As you will probably appreciate there are a number of different types of surveys available: Home Buyer's reports, building surveys, structural etc. and one can never be sure that what you are getting will meet your needs, or is true value for money. Unlike other surveyors, I only provide one type of survey and that is a full structural detailed building survey (otherwise known as a RICS Level 3 Building Survey) - backed up with major defect costing in the summary. This, in basic terms, covers everything. I'm often asked: "What's the difference between ordinary surveys and a full structural detailed building survey"? A simple analogy would be that it is like the difference between a photograph and an X-ray. The photograph will only describe what it sees on the surface whereas a full structural detailed building survey goes much deeper - like an x-ray - looking at the structure of the building, roof timbers, main walls, floors and the services such as electrics plumbing and drainage which serve the building.
A photograph cannot easily detect bulging in structural walls or out of plumb. It cannot detect uneven floors, ill-fitting windows, rising damp, wet or dry rot. It will not look into man hole inspection chambers to see if they are free-flowing or possible cracked pipes and defective benching etc. On the services front, it will not give an indication of electrics that have not been properly bonded and earthed. On the heating side it will not detect flues which have been improperly installed and will drastically shorten the life of the boiler, or in some cases endanger the life of the buyer!