What Type of House Survey Do I Need?

Updated: Jul 6, 2019

So, you’ve recently gone “sale agreed” on your new house or apartment and now your Solicitor / Mortgage broker has mentioned for the first time that you’ll need to get a Survey done before the bank will issue the mortgage.

What do I do when I go sale agreed? What type of house survey do I need?

The survey you need has many different names:

  • Structural Survey

  • Building Inspection

  • House Survey

  • Pre-purchase Survey

  • as well as a few other variations

They all refer to an inspection by a qualified professional to ascertain the general condition of a property.

At some point in your research for a survey, you’ll discover that there are different types of building inspections on offer. Each quote is more confusing than the last and it makes it difficult to compare services and quotes.

So, let’s break it down. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) introduced three grading systems for residential property inspections.

TYPE 1 building inspection surveys involves a visual inspection of the property and a short summary report. Attics, drains, manholes are not accessed and some elements of the property, such as planning issues and other such matters are not commented on.

The report is brief but focused. It may not fully protect the consumer in terms of the identification of potential defects, which could be found if a more detailed inspection were conducted but would identify glaring issues and satisfy banks or financial institutes in order to proceed to the next step of mortgage approval.

We do not offer Type 1 surveys as we believe that the extra checks are necessary to give you piece of mind when making such an important purchase.

TYPE 2 building inspection surveys involve a more thorough visual inspection. The Surveyors experience and expertise will be used to diagnose the cause of defects and potentially advise on the correct remedial action required. Building alterations will be reviewed and planning matters and condition of boundaries will also typically be commented on. Most Surveyors have their own checklist and Survey report template, but in general the reports should be detailed and can suggest options in terms of remedial work.

TYPE 3 surveys involve a more thorough visual inspection and typically will involve the surveying of drains, lifting manholes, accessing the attic, raising floorboards, accessing hatches on walls, examining heating systems etc. Reports will be more detailed and fees are significantly higher.

For the most part a Type 1 and Type 2 report will satisfy banks and in order to proceed. If you have major concerns then a Type 3 report is recommended but note that this may incur much higher costs and take significantly longer to produce.

All reports should be in layman’s language to help you make your decision on whether to proceed with the property purchase.


Fees for Type 1 and Type 2 reports range from €450 to €1,000 which can be dependent on property size and location. Be aware that some Surveyors quote prices inclusive of VAT at 23% and some do not. Type 3 surveys are usually quoted on a case by case basis.


On average it can take 7-14 days to arrange for a Surveyor to gain access to a property and conduct a survey. An additional 2-3 days is required to complete the report and return it to the client.

At GetHouseSurvey.ie we strive to connect you to an experienced and available qualified Surveyor within 1.5 business day. All our Surveyors are fully insured and qualified Architects, Engineers or Chartered Surveyors as well as registered members of the RIAI, IEI, MCIAT, RICS or SCSI.

On average our surveyors will arrange access to conduct a Type 2 property survey within 5-7 business days and then complete and return the survey to you within 1.5 business days. We offer surveys for a fixed price of €499 or €599 for large second hand properties (over 2000 sq. ft.) or €399 for a snag list on a new build. Our all pricing is inclusive of 23% VAT and our reports are approved by all major banks and financial institutes.

Note: Make sure the name on the report is the same as it will appear on the mortgage documentation. If these do not align it could set you back a few days and every day counts when you want to get into your new home.