We at Ashmore Surveyors have developed a suite of Surveys which are flexible and can adapt to suit pretty well any situation, and which offer a number of benefits over the industry standard type of reports.
We do not believe that the reports normally offered to house purchasers are of sufficient quality to be helpful to the buyer and feel that in some cases the reports can cause more confusion and concern than they need to.
The difference in our reporting style is that we do not rely upon a series of colour-coded traffic lights because these can be both misinterpreted but also we feel that it potentially insults the intelligence of our Clients.
Our approach is slightly different. Regardless of the Survey type that you select, if there is an issue that needs to be reported, it will be reported in the style of – ‘here's the problem, here is what we think is causing it, this is what should be done about it and these are the implications’.
We take the view that if we report to you in this way, everything is transparent, you know what you are getting and you know what needs to be done. We have tended to find that the industry standard reports have tended to find a problem, failed to diagnose the cause, failed to report on the implications and usually hand the diagnosis of that issue to a non-qualified third party, often with a vested interest in undertaking the work. We don’t understand how that can constitute giving ‘best advice’ and it effectively makes the Surveyor’s role meaningless.
We take the view that the property buyer will soon become disillusioned with the purchase if they suddenly have to go out and obtain 16 quotations for different works before they proceed.
The Essential Survey
Our Essential Survey was originally pitched at the level of the ‘Level 2’ Homebuyer type Survey but frankly, we feel it is a substantially better report, much more helpful and has been developed to the point of being more akin to a Building Survey but at the cost of a Level 2 Survey. The problem with us is that we cannot do ‘half a job’.
If we need to tell you something, we don't stop until we have finished telling you all about it.
Although typically our Essential Survey runs to about 12 pages, you will find that the vast majority of these 12 pages are packed with useful information, whereas the alternative type Surveys have well over twice as many pages but if you analyse the document, there is very little within the report that actually tells you a great deal.
We are always happy to send out Model Reports to potential Clients for them to see what our Surveys look like, and to demonstrate how we think and how we work. These Model Reports are actual Surveys that we have carried out but with the names and addresses fictionalised for anonymity. We have put a suite of them together so that when we provide you with a quotation, the Model Reports will be appropriate for the type of property you are looking to buy.
The Brief Indicative Survey
The Brief Indicative Survey was developed as a slightly lower cost alternative to the Essential Survey and because the inspection is the same as for the Essential Survey (but some areas of the report are slightly less detailed where they do not need to be so detailed but are more descriptive), you are effectively getting the same depth of reporting of important areas at a reduced price.
We are happy in most cases if people opt for the lower-priced Survey but in some cases, we do feel it necessary to include the extra descriptive and detail where the property may warrant it.
We do not feel constrained by the age or style of property, although we would say that historic buildings really require a Full Building Survey and that is not something we would routinely offer to our Clients.
We recently had an enquiry from a Client who stated that they were told any property over 50 years old will probably need a Full Building Survey. The attitude that we take is that a house built in 1840 is probably put together in exactly the same way as one built in 1940 and we really don't see why such an arbitrary distinction has to be made.