What is the role of a Building Surveyor?

8th May 2018

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Kevin Bashford sheds some light on this interesting and varied role, answering the question: “Just what does a Building Surveyor do?”

Don’t they just do building surveys?

No. For many people their only brush with a building surveyor will be when they purchase their home. Even then, they may only opt for the most basic of surveys, despite it being the single largest investment they may ever make.

Whilst most building surveying practices undertake surveys, for many this is only a small element of their workload. Here at MacConvilles, we always ensure you get the right survey for your needs. We don’t do homebuyers surveys but we do undertake full building surveys – a more thorough written report into the condition of a property. This report not only documents the property’s current condition, but also predicts future maintenance needs. Being forewarned is forearmed.

So what else do Building Surveyors do?

As building surveyors, we get involved in almost anything to do with buildings. Whether it be renovation, refurbishment, repair and maintenance, extension or new build, a building surveyor will add value to a project with their knowledge of buildings, how they are constructed and how they will perform over their lifetime.

What may start as a simple instruction from a client to inspect and report on a defective wall, for example, may evolve into:

▪Writing a specification for a repair

▪Drawing up detailed plans for a refurbishment

▪Applying for planning permission, listed building consent or building regulations approval

▪Advising on party wall matters

▪Obtaining competitive quotes

▪Producing contract documents

▪Overseeing the building work to ensure repairs are done correctly

▪Managing budgets

▪Issuing instructions and valuations for payment, and

▪Signing off the job as complete

It really is a comprehensive service from start to finish.

What about design?

Building surveyors are not architects, but we are designers. With our practical knowledge of buildings, we are well placed to help and advise clients. We frequently re-model layouts, design alterations or extensions to buildings, or re-design poorly planned details that are causing defects.

Most building surveyors use CAD (computer-aided design) and sometimes a good old hand-drawn sketch is useful. However, here at MacConvilles we go beyond 2D drawings and use Revit to create 3D BIM models of buildings. With this, you can really appreciate how your project will look before the builders even start work.

What don’t Building Surveyors do?

Part of the reason why we are good at our job is because we are aware of our limitations. If a building is suspected of having a structural issue or needs structural alterations, we would always advise consulting a structural engineer. Similarly, building surveyors don’t get involved in specifying complex mechanical or electrical works – instead we look to skilled engineers as and when needed.

So why should I employ a Building Surveyor?

Our overarching knowledge of the building environment is one of the many benefits that come from hiring a surveyor. This expertise means we can deliver a one-stop-shop approach to your project. We will be your central point of contact, managing your works and ensuring continuity. Whether it is a small defects report, or a large extension, we can assist at every level from inception to completion.

Find out what a Building Surveyor can do for you today.

If you have a building defect you’ve ignored or a project you are considering, Contact Us today for your free initial consultation.



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