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110 High Street, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0NB. Tel/Fax: 01488 686 986


A personal service is available for Private Clients and Businesses buying houses and cottages of all shapes and sizes, including those with thatched roofs, timber-framed walls, and/or earth/chalk (cob) walls. Whilst seeking to be thorough for the buyer, but fair to the vendor and building itself, a balanced opinion is formed on the extent to which the subject-building is average for age and type, and what features, if any, are better or worse than that average condition.

Initial, detailed discussion about a possible instruction is essential, but comment would be (1) without obligation, (2) without charge to the buyer, and (3) without legal liability. If subsequently instructed to prepare a Report, Terms of Engagement would be agreed in writing by exchange of letters, whose content would be the contract between the surveyor and the buyer and, inter alia, would confirm the buyer’s Legal Liability protection and fee or the basis of its assessment.

There are two options : (1) the Full Building Survey (successor to the Full Structural Survey) which covers everything inside and outside, per the Terms of Engagement, and (2) the Shell Survey which is a shrunk version of the Full Building Survey, covering just roofs, external walls, internal walls, flooring, and rising dampness and other forms excessive moisture, per the Terms of Engagement.

Reports are written in conversational English, free from jargon and technical terms, except where unavoidable, when jargon and/or technical terms are then explained. Although a document for today’s purchase, Reports include background information about the type of building, which can be used as an aide-memoire for the future. Buildings tend not to collapse, but all buildings need periodic overhaul, and Period Buildings, in particular, need sympathetic and regular maintenance Buyers of all types of building should be well aware of what would be taken on if exchanging a contract to buy.

The fee for inspection, Report and normal post-Report discussion depends on the age, size, type, features of the building to be inspected, and type of Report being prepared. The fee is related to time and experience, not to market-value. As a general idea, the older and/or more complex and/or more specialised the structure, the higher will be the fee. However, whilst we live and work in competitive markets, the concept of value for money should be more important than the cheapest cost when dealing with buildings which need an experienced eye.


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Updated 4 July 2013