Building report is usually prepared by consultants and contractors in preparation for a building survey which is carried out to find the most suitable design for a property, its location and size, as well as identifying any potential site risks. The main purpose of the report is to inform the client of the condition of the building and the problems which have been identified during the current construction period. Although the intention of a consultant is to find the best solution to the problems facing the client, it is sometimes the case that they have to make recommendations based on their knowledge and experience of the property and its current condition. As such, it is often required that these individuals have undertaken specialist training in order to prepare this ‘special-purpose’ report.
In many instances where a property has not had a building inspection, and is being put forward to a client for them to consider, the consultant or contractor will carry out a limited inspection on the premises. This ‘limited inspection’ could be to find any visible signs of damage, such as cracks or other signs of wear and tear. Some of the things that are found during this inspection could be considered to be ‘minor defects’, but it is often the case that these ‘minor defects’ are actually more significant than first believed, and could pose a greater risk to the future enjoyment of the property for the long term. For instance, the detection of roof leaks can indicate a series of issues, the fixing of which could significantly affect the long-term structural integrity of the building. It is therefore the responsibility of the consultant and contractor to identify these matters, either through visual observation, information from an expert surveyor or through their own detailed knowledge and experience.
It should be noted that most building inspection reports are prepared by a member of the building supply authority (either the engineer or surveyor) who is responsible for confirming that all the information given by the client is correct, reliable and complete. There are two bodies, the National Home Builders Association (NHA) and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). These organizations are responsible for ensuring that building supplies and contractors are fit and proper, and that the standards they have themselves have been followed in the preparation of the building inspection reports. If you wish to find out more about the services offered by your consultant, or are unsure whether you should employ them, you can contact NHA through their website.