Difference between a RICS HomeBuyer report or a full detailed Building Survey?

Difference between a RICS HomeBuyer report or a full detailed Building Survey?

Friday 18th December 2020

We at Tayross Associates Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultants often get asked what is the difference between an RICS HomeBuyers report and a full detailed Building Survey (level 3) or sometimes referred to as a structural building report. A simple analogy here would be; One is comparable to a photograph whilst the other is more like an X-ray which will show more issues that are likely to affect the longevity of the property.

If like us, you are based in Pinner (HA5) then you would be surprised to know that the district has one of the highest subsidence claim rates in the country according to the insurance industry. This is because of the highly London shrinkable clay surface, the underlying chalk conditions and gravel strains accompanied by a large number of trees and underground streams found in the area. These pose a serious risk to stable foundations.

Alternatively, it may be that you are purchasing a brand new property, in which case most people would agree that a HomeBuyers report is sufficient in this respect which I partly agree with. However, I would be very cautious when buying a newly refurbished property especially one that has a basement included as we have found recently that a lot of these types of construction have serious hidden defects such as damp and wet rot.

This article was written by Carl O'Boyle BSc MRICS FCIOB MFPWS. Carl is a full professional member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building for which he currently sits on the CIOB professional conduct committee and adjudications panel.

If you have any Building Survey enquiries then please call us at our Pinner office on 0208 426 1448. We cover all of Pinner, Harrow, Stanmore, Northwood, Central London and the surrounding areas.