Dilapidation surveys (or building condition reports) are certainly not one of the more glamorous services on offer but none-the-less they are essential, particularly if you are a contractor or developer about to embark on a new project.
Works including building construction, high-rise development, infrastructure projects, road works, demolitions and excavations can sometimes result in defects appearing in adjoining structures if the proper precautions are not taken into consideration. The resulting damage can be expensive to repair and often difficult to prove how it has occurred, and who is at fault.
3 reasons why you should conduct a dilapidation survey:
1. Independent precautionary measure.
A dilapidation survey outlines the current condition and any existing structural damage including areas which may be prone to damage. This includes (but is not limited to) cracks, stresses and water damage to floors, walls, cornices and ceilings; cracks in brickworks, road surfaces and adjoining footpaths; deterioration of roofs, gutters, downpipes and other external fixtures or features.
The survey is provided as a final report which includes detailed photographs, video and a written component. By engaging a professional surveyor you will be provided with an independent report which does not hold any bias towards either party.
2. Understand the condition of structures prior to construction.
By conducting a survey prior to work commencing you will be able to thoroughly assess adjoining structures and ensure proper precautions are taken to minimise movement, vibration, water overflow, loose site debris or any potential change to adjoining surfaces or features.
A dilapidation survey can also be used for site restoration after works have been completed. In a case where roads, landscaping etc. need to be removed during construction the survey will be utilised afterwards to ensure areas are returned to their original state.
3. Provides evidence to counter fraudulent claims, liabilities & actions.
Contractors and developers are often blamed for damage sustained to third party and adjoining properties. If you have failed to get a dilapidation survey done then you could potentially be liable for any damages if a claim is made. Having a report conducted prior to commencement means your company will have the original site condition report as evidence to defend against any demands for damage should they arise, and avoid expensive drawn out litigation.