Building Surveyor Services

Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors specialise in pre-purchase surveys of residential homes throughout London and the South East. Our clients include buying agents and law firms representing purchasers in prime central London, to private individuals buying their first home in Brighton. In 2016 we prepared detailed reports on the condition of 660 properties, many of them listed, from multimillion pound country estates to city centre converted flats.

With over 25 years experience, Desbruslais offer a full range of surveying services and consultancy. See below for more details.

Building Surveys

These surveys and reports describe the property in far more detail than the Home Purchase Survey, and explain specialist constructional terminology, and some of the techniques employed where these are apparent to us. The style is readily adapted to suit different types of building.

The reports are particularly appropriate for older and Listed properties, or those which have been much altered, and where necessary do not shrink from detailed explanations where these are important to your understanding of the property. Copious illustration is the norm. As well as a list of action points or further investigations, an insurance rebuilding cost is provided.

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Private Surveys

Choosing a home is an emotive decision and, increasingly, leads to a major financial commitment.

Our detailed building surveys explain the practical implications of your proposed purchase, whether the defects found are typical of the age and style of the building, and what repairs you should prioritise once you have moved in. Of course, no property is entirely without defect, especially those of an older type. Our experience and intricate understanding of construction and of period property means we can report effectively without causing unnecessary alarm.

While we do not carry out environmental searches (which your Solicitor will normally arrange), we will draw to your attention any relevant environmental issues which we may become aware of.

Our comprehensive inspections and succinct reports are essential reading for you, the buyer, and can prove priceless in the context of the commitment you are about to make. We will gladly liaise with your legal advisers over problematic issues that they may raise.

Back to top

Buildings Insurance

It is essential you insure your building for the correct amount. If you are under insured, in the event of a claim, the payment you receive from the insurers will leave a short fall even for claims less then the sum insured. This is known as averaging, and can leave you with a hefty bill to cover the remaining repair costs. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors can inspect your home and calculate an accurate sum insured that takes into account all potential costs including fees, demolition and in the case of a listed building, reinstating special features such as wattle and daub, period fireplaces and so on.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes.

Back to top

Defect Analysis Reports

Occasionally, owners become concerned about a particular defect or group of defects, as opposed to the building as a whole. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors will attend, diagnose the issues, and suggest remedial treatment within a short illustrated report.

Back to top

Expert Witness Reports

If you are involved in a dispute involving a technical building issue, you need an expert who can assess the strength of your case with the ability to present opinions in a clear and convincing form.

Robert Desbruslais offers a wealth of professional expertise and experience as an expert witness to meet that need. He has
given evidence in court on valuation and defective reporting issues as both advocate and joint witness to the court. Reports conform to the Woolf Reforms and the latest Civil Procedure Rules.

 

Back to top

Home Purchase Surveys

These are reports which are prepared to a standard format. They are normally quite brief, and give you an overview of the property and whether you need to take, or consider, any type of rapid action. Occasionally it is necessary to explain more complex issues which were not previously expected.

These reports generally suit more modern and straightforward properties, including flats, although they may be feasible for many Victorian houses or flats of more typical design. A list of urgent and standard items is appended; the reports are fully illustrated.

Back to top

Listed Buildings

Historic England (successor to English Heritage) says: “Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.” An analogous scheme is run by Cadw in Wales.

Such buildings are not necessarily old, although there are few dated after 1945. If you buy (or lease) such a building you will not be allowed to carry out most forms of work to it without Listed Building Consent. Against this limitation, you may be acquiring a fascinating and pleasing building.

We have special expertise in Listed properties, whether they be of stone, timber, brick, or unorthodox construction, and are well placed to understand and explain your future repairing requirements.

Back to top

Commercial Property Inspections

Whether you are purchasing an investment or acquiring for your own occupation we can provide a report tailored to your needs. If you are making a large investment you will require a full building survey and possibly specialist reports, which we can arrange.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes.

In older town centres, you may be acquiring a Listed property. We can advise you on the specific issues arising.

Back to top

Party Walls

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 was introduced to protect parties either side of a party wall where a building owner wishes to carry out building work that could affect the party wall. The most common form of party wall is the wall between semi-detached and terraced properties.

If you intend building works that might affect a party wall (this might include removing a chimney breast, installing a steel joist or raising the height to form a loft room), then under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, you should issue a Notice to your next-door neighbour.

You may also have to issue a notice to your neighbour if you intend to extend your property within 3m of your neighbour which would involve foundations at a lower level than your neighbours.

If during building works, damage is caused to the adjoining property, the Building Owner should put it right. However, the Adjoining Owner cannot claim repairs to a fault that previously existed.

Party Wall surveyors are normally appointed for both the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors can help if you are either about to start works to your own property. Or, you are the unfortunate neighbour about to experience the disturbance of building work next door.

Back to top

Building Surveys

These surveys and reports describe the property in far more detail than the Home Purchase Survey, and explain specialist constructional terminology, and some of the techniques employed where these are apparent to us. The style is readily adapted to suit different types of building.

The reports are particularly appropriate for older and Listed properties, or those which have been much altered, and where necessary do not shrink from detailed explanations where these are important to your understanding of the property. Copious illustration is the norm. As well as a list of action points or further investigations, an insurance rebuilding cost is provided.

Back to top

Private Surveys

Choosing a home is an emotive decision and, increasingly, leads to a major financial commitment.

Our detailed building surveys explain the practical implications of your proposed purchase, whether the defects found are typical of the age and style of the building, and what repairs you should prioritise once you have moved in. Of course, no property is entirely without defect, especially those of an older type. Our experience and intricate understanding of construction and of period property means we can report effectively without causing unnecessary alarm.

While we do not carry out environmental searches (which your Solicitor will normally arrange), we will draw to your attention any relevant environmental issues which we may become aware of.

Our comprehensive inspections and succinct reports are essential reading for you, the buyer, and can prove priceless in the context of the commitment you are about to make. We will gladly liaise with your legal advisers over problematic issues that they may raise.

Back to top

Buildings Insurance

It is essential you insure your building for the correct amount. If you are under insured, in the event of a claim, the payment you receive from the insurers will leave a short fall even for claims less then the sum insured. This is known as averaging, and can leave you with a hefty bill to cover the remaining repair costs. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors can inspect your home and calculate an accurate sum insured that takes into account all potential costs including fees, demolition and in the case of a listed building, reinstating special features such as wattle and daub, period fireplaces and so on.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes.

Back to top

Defect Analysis Reports

Occasionally, owners become concerned about a particular defect or group of defects, as opposed to the building as a whole. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors will attend, diagnose the issues, and suggest remedial treatment within a short illustrated report.

Back to top

Expert Witness Reports

If you are involved in a dispute involving a technical building issue, you need an expert who can assess the strength of your case with the ability to present opinions in a clear and convincing form.

Robert Desbruslais offers a wealth of professional expertise and experience as an expert witness to meet that need. He has
given evidence in court on valuation and defective reporting issues as both advocate and joint witness to the court. Reports conform to the Woolf Reforms and the latest Civil Procedure Rules.

 

Back to top

Home Purchase Surveys

These are reports which are prepared to a standard format. They are normally quite brief, and give you an overview of the property and whether you need to take, or consider, any type of rapid action. Occasionally it is necessary to explain more complex issues which were not previously expected.

These reports generally suit more modern and straightforward properties, including flats, although they may be feasible for many Victorian houses or flats of more typical design. A list of urgent and standard items is appended; the reports are fully illustrated.

Back to top

Listed Buildings

Historic England (successor to English Heritage) says: “Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.” An analogous scheme is run by Cadw in Wales.

Such buildings are not necessarily old, although there are few dated after 1945. If you buy (or lease) such a building you will not be allowed to carry out most forms of work to it without Listed Building Consent. Against this limitation, you may be acquiring a fascinating and pleasing building.

We have special expertise in Listed properties, whether they be of stone, timber, brick, or unorthodox construction, and are well placed to understand and explain your future repairing requirements.

Back to top

Commercial Property Inspections

Whether you are purchasing an investment or acquiring for your own occupation we can provide a report tailored to your needs. If you are making a large investment you will require a full building survey and possibly specialist reports, which we can arrange.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes.

In older town centres, you may be acquiring a Listed property. We can advise you on the specific issues arising.

Back to top

Party Walls

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 was introduced to protect parties either side of a party wall where a building owner wishes to carry out building work that could affect the party wall. The most common form of party wall is the wall between semi-detached and terraced properties.

If you intend building works that might affect a party wall (this might include removing a chimney breast, installing a steel joist or raising the height to form a loft room), then under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, you should issue a Notice to your next-door neighbour.

You may also have to issue a notice to your neighbour if you intend to extend your property within 3m of your neighbour which would involve foundations at a lower level than your neighbours.

If during building works, damage is caused to the adjoining property, the Building Owner should put it right. However, the Adjoining Owner cannot claim repairs to a fault that previously existed.

Party Wall surveyors are normally appointed for both the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors can help if you are either about to start works to your own property. Or, you are the unfortunate neighbour about to experience the disturbance of building work next door.

Back to top

Building Surveys

These surveys and reports describe the property in far more detail than the Home Purchase Survey, and explain specialist constructional terminology, and some of the techniques employed where these are apparent to us. The style is readily adapted to suit different types of building.

The reports are particularly appropriate for older and Listed properties, or those which have been much altered, and where necessary do not shrink from detailed explanations where these are important to your understanding of the property. Copious illustration is the norm. As well as a list of action points or further investigations, an insurance rebuilding cost is provided.

Private Surveys

Choosing a home is an emotive decision and, increasingly, leads to a major financial commitment.

Our detailed building surveys explain the practical implications of your proposed purchase, whether the defects found are typical of the age and style of the building, and what repairs you should prioritise once you have moved in. Of course, no property is entirely without defect, especially those of an older type. Our experience and intricate understanding of construction and of period property means we can report effectively without causing unnecessary alarm.

While we do not carry out environmental searches (which your Solicitor will normally arrange), we will draw to your attention any relevant environmental issues which we may become aware of.

Our comprehensive inspections and succinct reports are essential reading for you, the buyer, and can prove priceless in the context of the commitment you are about to make. We will gladly liaise with your legal advisers over problematic issues that they may raise.

Buildings Insurance

It is essential you insure your building for the correct amount. If you are under insured, in the event of a claim, the payment you receive from the insurers will leave a short fall even for claims less then the sum insured. This is known as averaging, and can leave you with a hefty bill to cover the remaining repair costs. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors can inspect your home and calculate an accurate sum insured that takes into account all potential costs including fees, demolition and in the case of a listed building, reinstating special features such as wattle and daub, period fireplaces and so on.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes.

Defect Analysis Reports

Occasionally, owners become concerned about a particular defect or group of defects, as opposed to the building as a whole. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors will attend, diagnose the issues, and suggest remedial treatment within a short illustrated report.

Expert Witness Reports

If you are involved in a dispute involving a technical building issue, you need an expert who can assess the strength of your case with the ability to present opinions in a clear and convincing form.
Robert Desbruslais offers a wealth of professional expertise and experience as an expert witness to meet that need.

He has given evidence in court on valuation and defective reporting issues as both advocate and joint witness to the court. Reports conform to the Woolf Reforms and the latest Civil Procedure Rules.

Home Purchase Surveys

These are reports which are prepared to a standard format. They are normally quite brief, and give you an overview of the property and whether you need to take, or consider, any type of rapid action. Occasionally it is necessary to explain more complex issues which were not previously expected.

These reports generally suit more modern and straightforward properties, including flats, although they may be feasible for many Victorian houses or flats of more typical design. A list of urgent and standard items is appended; the reports are fully illustrated.

Listed Buildings

Historic England (successor to English Heritage) says: “Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.” An analogous scheme is run by Cadw in Wales.

Such buildings are not necessarily old, although there are few dated after 1945. If you buy (or lease) such a building you will not be allowed to carry out most forms of work to it without Listed Building Consent. Against this limitation, you may be acquiring a fascinating and pleasing building.

We have special expertise in Listed properties, whether they be of stone, timber, brick, or unorthodox construction, and are well placed to understand and explain your future repairing requirements.

Commercial Property Inspections

Whether you are purchasing an investment or acquiring for your own occupation we can provide a report tailored to your needs. If you are making a large investment you will require a full building survey and possibly specialist reports, which we can arrange.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes.

In older town centres, you may be acquiring a Listed property. We can advise you on the specific issues arising.

Party Walls

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 was introduced to protect parties either side of a party wall where a building owner wishes to carry out building work that could affect the party wall. The most common form of party wall is the wall between semi-detached and terraced properties.

If you intend building works that might affect a party wall (this might include removing a chimney breast, installing a steel joist or raising the height to form a loft room), then under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, you should issue a Notice to your next-door neighbour.

You may also have to issue a notice to your neighbour if you intend to extend your property within 3m of your neighbour which would involve foundations at a lower level than your neighbours.

If during building works, damage is caused to the adjoining property, the Building Owner should put it right. However, the Adjoining Owner cannot claim repairs to a fault that previously existed.

Party Wall surveyors are normally appointed for both the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner.

Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors can help if you are either about to start works to your own property. Or, you are the unfortunate neighbour about to experience the disturbance of building work next door.

Very, very helpful

"Debruslais Chartered Surveyors did a full building survey for our new property. It is a 150 year old house and the level of detail in the report was extensive and very, very helpful. We were very pleased with Robert's professionalism and the time he took to explain the issues to us onsite. Thank you." - Chris Jeffery
5.0
2016-11-24T15:18:05+00:00
"Debruslais Chartered Surveyors did a full building survey for our new property. It is a 150 year old house and the level of detail in the report was extensive and very, very helpful. We were very pleased with Robert's professionalism and the time he took to explain the issues to us onsite. Thank you." - Chris Jeffery

Very good service

"Very good service, able to organise a last-minute appointment if necessary, was given a discount for the second survey which was great, invaluable advice given too - thanks very much!" - Kelly Hall
5.0
2016-11-24T15:22:01+00:00
"Very good service, able to organise a last-minute appointment if necessary, was given a discount for the second survey which was great, invaluable advice given too - thanks very much!" - Kelly Hall

Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend

"I am very impressed with the service you have offered and the efficiency and professionalism I have encountered on every interaction with your company. I will not hesitate to recommend you to any friends/colleagues who may require your services." - Peter Robinson
5.0
2016-11-24T15:11:38+00:00
"I am very impressed with the service you have offered and the efficiency and professionalism I have encountered on every interaction with your company. I will not hesitate to recommend you to any friends/colleagues who may require your services." - Peter Robinson

Very professional company

"I have had surveys done in the past, but not as in depth as Desbruslais Surveyors' had produced. They are a very professional company, that went one step further in creating for us a top-quality survey to help us with our decision making. We will definitely be passing on your details to others and if we need it, will be in touch for further surveys in the future." - A P Doy
5.0
2016-11-24T15:19:25+00:00
"I have had surveys done in the past, but not as in depth as Desbruslais Surveyors' had produced. They are a very professional company, that went one step further in creating for us a top-quality survey to help us with our decision making. We will definitely be passing on your details to others and if we need it, will be in touch for further surveys in the future." - A P Doy

I would absolutely use Desbruslais again

"Highly recommended. I had a homebuyer’s survey carried out by Carl and was very impressed. Carl called me to go through the points as he knew time was a factor. When I received the report, it was a no nonsense, straight forward but very thorough report. I would absolutely use Desbruslais again." - Scott Wotherspoon
5.0
2016-11-24T15:21:13+00:00
"Highly recommended. I had a homebuyer’s survey carried out by Carl and was very impressed. Carl called me to go through the points as he knew time was a factor. When I received the report, it was a no nonsense, straight forward but very thorough report. I would absolutely use Desbruslais again." - Scott Wotherspoon

Highly recommended!

"Exceptionally professional, competent, personal service. I have never received a better structured, more clearly written survey, thoroughly addressing every specific question I had asked. Mr Desbrulais also took the time to thoroughly go over technicalities on the phone and explained them in a way which any non-professional can easily understand. Highly recommended!" - Mrs B Classen
5.0
2016-11-21T15:03:50+00:00
"Exceptionally professional, competent, personal service. I have never received a better structured, more clearly written survey, thoroughly addressing every specific question I had asked. Mr Desbrulais also took the time to thoroughly go over technicalities on the phone and explained them in a way which any non-professional can easily understand. Highly recommended!" - Mrs B Classen

Comprehensive Survey

"Desbruslais Surveyors carried out a full building survey on a vacant property we are purchasing. Carl as well as providing a comprehensive survey which identified some items we would never have found ourselves, answered all our follow-up questions in a friendly and informative manner. We would recommend them." - John Clifford
5.0
2016-11-21T15:05:23+00:00
"Desbruslais Surveyors carried out a full building survey on a vacant property we are purchasing. Carl as well as providing a comprehensive survey which identified some items we would never have found ourselves, answered all our follow-up questions in a friendly and informative manner. We would recommend them." - John Clifford

Detailed, professional report

"Desbruslais were very efficient and responded to our query in a timely manner and booked in the survey almost immediately. There were no delays and we received a detailed professional report very soon after." - David Catterall
5.0
2016-11-24T15:23:09+00:00
"Desbruslais were very efficient and responded to our query in a timely manner and booked in the survey almost immediately. There were no delays and we received a detailed professional report very soon after." - David Catterall

Impressive

"Your surveys, method of working and assistance following the survey itself, have been impressive and very helpful." - Ketan K. Patel, Partner, Child & Child Solicitors, Belgravia, London
5.0
2016-11-24T15:16:26+00:00
"Your surveys, method of working and assistance following the survey itself, have been impressive and very helpful." - Ketan K. Patel, Partner, Child & Child Solicitors, Belgravia, London
5.0
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