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How Much Does a Structural Survey Cost?

Adele MacGregor

Written by

24th Nov 2022 (Last updated on 23rd Feb 2024) 6 minute read

When arranging a survey, it’s vital that you know which survey you need. Many people refer to the building survey and structural survey interchangeably. The building survey is now known as a Level 3 survey under RICS.

With this in mind, it’s important to know which is right for the home you want to buy. Typically, homebuyers will opt for the Level 2 or Level 3 survey. The Level 3 is recommended for older and historic homes, homes in poor condition or unusual.

If structural issues are flagged in your survey, you may want to hire a structural engineer. They can provide an inspection and a report on the structure of the home. This should not be confused with a structural survey, which as we have stated, is what Level 3 is often referred to. Hiring a structural engineer could be a bigger expense than your house survey cost.

  1. Average Structural Survey Costs
  2. What Affects the Cost of a Structural Survey?
  3. Is a Full Structural Worth the Money?
  4. What is Included in a Full Structural Survey?
  5. Who Should Pay for a Structural Survey?
  6. How Long Does It Take?
  7. Further Surveys
  8. What is the Difference Between a Structural Survey and a Building Survey?
  9. Where to Get Structural Survey Quotes?

Average Structural Survey Costs

A Level 3 Home Survey (Building Survey) costs £800 on average. Prices will vary and it can cost as low as £630 and as expensive as £1,200 plus.

Below we look at the average cost of this survey. This is based on the property value and what you can be expected to pay on average in the UK.

Property ValueLevel 3 Survey Cost

Up to £100,000


£100,001 to £200,000


£200,001 to £300,000


£300,001 to 400,000


£400,001 to £500,000


£500,001 to £600,000


£600,001 to £700,000


£700,001 to £800,000


£800,001 to £900,000


£900,001 to £1,000,000


Note: Be aware that these are averages and the cost of your survey will vary.

What Affects the Cost of a Structural Survey?

There are some factors which will affect the cost of your survey. These include:

  • The value of the home: The more expensive the property, the more expensive your survey is likely to be. Cheaper homes will usually have lower surveying costs, depending on the area.
  • The property’s location: Where the property is located will also impact the cost. For example, surveys in London and other larger cities will cost more.
  • The size of the property and grounds: If it is a large home with a garden and outhouses, it will take longer for the surveyor to complete their inspection. As a result, the survey will cost more.
  • The distance the surveyor needs to travel to the property: There are many benefits to having a local surveyor. One of those benefits is cost. If a surveyor has to travel far to the property, it’s likely you will be paying for their time and travel costs.

Are There Any Additional Fees?

Level 3 does not include a valuation but some firms may include it at an additional cost. This will give you a valuation independent from your mortgage lender’s valuation.

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Is a Full Structural Worth the Money?

Although a Full Structural/Level 3 survey may seem expensive, it can be well worth the money. Not only could it save you from buying a potentially problematic home, but it could also prepare you for work ahead.

The Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors found that 4 in 5 UK homeowners purchased a property without having a survey. This resulted in an average bill of £5,750 for unexpected repair work.

In contrast, the average cost of a Level 3 survey is £800. If you are buying a home which is older or has potential issues, it is vital you have a good idea of the condition it’s in. This will allow you to make an informed decision on whether to continue with the purchase.

Additionally, you can use the findings in your survey report to negotiate the price of the home. If a number of issues have been flagged, and they will likely cost you money, you can raise this with the estate agent.

What is Included in a Full Structural Survey?

When you organise a Structural or Level 3 Survey, you are paying the surveyor to inspect the home internally and externally. They will assess:

  • Ceilings
  • Walls and floors
  • Chimney breasts and joinery
  • Roof space
  • Chimneys
  • Gutters
  • Windows and doors
  • Drainage and boundaries

This includes looking for issues such as:

  • Woodworm and rot
  • Damp
  • Subsidence
  • Japanese Knotweed

To read more see: Do I Need a Survey When Buying a House?

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Who Should Pay for a Structural Survey?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a survey is paid for by the buyer. It is up to them whether they want to arrange a survey and they must pay for it if they do.

In Scotland the process is different. A Home Report is supplied by the seller which includes the Single Survey. This is the equivalent to the Level 2 survey, also known as a HomeBuyers Survey. If a buyer wants more information or has concerns, they can arrange an additional survey. However, they will need to pay for it.

How Long Does It Take?

A Level 3 survey can take anywhere between 4-8 hours as it is the most in-depth survey available. Be aware that this is an estimation and each survey will be different.

There are a few factors that can impact the time it takes to complete the survey. These include:

  • The size of the property
  • The seller’s availability
  • Any blocked accesses to the property
  • The surveyor and their methods

When Do You Recieve Your Report?

Once the survey is complete, the surveyor will send you a copy of their report. You’re likely to receive this via email 3-7 working days after inspection. If you want a hard copy sent via the post, be aware you may be charged extra for printing and delivery.

For more information on how long a survey takes read: How Long Does a Survey Take on a House?

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Further Surveys

Following your survey, the surveyor may suggest additional checks on the property. These will be based on their findings when inspecting the home. Although surveyors are specialists in property, they may suggest hiring experts in niche fields.

Further surveys that may be suggested include:

  • Damp survey
  • Dry rot survey
  • Woodworm survey
  • Timber survey
  • Asbestos survey

If they have concerns about the electrical wiring, they might recommend that you consult an electrician to assess this further.

In the event they find a significant structural problem, they may suggest hiring a Structural Engineer.

What is the Difference Between a Structural Survey and a Building Survey?

As we’ve mentioned, these terms are often used interchangeably to describe the Level 3 survey. Full Structural Survey, Building Survey or Level 3 - they all describe one type of survey.

The Level 3 is the most thorough of the three RICS Surveys, giving buyers a more in-depth report on the property.

The confusion with “structural survey” may arise from using a structural engineer. Your surveyor may suggest hiring a structural engineer to assess the home if they find major structural issues.

What Does a Structural Engineer Do?

A structural engineer specialises in the structure of buildings. This includes durability, strength and condition. They can undertake an inspection and provide a report of their own. According to CheckaTrader, the average structural engineer cost is £700, plus the cost of the site visit (around £300.) This makes it more expensive than the average Level 3 report.

If you have been advised to hire a structural engineer, you may want to think very carefully if you want to buy the home. This is an indication that there may be serious issues with the home, which could be very costly.

Where to Get Structural Survey Quotes?

When it comes to hiring a surveyor for the home you want to buy, you should always hire one who is RICS registered. At Compare My Move, we can match you with 6 RICS-registered local surveyors. This enables you to find the best surveyors in your area, whilst getting a great price on your survey.

Every one of our surveying partners is a member of the RICS. This means they are held to high standards and must meet the criteria for joining.

Additionally, we continually monitor our partners. This way we know our customers are getting the best possible service. All partners are verified by us and reviewed by customers, giving you peace of mind when arranging a survey.

Adele MacGregor

Having worked at Compare My Move for over five years, Adele specialises in covering a range of surveying topics.

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