A structural inspection of a property is often made when you are thinking of buying a property and you want to make sure that it is not suffering from any structural concerns such as subsidence, roof defects, cracking or sagging of walls, or poor construction of the extension or loft conversion. In these instances it can also be known as a Full Structural Survey.
In this case you would want a General Structural Inspection, and the Structural Engineer or Surveyor would inspect and report on the condition and adequacy of all the accessible load bearing elements of the property including the roof, walls, lintels and beams. They would also look at the surrounding site and assess if there were any factors that would indicate a risk to the foundation such as large trees.
If you discovered a cracking or sagging wall and wanted to find out why you might request a Specific Structural Inspection which would look at just the one area of concern rather than the whole property.
In both cases the surveyor would identify whether there were structural problems or concerns and recommend what should be done to rectify them and if asked will give an idea of how much the work would cost.
It should be noted that a Structural Report is an opinion as to the condition and integrity of the property, and not a guarantee. It is important, therefore, to ensure that the surveyor you use is experienced, qualified and maybe a member or fellow of either the Institution of Structural Engineers or the Institution of Civil Engineers.
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