If you’re planning to purchase residential property, you may be wondering “what does a structural survey cover?” If you’re negotiating a selling price for the property, your mortgage valuation survey is not enough to get an actual impression of the property’s true condition, which is why structural surveys are an essential component for prospective homebuyers.
Also referred to as house surveys or pre-purchase surveys, a house survey enables homebuyers to purchase in full confidence since the survey identifies all elements of the property as well as their condition, such as those in need of remedial repairs or desired repairs that may otherwise be hidden to the homebuyer. HomeCheck provides accurate, thorough, and affordable property condition surveys for homebuyers and property owners to help finalise the transaction of the property and to provide peace of mind. All engineers/surveyors are registered with professional bodies such as Engineers Ireland, SCSI or CABE.
What Does a Structural Survey Cover?
Our building surveyors will thoroughly inspect the exterior of the property to identify any potential problems. Some of the elements we’ll analyse include the drainage and groundworks on the property running from the boundaries to the structure itself. This includes checking the boundaries of the property themselves.
We’ll also advise on whether the septic tank meets industry standards or requires maintenance, point out any nuisance weeds or plants on the property, and investigate low elevation points that may be prone to flooding.
The external surfaces of the property are an essential area of investigation during a property survey. Our engineers and building surveyors are trained to analyse all exterior surfaces of the structure to ensure that the facade of the building is in good condition whilst also investigating the linearity of exterior walls. We’ll also look at all exterior openings, i.e., doors, garage doors, and windows.
Cracks or erosion of the walls, the presence of vapour barriers or tree root membranes, for example, are important considerations for the structural integrity of the home.
One of the most important parts of a home both for protection from the elements and for aesthetic purposes is the roof. HomeCheck’s Engineers and Building Surveyors will thoroughly inspect the roof’s surface for any visible signs of damage (e.g., cracked tiles, damaged membrane, etc.) as well as chimneys or other roof penetrations such as vents and the flashing around these potentially vulnerable points.
The drainage and ability to divert water away from the roof and a safe distance away from the structure are important for the protection of your home. We’ll also investigate the soffits, fascia, and roof drainages such as eavestroughs, gutters, and downspouts.
Whether or not the attic of your desired home is or will be used, a pre-purchase survey must include a thorough investigation of the attic. Our qualified and trained building surveyors and engineers will inspect the roofing timbers for their structural support, as well as the membrane and roofing ventilation in order to assess the home’s ability to properly ventilate and not trap in mould and moisture.
We will also inspect any insulation found in the roof, which is an important consideration for keeping your home warm during the cooler months whilst remaining relatively cool during the summer.
The interior of your desired new residential property is extremely important for structural integrity. Building surveyors and engineers from HomeCheck will inspect the entire interior of the property and investigate the actual conditions of all internal structural elements such as load-bearing walls, internal carpentry, staircases, ceilings, and floors.
If any issues are found, such as interior walls that do not meet building standards or mould/rot in ceilings or under floors, these will be noted in the engineer’s report accompanying the results of the structural survey.
Proper ventilation is essential for any prospective homebuyer both for comfort as well as for health and safety. Mould can endanger the respiratory health of any inhabitants, especially those suffering from asthma. Even without the presence of mould, poor ventilation can lead to discomfort for residents and guests as well as foul odours, making the home an unwelcoming place to be.
Fungal and bacterial growth often thrive with poor ventilation, which is why the building surveyors at HomeCheck will perform a rigorous inspection of the home’s overall ventilation as well as for specific elements such as windows, roof vents, and shower/bathroom ventilation and more.
Our building surveyors and engineers will thoroughly inspect the home’s electrical system for any potential flaws or damage, including individual elements such as the electrical fuse board, circuits, and wiring as well as the electrical bonding of the kitchen sink and cylinder. We will also inspect lighting fixtures throughout the home, including bathroom lighting.
While some of the home’s electrical system is essential for comfort and utility, other parts are integral for safety such as the carbon monoxide detection system and smoke detectors and alarms. HomeCheck’s engineers will ensure that these devices are in place, and highlight any deficiencies they observe.
Similar to lighting, a thorough inspection of the home’s plumbing system is essential because many plumbing components (like electrical components) are hidden from plain view. Non-exposed pipework will be inspected, as will any exposed pipework and fixtures around the home. Corroded or worn out pipes and joints can lead to leaks, which can lead to flooding and water damage, potentially costing thousands or tens of thousands of euros to remediate.
HomeCheck’s plumbing section of the structural survey also includes an inspection of the water heater and pumps, as well as any water storage and/or attic plumbing that may be present on the property.
Other Services HomeCheck Provide
Planning to purchase a new build property in Ireland? Brand new properties can be an exciting purchase for homebuyers because it’s often thought that they’re free of many of the problems that older properties have. Unfortunately, many new builds are not quite up to standard and may contain numerous snags and flaws.
HomeCheck provides comprehensive snag lists from licensed and qualified building surveyors and engineers which inspect the property during and after construction to ensure that there are no snags, or if there are, that they are clearly identified before you decide to finalise the purchase of the property.
Price for a Snag List:
1 or 2 Bed House or Bungalow: from €280 ex. VAT
3 Bed House or Apartment: from €300 ex. VAT
4 Bed House: from €300 ex. VAT
5 Bed House: from €350 ex. VAT
Duplex: €300 ex. VAT
Certificate of Compliance
Whether you intend to perform alterations or build an extension to your current property, or if you intend to sell a property in Ireland, you’ll require a formal certificate of compliance. These can be obtained from licensed professional engineers and building surveyors right here at HomeCheck.
Our team provides certificates of compliance and opinions of compliance for residential properties across Ireland, giving the property owner full confidence that they can proceed with their desired alterations or the sale of their property.
Price for a Certificate of Compliance:
One-off house: from €400 ex. VAT
Estate, apartment, or other multi-dwelling units: from €400 ex. VAT
Land Registry Maps
For home buyers and sellers alike, most properties in Ireland are registered formally with the Land Registry and the boundaries of the property have already been established. In many cases, however, the property has not been registered and thus a certificate of identity or land registry map is required.
Boundary checks, certificates of identity, and land registry maps are important whenever a property owner wishes to sell, subdivide, or request an extension for their property. Our qualified engineers can produce these documents and ensure that your property is compliant and registered with the Land Registry in Ireland.
Price for a Land Registry Map:
Compulsory First Registration: €400 ex. VAT
If you’ve been wondering “what does a structural survey cover” then the answer will be shown in a professionally-prepared, comprehensive engineering report which is prepared after a structural survey has been carried out on the property.
The engineers and building surveyors at HomeCheck issue professional engineering reports that contain all of the inspected elements of the property and their actual condition, which can provide insight and value for homebuyers or sellers.
Price for an Engineering Report:
Residential House or Bungalow (Pre-Owned): €400-€550 ex. VAT
Residential Apartment / Duplex: €380-€420 ex VAT
Contact HomeCheck Today
Prospective homebuyers in Ireland can get full peace of mind before purchasing property with the professional services offered by HomeCheck. We carry out comprehensive structural surveys, so if you’re curious about “what does a structural survey cover” then rest assured that our team of engineers and building surveyors will thoroughly inspect all elements of the property so that you’re fully aware of the property’s condition.
Our services are available in Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Clare, Limerick, Westmeath, Offaly, Longford, Laois, Kildare, and Dublin County (Fingal, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, South County Dublin). Get in touch with us today to request a comprehensive property survey or enquire about our other services for property owners and those looking to purchase property in Ireland.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get a full structural survey?
Although it is not a legal requirement to obtain a structural survey prior to purchasing a home in Ireland, it is strongly recommended. Nearly half of all new homebuyers in Ireland retain a structural survey prior to finalising the sale, which provides peace of mind and assurance that the condition of the property is adequate for the advertised price of the property.
How long does a structural survey take?
A structural survey can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to a full day to complete. The duration of the survey depends on the size and complexity of the property, with larger estates and multi-dwelling units taking longer to complete than smaller, more simple residential properties.
How much does a full structural survey cost?
A full structural survey for a property will vary in cost, depending on the complexity and size of the property. Many Irish homebuyers spend €500-€1,000 for a comprehensive structural survey, but HomeCheck can provide professional-quality surveys for less than €500, depending on the type of property.