Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to all your queries and enquiries.

Transparency and clear communication underpin the Sillence Hurn brand, but we recognise that there will always be research you may wish to undertake prior to meeting with us.

We would always ask that you get in touch should you have specific needs or wish to discuss your challenges with us, but our list of common FAQs will help alleviate any unknowns or plug any gaps in your understanding. We hope they help:

What is a building survey?

A survey is an expert inspection of a property’s condition in order to identify any problems for prospective buyers and to confirm its structural integrity. The report put together by the surveyor will identify any major repairs, risks or problems.

They will look for structural issues such as subsidence or unstable walls, consider problems such as damp or cracks, whilst providing an opinion on the buildings main services including foul and surface water drainage.

You can learn more about this topic on our Building and Pre-Acquisition Surveys page and our "What is a Building Survey?" blog.

What is a Homebuyers Survey?

A Homebuyer’s survey (RICS Level 2) is a non-intrusive inspection of a residential property. A homebuyer’s survey is suitable for conventional properties that have not been drastically altered in their lifetime. The report will describe the defects found in the property but will not go into detail of how these would be rectified or how much it could potentially cost to do so

You can learn more about this topic on our Building and Pre-Acquisition Surveys page and our "What is a Building Survey?" blog.

Which Survey does your Building Consultancy offer?

We offer the RICS Level 3 Building Survey. It is a comprehensive non-intrusive survey which reports on the overall condition of the property, the construction, and any defects found within the property. Further to this, the report provides reasoned advice on how to resolve any defects found alongside estimated budget costs. This allows a purchaser to fully understand the cost and time implications of taking on a subject property. Utilising this information can also facilitate reasoned reductions in purchase price to accommodate the cost of works that must be undertaken.

The Level 3 report can also be tailored to suit your requirements and go into further detail on elements you highlight to the surveyor, such as budget costs for intended renovation works.

You can learn more about this topic on our Building and Pre-Acquisition Surveys page and our "What is a Building Survey?" blog.

What is dilapidations?

Building dilapidation describes the condition of a building as it moves into decay and waste due to its age or due to damage. Continuous neglect of any maintenance is the most common cause for older builds to fall into dilapidation.

Buildings can fall into dilapidation due to both physical and economic factors. Physical factors normally describe when a premises or property has a need for repair due to decay or damage. But a building can also fall foul to economic dilapidation whereby it is no longer fit for it's required purpose.

Property Experts such as Sillence Hurn are best consulted when deciding on repair or refurbishment, as a combination of factors can determine the costs, schedule and impacts on the immediate community around the building.

In rental or leasing scenarios, dilapidation costs describe the fees involved in putting the property back to it's original, pre-let state. This can include repairs or reinstating/removing and alterations made during the lease or let. Sillence Hurn act on behalf of both landlords and tennants to resolve any disputes in the schedule of dilapidations.

You can learn more about this topic on our Building Dilapidation Consultancy page.

What is the Party Wall Act etc. 1996?

The Party Wall Act etc. 1996 is a longstanding piece of legislation intended to guide, prevent and resolve disputes in relation to Party Walls.

Its principal aim is to ensure that building works cause no untoward damage to adjoining or adjacent properties/structures whilst causing the least disturbance and inconvenience to the occupants.

You can learn more about this topic on our Party Wall Consultancy page and our "Party Wall Matters" blog.

What does property project management involve?

Project management encompasses the techniques and skills involved in producing a defined outcome (an extension, a new build, refurbishment etc...) within the constraints of people, time, budget and resources.

Whether you are undertaking a residential or commercial building project, you'll need someone to oversee the project for you. This will save you a significant amount of stress and anxiety, as the role is one which should only be undertaken by qualified and experienced individuals or teams.

You can learn more about this topic on our Project Management page.

What is property monitoring surveying?

For many commercial or residential property developers, external finance or staged mortgages will be required to complete projects. Monitoring surveys are conducted by building surveyors on behalf of lenders to identify, quantify and mitigate the risks in approving additional finances to the borrower to support their project.

Successful fund monitoring relies on an expert surveyor taking control of the lender's debt finance, advanced to fund the construction of a property. It is the responsibility of the monitoring firm to review and evaluate risks involved in the financing agreement and provide consultation on how future risks can be avoided. 

You can learn more about this topic on our Monitoring Surveying page.

What is quantity surveying?

Quantity surveying includes the activities required to calculate and manage the costs involved in building projects. The process begins with initial estimates of the design, materials, logistics and labour, but also for project compliance (such as legal, permissions, party wall etc...) through to finalising a budget for the entire requirements of the project.

You can learn more about this topic on our Quantity Surveying page.

What does cost management involve?

For larger commercial or residential building projects, it is important that quantity surveyors are employed to help understand and manage the costs involved in the successful completion of the project.

They will have detailed understanding of managing the costs and risk associated in construction project planning and management. Their role begins during the feasibility and planning stages and they will take into account all parts of the process to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved by the end of the development. 

You can learn more about this topic on our Cost Management page.

What is property contract administration?

When an owner or representative of the owner, seeks to enter into contracts for construction work with contractors, a contract administrator will work with both parties to ensure there are full protections in place and that an understanding of the project processes is transparent for all involved.

The contract administration practice acts as an intermediary between both parties - the employer and the contractor - and will be employed from the outset. They are required to ensure that a project runs smoothly, that the project work is keeping to material quality, appropriate building practices and progressing in line with the contract programme. 

You can learn more about this topic on our Contract Administration page.

Ask your own question

If you have a query unanswered, please send us your question using the form below or alternatively you can call us on 02380 014 786

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