If you have found this page whilst pondering a house survey, a roofing survey or roof report, do yourself a big favour and read this article. It almost certainly will save you money and it could save you thousands.
I have been surveying roofs now for over 25 years for estate agents, private home buyers, Insurance companies and building societies for mortgage lending purposes. I am not selling a roof survey, and I have no axe to grind or vested interest.
I’m buying a house should I have my roof surveyed ?
YES absolutely. You could save a lot of money and heartache later on. I cannot tell you how glad I am to be able to tell people about the value of roof surveying, in my opinion It’s one of the most important things in buying a new house after the home buyers survey. Please get a roof survey if you are thinking about buying a house. You can do this either in two parts where you would get the home buyers survey and an additional roof survey, or a good quality thorough survey the first time around.
How much does a roof survey cost
A roof survey costs nothing – Well not quite but let me explain. In 95% of all the roofs I look at, the roof will need some sort of work carrying out to be in a good serviceable condition. This will vary from a simple blocked guttering pipe to the very unusual but possible major structural issue that can cost thousands to correct.
My costs for a full roof survey to a Terraced house was £150 last year, this would include an exterior survey of roof coverings, rainwater systems, flat roof surveys, and Internal roof structure. The average cost of works to put things right was £200 to £300, so in effect during the bargaining process of house purchase the survey was not only FREE but in credit. It quite literally pays you to have one.
Other costing’s were, including all flat roofs and outbuildings…
- Semi detached roof survey £150 – £200
- Large detached house roof survey £200 – £250
Does a standard survey find roof problems ?
Most often the exterior roof will be inspected from ground level only and this is simply not adequate, I am still shocked by what some of the less competent house surveyors miss to this day. On occasion the roof structure inside the loft will not be inspected properly as the loft space has to be climbed into, and narrow dirty gaps crawled through, this will obviously cause garments like clothing to soil. Will your surveyor be wearing a suit or a nice clean shirt?
What sort of things can a roof survey tell me ?
A good roofing survey should tell you the following…
- Roof covering – Age – expected longevity – condition comparable to similar properties – suspected leaks
- Ridge tiles – Mortar condition – ridge iron check – ridge tile condition
- Guttering and rainwater systems – Type – life expectancy – problems or blockages – damage or cracks – leaking joints or unions
- Valleys and gulleys – Fatigue splits – life span – poor repairs – mortar condition if present
- Chimney stacks – Brickwork and mortar condition – loose chimney pots – worn chimney flaunching – flashings type and condition
- Flat roofs – Flat roof condition – flat roof decking checked for soft spots – roof covering and life expectancy
- Roof windows and Skylights – Install quality – flashing check – cracked glass or fogging of units
- Dormer roofs – Covering – condition – longevity
- Roof structure – External and internal checks for – roof sag – roof spread – Purlin support and condition – internal light – condensation issues – ventilation – wall plates – tie bars and condition
Examples of things that can be missed in a standard survey
Picture in picture – A high Dormer roof what is the condition of it? You simply can’t tell from the floor.
Picture B – Crumbling and missing bricks support 40 square metres of tiled roof.
On the other hand tiles may be broken or the whole roof may be tiled incorrectly, this needs to be checked from a ladder.
Picture in picture – Numerous splits in the lead that means it needs a full replacement. Not cheap.
Can I just call out a roofer for a FREE estimate ?
Anyone taking a look for free will have their eyes open for any small details so they can possibly get a job either from the seller, or from works carried out on house purchase completion. Do you want the opinion of a biased Roofer? What if he was to see something major but he doesn’t fancy that type of work, will he be a gentleman, mention it and walk away with empty pockets?
Pay for a survey – My advice is to pay a reputable roofer for his time and then they will give you an impartial and honest roof report, let me explain why.
A good roofer want to spend half a day crawling around someone else’s roof and lofts space for Free. I certainly don’t. I get 40 such calls a year minimum from home buyers who ask me to do this type of thing. Statistics over the years have taught me that free estimates given to purchasers are a waste of time in over 80% of the time once a house sale has gone through.
- Trusted roofer – A comprehensive guide to finding a good roofer
- Aerial roof survey – For those difficult to reach places