If you’re looking at moving into a property the likelihood is that you’re going to need a building survey conducted, in order to give you a clear idea of the current condition of the property and what your next steps should be. But how do you know what building survey is right for you and your property? In this blog, our surveying experts will discuss the difference between a level 2 and 3 building survey and which one is the best choice for your property.
So, what is the difference between a level 2 and level 3 building survey? Both surveys share the fact that their sole purpose is to give a current overall condition of the property and any defects or issues it may contain. A level 2 survey, however, is tailored towards more typical properties built from conventional materials with limited defects. Whereas a level 3 survey is tailored to properties that are older or larger with more unique features that require a more thorough inspection.
Read on to find out more about the difference between a level 2 and level survey and which one is right for your property.Book Your Free Survey Consultation
What’s the Difference Between a Level 2 and Level 3 Building Survey?
Both level 2 and level 3 surveys share the same purpose that they are inspections that are conducted on a property to find out the current overall condition and any problems or defects the potential buyer should be aware of. The main difference between the two is the level of detail they use as well as the type of property they are conducted on. We’ve highlighted the two surveys, and what they cover in more detail below.
What Is a Level 2 Building Survey?
A level 2 building survey, also known as a homebuyer’s report, is the most basic type of homebuyer’s report that can be conducted on a property. A level 2 survey is typically conducted on a property which is:
- A more modern property
- Made from conventional materials & methods
- Is in particularly good condition
Due to the fact that this survey is tailored to more conventional properties, this report is one of the most popular for homebuyers as a property that fits outside of these guidelines is rare.
What Does a Level 2 Building Survey Cover?
A level 2 building survey will provide you with detailed information on the condition of a conventional property, it will cover elements such as:
- A physical inspection of all the internal and external areas of the property such as the floors, walls, roof, windows, pipes etc.
- A review of the broadband speeds, mobile data and any potential noise traffic
- Advice on any defects within the property such as cracks in the walls or fabric defects
Once the property has been inspected by the surveyor they will provide a full, comprehensive review of their findings for the property and rank them based on a traffic light system.
What Is a Level 3 Building Survey?
A level 3 building survey is a much more detailed and comprehensive building survey when compared to a level 2 survey. A level 3 survey is typically conducted on properties which are:
- Older properties (Typically ones that were built over 50 years ago)
- Listed buildings (these are ones that are on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest)
- Properties that have been constructed in an unusual way
- Properties which you intend to renovate
A level 3 building survey is the highest level of building survey that you can have conducted, as it covers most old, listed or unique properties in the most comprehensive and thorough way.
What Does a Level 3 Building Survey Cover?
A level 3 survey will include all the aspects of a level 2 survey but at a much more thorough level, the surveyor alone will spend hours longer at the property compared to if they were conducting a level 2 survey. Not all level 3 building surveys are the same, but predominantly they will cover these main aspects when completed by a chartered surveyor, this includes:
- A comprehensive review of all physical aspects of the property internally and externally including the walls, roofs, windows, doors etc.
- Inspects how the property was built to expose any potential future issues
- Gives you a comprehensive report of any damages as well as potential timings and costs for repairs
- Review of noise, broadband speed as well as mobile data in the area
- Inspects for any hidden defects within the property that may cause issues in the future
- Photographs throughout the report so you can understand what we’re talking about, when we’re talking about it
- An Executive Summary with key issues & costs at a glance
Since a level 3 survey is a much more extensive type of survey, a big difference compared to a level 2 survey is that it will cost you more money to have one conducted. Despite this, however, you will receive a much more thorough understanding of the current condition of the property. To find out how much your property valuation may cost, why not contact a member of our friendly team for an initial quote?
What Type Of Building Survey Do I Need?
When deciding what type of building survey you need, the answer all depends on the type of property that you are wanting to get evaluated as well as the level of detail you are interested in receiving about the condition of the property. As explained above, a typical built house in good condition will only require a level 2 survey whereas a much older property or listed building with unconventional features or materials may require a level 3 survey.
Outside of this, however, there is a myriad of other building surveys you can have conducted for all sorts of properties including but not limited to:
- Specific Defect survey
- Snagging survey (find out more in our recent article – ‘What is a Snagging Survey & Are They Worth it?’)
- Heritage Building survey
- Listed Building Survey
- Pre-Lease survey
- Pre-Acquisition survey
- RICS Party wall survey
To find out the type of survey that may suit your property best, why not contact one of our surveyors, who can offer expert advice and consultation that suits you and your property?
If you’re unsure who actually needs to book your home survey, whether that be the seller or yourselves, read our latest blog: WHO NEEDS A HOME SURVEY & WHO ORGANISES IT?
Book Your Level 2 or 3 Building Survey With Fourth Wall
At Fourth Wall, we’ve torn down the jargon-heavy, convoluted surveying practice model to create a service tailored to giving you complete transparency about your property. Our surveyors are all RICS qualified so you can ensure whatever building survey you require, whether level 2 or 3, you’ll always get a comprehensive, detailed report about your property.
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