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Two men stood outside of a home, one holding a pencil and one holding a key, overlooking a survey document. SAM Conveyancing have a nationwide panel of local RICS Surveyors available this week for your full structural survey

How much is a full structural survey?

13/04/2023
(Last Updated: 13/06/2024)
176
9 min read
Key Takeaways

In this article we look at when a comprehensive structural survey is needed and how much it will likely cost based on the area of the country, however, the full house survey cost is based mainly on the size, age and idiosyncrasies of the specific property.

An estate agent and a property surveyor pointing at an external window. SAM Conveyancing can help with your structural survey cost and condition report.

So, if you want to know how much your home survey will cost, you will need to get several house survey quotes from several places and compare them for the best value.

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We're available at short notice and our fees start at £500 EXC VAT.

RICS Surveyors | Fixed Fees | Same week availability | Access arranged


What is a structural survey?

The terms Full Structural Survey and RICS Building Survey are all terms used for the RICS Home Survey – Level 3.

A structural engineer's survey refers to several different services and is undertaken by a structural surveyor who reviews a specific problem or project such as structural movement, subsidence, chimney breast removal or load-bearing wall removal.

This survey is undertaken when you know there is a specific issue reported to you in a RICS survey or a mortgage valuation survey.

The full survey costs start at £599 for a non-intrusive inspection. Further charges apply should a more intrusive inspection be required, such as reviewing the footings for a property affected by subsidence.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) vs The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA)

Both of these organisations specialise in the property surveying sector, but there are some key differences.

SAM exclusively works with RICS-accredited surveyors. They have an international presence with a huge membership base and approach accreditation with a rigorous, strict code of ethics.

A RICS survey is typically more expensive due to the organisation's sweeping range of services (property and construction surveys, valuations, project management) and stringent accreditation procedures.

RPSA, on the other hand, concentrates just on residential surveying with a much smaller membership base than RICS. Although they set high standards for their accredited associates, the process is not nearly as exhaustive, and the services offered are not as widespread as RICS.

The kind of surveyor that you need depends on your specific requirements and the type of property that you have/or are looking to buy.

Our RICS-accredited expert panel of surveyors are on hand to help you with your home mortgage valuation or your house survey.

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RICS Surveyors | Fixed Fees | Same week availability | Access arranged


A typical detatched country home requiring further investigation with the help of SAM Conveyancing. We can help with your house survey costs and condition report.

Comprehensive property survey: when is it needed?

Comprehensive house surveys are recommended for older or unusual properties. This kind of survey is also advisable if you're planning major works or if the property is of non-traditional construction.

It provides a thorough report on a property's condition and can give you peace of mind that you're making a wise investment.

Older properties

Homes that are over 50 years old often have structural issues that aren't immediately visible. A full house survey can uncover hidden problems such as subsidence, roof damage, or outdated electrical systems.

Unusual construction

If the property features unconventional construction methods or materials, a thorough examination is essential. This includes homes with thatched roofs, timber frames, or those built with non-standard materials.

Significant renovations

If the property has undergone extensive modifications or you plan to renovate significantly, understanding the building’s current state is crucial to prevent future surprises.

Visible issues

Obvious signs of damage such as cracks in the walls, dampness, or mould should prompt a full comprehensive survey to assess the extent of the problem and potential repair costs.

We'll explain house survey problems and what to look for, provide a full structural survey example and detail how much a house survey costs.

How much does a RICS survey cost?

The full survey cost depends on certain criteria which include:

Location of property

Building surveyors charge different prices based on the location of the property.

An old English property with a thatched roof that recently underwent a snagging survey with the help of SAM Conveyancing. What does a house survey cost? We can assist.

Size of property

The larger the property the longer it takes to survey and therefore the more expensive the quote.

Property price

The more expensive your property, the more your surveyor has to pay for their indemnity insurance to cover themselves against any mistakes and as such the more the surveyor will charge.

Surveyor’s Expertise

The survey cost can also depend on the surveyor’s experience and reputation. Choosing a qualified and experienced RICS surveyor can ensure a thorough and accurate assessment. When you book a survey with us, you know your surveyor has been vetted and approved for inclusion on our expert Panel.

On average, though, you can expect to pay between £500 to £1,500 for a comprehensive RICS house survey. While this might seem like a significant expense, the insights gained from house surveys can save you thousands in unexpected repair costs.

House survey costs can vary up or down based on the above. We can give you a fixed quote today for your property by calling 0333 344 3234 (local call charges).

16% of homeowners discover defects

In our recent survey, 16% of homeowners found defects; including 2% who were able to pull out of a bad purchase, 7% who were able to negotiate a better price, and sadly, 7% of homeowners who did not get a survey and discovered defects after the purchase.

12 of the 39 who remembered how much these defects cost to remedy spent over £5,000

Don't burn your money, book a survey.

RICS Surveyors | Fixed Fees | Same week availability | Access arranged

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Additional considerations for homebuyers

RICS Level 2 Homebuyer Report Surveys: If a full survey seems too extensive, consider a RICS Level 2 Homebuyer Report. This is the most thorough survey suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition, providing a detailed overview of the property’s condition without the depth of a Level 3 survey.

Negotiating Power: The results of a comprehensive survey can provide leverage in negotiating the property price. If significant issues are discovered, you may be able to renegotiate the purchase price or request that repairs be made before the purchase.

Future Maintenance: A detailed survey report will not only highlight current issues but also potential future problems, allowing you to budget for maintenance and avoid unexpected costs down the line.

Peace of Mind: Ultimately, a full structural survey offers peace of mind. Knowing the exact state of your potential new home can help you make an informed decision and avoid costly surprises.

On average, what does a house survey cost?

The following are the costs of an average structural survey (level 3 RICS house survey based on property value):

Property Value
Average Cost
Up to £100,000 £630
£100,001 to £200,000 £700
£200,001 to £300,000 £800
£300,001 to 400,000 £900
£400,001 to £500,000 £990
£500,001 to £600,000 £1,120
£600,001 to £700,000 £1,180
£700,001 to £800,000 £1,270
£800,001 to £900,000 £1,340
£900,001 to £1,000,000 £1,390

What affects the cost of a survey?

  • The property value.
  • The property's location.
  • The property's size.
  • How far is the surveyor required to travel to the property?

Note that a level 3 house survey report does not include a valuation within the house survey costs. This can usually be arranged at an additional cost, independent of your mortgage lender and their valuation.

A row of houses that underwent new build snagging surveys to ensure they meet building regulations. SAM Conveyancing helps you keep house survey costs down.

Choosing the right survey for your needs

When deciding between a RICS Level 2 and Level 3 survey, consider the specific needs of the property you’re interested in. Because we offer both services, we can help you make an informed choice tailored to your situation, at no extra cost.

Our friendly survey team will assess the property details and any specific concerns to recommend the most suitable survey, ensuring you have all the necessary information before proceeding with your purchase.

Survey Cost by Location

Location
What affects the cost?
Cost Range
London

The survey cost in London will be higher based on other parts of the country because of the high average sale prices.

What supports a lower cost is the wide variety of RICS surveyors to choose from.

Costs start from £699 INC VAT

South West England

Although average house prices are lower you will find the cost for a house survey to be higher because of the shortage in the number of local RICS surveyors.

You will also find several older properties using a variety of building materials which means the surveyor will take longer to do and cost more.

Costs start from £899 INC VAT

South East England

Similar to London, house prices are on average higher than in the rest of the UK and there are a good number of surveyors covering this area.

There are however more unique, larger and older properties such as cottages and farmhouses which cost more to survey.

Costs start from £699 INC VAT

Midlands

House prices are cheaper in the West Midlands and properties can be on a newer style so may only require a Level 2 HomeBuyer Survey.

There are fewer surveyors which may increase the full building survey cost and availability.

Costs start from £599 INC VAT

North

House prices are cheaper in the North however some of the styles and ages of the residential property here can vary.

There are fewer surveyors which may increase the full building survey cost and availability.

Costs start from £599 INC VAT


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Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.


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