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Structural surveyor/seri rural engineer - which one do we need please??

(7 Posts)
notagenius8 Wed 06-May-15 15:11:58

In the process of buying a house in Lewisham, London, and we need to instruct a surveyor to make sure there are no structural problems with the inside and outside of house. We thought we would need a structural surveyor to do this, but just been told by the estate agent that we should get a structural engineer?

Could someone enlighten me as to the difference and which one would be fit for purpose? Further if anyone knows of a good surveyor/engineer in the lewisham area, I would be v grateful for recommendations, there seem to be many of various costs, how do you choose! Given it is likely to cost 1k and how important the report is, I would like to spend it wisely. Thanks

notagenius8 Wed 06-May-15 15:13:08

Title should say structural engineer, annoying auto correct

Millymollymama Wed 06-May-15 15:52:36

A Structural Engineer is MIStructE and a surveyor is RICS. They are different qualifications and have a different level of expertise with regard to structures, ie buildings. For a general structural survey, a building surveyor (RICS) is fine. However, if the building has question marks eg cracks, subsidence, heave, walls out of alignment, a sagging roof or other contentious issues, a surveyor will usually pass this onto a structural engineer for a detailed expert report. You do not want to pay for two reports, so I suggest you go straight to a Structural Engineer if there is a problem. Are you aware of any structural problems? It seems odd the agent has said have a Structural Engineer and not a surveyor if this is just a general survey. Hope this explanation helps.

MrsFlorrick Wed 06-May-15 17:55:14

Structural engineer or building surveyor. If you have a building survey done, the building surveyor would highlight any potential issues and if they were serious refer you to a structural engineer.

Personally I would start with the building surveyor who will note the general condition of the property and list any items requiring repair etc and highlight major issues.

notagenius8 Wed 06-May-15 19:31:41

Thank you millymollymama and Mrs florrick! Nothing we have seen has caused us concern so I am also slightly confused that the agent has suggested a structural engineer. A part of me thinks perhaps the structural engineer he has referred us to is a friend and he is bringing business to a friend. Presumably a structural engineer is much more expensive than 1k?

As long as a building surveyor is capable of highlighting the major structural issues (if any) then I think that would be a good starting point, I would still be grateful for any recommendations in the lewisham/southeast London area!

Woozlebear Thu 07-May-15 14:17:55

Unless you are aware of a risk or presence of a structural issue like subsidence I can't imagine why you would need an engineer rather than just a surveyor.

Is the area prone to subsidence or something?

notagenius8 Thu 07-May-15 20:35:58

Hi woozlebear, I don't think so! It is in hither green, not sure if others on here have had problems?

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