5 Surprisingly Stupid Ways to Save Money on Measured Surveys

Graffitied old staircase

We try to keep it transparent here at Icelabz and hence why I am opening up to some secrets to save you money.

These tips will help you get the perfect Measured Survey while saving you serious £££.

Some of the tips I will be sharing are not talked about much in the industry, or some are not even aware of them! If you keep these in minds when looking for a measured survey, you could be able to save a couple of £100s

From my experience, they are a couple of ways to reduce the cost of a measured building survey. Some of the methods can reduce the cost at an initial stage or later stage of your project. This means that if you engage with a specialised company carrying out measured building survey, it can save you time and reduce the risk on certain aspects of your project.

Undertaking the survey before getting an architect.

This tip is not well known in the industry and you should take advantage of it. This can get you the best price for Architects.

The usual method…

Generally, whenever you approach an architect you will have to get existing plans of your property produced, the measured survey.

This can be produced by the architect or a land surveyor.

The architect can charge from £100-150/hour compared to £30-60/hour to survey your property. Also, the architects are limited in producing certain plans.

Once you have engaged an architect to produce your plans they would either contract us out or get you to look out for us to produce the plans.
Either way, you will need to produce the plans.

How to save cost

What we have found when negotiating projects with past clients is that they found it more economical by approaching and getting measured survey before engaging an architect.

This allows them to:

  1. Save cost on getting an architect
  2. Allows them to get better and competitive prices
  3. Allows for better creative discussions as the existing plans are there to use

Remember: the same plans we produced will be used for your planning application, building regulation and part of the tender to your builders!

In the past couple of years, we have had clients who have worked with us on more than one project. As they understood our unique methodology and process, they were able to engage us to undertake the survey before getting in contact with an architect.

This can save you a lot of money by:

  1. reducing the cost of additional revisits by the surveyor,
  2. the ability to discuss ideas with architects without them incurring a travel cost,
  3. additional fees from the architect to manage the engagement of the surveyor, and;
  4. the ability to engage architects outside of the country at a much lower fee than a British architect.

Bonus saving tip:

If your land surveyor is using a 3D laser scanner to survey your property you can manage your cash flow by getting just the floor plans and elevations at the start.

But make sure to inform the company that you will need sections and additional plans later. So that they can cater for it. For example if you are unsure about extending your loft you could request them to survey the loft but wait on producing the plans at a later stage.

Once you have discussed the options with your architect you can then request these additional plans that your architect would need.

This can save you on the cashflow of your project.

 

Making sure all the details are provided to the land surveyors (and the same details)

A common mistake that occurs when requesting quotes is that you or the architect might be communicating different information to different land surveyors which result in non-comparable quotes. This will result in an imbalance quote, where you may think you are getting a bargain but in fact you’re getting less than what you should need. a surveyor who may seem cheap but may not include all the necessary plans that your architect is looking for.

A quote for a measured survey that looks cheap or competitive may not include all the necessary details and plans that your architect is looking for.

Send photographs as part of your tender request; this will help reduce risk estimates when pricing the quote. The more information you give the better the quote will be.

For example, the cost of undertaking an empty warehouse is much less than a fully occupied house as it would take a survey of a lot less time to undertake a survey.

Alternatively, if you have a large floor plan but only have less than five rooms that can affect the cost of the survey by a few £100.

Only request the plans that you need.

Don’t also ask for plans that you may not need. For example, some architects may just want additional plans to help them produce the plans. Ensure that the plans requested are necessary.

For example, the architects could request several sections of a property just to get an understanding of the floor and the wall layout. But if the land surveyor can produce 3-D views of the property you won’t need to have additional sections as they can navigate and understand the property easily. You may get away with only one or two sections of the property to allow them to produce the proposed plans for your project.

You may also get away with only one or two sections of the property to allow them to produce the proposed plans for your project.

The rest of the information to allow him to produce the plans can be gathered using the 3D view.

 

Request a Survey produced with a Laser Scanner

Most of the land surveyors in the UK should be geared up to survey your property using a laser scanner.

The benefit of using a laser scanner is the ability to access the property’s measurements months and years after the survey was undertaken.

This allows you to request additional plans such as sections and potentially additional elevations and floor plans without revisits.

Revisits can cost you around an additional £200-350 + £100-180 for each additional plans.

In the last 12 months ~30% of our projects needed additional plans, levels or details added after the survey. We saved each client an average of £300.

In addition to the Laser Scanner you get:

  1. more details on the survey
  2. high accuracy
  3. less human error

Request a combined Roof plan and Topographical Survey

Even though the specification of a topographical survey does not include high amount of detail for the roof plan. You can potentially combine the both of them and save you money.

There are additional details that are not shown in a topographical survey such as:

  • details of gutters, down pipe
  • details of windows
  • outline of the property (this is because on a topographical survey the roof extends over the leaf of the property so the outline of the building isn’t shown under the standard.)

By requesting the two to be combined you effectively save £60-80 as the surveyor will be able to combine the data accordingly to show more details of the roof.

Of course, if you just need the roof plan and no topographical survey it will be cheaper to just go for the roof plan.

Still stuck?

 

If you are stuck in trying to reduce the cost of the measured building survey you can contact me to see what other options may provide to reduce the cost of the survey.

We may need to be creative or even reduce the number of details in the survey to meet your budget and your architect’s requirements.

If you’re ready to see how much you can get a price for a measured building survey or topographical survey request a quote online:

Request a Quote Online

 

Published by

Bhavesh Ramburn

Commercial Manager - Quantity Surveyor with 10+ years in the construction industry.

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