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So you’re planning a house extension or refurbishment of your current property? Then, you need a measured building survey done first, before you hand over the rest of work to an architect.

What is a measured building survey (MBS)?

MBS is vital for any architect before any refurbishment scheme commences and it provides valuable information, including accurate plans of a building. If you’re a landlord, a measured building survey is also produced to provide you with not so detailed plans to compute the Gross Internal Area for letting purposes.

MBS include a vast range of detailed building information to suit your relevant needs. Such information covers many surveyed areas ranging from floor plans, area plans, elevations, roof plans and floor slab surveys, usually using latest technologies or “the tried and tested methods”.

Methods used in MBS

The measured building surveyor can generate accurate building footprint, including internal control points and then sketches and measures the internal layout before he proceeds to the contruction of the CAD (Computer Aided Design) plan. CAD plan is typically based on the measurements the MBS recorded during the site visit.
Another method typical for MBS is via hand-held computers and tablets useful for inputting spatial data whilst on site. Such method is extremely useful for constructing and verifying the survey data as and when on the site.

What to look out for?

Once the need for an MBS has been identified, you can then start looking for a perfect measured building surveyor who will carry out a survey at your property. First thing to remember, like with any project, you need ro prepare a scope sheet with requirements before approaching a relevant surveryor. In this sheet you need to state what needs to be picked, your timescales and what outcome you want to achieve.
Even though an MBS will be equipped in various checklists and tools needed for a survey, you might also have your own checklists prepared, ready for the inspection. You might want to include such areas as ceiling heights, structural elements (i.e. beams and columns), floor levels, steps (including changes in levels), door heights, chimneys, window sill heights and window head heights, rainwater pipes, foul drainage pipes, etc.

You might also need to consider a dedicated engineering surveyor, who will not only carry out the MBS but also a topographical survey and as-built survey. There is a number of elements an engineering survey involves, which ranges from project planning and design through to quality control of construction projects and monitoring the performance and health conditions of completed structures and facilities. Overall, these are the key elements worth considering and keeping in mind prior to a successful MBS.

Following this quick guide to hiring a measured building surveyor will guarantee your preparedness for an on-site survey and will help you look out for key elements involved in creating a survey. Before you hire an MBS or an engineering surveyor, make sure to mention as much information as possible to make the whole process smooth and hassle free.

There are many websites out there, where you can find your local MBS. Have a browse around, see how long particular MBS companies have been established for, see if you can find any testimonials on their websites and whether they have relevant certifications for carrying out surveys. Don’t go with the first website that you like the look of. Reviews and length of service are probably the most important ones to look out for. Also, why not ask around amongst your friends and family and find out if they could suggest a reliable MBS – word-of-mouth is probably the best advertisement.