Before one can start looking at a new design or making alterations to a building one needs to establish what exists and the most useful way of doing this is to accurately measure the building and prepare drawings of their layout, construction and appearance.
These drawings are mostly prepared using AutoCAD and will consist of floor plans, elevations, sections through the building, but can often include details of building components, topographical drawings of the site with levels, services, drainage, etc.
The important things which are essential in the production of a set of survey drawings are accurateness and completeness, as well as presentation, and we pride ourselves in having well trained staff who can deliver on all three of these.
Condition Surveys (often known as Structural Surveys or Building Surveys)
This type of inspection and report is usually a comprehensive inspection of a property, carried out by our Chartered Building Surveyor or a Chartered Architect, resulting in an authoritative report explaining the construction and condition. This is usually accompanied by diagnosis of defects, detailed assessment of condition and recommended courses of remedial action. It can be quite a time consuming task, particularly on a large property or a significant historic building, but it can always be tailored to suit the particular needs of a client.
This type of report is often undertaken to provide pre-purchase advice, however, the advice that a mortgage lender needs differs from the needs of the building owner who might be about to carry out changes to a property. This type of survey can also be used for specific defect diagnosis, such as a dampness issue, water ingress, condensation problems, mould growth, etc. Reports can be presented verbally, ideally during a walk around the property, or else as a written summary or detailed written report.
Quinquennial Inspections & Maintenance Programmes
We provide ongoing care and maintenance for a number of important landmark historic buildings, including parish churches and large private domestic estates, based around a 5-yearly condition inspection.
This type of inspection is usually required on an Anglican church (since 1955 when the Inspection of Churches Measure was introduced), although it makes good sense for building owners of large estates, historic houses, public buildings, etc. to instruct this type of inspection on a regular basis.
They can then be reassured that proactive maintenance can be organised and a budget allocation provided over the next five years, after which the condition of the building can be reviewed.
This approach will ensure that these expensive assets are looked after appropriately.
Schedules of Condition
If your neighbours are about to carry out substantial work on a property adjoining yours, or in close proximity, then it may be prudent (or even a requirement of your neighbour’s Insurance company) to have a Schedule of Condition carried out. This will provide a detailed written and photographic record of the condition of a building and its surroundings at a particular moment in time. Should defects arise in the future that might have been caused by works then this document can provide essential evidence.This type of report can also form the basis of a lease agreement between a Landlord and Tenant to provide an accurate record of the condition of a property at the time of handover.
From time to time we are asked to carry out rather more unusual, specialist’ surveys, such as preparing an accurate record drawing of the working components of a mill, a cider press, a pond, a Pre-Martello tower, etc. We are also asked to carry out planting and tree surveys, which we do in association with a Landscape Architect. So if you have more specific requirements we can certainly tailor the approach to our inspection and reporting to meet your individual needs, using our highly qualified and experienced staff.