How long does it take for a house survey to be carried out?

Timings will depend on a number of factors, including the type of survey you choose.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to purchasing a property, and the time it takes between making the offer and finalising the purchase can be crucial.

Once the offer has been accepted, potential home buyers will need to consider getting a building survey (amongst many other things), but for homeowners, this should be top of the priority list.

We know this can be stressful so, we’re here to break down one of our frequently asked questions – how long does it take for a house survey to be carried out?

Typical Timeframes

A property survey of any type can take between one and eight hours. However, timings will depend on a number of factors (more on this later) and the type of survey you choose.

If you opt for a basic RICS Home Survey (Level 1) this can be done in under an hour, but we wouldn’t recommend this if you’re looking for a more detailed insight into the condition of your property.

Depending on the level of insight you’re after, a RICS Level 2 survey (also known as the Homebuyer Survey) can provide you with a good understanding of the property’s current condition and can last between 90 minutes and four hours.

The RICS Level 2 survey is perfect for homebuyers and homeowners alike who are after a professional report regarding the condition of the main elements of their property.

But, the RICS Level 3 (also known as a full structural survey) is the most popular choice for residential property owners. It is by far the most comprehensive assessment you can get for your home; however, this can take up to eight hours to complete.

This is because it provides an in-depth report concerning the building’s structure and materials, highlighting potential issues and other defects.

Influential Factors

Property Type and Size: The type and size of the property play a significant role in determining the survey duration. Larger properties or those with complex structures may require more time for thorough inspection. Additionally, smaller properties may be surveyed more quickly.

Property Age and Condition: Older properties or those with significant wear and tear typically necessitate more comprehensive inspections, which can prolong the survey duration. The surveyor may need to scrutinise historical building materials, assess the integrity of foundations, and identify potential structural issues.

Extent of Inspection Required: The level of detail required in the survey can impact its duration. Basic surveys may focus primarily on visible defects, while more comprehensive surveys delve into hidden problems, such as structural weaknesses or dampness. Extensive investigations naturally take longer to complete.

Access to the Property: Unrestricted access to all areas of the property is vital for a thorough survey. If certain areas are inaccessible or require special arrangements to access, such as locked rooms or areas obstructed by furniture, it can prolong the survey process.

Complexity of Findings: If the survey uncovers issues that require further investigation or consultation with specialists, such as structural engineers or pest control experts, additional time may be needed to assess the implications and provide recommendations.

How long until I get the report back?

This often depends on the complexity of the report and the individual surveyor; however, we aim for a quick turnaround time of seven days whilst ensuring your report is clear, thorough, and concise.

We want to ensure that you have all the information you need to make those big decisions because when it comes to your property, having confidence is key to getting the best value from your investment.

Why do we recommend a building survey for your home?

A homeowner can reap numerous benefits from obtaining a building survey before purchasing a property or initiating renovations.

Firstly, a comprehensive survey conducted by a qualified professional can unveil hidden structural issues, potential defects, or necessary repairs that may not be immediately apparent to an untrained eye.

By identifying these issues early on, homeowners can avoid unexpected expenses and make informed decisions about the property.

Additionally, a building survey can provide valuable insights into the overall condition of the property, including its safety and compliance with building regulations.

Homeowners can then negotiate better terms with sellers or plan renovation projects more effectively, ensuring their investment is both sound and secure.

Ultimately, the expertise and insights provided by a building surveyor empower homeowners and home buyers to proceed with their purchase confidently, knowing they have a clear understanding of the property's condition.

Who are we?

Our team of Chartered Building Surveyors work closely with schools, universities, estate agents, landlords, lenders and local authorities across London and the South Coast to proactively navigate a changing horizon. From ensuring new projects are delivered on time and in budget, to delivering upgrades on behalf of councils.

Read more about our solutions here:

Reinstatement Cost Assessments

Technical due diligence

Project management

Dilapidations consulting

Cost management

Monitoring Surveying

Party Wall

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Planned Preventative Maintenance

Alternatively, email us at or call our Southampton team on 02380 014786 or London at 020 3143 2128.

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