Home Condition Surveys
Houses can be money pits and buying a house is a major investment – so the homebuyer really needs to be able to make an informed decision. This is where the Home Condition Survey (HCS) comes in.
The HCS is a clear, concise and jargon free report on the condition of a domestic property. The surveyor gives a cost effective service and will inspect and report on the property quickly, allowing the homebuyer to make a speedy and informed decision.
Delivered by specially trained and fully accredited residential property surveyors, the HCS gives the buyer a plain English, jargon-free report on the condition of the property using a simple "1, 2, 3" rating guide, so it is easy to understand any risks or unforeseen expenditure that could crop up.
Buying a house can be stressful and it is not always in the seller's best interest to be fully open about its quirks and idiosyncrasies. The HCS tells the buyer about any aspects of the property that need urgent attention or which present serious faults, as well as any longer term repairs that a home owner might have to plan for.
The HCS can only be produced by fully qualified and accredited members of SAVA, an organisation which trains and accredits the work of surveyors. Home buyers can be assured of a comprehensive report produced by a professional and trustworthy individual.
The aim of the HCS is to make the home survey process quicker, easier and more cost-effective for homebuyers; something that is now more important than ever.
A Homebuyer Report is an inspection of the building fabric similar to a full Building Survey but less comprehensive (and therefore at a lower cost). The inspection comprises of a general surface examination of those parts of the property which are accessible, i.e. visible and readily available for examination from ground and floor levels, without risk of causing damage to the property or injury to the Surveyor.
Inspection also includes the boundaries of the property (where these are not too extensive), immediate pavings, outbuildings and additional structures within the boundary. The services are inspected, but the Surveyor does not test the efficiency of plumbing, electrical, gas, heating or drainage installations, or compliance with current regulations, unless these are covered as an additional service.
The end report provides the Surveyor's opinion of matters which are urgent or significant and may need action or further evaluation by the client before contracts are exchanged.
Homebuyer Reports are usually suitable for properties of standard construction and those which have not been substantially altered. Generally buildings constructed over 100 years ago are unsuitable for Homebuyer Reports, although this may depend upon a particular property's circumstances. We are more than happy to discuss the relevant type of survey with clients to assist in a decision as to whether a Homebuyer Report or full Building Survey would be more appropriate.
Occasionally, specific reports are required on particular areas of a property for which Andrew McColl can provide a specially tailored report.
The Building Survey (also known as a Structural Survey) is the most detailed survey Andrew McColl offers for (unlisted properties), and is a comprehensive inspection of a property reported in a style to suit both the property and your specific requirements. It is particularly suited to older buildings, those of unusual construction, or if it has previously been altered or extended. The Building Survey is also the best choice where you know there are significant defects that need attention, or when you are planning to renovate the property.
A Building Survey covers all accessible parts of the property. From a comprehensive visual inspection of the external and internal elements of the building fabric and structure we are able to determine the construction and condition of the elements of the property. The report will describe the construction and condition of the building fabric, the extent and type of remedial repair required or the extent of further investigation or other advice required, and potential future maintenance issues.
Building Surveys do not usually involve valuations but these can be provided additionally if required.
Listed Building Surveys
Listed buildings, or those in conservation areas, need specialist care and require the use of the traditional materials and techniques, as well as expert knowledge on restrictions regarding amendments and alterations. Alterations to historic buildings often result in requirements for recording as part of the planning and development process. Andrew McColl has extensive experience in producing the necessary surveys and reports.
Whether the listed property you own, or are planning to purchase, is Grade I, Grade II* or Grade II, we can advise on the advantages and disadvantages, processes and pitfalls of owning or buying a listed or historic building. We can advise on building and maintenance work you should and should not carry out on your property, giving details of materials and traditional techniques which should be adhered to, to ensure the property is in a good state of repair and well maintained.
Andrew McColl has a particular passion and interest in dealing with historic and listed buildings, and is a longstanding member and support of SPAB. We can provide tailor made structural building surveys to assist with your important decision of whether to buy a heritage listed building.
Snagging Surveys & Lists
Snagging surveys/inspections are designed to look for problems with a new-build home. Developers should fix problems identified in snagging surveys quickly - ideally before you move in. Unlike a traditional house survey, a snagging survey should pick up everything from minor issues, such as a doors not closing properly or untidy paint finished to more serious and structural problems.
A snagging list is the resultant record of defects, as well as any additional problems you discover in the years following moving in.
Andrew McColl and his associate surveyors are highly experienced in providing snagging inspections throughout London and Essex that capture and record these defects in order for the developer to put them right. We always work for you, not the developer, so you can be assured of a complete and dedicated service. We can also report our findings directly to the developer, so we can fight your corner for you in helping get all issues resolved.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a report on the energy efficiency rating of your home, and all buildings, whenever they are built, sold or rented out, require one. It is is broadly similar to the certificates found on many domestic appliances.
The report contains graphs which give a current and potential energy rating. The efficiency rating is determined by criteria which the home inspector is trained to analyse.
Some of the things they look at include:
The approximate year of construction
Size of property
Heating system - boiler, thermostats, controls
As well as the energy efficiency graphs the report also makes suggestions for how to improve the property's energy performance, which will lead to reduced carbon emissions, lower energy bills and make the house more attractive to prospective buyers or tenants.
An EPC for a building gives that building an asset rating from A to G based on its energy efficiency, but doesn't take into account how the home is used by the occupiers. An A rating shows it's very efficient, meaning lower fuel bills, while G is inefficient, meaning higher fuel bills. The Certificate shows the building's environmental impact by indicating its carbon dioxide emissions.
If you are buying or selling a home you now need a certificate by law. Accredited energy assessors like Andrew McColl and Jody McColl produce EPCs alongside an associated report which suggests improvements to make a building more energy efficient. Call 07507963542 to book an EPC today.
Gas / Electrical Testing
When you are in the process of purchasing a property, whether it be your first home or yet another move, the number of surveys and different professionals required, or recommended by your Homebuyers Report, solicitor or mortgage lender, can be overwhelming. Mortgage surveyors often require that an electrical survey is carried out on a property before a mortgage offer is put in place.
Andrew McColl Surveys can arrange for any electrical, gas or other utilities inspections you may require, in order to keep necessary property visits to a minimum and make the process run more efficiently. Not all areas are covered as a reliable, proffessional in their field will be recommened.
An electrical inspection can vary from a basic visual inspection to a full periodic test and inspection, depending on your requirements and the type of property involved. Gas inspections are usually carried out to each individual gas appliance as the situation requires. Both types of inspection are backed up with certificates and our recommendations.
Whether you are an estate agency, a conveyancing solicitors practice or a team or estate managers, Andrew McColl Surveys are on hand to be your perfect property partners.
Fast turnaround for reports
Home Condition Reports / EPCs can be produced in a professional glossy format, with your details and logo on the front cover
Packages available tailored to suit your organisation
Sensible commercial rates
Network of RPSA surveyors available to cover urgent instructions and peak market activity nationwide
Special rates for exclusivity
High volumes of instructions can be covered nationwide by joining the RPSA panel