If you are involved in the care and maintenance of buildings that form a school or academy, for example, then you may already be familiar with the value of condition surveys.

This type of survey provides a detailed, objective snapshot of the condition of the fabric of a building. The resulting report can play a crucial part in any planned maintenance strategy, providing sound information on which to base future maintenance plans, rather than incurring unplanned expense when something goes wrong.

Condition surveys give details of a building’s development, the estimated dates of extensions and alterations, and their construction, which is particularly helpful if repurposing or refurbishments are being considered. These surveys can identify the likely need for repair or maintenance work, when it is likely to be required, and identify the potential costs so these can be prioritised. The irregular or poor maintenance of school buildings can result in the disruption of education, closure or partial closure of school buildings and other undesirable risks to health, safety and welfare.

At SDBF, our Chartered Building Surveyors carry out condition surveys on behalf of our clients, which involves a detailed visual inspection of the property followed by the production of a written report and, if requested, a costed maintenance programme.


External view Victorian villa

We recently undertook a condition survey of a school site in Dorset which consisted of buildings of various ages from a vacant Victorian villa (pictured left), up to and including modern, modular classrooms.



Internal view Victoria villa





This photograph of one of the first-floor interiors of the Victorian villa shows how its condition has deteriorated as a result of being unoccupied. The view from the bay window across to the cedar of Lebanon growing in the school grounds provides a glimpse of the building’s former glory, these trees being a popular feature in the grounds of historic houses and mansions.


View to cedars of Lebanon



From our detailed inspection, we highlighted numerous defects, which were recorded in our subsequent report. Defects included blocked gutters, split cast iron downpipes, dampness, weathered pointing, eroded and fractured stone window sills, and a possible outbreak of dry rot to the internal timberwork.



Sedums growing in gutters



These valuable insights will enable the school to fully understand the present condition of the Victorian villa and all the other school buildings, and make informed decisions for their future use and maintenance.




If you would like our help with a condition survey for your property, please do not hesitate to contact us.