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Specific Defect Survey / Specific Structural Survey

What is a Specific Defect survey?

A Specific Defect Survey (also known as a Specific Structural Survey or Specific Structural Inspection) is used to assess a particular problem with a property’s structure or condition. Any related building matters which are found during the inspection will also be covered. The survey goes into a similar level of detail to a Full Building Survey, but does not cover the whole property, just the specific area of concern.

Specific Defect Surveys are suitable if you believe that the rest of the property is sound, but you have concerns about one aspect.

You may be worried about something that you have spotted in a property you wish to buy. A structural inspection would allow you to get detailed information on the extent of the issue and the costs of rectifying it; this would allow you to make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the purchase or renegotiate the price.

Sometimes another surveyor will recommend further investigation by a structural engineer (particularly if their firm does not have engineers as part of the team). At other times, mortgage companies ask for a structural report covering a specific defect, and will not lend a mortgage until this has been provided.

Alternatively, it could be something in your own home that you want to check for peace of mind, perhaps before carrying out building works. An engineer can carry out a structural alterations survey to determine the suitability of the property for alterations. For example, we often carry out surveys to assess whether walls are load-bearing, or whether support beams are required to allow chimney breast removal.

Sometimes a vendor may wish to get a second opinion on an issue highlighted by a purchaser’s survey, to aid negotiations. A structural engineer’s assessment of cracking can be particularly crucial for determining whether there is movement due to subsidence, or whether cracks are superficial.

Find out more about the difference between a Specific Defect/Structural Survey and a Full Building Survey here.

Looking for commercial structural engineering services?

Our commercial structural engineers offer specific structural inspections (SSIs) for all commercial property types, from large portal frames and office blocks to period retail properties.

Allcott Associates’ specific defect surveys are carried out by Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Structural Engineers.

We ensure that the person inspecting your property has the right expertise to diagnose defects and advise on remedial works.

Examples of issues a Specific Defect Survey could address include:

  • Subsidence investigation
    • Cracking or bowing of walls or beams; suspected instability or movement of walls or floors (subsidence)
  • Issues with the quality of specific aspects of the building or alterations, such as wall removals and loft conversions
  • Roofing defects
  • Chimney defects, or structural assessment prior to chimney breast removal
  • Timber rot or infestation assessment
  • Steel beam corrosion assessment
  • Non-standard construction survey
  • Issues with brickwork quality
  • Structural engineer flood damage assessment
  • Problems with supporting structures such as beams.

Because our team includes structural engineers, we can offer a full service, including designs and calculations for remedial works on supporting structures, if required.

For more information about the expert investigations we offer, please visit our residential services page.

The survey report includes detailed descriptions of what is found during the building inspection, alongside relevant photos. It states whether or not there is a problem with the structure of the building, and if there is, what needs to be done and how much it will cost to rectify the problems found.

Allcott Associates Specific Defect Surveys

Specific Defect Surveys, or SSIs (specific structural inspections), are provided by our in-house team of IStructE Structural Engineers and Chartered Surveyors.

structural inspection
Expertise in Structural Engineering
Roof survey photo
In-depth advice on repairs, costs and maintenance
Our survey locations cover England
Local surveyors supported by our nationwide team
Phone support
One-to-one support with any queries

What does a Specific Defect Survey include?

– Detailed report of what is found during the inspection
– Guidance on options for repairs and remedial works
– Estimated costs for any repairs
– Recommendations for further investigations, if applicable, and estimated costs
– Detailed designs and structural calculations for remedial works upon request, to help you instruct builders or other construction contractors

Professional Surveyors, Quality Service | RICS Certified Surveyors

Allcott Associates LLP employ both Building Surveyors and Structural Engineers and all our Chartered Building Surveyors are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This ensures our Building Survey Reports are comprehensive and will never need referring back to a Building Surveyor or Structural Engineer for further investigation at a further cost unless in the unlikely event that opening up of areas is required. Unlike other firms, we are completely independent and our reports are accepted by all financial institutions and insurance companies.