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Building Condition Survey & Building Defects Survey

1. What is Building Condition and Defects Survey?

A building condition survey carried out by a Professional

Registered Building Surveyor from P-CON Building
Surveyors Sdn. Bhd. is to assess the condition of a
building, in particular, the structure, fabrics and
components, finishes, services, safety requirements and
also the general presentation of the property. Building
survey is a kind of ‘health check’ for building. The
condition of a building will be recorded in photographs
together with notes and comments on the defects.

2. When a Building Condition & Defects Survey is


Anytime when you are facing any problem regarding your

building or property, e.g. defects, water seepage, cracks,
settlement, etc.

3. What is the purpose of a Building Condition and

Defects Survey?
 The purpose of the building condition/ defects survey
by a Professional Building Surveyor is to provide an
opinion on the general condition of a building, advise
on any urgent or future repairs and the likely
consequences of non-repair.
 The building condition survey done by a Professional
Building Surveyor will also assist the buyers/ owners
to have a good understanding on the condition or
dilapidation of the building, as the building survey
report provides information on building defects,
building hazards and performance, explaining the
causes of building defects and recommending the
appropriate and effective remedial works and
necessary maintenance works to maintain the life of
the property.
 We will also advise you on the responsibility of the
building problems, e.g. contractor’s workmanship,
negligence, decay mechanism, etc.
Condition Surveys
A condition survey involves the examination and photographic recording of an object, surface, or
building prior to treatment.

A condition survey aims to:

 Record the present condition of the object, highlighting areas of failure or concern.
 Better understand the nature, history, technology and significance of the object

 Investigate previous interventions.

 Identify causes of historic and ongoing deterioration.

 Present conservation recommendations based on the results of the survey.

 Provide an estimate for works, if required

Techniques used in a condition survey include:

 A visual examination of the object

 A technical examination of the object using ultraviolet light to detect the presence of varnish,
non-original materials, the use of particular paints etc.

 The use of raking light to detect inconsistencies in the surface topography of an object

 A written explanation of the condition of the object

 Digital photography

 The digital annotation of diagrams or photographs to locate areas of failure

Presentation of results:

A bound and illustrated report is provided, in which the findings of the survey are detailed with
recommendations for the development of an appropriate strategy to stabilise the object.

Continuous documentation

All work carried out by Hirst Conservation will be continuously recorded using written and photographic
means. This will be formatted into a Final report and x3 copies provided for the client on completion of
works. A CD copy will be included on request.

Some of our projects include:

 Stowe School, Buckingham - Consultancy and quality assurance for re-rendering of building.
Specifications and surveys for stabilisation of interior dome.
 Cardiff Castle - Research, investigations, condition surveys and consultancy for the
conservation of 19th Century painted decoration by William Burges.
 Peterborough Cathedral - Survey of 12/13th century painted wooden nave ceiling.

 St Pancras Chambers, London – Survey of plasterworks

 Uppark House, West Sussex (National Trust) - Consultant for interior decoration and supply of
bespoke pre-aged lead paint.

 Durham Cathedral - Condition survey of medieval wall painting in The Galilee Chapel.

 Houghton on the Hill - Investigation and survey which revealed an important scheme of wall
paintings c1190.

 Villa Saraceno, Venezia, Italy - Consultancy, condition surveys and investigations to the
interior and exterior of the Palladian villa

 The Cabinet Office, London - Protection of archaeological excavation.

Structural Condition Survey

Our structural condition survey investigates the condition of a certain structural part
of your building, any damage and suggests applicable repair methods. The surveys
can be carried out on, for example, concrete structures, sanitary cabins and
bathrooms, structural dampness damage and detrimental elements. With the help of
the survey results you have the information to decide the right time for, and the best
repair method options, your property.

In the structural condition surveys Inspecta examines the state of your real estate’s structures, any damage and the
possible causes of such damage. As an outcome you will receive a clear report covering, amongst other things, the
repairs needed, repair method options and urgency for repairs to your building.

As research methods we use visual estimations, structure openings and samples as well as indoor air and material
samples. Our experts always carry out the surveys with care, accountability and professionalism. Inspecta’s clients
rely on structural condition surveys as a part of reasonable repair need planning and to assist in justified decision

 Prevents possible subsidiary damages and costs

 Brings you an important tool for systematic maintenance

 Helps you to manage the lifecycle of your real estate

 Guarantees good indoor air quality

 Supports you in planning critical, as well as long-term, repairs

Appendix IV Checklist for Building Surveys Detailed condition of the several parts of the fabric
design below should be carefully noted. Item Remarks (1) General particulars (a) Client’s name,
address and telephone number. (b) Address of property (if different from above). (c) Date of
inspection. (d) Occupied/unoccupied. (e) Freehold/leasehold. If freehold ascertain if there are
any restrictions. If leasehold find out term of years and when term commenced. What restrictions
are imposed. (f) Approximate age of the building. (g) Prepare a rough sketch plan of the various
rooms with sizes and heights starting with the ground floor (or basement). (h) Prepare rough
sketch of the site showing outbuildings, boundaries, entrances and orientation. Internal (2)
Rooms and offices etc. (a) Partitions. Check if load bearing. (b) Skirting and picture rails. (c)
Wall finishes. (d) Steel columns and beams. Note fire resistance. (e) Floor finishes. (f) Ceilings
and cornices. (g) Doors, frames and architraves. Check for timber decay. (h) Ironmongery. (i)
Windows and glazing including fittings. (j) Fireplaces (if any). (k) Decorative condition of all
walls, ceilings and joinery etc. (l) Any special features. (m) Condensation problems. (n) Prepare
list of all fixtures in the various rooms. (continued) bapp04.indd 343 app04.indd 343 11/10/2010
3:26:15 AM 1/10/2010 3:26:15 AM Building Surveys and Reports, 4th Edition James Douglas
and Edward A. Noy © 2011 James Douglas and Edward A. Noy. ISBN: 978-1-405-19761-8 Item
Remarks (3) Rooms below ground Cellar or basement (walls and floors). Stairs and balustrades.
Check for rising damp in walls and floors. (4) Floors (a) Floor construction. Check for stability
and deflection. (b) Staircases, balustrades and loft ladders etc. Carefully check for wet and dry
rot. (5) Roof (interior) (a) Note construction of roof. (b) Method of insulation (if any). (c) Cold
water storage cisterns, ball valves and pipework. Mainly domestic work. For other systems see
‘Services’ in part 6 below. (d) Flues in roof space. (e) Party or gable walls. (f) Rooms in roof
space. (g) Open steel or reinforced concrete roof trusses. Mainly found in industrial properties.
(6) Services (a) Cold water supply pipes including provision and location of stop valves. Note
position of rising main. (b) Electrical installation. (c) Gas installation. Note position of meters.
(d) Hot water and space heating (gas, electrical, oil fired or solid fuel central heating). Type of
insulation. The checks described in Sections 14.5 to 14.15 should be carried out. (e) Lift or hoist
equipment. (f) Fire appliances and sprinkler systems. (g) Telephone system. (h) Burglar alarm
system. (i) Sanitary fittings: baths, lavatory basins, WCs, urinals, sinks, showers and bidets. (j)
Waste pipes and traps etc. Items b, c, d, e, f, g, h and k may require a special report. (k)
Mechanical ventilation systems (if any). External (7) Roofs (exterior) (a) Roof coverings. (b)
Eaves. (c) Gutters and rainwater pipes. (d) Chimney stacks. (e) Flashings etc. (f) Parapet walls
and copings. (g) Dormer windows including the external coverings. (h) Ventilators. (i) Tank
rooms – lift motor rooms. (8) External walls and cladding (a) External walls. Examine walls for
signs of settlement. (b) Lintels and arches. Evidence of deflection. (c) Reinforced concrete
frames and cladding materials. (d) Rendered or rough cast surfaces. (e) Expose foundations and
examine sub-soil (if necessary). (continued) 344 Building Surveys and Reports bapp04.indd 344
app04.indd 344 11/10/2010 3:26:15 AM 1/10/2010 3:26:15 AM Item Remarks (f) Presence of
large trees in the vicinity may cause fractures. (g) Damp-proof course. (h) Balconies. (i) Steps. (j)
Air vents. (k) Fire escape stairs and ladders. (l) External decorative condition. (m) Special note
of any unusual features. (9) Drainage systems (a) Prepare sketch plan of drainage system. Show
positions of inspection chambers and gulleys. (b) Soil drains (Disposal – sewer or cesspool etc.).
(c) Method of surface water disposal. (d) Soil and vent pipes – waste pipes (externally). (e) Take
up covers and gratings and examine inspection chambers and gulleys. The simple tests described
in Section 15.7 should be carried out. If the system is suspect then recommend that the drains are
properly tested. (f) Note if the system has been properly ventilated. (10) External work (a)
Boundary fences, walls and gates. Check ownership. (b) Site frontage. (c) Ground condition.
Trial holes if necessary. (d) Paved areas and ramps. (e) Natural features (trees, shrubs etc.) Mark
position on sketch plan. (f) Outbuildings – garages, workshops, sheds, greenhouses,
conservatories etc. (g) Liability to flooding. Wet or dry area. (11) Local authority enquiries (a)
Specific restrictions or preservation orders in respect of development. (b) Building improvement
lines. (c) Any future development in the area such as road widening or drainage work. (12)
Estimated cost of repairs or decorations