A pre-acquisition building survey will often be a standard service from most (if not all) building consultancy firms. This article discusses three services that every prospective homeowner should insist on as part of the pre-acquisition survey from an expert in building consultancy.
The Soil Test
A soil test is an essential service for those looking to invest in pre-owned residential property as well as those looking to invest in a newly-constructed house.
A soil test should be considered an integral component of a pre-acquisition building survey because it is often the only way to establish whether the soil on site is contaminated or not. In the case of pre-owned residential property, soil contamination is often as a result of harmful agricultural practices carried out on the soil by the previous owners. For example, the excessive use of non-organic fertilizers for residential gardening often leaves contaminants such as zinc and lead deposited in the soil. This often makes such soil unsuitable for gardening-related activities.
In the case of newly-constructed homes, construction activities on-site may leave the soil contaminated. For example, asbestos soil contamination occurs when asbestos-containing building materials are left on-site.
The Depreciation Survey
A depreciation survey would be more important to a prospective homeowner looking to invest in a pre-owned home. The depreciation survey evaluates the structural condition of a pre-owned house in a bid to evaluate the extent of depreciation on structural components of the house such as roof trusses, drainage pipes and concrete floors among others.
A depreciation survey is important because it will give you an idea of the kind of repairs (and the financial implications of such repairs) that you'll need to undertake in a bid to make your new home more habitable.
In addition to this, the results of a depreciation survey can be used to draft a depreciation schedule for homeowners who intend to claim tax breaks related to depreciation in future.
The Energy Audit
High energy utility bills are often an issue of concern for those looking to invest in residential property (both pre-owned and newly-constructed).
For the pre-owned property investor, an energy audit is required to determine the various points of energy loss around the house (e.g. dilapidated windows and window panes and run-down chimneys). For the newly-constructed property investor, this audit is necessary to ascertain that the building is as energy-efficient as the contractor claims. Building consultants do this by examining the energy efficiency of building materials used, the type of thermal insulation used on the roof and so on.