The question that I really want to answer first is actually why you need a full structural survey, more so than how you find one. A chartered surveyor in London is actually very easy to find, really only needing a basic search. As long as they are chartered with the RICS, you have a surveyor that can do the job, and they will give you the proper full structural survey you need.

That said, I want to talk about why you need to have such a full structural survey done on a semi regular basis, especially in a place as old as the UK. It’s one of those things where you think, this is ancient, and I clearly don’t see any signs of major changes done to the property or the structure, so I probably don’t need to have the survey updated, it was done as recently as 50 years ago. Well, let me tell you, that can be a grave mistake to make.

If you are about to buy a building or a home, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you have a full structural survey done before making a commitment. I don’t care if I survey was done a year ago, you should have it done again, unless you can verify that that survey was done by the proper people, and that it hasn’t been a year of major change in standards and codes regarding structural surveys, something that happens far too often as it is.

Times change…

Let’s assume that the structure you are talking about is a post-war structure, that’s actually a lot older than it sounds like now. At the time, they didn’t have lasers, digital levels and satellite property surveys to base their information off of, using only traditional, analog surveying techniques.

The result of this is that, while accurate for the time, even if nothing is changed, the last survey done was probably not within the accuracy and tolerance that a modern survey requires, so the information will not reflect the true nature of the structure or property.

If it’s an older building, or at least the property itself is older, units of measurement will have changed, as well as the legal definition of property lines, the practices behind floor plans and many other things. Remember, and a place like the UK, buildings that are hundreds of years old are still common things to buy and rent, because just being that old does not make it a landmark, where in newer countries like the United States, just about any structure that’s more than 150 years old can be considered a landmark due to the lack of history compared to Europe, the UK or Asia.

So, now that you know why you need it, just make sure that you go with a chartered surveyor in London, and you’re sure to get the standards and quality you need, and you will have a more accurate reflection of your structure, changes made, and an accurate reflection of the floor plans, property lines and everything else. If you’re about to buy a house, this ensures that you are getting what you pay for, which is very important.

Author's Bio: 

This article is penned by Lora Davis for ZFN Chartered Surveyors. The owner has been a surveyor for over 10 years and has the requisite experience and knowledge.