How long does a pre-purchase structural inspection/report take?

Purchasing a home is likely to be the biggest investment you will ever make, so naturally you will want to know everything there is to know about the property. A pre-purchase structural inspection will ensure that you have a full understanding of the structural condition of the property, so that you can avoid costly structural repairs or negotiate a lower purchase price to reflect the work needed.

We know that there are many things to organise when purchasing a home, but through our simple approach to structural inspections we are proud to offer an efficient, clear, and practical service. In our latest blog post we take a closer look at the timescales, so that you know how long a pre-purchase structural inspection and report is likely to take.

What is a pre-purchase structural inspection?

A structural inspection will examine the structural condition of your future home, internally and externally. Although there is no legal requirement to engage a structural surveyor or engineer, your bank might require a structural inspection in order to offer you a mortgage. Your bank (mortgage provider) needs to make sure that the property is in sound condition and does not require extensive repairs. A structural inspection will highlight potential major issues such as subsidence, whilst also detailing defects such as cracks within a chimney, leaks, and roof issues.

Without a pre-purchase structural inspection, these issues may have gone unnoticed, and you could be caught out with large repair bills.

When should I book a pre-purchase inspection?

When your offer is accepted and the property is officially marked as ‘Sale Agreed’, it is time to book your pre-purchase inspection. Although you are likely to be busy organising a mortgage and solicitors, this is an important step in the house purchase process. Arranging a survey at an early stage will provide you with the information needed for you to decide whether to proceed with the purchase, without having already incurred costs from other professionals.

If there are issues identified, you may decide to pull out of the sale completely, or it may be possible to negotiate a lower purchase price. Either way, knowledge is power when it comes to buying a home, and a pre-purchase inspection will provide you with everything you need to know to proceed with peace of mind.

How long will the pre-purchase inspection take?

Once you find a surveyor or structural engineer, it is likely they will be able to visit the property within a few days. Of course, you will need to arrange a suitable time with the estate agent, as the surveyor will need access to the property. If the home is currently being lived in, you may need to wait a little longer for a date that works with the current occupiers.

The actual length of time it takes to complete the survey and prepare the structural report will depend on the size of the property, the access, and its condition, but generally, the inspection itself will be complete within an hour.

During the visit the engineer will be making notes and taking photographs, which will then be used to compile the report back in the office. There are no specific rules about the format a structural inspection report should follow, but in general the engineer will detail all important aspects both externally and internally. The time it takes to complete the report will depend on how busy the surveyor is, but in general you should have your report back within 7 days.

Simplify – Efficient structural engineers

Our goal is to simplify the structural engineering process, so you can trust our team to provide an efficient, detailed service, and we are always on hand to guide you through the survey process. As a team we are chartered under the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), and over the years we have completed thousands of pre-purchase structural inspections and reports. With offices across the UK, we can provide quick timescales and are proud of our competitive pricing. To find out more, contact our team for a quote today.