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A building inspector examining the the steel girders in a building under construction.  Ho

STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS BY
CHARTERED BUILDING SURVEYORS & ENGINEERS

Prevent hidden, potentially dangerous and costly structural issues getting out of hand – check your building’s structure with AMS Surveys. We’ll help identify and address issues before they become more serious problems, with structural survey, inspection, engineers reports, structural calculations suitable for Building Regulations, and structural investigations. Serving Cheshire, Lancashire, Liverpool, Manchester, and across the North.

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WHAT ARE STRUCTURAL SURVEYS?

A Structural Survey looks at the structural integrity of the property, including the condition of foundations, floors, walls and the roof. Using their knowledge of building materials, their characteristics and performance, our engineers can conduct a thorough investigation into the causes of any defects, giving you the full picture before you conduct works or purchase property in Cheshire, Liverpool, Lancaster, Manchester and beyond.

Two male surveyors in hi-vis jackets. One is holding a laptop as they both look up to insp
Structural Engineer

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE STRUCTURAL INVESTIGATION?

This comprehensive evaluation involves a detailed structural inspection of the property by one of AMS Surveys’ specialist surveyors. They’ll assess the condition of the property's foundation, load-bearing walls, beams, and other critical structural elements.

The surveyor may also use specialised equipment, such as ground-penetrating radar, to assess the condition of the foundation and other hidden structural components. If necessary, Structural Calculations can also be provided should you wish to submit these with a Building Regulations Application in line with the UK’s current requirements.

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STRUCTURAL AND BUILDING SURVEYS, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

The key difference is that a Building Survey will cover the entire property and its grounds, whereas a Structural Survey will focus solely on the structural aspects. Building Surveys are normally carried out to give house buyers a comprehensive insight into the home’s condition, and any repairs or maintenance that will be required. In contrast, Structural Surveys often focus on a particular issue or structural defect.

This is vital for both investors and those looking to buy or enhance property for their home or business, ensuring you’re forewarned of the extent of any structural problem and the impact this could have on your plans or the future health of the building.

COMMON STRUCTURAL ISSUES

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SUBSIDENCE AND FOUNDATION PROBLEMS

Foundation issues can occur due to a variety of factors, including poor soil conditions, water damage, and settlement. Signs of foundation problems can include cracks in the walls, uneven floors, and doors and windows that do not close properly.

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ROOF DAMAGE

Roof damage can occur due to age, poor maintenance, and exposure to the weather. Whilst it’s not always easy to identify roof damage, it’s worth looking out for missing or cracked shingles, water stains on the ceiling, and sagging or uneven rooflines.

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CRACKS IN WALLS AND CEILINGS

Settling, moisture damage, and poor construction practices can all equate to visible cracks in walls and ceilings. Small cracks may be normal, but larger cracks may indicate a more serious issue.

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UNEVEN FLOORS

Whilst often overlooked, uneven floors can be a sign of a serious structural issue and may require professional attention. There are many reasons for this, including settlement, water damage, and poor construction practices.

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POOR DRAINAGE

Poor drainage can lead to a whole host of issues, none least foundational issues and mould growth. We can usually identify this through standing water, soggy soil and water stains on walls of ceilings.

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STRUCTURAL DAMAGE FROM PESTS

Pests such as wood boring insects (woodworm), and rodents can cause significant structural damage to a house over time. Whilst you may not see the pests at work, you may see traces of them in the form of sawdust, holes in wood, and droppings.

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Terraced Georgian houses in the UK with coloured doors

STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS FOR HOMES

For home buyers, these types of inspections are often requested following a survey, usually a Level 2 or Level 3, where particular issues have been identified and require further investigation. However, if you own or are buying a property, and you are confident that it is in sound condition apart from a particular structural issue, you may wish to instruct a Structural Survey to assess this without a Building Survey Level 3.

If you're experiencing issues such as cracks in walls or ceilings, uneven floors, or other signs of structural damage, a structural inspection and investigation may be necessary to assess the extent of the damage and determine the best course of action for repair.

Non Traditional Build Houses

 

We also undertake surveys on Non-Traditional Build Houses, as Chartered Building Surveyor and Engineers our surveys are widely accepted by mortgage lenders. Although obtaining a mortgage on a non-traditional building can be difficult we can help with the structural assessment to provide assurance to you and mortgage lender about the property condition.

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STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS FOR COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES

Irrespective of the nature of your operations and your plans for the building you’re considering, the health and safety of your people must come first. This thorough property inspection will assess all structural components in addition to the electrics, plumbing and heating systems, to not only prevent spending your budget on costly repairs you didn’t foresee, but to ensure the wellbeing of your workers and customers is not compromised.

The comprehensive report generated will also help you determine liability issues and potential fire and safety hazards, so you can ensure the property adheres to the government’s latest building regulations. Prevent delays in your plans and unexpected hits to your funds with this proactive inspection.

Property surveyor inspecting a warehouse
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A Union Jack gently flaps in the wind next to the dome of Liverpool's Town Hall

STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS FOR HERITAGE BUILDINGS

When working in heritage and listed buildings, your surveyor will need to take a different approach to the checks. Enlisting the services of an experienced professional is thus crucial to the process and the final report. Given the nature and age of these buildings, we remain prepared for the unexpected, aware that we may encounter unusual components, materials and building practices that have long been forgotten – usually for good reason!

We’ll take a calculated approach to our inspection and usually plan ahead to understand the history of the premises and the land. We’ll also need to consider any areas of the building we may be unable to check due to accessibility and safety issues, and highlight changes that have been made, possible without planning permission, that could impact your refurbishment going forward.

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Photograph taken in Liverpool of The Three Graces (Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building,

FURTHER INVESTIGATE STRUCTURAL ISSUES BEFORE YOU COMMIT

Work with AMS Surveys, take advantage of our expertise, and ensure you make the right choice for your money and the future of your property.

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