building valuations


      Extract from the Royal Institution of

Chartered Surveyors Business'


The Magazine of the Royal Institution of

Chartered Surveyors



Independent Building Surveyors

We are independent surveyors, which means we are not linked to or owned by an estate agent or lending institute, and as a result we are only working with your best interests in mind. 

We offer quotes on the surveys and we can usually save you money on the cost of the survey.  We do them quickly and we feel the quality of our surveys are one of the best on the market. We offer a reasoned view, based upon our knowledge and experience, we don't make a mountain out of a molehill.  Equally if we think the property has problems we say so in a clear, jargon-free manner.  We also use sketches, photographs and digital images to clarify what we are saying.

Having a survey carried out on the property that you intend to buy will give you the extra peace of mind that you are buying the right one.

Please call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 to book a survey / for advice.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Environmental Reports

If you need help and advice with regard to structural surveys, building surveys, engineers reports, defects reports, including things such as cracks, dampness, condensation, foundation problems, etc, home buyers reports. Please free to phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.

Solicitors are now either required to, or it is considered best practice to, recommend / insist upon Environmental Reports which has lead to mass production of what should be an individual report based on local knowledge, expertise and research.

Unfortunately the Environmental Report, in our opinion, has become more of a box ticking exercise than useful information useful information and is certainly (in the ones that we have read) not an easy read or a quick read and is (again in the ones we have read) full of general terms. We were pleased when we saw the following article on the matter as we thought no one else had noticed!


Unprofessional service-for a fast buck

Unless you have bought or sold a house or flat recently you will have no idea of the scam that is being perpetrated by mass-market, cheap priced and unprofessional environmental surveying companies.

      I recently almost lost a flat sale due to the environmental search produced by lawyers using

Leader Board

Name: Roger Sotham
Position: Chairman and chief executive, Chainbow Group of Companies

their online search facility for residential package, incorporating local search, water and drainage, and environmental.
The lawyers receive the totally automated search back in two minutes without any professional care. Perhaps they just don't care because they are getting £50 a time for each house search; or perhaps the companies are after the follow-up fees for doing the job properly.

      The flat in question was described as being within 25m of a subsidence area and also within 250m of a flood plain, along with the hundreds of other flats in the area.

      I am told that frequently, as a result of these worthless searches, purchasers are incurring extra costs to get further clearance form local authorities or developers on ground clearance. With the range of 25m it is entirely possible that it will not affect the property.


I was luckily able to call on a friend at a reputable environmental company who confirmed that there was no problem. Indeed, his assessment of the reports was that the conclusions were simply unhelpful, and he could not understand how the comments were made without reference to specific plans or problems.

      Something has to be done to remove these cowboys, who have designed a low-price, no-value product, from the marketplace.
Unfortunately, in a free market, where you rely on the integrity of the professionals providing a service, there will always be those who want to make the fast buck and ruin the reputation of all.

      Caveat emptor indeed!

    June 2005 Issue




Surveying Articles

Over the years we have produced thousands of surveying articles. Here are some you may like to read:

What is an Independent Survey?

Find out about Building Surveys

Residential Building Surveys, how we can help

Why have one of our surveys?

You can see further articles by going to our website:



Our Good, Bad and Ugly surveys!

If you are in the process of buying a new home we would like to tell you about what we call our good, bad and ugly survey. This is a Building Survey also sometimes known as a structural survey. We have developed this over many years, in fact several decades. We have listened to feedback from our clients and amended and altered our surveys to make them easy to read and describe issues clearly. The key factor we believe is our Independent Surveys are easy to understand and written in plain English.


Chartered Surveyors with thermal imaging cameras?


Let's have a look at a sliding sash window through a thermal imager. Yes we do have thermal imagers and yes it can be dangerous Chartered Surveyors using thermal imagers if they do not have enough experience working with them. We have developed knowledge of thermal image cameras over the many years we have now worked with them. We have even given lectures about them at some universities.

Thermal imaging photo of a 1960's house. The red areas being the hotter areas


We can email you examples of our building surveys

We are more than happy to email you several examples of our tailor made reports that we have carried out on similar properties although we do appreciate that all properties are unique.
We really believe that you should see what you are getting in the form of an example Survey. What is more is that we are so confident with our higher than average standards that we believe that there is no other comparable survey available in the UK property and surveying market.


Our survey photographs and unique sketches help you

understand the survey

If the report, along with our photos, does not explain the problem or characteristics of a property enough then we also have a vast range of sketches, as per the examples above, that we have had commissioned exclusively for us that we can use in our reports.

Diagonal crack below window

Diagonal cracking in plaster



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