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    If you are considering a major renovation project or planning to build an extension, or you have concerns about certain aspects of your property (see below), it is advisable to seek professional advice from a surveyor. The surveyor will carry out an inspection of the building and inform you of the cause and consequences of the problem or of the viability of the project you are planning.

    A detailed report will be issued and should include an estimate for further work, investigation or repairs. If structural problems are detected, the surveyor may refer you to a structural engineer, who will assess the severity of the defect and advise on what action needs to be taken to resolve the problem. A structural engineer may also need to be consulted to ensure that your building projects will be structurally sound. The cost of a structural engineer's report will vary depending on the type of assessment required so be sure to ask for a quote beforehand.

    Problems that a surveyor will be able to find include:

    • Damp
    • Insect infestation
    • Timber decay
    • Cracks in walls that could indicate subsidence or structural problems
    • Drainage problems

    For further information contact:

    Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
    12 Great George Street
    SW1P 3AD
    Tel: 020 7222 7000