Alterations or extensions
When considering changing or alterations to an existing building it is advisable to determine what effects the proposed works would have on the retained structure. This will initially take the form of a visual inspection possibly followed by a measured survey. It may be helpful to undertake limited intrusive investigation which can be considered once a provisional scheme has been devised.
Conveyance, selling or buying
A general practice surveyor will only report on the overall condition of the building but not on specific items such as services. They may identify defects that indicate possible structural problems but they rely on structural engineers to interpret the cause and significance of the evidence. It is important to ensure that the structural engineer instructed to give this advice is well experienced in this type of work.
Identify and report on defects
This is usually necessary for insurance claim or in support of legal claims and may involve not only an initial visual inspection but subsequently investigations of the ground, building and surrounding environment.