RICS Building Survey being carried out by a surveyor

What to Expect From Your RICS Building Survey

When buying a new property, it is important to understand its valuation and any major or serious defects that might affect its cost. At Surveying People, we provide a range of property surveys that vary in level of detail. In certain situations, the best solution is undergoing a Level 3 RICS Building Survey.

What is a Level 3 Building Survey?

Referred to as Level 3 RICS Surveys, a building survey is a comprehensive and in-depth examination of a property’s condition. It is the most thorough RICS building survey available for residential properties.


The RICS building survey report will detail the state of each aspect of the home, uncover any serious defects, their apparent causes, the need for immediate repair and maintenance choices and possibly even provide an estimate of the repair costs.


Since RICS sets the guidelines for surveyors, it is crucial to confirm that the surveyor you choose is within their regulations. Doing so will guarantee that the advice you receive is independent, expert advice from qualified professionals.

When is an RICS Building Survey Suitable?

There are some properties that would best suit a Level 2 Homebuyers Report or a simple Level 1 Condition Survey. For example, newer properties or homes that are already in good condition but you are wanting a general view of its value. Homeowners should consider Level 3 building surveys for properties that are:


  • Listed Buildings or of historic interest
  • Properties that are older than 50 years old
  • Unique structures
  • Homes you plan to renovate 
  • Properties that have already been significantly changed

History of the Building and Area

Before inspecting the actual property, building surveyors will first look at the nearby areas and the surrounding houses. What is the condition of these properties and how do they compare to your home? This also includes an evaluation of other similar properties that are currently on the market, their condition and the price they are going for. 


During an RICS building survey, our surveyors will also investigate into the actual history of the property. When was it built? And with what materials? It is important to ensure that it was completed within the building regulations and if any planning permission was required. This will be provided alongside the findings in the final report that will determine the overall property’s value. 

Dampness and Hazardous Materials

If unchecked, dampness, or the presence of unwanted water or moisture, can harm a building’s structural integrity. Tens of thousands of homes in the UK suffer from dampness, which makes the interiors chilly and unhygienic. If you suspect your home may have a damp problem, it’s crucial to have a surveyor look into it and recommend your next course of action.


During an RICS building survey, the inspectors will run tests to determine whether there is a presence of dampness in the walls. However, this does not just cover dampness. Our building surveyors also check for hazardous materials such as asbestos, flammable or toxic chemicals and mould assessment. The results will be comprised in the final report, where the surveyors will outline the cost of repairs and which areas are the most severe. 

Exterior and Interior

Throughout the RICS building survey, a team of qualified professionals will inspect all aspects of the property, including the interior and exterior. It is important that areas the homeowner might not expect are surveyed to understand the overall value of the property. 


This includes:


  • Inspecting damage to the masonry and roof
  • Large trees close to the property
  • If walls are structurally sound and have no evidence of subsidence
  • Whether all utilities are working and running smoothly

Surveying People

At Surveying People, our London surveyors cover areas including the North, North West, Harrow and Central boroughs. Our surveying services range from the RICS Condition Survey (Level 1) to the most comprehensive RICS Building Survey (Level 3). 


For more information, or to receive a quote on our residential surveys, fill in our form here. Or, speak to one of our homebuyer surveyors today and call us on 020 8203 1281.

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