What do building surveyors do

What do building surveyors do? Well, Building surveyors could be considered “building doctors”. They inspect properties and determine if defects exist using knowledge and job-specific tools such as moisture meters. They will use analysis techniques and condition assessments to determine if any issues exist. 


After identifying the defects, they then need to understand the underlying cause of the defects. Understanding the cause is of primary importance to stop a re-occurrence after taking remedial action. A Building Surveyor can then advise on corrective action to prevent further building damage.


A building surveyor can be called in to act as an expert witness should defects lead to legal disputes or problems with insurance companies.


Another significant role of a Building surveyor is project management. A surveyor has all the technical expertise that makes an excellent project manager and can ensure a project is delivered as per the brief. 


By having the knowledge to work directly with the project architect, they can assist and oversee the drawing and specifications. The ability of a project manager to keep the project aligned with the drawing and specifications will keep timings and budgets on track.


A Building Surveyor can also draw up maintenance plans for commercial or residential buildings. Maintenance plans involve evaluating the structure to calculate when an investment will be needed for repairs or restoration. In terms of budgeting, a building surveyor may save you money in the long term by, for example, establishing a roof having three more years of lifespan would delay immediate, unnecessary repairs or replacement.


Throughout their career, a Building surveyor must wear many hats.


1 – Safety Analyst. 

Safety is one of the most critical roles a Building Surveyor carries out. They ensure structural integrity and the safety of all the buildings’ elements, such as electrics, gas, plumbing, and the materials used in the construction.


2- Quality Controller. 

This vital role ensures buildings are fit for human habitation and can help lift housing standards across the board.


3 – Energy Specialist. 

A Building Surveyor’s role is to ensure a building conforms to energy regulations. A surveyor can also advise on ways to improve the structure to make it as energy efficient as possible, thereby saving the client money and helping protect the planet.


4 – Project Manager. 

As mentioned earlier, an experienced surveyor can help organise the building process and the budgets.


5 – Administrator. 

A commercial surveyor can help in the administration of planning applications, licenses and maintenance contracts. A building surveyor can be a lifebelt to a busy construction company or a householder wishing to carry out works involving councils or government bodies.


6 – Historian. 

Heritage buildings, museums, churches and cathedrals all need surveys from time to time. An experienced surveyor can be a link between the past and present in these circumstances. 


A building surveyor performs a vital function in the fabric of society by ensuring that a high standard of living and building safety is available to everyone.