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Do You Need a Survey on a New Build House?

What Is a Building Survey and Why Do You Need One?

In the exhilarating rush of acquiring a newly built house, the necessity of a structural survey might seem redundant. Yet, under the pristine veneer of a new build property, lurking issues could stealthily compromise your investment.


A building survey (sometimes referred to as a snagging survey) is not just reserved for older properties; they serve as shields for both buyers and homeowners against unforeseen pitfalls.


From structural flaws to hidden plumbing or electrical concerns, a survey acts as a protective lens, revealing potential headaches before they escalate. Beyond the visible glamour of a new property lies the essence of security and peace of mind that only a thorough examination can provide!


They provide clarity on the property’s condition, give negotiating power, empowering informed decisions and of course highlight significant issues. While a new build may boast modern aesthetics and pristine finishes, a building survey ensures the integrity of its core.


In the upcoming sections, our Cheshire Builders and specialists will dissect the diverse array of property surveys available for new builds and explain why this step is pivotal in safeguarding your investment, plus the potential risks that many buyers miss. Because when it comes to your dream home, transparency is the cornerstone of a solid foundation.

Do You Need a Survey on a New Build House?

Types of Surveys: Which One Fits a New Build?

Our Cheshire home builders know full well that navigating the world of house surveys can be bewildering, especially when it comes to new build homes. While older properties often demand comprehensive surveys like Homebuyer Reports or Building Surveys, new constructions may benefit from more specialised inspections.


  1. Snagging Survey: Tailored for newly built homes, a snagging survey focuses on identifying cosmetic or minor issues like paintwork flaws, misaligned fixtures, or small construction oversights, as well as ensuring that the home follows current building regulations.
  2. New Build Structural Survey: Delving deeper than a snagging survey, this type of survey assesses the structural integrity of a newly constructed property. It inspects the foundational elements, ensuring they meet building regulations, have used the correct common building materials and provide a homebuyers report.
  3. Home Condition Survey: Akin to a full structural survey, this building survey is a holistic overview of a property’s condition, ideal for new builds. It provides an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition and highlights any potential issues that could arise in the future.


Choosing the right property survey depends on the level of scrutiny desired by the mortgage lender and the specific concerns you might have about your new build.


While snagging surveys are common for identifying immediate, superficial issues, more comprehensive inspections like the New Build Structural Survey offer a deeper evaluation, assuring home buyers of the property’s long-term stability.


Whichever building survey is relevant to you as a home buyer, it’s important to use professional chartered surveyors. Expect the cost for a property survey to be a few hundred pounds, depending on the RICS home survey level and the details in the homebuyer report. This is just the same as when looking at an old or unusual property.

Costs vs. Benefits: Surveying a New Build Home

Surveying a new build might seem like an added expense, but consider it an investment safeguarding your future. The costs of a property survey on a newly built home is notably lower compared to older homes due to the assumption of a pristine condition. However, the benefits they offer can far outweigh these initial expenses of a few hundred pounds. In the long run, this will likely avoid any unnecessary expense and actually save you money!


At first glance, the flawless façades of new build homes might suggest an absence of issues. However, beneath this surface could be potential or hidden defects that, if left unnoticed, could evolve into major headaches.


Surveys provide a thorough assessment, looking at the property’s physical condition, potentially identifying construction flaws, inadequate workmanship, or material defects that might not be visible to an untrained eye. Addressing these issues early can save not only substantial repair costs but also the stress and disruption they may cause down the line.


Your mortgage lenders will likely suggest a survey pre-completion, or as part of the property valuation process. The insights gleaned from a professional snagging survey will empower the buyer and the estate agent in negotiations.


Uncovered issues can serve as leverage for price adjustments or compel developers to rectify the identified problems before finalizing the purchase. In essence, the cost of a survey is a proactive investment, offering a layer of protection and a sense of confidence in buying your new build property.


Consider the expense of a property survey and homebuyer report as a small fraction of the overall investment in your dream home. Its benefits extend far beyond the immediate expenses, potentially safeguarding you from unforeseen financial burdens and providing peace of mind in your new home purchase.

wall paper, new builds

Spotting Red Flags: Signs That Warrant a House Survey

In the gleaming world of new build properties, imperfections can often lurk beneath the surface. While a pristine façade may exude perfection, certain warning signs demand a closer look before sealing the deal on your dream home.


Keep a keen eye out for cosmetic imperfections that extend beyond the expected quirks of a new property. Minor blemishes like uneven paint or misaligned fixtures might hint at larger underlying issues in craftsmanship or material quality. Moisture or damp patches, although uncommon in new builds, can signal potential leaks, inadequate insulation, or ventilation concerns, warranting further investigation.


Uneven surfaces or misaligned elements such as doors and windows could hint at structural concerns or indicate subpar workmanship during construction. Even in a freshly constructed space, signs of faulty electrics or plumbing, like flickering lights or inconsistent water pressure, should raise caution flags.


While these signs might not necessarily spell disaster, they serve as prompts for a professional survey to provide clarity. Such assessments can either allay concerns or uncover issues that, if unaddressed, could evolve into significant headaches down the line. Protect your investment by considering these warning signs as proactive cues for a thorough inspection.

Expert Insights: Surveyor Recommendations

When it comes to a house survey on a new build, the guidance of a seasoned professional is invaluable. Qualified surveyors, who are part of the ‘Residential Property Surveyors Association’ or the ‘Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’, bring a trained eye and technical expertise to the table, offering insights that can make or break your decision-making process, enable a mortgage valuation, help evaluate the asking price and point out any ongoing maintenance which may provide more negotiating power.


A reputable local surveyor doesn’t just inspect; they interpret. Their wealth of experience enables them to decipher nuanced details, distinguishing between minor hiccups and potential pitfalls, and help you come to a well-informed decision with photographic evidence and a home buyer report.


They provide a comprehensive assessment that transcends the superficial allure of a new property, delving into its structural integrity and overall condition. Whether its a snagging surgery or a full structural survey, it will be carried out at RICS home survey level, looking at roof spaces, and other areas of relative importance.


Seek recommendations or referrals from trusted sources or professional bodies within the industry. Opt for surveyors accredited by the Residential Property Surveyors Association or chartered surveyors RICS, ensuring their adherence to stringent standards and professional ethics. A skilled surveyor doesn’t merely identify issues; they communicate them effectively, providing clarity and context, enabling you to make informed decisions regarding your new build investment.

Need a House Survey? Our Recommendations:

As house extensions and Cheshire home renovation specialists, here are the top surveyors that we would recommend and use ourselves!


  • https://www.allcottassociates.co.uk – UK-wide but with offices in the North West – Allcott Associates LLP is a highly respected and trusted independent building consultancy. All their surveyors are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).


Their philosophy is to provide a full service, offering specialist expertise from one company. This reduces customers’ costs significantly when compared to buying individual services from various sources. They have quality and experienced engineers who undertake the initial diagnosis, plus cost control throughout the life of the claim.


  • https://www.buildingsurveyorsnw.co.uk – North West based local firm – They provide residential surveys and valuations, structural reports, defect diagnosis, expert witness services, party wall matters, schedules of condition, dilapidation, etc. 


They specialise in Level 2 surveys (formerly known as RICS Home Buyer reports) and Level 3 surveys (formerly known as Building Surveys or Structural Surveys). They also specialise in residential valuation work and residential structural engineer’s reports.


  • https://jrvsurveys.com -Their professional residential surveyors will undertake a physical inspection of the potential property and turnaround a first-rate report within 24 hours following inspection.


JRV take each property as an individual case and take into account any repairs or replacements that the property may need, giving you peace of mind.

Based in Altrincham, they serve across the North West, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire. With a friendly and professional team of residential surveyors, JRV aim to make this part of the moving process as stress free as possible.

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