Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered.

A Building Surveyor provides professional specialist advice and service on all property and construction concerns, including all aspects of new property building and existing buildings. This frequently includes carrying out building surveys and advising on the current condition of property of all types, discussing property alterations, and advising on maintenance, repair and renovation requirements, often as part of a pre-purchase structural survey. Building Surveyors are commonly engaged as part of property transactions, renovations, and when there may be a concern about a building’s condition. They also advise on all planning and building regulation matters.

A Building Surveyors day to day operation primarily consists of a combination of site inspection work, and supporting office work and reporting. In essence a Building Surveyor is a highly trained and experienced professional who primarily assesses and reports on the condition of buildings. This includes conducting inspections, evaluating structural integrity, identifying defects and other issues, and providing advice on necessary property repairs and improvements.

At Perri Building Surveyors we are home survey experts, specialising in pre-purchase house surveys and apartment surveys. We advise on structural condition, water ingress and damp issues, alterations, maintenance and repair requirements, renovation and costing, fire safety matters, property services, property legal and title matters, and many other aspects of a property as part of our specialist pre-purchase structural surveys.

Appropriate expertise and experience is an essential component of operating as a Building Surveyor. You should always ensure that the Building Surveyor that you choose is appropriately qualified, state registered and experienced.

You should only select a State / SCSI (Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland) Registered Building Surveyor to inspect your new home. This guarantees that the service level that you receive is to the highest industry standard. All Registered Building Surveyors are required to follow best industry Codes of Conduct, carry appropriate PI (Professional Indemnity Insurance), and engage in relevant and ongoing CPD (Continuing Professional Development).

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A Pre-Purchase Survey, often called a Pre-Purchase Structural Survey, House Survey or Apartment Survey gives a home buyer an impartial and objective detailed evaluation of the overall condition of a property prior to purchase. It provides peace of mind, drastically reducing risk associated with what is for most people the largest financial purchase that they will ever make.

The primary function of a pre-purchase survey is to identify and advise on structural failure or defect, other evident or potential major issues, and any significant water ingress or damp issues. It also provides information on items that may need to be maintained, repaired or replaced. It also identifies issues that could or will incur significant cost to remedy. A pre-purchase survey will help you to avoid a ‘Money Pit’ type property, or at least make you aware of issues and likely extensive renovation cost if you decide to proceed.

A pre-purchase survey will normally also provide information on potential risk associated with a particular property type and profile, and advise you regarding any advised or required further specialist inspections or investigations.

A pre-purchase survey and detailed report provides the information that you need to make an informed purchasing decision on the property.

A Pre-Purchase Survey also assists your solicitor with any possible title issues.

It identifies evident alterations that may require Planning Permission, and / or a Certificate of Compliance. We are also frequently asked to check vendor’s professionals Opinions and Certificates of Compliance to ensure that they match the scope of the extensions or alterations that are present, and are appropriate to cover the alteration in question. It is amazing how often certification can be inaccurate or inadequate.

We also make you aware of evident potential boundary issues and breaches as part of inspection. Detailed boundary advices are provided in our reports.
If a further Title or PRA (Property Registration Authority) Land Registry Compliant Map check is necessary, then this can also be carried out for an additional fee if a map is provided by your solicitor. Note that where confirmation and certification of a boundary is required, this is normally a matter to be arranged and paid for by the vendor.

There is no difference between a Pre-Purchase Survey, a Building Survey, a Structural Survey and a House Survey. A Pre-Purchase Survey has been and continues to be called any of the above.

When choosing most services, people will generally be guided by the recommendations of others and by reputation. At Surveyor.ie we get more than half of our business through referral from Solicitors, Brokers, Lending Institutions, and most importantly from our Customers, and our reputation and track record is second to none. Also, we have some of the most competitive rates in the Dublin area. So why choose us?

One of the most important factors to consider is whether the Registered Surveyor specialises in Pre-Purchase House and Apartment Surveys. At Perri Building Surveyors Ltd, Pre-Purchase Surveys form the core of our business and are our speciality. We inspect any type of property of any age and evident condition.

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As residential surveyor specialists we can offer a comprehensive service including:

Registered Building Surveyor status is now the legally required standard.

State Registration for Building Surveyors is now a Legal Requirement. You should only engage a Registered Building Surveyor to Survey your new home.

Most Registered Building Surveyors are Building Surveying Division Chartered Members of CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building), SCSI (Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland), or CABE (Chartered Association of Building Engineers) Members.

Many Registered Building Surveyors are Chartered Members of more than one of the above organisations.

These three institutions are the main recognised bodies for Building Surveyors under the legislation. Suitably qualified state / SCSI assessed members of these three institutions, CIOB, SCSI, and CABE are considered as being competent to practice as Registered Building Surveyors in Ireland.

It is ultimately State / SCSI Registration that determines eligibility and fitness to practice as a Building Surveyor in Ireland. Registered Building Surveyors have had to undergo rigorous scrutiny under both Institution and State Registration process, during which relevant qualification, training and experience is assessed.

A Registered Building Surveyor must act in accordance with strict Code of Conduct of The Institutions mentioned above, and the State / SCSI Registration Board.

A Registered Building Surveyor must also carry adequate Professional Indemnity Insurance.

This is why you should only choose a Registered Building Surveyor.

The State Register is maintained by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI).

You can use the following link to check if a Building Surveyor is registered:


Our Registration Number is B0169

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Simple. It’s a Survey – Choose a Surveyor specialising in pre-purchase surveys.

A specialist Registered Building Surveyor has vast experience in carrying out Residential Surveys, and is suitably trained and specialises in this area. We have carried out over 10,000 Surveys since establishment as private practice surveyors in 2002.

There are many cross over’s in the work carried out by Surveyors, Engineers and Architects, however normally each specialise in certain areas.

As Registered Building Surveyors we specialise in House and Apartment Surveys and have vast experience in this area.

Pre-Purchase Surveys are a core competency of Registered Building Surveyors. That’s why it’s best to choose a Registered Surveyor for this type of work. Building Surveyors also specialise in relevant related areas, such as Compliance Certification, Land / Boundary Issues and Mapping and have a comprehensive understanding of many other areas that arise as part of a property purchase.

You also have the added protection of State Registration of Building Surveyors.

There is currently no similar state registration for Engineers.

Buying a new home may be the biggest single investment you’ll ever make. While the house you have selected may seem ideal, how can you be sure there aren’t potentially serious hidden defects, which may make your dream home a costly one indeed!

To avoid unpleasant surprises, you should learn as much as you can about the property’s condition and need for repairs before you buy. Having your future new home inspected by a Registered Building Surveyor as early as possible in the buying process could save you a potential fortune on unexpected maintenance and repairs of evident defects.

Where issues are identified, you may be able to adjust / reduce the purchase price accordingly with the vendor. This is becoming increasingly common.

The cost of even small repairs, which can run into thousands of euro, far exceeds the minimal cost of a Building Pre-Purchase Survey.

Don’t leave it until the last minute!

In the case of a Second Hand House or Apartment, it is vitally important to have as much information about the property you are proposing to buy as early as is possible in the buying process and therefore you should have a Pre-Purchase Survey carried as soon as is possible (ideally as soon as possible after paying a booking deposit to the agent) to help make an informed decision on how to progress.

In the case of a newly built House or Apartment, inspection is normally carried out when the builder informs you that the property is ready to have a Snag List completed.

No, it is a completely different service.

A purchaser should note that a surveyor carrying out a Mortgage Valuation for a bank or building society is NOT carrying out a House / Apartment Pre-Purchase Survey on your behalf or paying the detailed attention required to the condition of the property and its many components, but is merely ascertaining the VALUE of the property to facilitate the Lending Institution in making their deliberations on the mortgage.

Generally 15-20 minutes is actually spent by a Valuer at the property and therefore a Valuation should NEVER be deemed to comprise a full and properly informative Pre-Purchase Survey.

Very few houses are perfect. When problems, defects or risks are identified, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect, or what may need to be done to negate a specific risk. Further specialist investigations will be advised where considered appropriate.

A seller may make repairs or adjust the purchase price if any major problems are found. If you are working within a fixed budget, or if you do not wish to become involved in significant renovation or repair work, having this information will be very important to you.

We do not scaremonger. We will only advise against your proceeding where significant issues or risks are found.

A more important question is how long it should take.

For most people, this is one of the most important purchases that you will ever make. It is essential that you take your time.

Many issues that can arise may be missed if your team are pressured, or in too much of a hurry to take the appropriate time required to protect you. Inspection findings often take time to consider, with issues such as evident boundary breaches and planning / compliance certification for alterations requiring time to assess, including further discussion and documentary evidence to be requested and considered. Often title issues will need to be referred to your solicitor for assessment and confirmation.

It is important that you engage a Registered Building Surveyor as early in the purchase process as possible, ideally as soon as a booking deposit is paid to the estate agent.

As a rule, the inspection is generally within a week of booking, however that can vary during busy periods. Where necessary we will discuss findings with you directly after the inspection, and a formal written report will follow in due course. Terms of Engagement will outline usual time period to reporting. We work carefully, and this can take time. We will never rush your inspection.

Note: We generally advise that you work on your own timescale as much as possible. Purchasers are under increasing pressure to hurry, from Estate Agents, Vendors, Banks, and sometimes even their own Solicitors, or also due to pressure to leave a rental property. Take your time. If a mistake is made due to undue haste, none of the aforementioned people will pay the price, you will.

Don’t leave it until the last minute.

It is important that you engage a Registered Building Surveyor as early in the purchase process as possible, ideally as soon as a booking deposit is paid to the estate agent.

Having relevant information as soon as possible in the purchase process can help to prevent unnecessary delays.

A pre-purchase survey inspection is a service that requires great focus and concentration.

Due to insurer direction and industry best practice protocols, and to minimise distraction at inspections that could cause potential error or omission, there can be no client attendances at inspections.

Access for inspection is also often provided by the seller directly, and buyer attendance would be considered inappropriate, and potentially problematic.

This will depend on various factors such as property type, size, age and condition.

As a rule of thumb, our inspections generally take 1 ½ to 2 hours average at a property, and often longer. It varies from property to property.

We do not put a time limit on inspection, and will never leave until we are happy that the job is done and that we have the information that is needed.

The more important question is regarding quality of the content, not quantity.

There is no standardised format of survey reporting in Ireland. Surveyors have generally each developed their own form of reporting, therefore report format, type and content varies greatly between Surveyors, Engineers and Architects.

Our report format works.

It is easy to understand, and to the point.

Our reports covers all relevant matters appropriate to the property type, age, condition and relevant findings.

Our reporting has been developed over 20+ years, and is tried and tested.

Our reporting format is preferred by Solicitors and Lenders. It eliminates confusion and minimises issues with banks that can lead to unnecessary delays.
Our reports are tailored and personalised to each individual property and focus on the issues that we know matter to you as a purchaser, based on our vast experience over 20+ years.

This is a difficult question to answer. While many reputable and competent Surveyors, Engineers and Architects are recommended by Estate Agents, there is an inherent conflict of interest between Estate Agents and Surveyors as the Agent acts on behalf of the seller, while the Surveyor acts on behalf of you the buyer.

We do not promote recommendation by Estate Agents due to this potential conflict of interest.

If you are taking a recommendation by an Estate Agent, we generally advise that you proceed with caution.

At Perri Building Surveyors Ltd we get approximately half of our business through referral from Brokers, Solicitors, Lending Institutions and most importantly, our Customers.

Yes. It is essential to have any type of property of any age surveyed before buying.

Relatively modern properties can have issues and risks specific to age, such as Building Regulation Fire Safety Breaches and Pyrite. Often these issues require further specialist investigation. We advise on these matters and risks as part of our inspections, and have identified many problems in modern properties, saving our clients from potential disaster.

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge, expertise and experience of a Registered Building Surveyor who has inspected hundreds or often thousands of houses in their career.

Also, many buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective about the house they want, often affecting their judgement.

Our home inspection gives the buyer a clear, impartial, professional evaluation of the overall condition of the house or apartment, and items that require attention.

Not at all. Any Building Surveyor specialising in Residential Pre-Purchase Surveys is willing and used to operating in a wide area. Travel to inspections is intrinsic to the job.

At Perri Building Surveyors Ltd, we operate daily in the entirety of Dublin, and surrounding counties. We are used to carrying out inspections in all areas.

We also provide a nationwide service at request.

Rates are generally determined by property location, type, size, age, and extent of any additions or alterations to the property.

Our rates are quite competitive, and you can rest assured that you are not receiving any added value by paying another Surveyor more.

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