What type of survey do I need?

 When you buy a property, you’ll have a checklist of admin to get through. It’s likely to include meeting financial advisers, contacting mortgage lenders, researching the local area… and somewhere in the list will be ‘book house survey’. However, knowing exactly which survey to book can prove a challenge. 

At Trinity Rose, our Chartered Surveyors specialise in residential house surveys and offer a choice to our clients. We’ve put together a guide to help you find the most appropriate survey for your property. So, you can tick that task off your checklist and get one step closer to completing.  

Do I need a house survey?

You don’t legally need to arrange a house survey when buying a house, but it’s an extremely good idea. Even the newest, apparently flawless home can hide nasty or dangerous secrets. Finding out if there is damp, old wiring, structural problems or a number of other issues before you’ve committed to a purchase puts you in a strong position. 

With the information from a survey, you can ask the vendor to make repairs or negotiate on price before you move in. The alternative is potentially finding out about issues after it’s too late and being stuck with a problematic property and sorting issues at your own expense.    

What are the different survey options?

Of course, not all properties will have problems and new builds, for example, are very unlikely to have serious issues. That’s why we offer a range of surveys suitable for different kinds of properties.

The more involved the survey, the more it will cost but any survey you choose will be a mere fraction of the property’s value and worth every penny for your peace of mind. 

The different surveys offered by Trinity Rose include:

Let’s find out more about them…

Level 1: RICS Home Condition Report

A RICS Home Condition Report is perfect for conventional and newer properties where you’re really not expecting to find any issues. It’s a basic survey which looks at the property’s overall condition, urgent defects and any potential legal issues. 

Level 2: Homebuyers Report (Home Condition Survey with or without valuation)

The RICS Homebuyer Report is our most popular survey option and is for properties in reasonable condition, under 100 years old. It covers everything in the Level 1 survey but also looks at timer/damp issues; drainage; insulation; and Japanese knotweed.

You also have the option to add on a house valuation and insurance rebuild cost.  

Level 3: Building Survey (commonly called a Structural Survey)

If you want a really in-depth house survey, this is the one for you. It’s designed for properties which are large, old, unusual, in poor condition, have been extensively altered, or you’re planning to make drastic changes yourself.

This option includes everything from the other two surveys plus a detailed analysis of the property’s construction. Your surveyor will assess potential problems caused by hidden flaws; dangerous risks including subsidence, structural movement, dampness and woodworm; repair options; and advice on what might happen without intervention.   

Snagging Survey

For new built homes, a snagging survey is the perfect way to inexpensively detail any imperfections with the property. New builds really shouldn’t have any major structural problems, so a snagging survey looks at things such as poorly fitted windows, small cracks in walls and paint splatters from careless decorating. 

When you hand the developer a snagging list they should rectify the issues at their expense (within two years of you moving in). If you don’t get a snagging survey or you wait until it’s too late, you’ll have to fix any ‘snags’ yourself. 

Limited Defect Survey

Something a little bit different: a Limited Defect Survey gets a professional surveyor’s opinion on a specific issue or issues. If you have concerns about your own property or one you’re thinking of buying, this survey can put your mind at rest or alert you to work that needs to be done. 

Limited Defect Surveys can be arranged for issues including sagging roofs, rotting timber, leaning walls, damp, subsidence and even infestations. We will look at the problem, determine its seriousness and advise on the best next steps. 


Find out more

Hopefully, this introduction to the different survey options offered by Trinity Rose has helped you decide which is best for you. If you’d like any further guidance, have got any questions or would like to book a house survey, please get in touch. Our friendly, knowledgeable team will be happy to help.

We offer Residential Property Services in Hampshire and Surrey including AltonAlresfordFarnhamChandlers FordBishops WalthamPark GateSouthampton, Winchester, Romsey, Lymington, Lyndhurst, Salisbury, Christchurch, Poole, Parkstone, Brockenhurst, Ringwood, Verwood, Fordingbridge, The New Forest and Wimborne and the surrounding areas.



Level 1: RICS Home Condition Report Level 2: Homebuyers Report (Home Condition Survey with or without valuation) Level 3: Building Survey (commonly called a Structural Survey) Snagging Survey Limited Defect Survey
Survey cost      
For new builds    
For properties in good condition, under 100 years old
For properties over 100 years old and/or large/unconventional
A visual inspection of the ‘surface level’ of the property
Looks at potential structural problems    
Traffic light rating system
Photographs of issues  
Advice on next steps
Market valuation
At extra cost

At extra cost

At extra cost

At extra cost

At extra cost
When to get the survey Pre-purchase Pre-purchase Pre-purchase Pre-purchase/within a maximum of 2 years post purchase Any time

What does a feasibility study cover?

Our feasibility studies are undertaken by experienced RICS-accredited surveyors and are tailored to individual development needs, but will usually cover development layout and use, design, approximate building cost, legal and tax implications and a raft of planning requirements and strategies. You can read more about Trinity Rose Chartered Surveyors’ feasibility studies and services here.

How do I obtain planning permission on a listed building renovation?

What do detailed designs for a new development include?

Detailed designs contain an extraordinary amount of information; in summary they should include layouts, dimensions and elevations, sections, design details, component schedules, finishes, structural plans, building services plans, project phases as well as fire and safety strategies. If you’d like to find out more about Trinity Rose Architecture’s detailed design services and what is entailed, you can read about it here.

What is a lease plan?

A lease plan is a scale drawing of the buildings and associated land described in a lease. It will show areas that are shared with others and rights of way that have been granted. The lease plan must also illustrate the location of the property and have key content in order for it to be accepted by the Land Registry. You can find out more about Trinity Rose Chartered Surveyors’ lease plan services here.

What do measured building surveys include?

Trinity Rose Chartered Surveyors carry out measured building surveys and our reports typically include internal floor plans, internal and external elevations, building cross sections and, if required fixtures and fittings. You can read more about our measured survey services here.

Trinity Rose Chartered Surveyors has a wealth of experience in buildings of historic significance, including listed properties. Our specialists can support you through the design process to create a proposal that is devised to achieve the required planning permission and listed building consent. You can read more about Trinity Rose Chartered Surveyors’ design and planning services here.


Trinity House, 123 Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Hampshire SO53 2DR

t: 01962 880426


Top Floor, Trinity House, 123 Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Hampshire SO53 2DR

t: 01962 888900


Trinity House, 123 Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Hampshire SO53 2DR

t: 01962 880426

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