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Whether you're purchasing a property, planning renovations, or evaluating your home's condition, having a comprehensive understanding of the different types of home surveys and their purposes is essential. These professional assessments provide valuable insights into a property's construction, condition, and potential issues, enabling property owners and buyers to make well-informed decisions throughout their ownership journey. At Icon Surveyors, we specialise in residential surveying work throughout England and Wales, including Party Wall Surveying, Boundary Surveying, Building Surveying, and Valuation. As dedicated building surveyors at our core, we strive to provide educational, informative, helpful, and unique resources that empower property owners to better understand and navigate the various aspects of property ownership, purchasing, and renovation.

This blog article will serve as a comprehensive guide to the different types of home surveys, covering their primary purposes, the level of detail provided, and the most appropriate scenarios for each survey type. By becoming familiar with the various surveying options available and their respective benefits, you can make informed decisions that best suit your needs, ensuring property purchases and renovations are approached with the utmost confidence and any potential issues are thoroughly assessed and addressed.

Understanding the Types of Home Surveys

To effectively navigate the realm of property surveys, it's important first to understand the variety of surveys available, each catering to different scenarios and requirements. The most common types of home surveys include the following:

1. Valuation Survey

2. Condition Report

3. Homebuyer Report

4. Building Survey

5. Party Wall Survey

6. Boundary Survey

Valuation Survey

A Valuation Survey is the most basic type of survey, primarily intended to provide an estimate of the property's market value rather than assessing its structure or condition. Typically requested by mortgage lenders, the Valuation Survey ensures that the property's value justifies the requested loan amount and aids in decision-making for both lenders and buyers.

Condition Report

A Condition Report is an entry-level survey that provides a general assessment of the property's condition. This report identifies visible defects, maintenance requirements, and potential issues that could affect the property's value. However, the Condition Report does not offer in-depth analysis or guidance on solving the identified issues. It is best suited for relatively new properties where significant defects or concerns are not expected.

Homebuyer Report

A HomeBuyer Report offers more detailed information than a Condition Report and is suitable for properties in reasonable condition. This survey provides a comprehensive assessment of the property's visible issues, potential risks, and suggested actions for addressing any identified concerns. Additionally, a HomeBuyer Report can include a market valuation, and insurance rebuild cost. This survey is ideal for modern or conventional properties where more substantial defects are not suspected.

Building Survey

A Building Survey, formerly known as a Structural Survey, is the most in-depth and comprehensive survey type available. It provides a detailed analysis of the property's construction, condition, and potential issues, including hidden defects, long-term maintenance recommendations, and advice on repairs and renovations. Building Surveys are particularly useful for older properties, listed buildings, unconventional constructions, or properties with known issues or significant alterations. At Icon Surveyors, we specialise in Building Surveying, offering a tailored and meticulous service to meet your property assessment needs.

Party Wall Survey

A Party Wall Survey specifically addresses any proposed work impacting shared walls or boundaries between neighbouring properties. These surveys are instrumental in ensuring that any renovation or construction work complies with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, and potential disputes are mitigated through the implementation of a party wall agreement. As specialists in Party Wall Surveying, Icon Surveyors offer professional expertise in navigating party wall concerns and agreements.

Boundary Survey

Boundary Surveys primarily focus on accurately determining and mapping the property's boundaries, which is crucial for resolving boundary disputes, confirming ownership, or undertaking new construction near property limits. Icon Surveyors' expertise in Boundary Surveying ensures a thorough and precise assessment of your property's boundaries, allowing you to pursue property improvements or resolve disputes with confidence.

Selecting the Right Home Survey

To choose the most suitable survey for your needs, consider the following factors:

1. Property Age: Older properties typically require more comprehensive surveys, such as Building Surveys, whereas newer or conventional constructions could be suited to a HomeBuyer Report or Condition Report.

2. Property Type: Unique, listed, or unconventional properties often warrant more in-depth surveys, such as a Building Survey. Moreover, Party Wall Surveys should be considered when undertaking work on shared walls or boundaries, and Boundary Surveys for addressing or preventing boundary disputes.

3. Proposed Renovations: If you plan to undertake extensive renovations, a Building Survey can provide valuable guidance on potential issues and recommended improvements.

4. Budget: Consider your budget when selecting a survey, keeping in mind the potential benefits and long-term savings that can result from identifying and addressing property issues early on.


Understanding the nuances of different home surveys allows property owners and buyers to make well-informed decisions when purchasing or renovating a property. By carefully evaluating your needs and the specific requirements of your property, you can select the most appropriate home survey and confidently approach property improvements, purchases, and dispute resolutions.

At Icon Surveyors, our expertise in residential surveying work throughout England and Wales, including party wall surveying, boundary surveying, building surveying, and valuation, allows us to provide you with tailored and comprehensive services to meet your property assessment needs. Our certified surveyors in East London have a dedication to clear communication, adherence to best practices, and commitment to delivering educational, informative, and helpful resources to ensure a successful property ownership experience and informed decision-making throughout your property journey.

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Icon Surveyors

We are a team of party wall surveying experts based throughout London and the surrounding areas. Here, we share informative property survey blogs created by industry experts.



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