SCSI Guidance Note Clarifies Services of Chartered Building Surveyors

The Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI) has recently released a Best Practice document which will establish the role, functions ans services of Chartered Building Surveyors.

Under these new guidelines a clear framework has been established that seeks to ensure and expand the use of definitive standards of quality throughout all services that SCSI members are engaged in. Reporting, in particular has been focused on. The guidelines establish three different types of residential surveys.

Residential Survey Type 1

An initial visual inspection (without tests) followed by a report on the condition of the building, its services and its grounds. It will seek to highlight for the client any relevant legal issues which may arise and also any structural or safety risks concerning the building, the grounds or people.

The report will be concise in its nature and will describe the overall condition of different parts of the building as well as an assessment of the relative importance of defects and problems. Type 1 reports will not generally advise on repairs or maintenance and so are more suited to conventionally built modern dwellings which are in good condition.

Residential Survey Type 2

A Type 2 survey involves a more extensive visual inspection of the building, its services and grounds (though still without tests). Typical accessible concealed areas such as roof spaces and underfloor areas will be inspected if safe to do so. The report will objectively describe the condition of the different elements and provide an assessment of the relative importance of defects or problems. Though concise the Type 2 report will include advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance.

While more in-depth than a Type 1 survey a Type 2 survey will not generally suit complex, unique or older properties; those in a poor state of repair; or where the client plans to carry out extensive repair or refurbishment work. In these cases a Type 2 survey will be beneficial as an initial starting point but will require further referrals for more conclusive investigation.

Residential Survey Type 3

A Type 3 survey is a more extensive inspection than a Type 1 or 2 and includes an extensive visual investigation of the building its services and grounds. Concealed areas may also be investigated and where possible services will be monitored to ensure they are in normal operation. The report will describe the form of the construction and the types of materials which have been used in different sections of the property. It will objectively describe the relative importance of defects and problems and describe the identifiable risk of potential or hidden defects in unexamined areas as well as suggesting a probable cause for these defects based on inspection. The report will also outline the scope of repair required and expected likely consequences of not repairing, give general recommendations for extent and time-scale of remedial work and if agreed upon give an objective approximate cost for repair work.

Kelleher & Associates will be providing as standard reports with a level of detail between a Type 2 & 3.

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