment that will allow them to provide specific services. This may typically include:

  • Large screwdrivers, hammers, small crowbars, bolsters and so on.
  • Mirrors on extendable poles, boroscopes and metal detectors.
  • Equipment for more accurate measurement of buildings such as crack width and building distortion. For this, more specialised items such as engineer's rules, plumb bobs, larger spirit levels, quick-set levels and measuring staffs, moisture meter accessories and so on, may also be required.

All equipment, whether 'core' or 'additional', must be kept in safe working order in accordance with manufacturer's requirements."

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