What is a Building Surveyor?

What is a Chartered Building Surveyor?

A Chartered Building Surveyor offers a specialised service in all matters relating to property and construction, including the restoration of old buildings and the construction of new. A List of the Services provided by a Chartered Building Surveyor includes:

  • Design and Project Consultancy Services

  • Property Management and Maintenance

  • Commercial Building Surveys

  • Residential Building Surveys

  • Landlord and Tenant and other Legal Services

  • Statutory Applications

Design and Project Consultancy Services

Full Design and Contract Administration Service

Design and management of building works is time consuming. Chartered Building Surveyors provide clients with a one stop shop for project management, hence providing a more efficient and cost effective service.

Auditing and Upgrading Works to comply with the Disability Act 2005

Under Part 3 the Disability Act 2005 and the Equal Status Act 2007 all public building owners have a duty to upgrade their buildings to Part M of the Building Control Act by 2015. This is not only for buildings where the public have access but for all staff and future staff members. There is an onus on building owners (and their managers) to upgrade their buildings by 2015 to allow access to all. The first step in this process is to undertake an access audit of a building to establish what is required to upgrade the building.

Project Management

On larger projects, selection and coordination of consultants and overseeing the design and construction stages of a project is very time consuming. This work can be undertaken by a Chartered Surveyor which gives peace of mind to the consumer that your project is being professionally monitored.

Health and Safety

As a client it is your duty under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006 to appoint a Project Supervisor for the Design Process (PSDP) and ensure that the designer you instruct is competent to undertake the works. A Chartered Building Surveyor can act as the PSDP and guide you through all aspects of your duties.

Planning and Fire Safety Certificate Applications

When undertaking construction works all necessary statutory applications such as planning and Fire Safety Certification must be obtained. Works must be designed, managed and certified as demonstrating compliance with the building regulations. The extensive property knowledge of a Chartered Building Surveyor ensures a smooth journey through these applications.

Disability Access Certificate (DAC)

A Disability Access Certificate is a certificate of compliance issued by the Building Control Authority with respect to requirements under Part M of the Building Regulations. A Disability Access Certificate is required for new buildings other than dwellings to which the Requirements of Part M of the Building Regulations apply, which commence or take place on or after 1 January 2010. A Disability Access Certificate should be applied for at the same time as a Fire Safety Certificate and submitted to the Planning Authority with the Commencement Notice. Chartered Building Surveyors produce and submit this application on behalf of any property owner.

Certificates of Compliance

The Certificate is presented in the format recommended by the Society of Chartered Surveyors and agreed with the Law Society. Following building works it is necessary to demonstrate that the works have been undertaken in accordance with any statutory applications. This is essential for the conveyancing of property. A Chartered Building Surveyor can certify that the works have been completed, where necessary, in compliance with the Planning Permission, Building Regulations, Fire Safety Certificate Application and for Exemption from Planning.

Measured Surveys

The purpose of a measured survey is to provide existing layout plans and elevations in a recognised CAD format. On older buildings layout plans more often than not have been mislaid over time and when the opportunity comes to refurbish the property the first thing that is necessary is to have precise and detailed existing plans. A Chartered Building Surveyor uses laser technology to provide accurate as built plans in a recognised and transferable AutoCAD format. These plans can also give accurate floor area readings.

Property Management and Maintenance

Execution of Maintenance Works

The design and management of maintenance works is a time consuming process so why not let a Chartered Building Surveyor do the work for you. The services of a Chartered Building Surveyor include a complete design and management of works from inception to completion. Equally, Building surveyors provide clients with a one-stop shop for the project management of a building maintenance or repair project. This service is applicable to any action of work such as:

  • Refurbishment and internal alterations of buildings,

  • Recladding of building envelope,

  • Roof replacement scheme,

  • Window replacement scheme.

Planned Maintenance Programmes

This area of work deals with the preparation of pro-active maintenance programmes for buildings. Planned preventative maintenance is becoming an increasing aspect of building asset management and this service provides for the renewal of building elements before failure thus preventing consequential damage, which can have severe effects on maintenance budgets.

This form of survey provides vital information to the property manager on the future maintenance requirements of any building. It outlines budget costs and a yearly forecast for future reserve service charges.

Schedules of Condition

A Schedule of Condition is a report prepared on an existing building prior to any development works been carried out adjacent to or nearby. The preparation of such a report protects both the adjacent property owner and the developer as it records the current condition with a back-up photographic schedule. The report will identify the location, type and extent of any current defects in a building. Prior to any work being carried out to a property a schedule of condition should be undertaken to any adjoining properties to protect the interests of all concerned. Where a developer next door to your property prepares a schedule of condition on your building, the surveyor can review this and agree the schedule, along with any recommended changes with the developer’s surveyor.

Defect Analysis

Chartered Building Surveyors are the experts in diagnosing construction defects and recommending successful remedies. The Surveyor would undertake an inspection and provide a written report outlining the defect, its cause and recommend a method of repair. In many circumstances the defect being experienced can in fact be a symptom of a greater defect requiring in depth analysis to establish the root cause. A Chartered Building Surveyor can give independent, unbiased advice to the Property Manager or owner.

Commercial Surveys

Building Survey

A building survey is an investigation or inspection of the construction and services of a property in sufficient detail to enable the Chartered Building Surveyor to advise what impact its condition will have upon the client. A building survey is usually commissioned prior to the purchase of a commercial building. A standard survey comprises of the following:

  • An appraisal of the form and materials of construction.

  • A technical analysis of significant defects revealed and advice on appropriate further actions.

  • A budget estimate on significant repairs. Identification of less significant defects, general disrepair and shortcomings in the physical condition, maintenance and design of the building.

  • Highlight any statutory issues.

Schedules of Condition

A Schedule of Condition is a report prepared on an existing building prior to any development works been carried out adjacent to or nearby. The preparation of such a report protects both the adjacent property owner and the developer as it records the current condition with a back-up photographic schedule. The report will identify the location, type and extent of any current defects in a building. Prior to any work being carried out to a property a schedule of condition should be undertaken to any adjoining properties to protect the interests of all concerned.

Defect Analysis

See under Property Management and Maintenance

Measured Surveys

See under Design and Project Consultancy Services

Building Energy Rating (BER) Surveys

All new and second hand non-domestic properties for sale or letting now require a Building Energy Rating certificate (BER Cert.) to allow the transaction to proceed. This certificate is best undertaken by a property professional with an in-depth construction knowledge to ensure the right result is obtained. Charted Building Surveyors are the leading property professional in this field and can provide unrivalled service.

Development/Project Monitoring

Development / Project monitoring on behalf of a financial institution is carried out by Chartered Building Surveyors. To work to its full potential, any kind of project needs to set out proposals and objectives. Then a monitoring system should be worked out to keep an appropriate check on all the various activities, including finances. This will assist in informing a lending institution as to progress on a particular development and shall serve as an early warning of possible problems and difficulties. Chartered Building Surveyors can provide an objective opinion on the progress of a development or project. A surveyors experience with all aspects of the construction industry, uniquely equips us to recognise any impending issues regarding construction methods, materials, finances, or management, etc. which may effect the progress of a project. This experience is complimented by the surveyor’s presentation skills in order to provide the smooth running of projects.

Landlord and Tenant and other Legal Services

Dilapidations

Dilapidations are breaches of covenant to repair a building contained in a lease. Such breaches can take many forms, but a leaking roof or broken windows are two obvious examples.

A Chartered Surveyor may advise in the following principal areas:-

For the Landlord, preparation of accurate schedules that will stand legal scrutiny and can be negotiated and enforced.

For the Tenant

  1. Whether the scope of the schedule of dilapidations is accurate.

  2. Whether the standard of repair required by the schedule is justified.

  3. Whether any statutory reliefs may be available to the tenant.

  4. How and when any repairs should be conducted or whether negotiation of a financial settlement in lieu of damages would be preferable.

A Landlord or Tenant having a Chartered Building Surveyor acting on their behalf can save thousands. Using their extensive construction, legal, costing and diplomacy skills a Chartered Building Surveyor can provide a cradle to grave service.

Certificates of Compliance

See under Design and Project Consultancy Services

Boundary Disputes

There are an increasing number of property owners who experience some form of boundary related problem with their neighbours that may include any of the following:

  • Locating the true position of the boundary.

  • Overcoming an obstructed right of way.

  • What to do about neighbours trees, etc.

  • Damage to boundary by works on adjoining site.

A Chartered Building Surveyor can assist property owners in the identification of boundary lines and can offer considered and practical advice on how best to proceed. We can also act as an expert witness should the need arise.

Mapping

Maps can be prepared for all aspects of property transfer including maps suitable for Land Registry purposes, Declarations of Identity and multi storey scheme maps.

Measured Surveys

See under Design and Project Consultancy Services

Planning Search

Prior to the purchase of a second hand property, a Chartered Building Surveyor can offer a service whereby we carry out a detailed inspection in the relevant Planning Authority to determine the full planning history of the property in question. We also inspect the relevant plan and any current planning applications in the immediate surrounding area and advise on any proposed applications, which may have an adverse effect on the property in question. A check with Building Control to ensure that there are no Enforcement Notices or Purchase Orders served on the property is also advised. If required we can carry out an inspection in the relevant Roads Authority and advise on any future road widening proposals, which may effect the property.

Statutory Applications

Planning Applications

Prior to undertaking any substantial building works or changes of use a planning application must be submitted to the Local Authority. This application is primarily to do with the aesthetics of the proposed works and success of the application hinges on whether the planning officer deems that the new building or extension will blend with its surrounds. Chartered Building Surveyors have extensive design experience and can undertake both pre planning liaison meetings and continue consultation with the planning authority to endeavour to obtain a successful grant of permission. Building Surveyors also provide expertise to clients with respect to an appeal of planning applications to An Bord Pleanála, often acting as the client’s advocate at oral hearings.

Building Energy Rating (BER) Surveys

See under Commercial Surveys

Building Control

The monitoring and enforcement of building standards in the Republic of Ireland is overseen by the Building Control departments of the individual local authorities. Compliance with these regulations are essential for the safety and welfare of the building users and general public. A Chartered Building Surveyor is an expert regarding these regulations and can ensure that the building is designed, constructed or modified in accordance with the regulations.

Certificates of Compliance

See under Design and Project Consultancy Services

Fire Safety Certificates

Fire Safety Certification is an application to the Local Authority in relation to the building’s ability to protect and provide safe egress in the event of a fire. This application requires in-depth fire engineering knowledge and close liaison with the Authority’s fire officer.

Disability Access Certificate (DAC)

See under Design and Project Consultancy Services

Residential Surveys

Building Survey

A building survey is an investigation or inspection of the construction and services of a property in sufficient detail to enable the Building Surveyor to advise what impact its condition will have upon the client. A building survey is usually commissioned prior to the purchase of a dwelling. A standard survey comprises of the following:

  • An appraisal of the form and materials of construction.

  • A technical analysis of significant defects revealed and advises on appropriate further actions.

  • A budget estimate on significant repairs.

Identification of less significant defects, general disrepair and shortcomings in the physical condition, maintenance and design of the building.

Building Energy Rating (BER) Surveys

See under Commercial Survey

Defects List and Finishing Schedule

A defects list and finishing schedule, often described as a ‘Snag List’ is the inspection and investigation of the construction and services of a newly built property in sufficient detail to allow the building surveyor to compile a list of shortcomings, defects and irregularities with the built property. This gives the client an opportunity to furnish the developer with a detailed list of snagging items, which should be attended to before the finalisation of Contracts. The purpose of the Snag List is to ensure that the newly built property demonstrates compliance with all current Building Regulations and Codes of Practice and meets all Health and Safety issues.

Planning Search

Prior to the purchase of a second hand property, a Chartered Building Surveyor can offer a service whereby they carry out a detailed inspection in the relevant Planning Authority to determine the full planning history of the property in question. We also inspect the relevant plan and any current planning applications in the immediate surrounding area and advise on any proposed applications, which may have an adverse effect on the property in question. A check with Building Control to ensure that there are no Enforcement Notices or Purchase Orders served on the property is also advised. If required we can carry out an inspection with the relevant Roads Authority and advise on any future road widening proposals, which may effect the site.

Certificates of Compliance

See under Design and Project Consultancy Services

Defect Analysis

See under Project Management and Maintenance

Boundary Disputes

See under Landlord and Tenant and other Legal Services

Insurance Reinstatement Valuations

Insurance reinstatement valuations are used to value the cost of reinstating a property following an insured peril such as fire, flooding, weather damage etc. If you have insufficient cover your insurance company will not fund the full cost of rebuilding your property. Equally if you are over-insured you will be paying too much for your building insurance. A building surveyor can provide an accurate assessment of the cost to reinstate your property, and prevent either the under insuring or over insuring of your property.

Whilst most modern insurance policies will index link the initial valuation it presents best practice to re-value your property every 3–5 years, in order to accurately cost the reinstatement valuation.