Local Home Building Surveyors

Matlock, Chesterfield, Bakewell, Alfreton, Belper and surrounding areas

Local Home Buyers Surveys

Dear Customer, 

I am a Chartered surveyor with over 30 years construction industry experience, including Building Surveying, Quantity Surveying, Building Construction, Structural Repair and Waterproofing.

I offer a decent, helpful, useful and detailed homebuyer report and other types of surveys. 

Not all home buyers surveys will give you the same report or standard, much depends on the experience of the visiting surveyor.

Every surveyor will have a different opinion. Even though the reports are labelled as RICS Level 2 or 3 they are not rigid in their content, they are not all the same, they offer different viewpoints even though the formats may be the same. In fact, some reports are really so difficult to understand, I’ve had customers pay for a 2nd Level 3 survey to explain the 1st one! Some reports are also just not thorough enough. One customer exclaimed to me recently a surveyor had spent only 20 minutes at the property, making the survey a mockery.  They had dismissed having one at all because of that, I persuaded them that was not the norm. I try to treat every property the same and not leave until I am satisfied nothing has been overlooked. Slow, repetitive, painful scrutiny, but thorough and fair when a fee is being paid.

My aim is to put the repairs into perspective and focus, be practical, make the reports easy to understand, make the report concise and try not to confuse with technical jargon. I do not try to unnecessarily condemn the property, the report is completely objective and professional. Remember, a report showing you every single defect can be a daunting scary thing to look at, when your heart is set on buying it. I hope to be straightforward and honest, and give you a realistic viewpoint. 

With a background in construction and working with property upgrades, which many building surveyors do not get involved in, I am in the perfect position to provide some unique practical advice, you won’t get from every home buyers survey.

Kind regards

Check out our reviews at Yell.com and on Google

Call 01629 828650 for a FREE buildings survey quote.

Quantity surveyor
Stephen Hodgson

Chartered surveyor and director for Lumsdale Surveyors Ltd

Local Expertise

Lumsdale Building Surveyors serves North Derbyshire and the Peak District often visiting the towns of Matlock, Wirksworth, Bakewell, Cromford, Ashbourne, Belper, Alfreton and Chesterfield.

Home Buyers RICS Visit Survey where you don't need a Written Report

Fees start from £400.

I will visit the property and survey in exactly the same way as I do for an RICS level 3 survey. At the end of the survey, you can walk around with me to discuss the findings, with the vendors’ permission. Alternatively, I can give you a call to discuss them or email a summary list of headings. If you then find you need part or all of the survey in writing to assist with the purchase, this can be provided for an extra fee.

This type of survey can be ideal for any property. Newer properties benefit, particularly because defects are hopefully only a short list.

The survey is quite popular, is quicker to complete and much cheaper.  

Home Buyers RICS Level 2 Structural Survey

Fees start from £800

This home buyer’s report is a defect survey carried out with just the same thoroughness as a level 3 survey, except it provides less technical information in the report. However, you can always ask for more. It is suitable for many types of properties as a starter survey, without going to the expense of a Level 3.  For many people this is perfectly adequate and can always be upgraded where issues are found.   The report contains photographs of every defect found and provides enough comment about the defect without being excessive. It also describes the overall condition of the whole property and each individual element. 

Home Buyers RICS Level 3 Structural Survey

Fees start from £1,200

This home buyer’s report is a Full Structural Survey or an RICS Level 3 Survey.

The report provides the buyer with 

  • a visual survey
  • 3 hours on site for the average property
  • a list with photographs of structural defects found within the property
  • the likely cause of any defect, potential impact, remedial work required, likely budget costs for each repair and further investigations recommended
  • potential other issues with the property 
  • an overall opinion of the properties condition  
  • various internet search results
  • useful other information

Elements that are checked include roof coverings, chimneys, gutters, windows, walls, drainage, paths, outbuildings, and boundaries, roof timbers, loft insulation, walls within the loft space, wall and ceiling plasterwork, internal walls, doors and frames, upper and ground floors, structural openings, basements, damp, woodworm, timber rot and structural movement. 

Survey equipment may include a drone, laser levels, protimeter, condensation meter, thermal camera, binoculars, inspection lamp, metal detector, surveyors’ ladders. Lofts will be entered if safe to do so to inspect insulation, roof timbers etc. 

For full details of the survey, please ask for a quote. As we are local, the survey is very adaptable, including 2nd visits and detailed refurbishment quotations.

Home Seller's RICS Level 2 Defect Survey

Fees usually start from £800

The best option is always to obtain a list of defects when selling your house, which you can present to each buyer before they make an offer.  So why not commission a basic RICS level independent Defect survey? This way they can make you an informed offer. 

The majority of buyers eventually have a home survey, but this could be late in the process, and then they might try to renegotiate the price which can be a fait accompli. Sometimes this causes sales to fall through at the last minute, wasting everyone time.

In the ideal world, everyone should have a survey carried out before any buyer enters the door, a survey to include with the estate agent’s brochure, fully stating the condition of the building and exactly what they are buying.

You would with anything else! so why not with the largest purchase many people make in their lives.

A wealth of surveying experience

Have your property surveyed by an experienced surveyor who can offer an impartial view of the properties condition. 

Stephen Hodgson started his career as a Quantity Surveyor working for respected construction companies such as Wimpey Construction, Mowlem PLC, Edward Wood & Sons (Derby). He branched out into the structural repair field, establishing his own construction company, which ran for over 20 years. His company focused on subsidence, settlement, and insurance claims and involved the structural repair of hundreds of domestic properties, together with a number of industrial and civil engineering structures. 

Stephen spends time uniquely working with plans for rebuild and refurbishment of old properties and has a current knowledge of upgrading and extending them to current standards. 

Our service includes building cost advice, and we also carry out detailed estimating for a number of local builders. This helps us keep abreast of current building regulations and construction techniques. We also have a keen interest in the protection of historic buildings, and he is a member of SPAB. 

As a Chartered Surveyor, he is required to maintain Continuing Professional Development. His membership can be checked here, RICS.

Property Auction Appraisal

These are essentially structural surveys, as the properties need complete refurbishment. 

Lumsdale Surveyors have had the honour of providing reports for the production team of Channel 4’s “the great house giveaway” on numerous properties around the area.

Home Buyer's Building Survey Focused on Structural & Damp issues with flexible survey time.

Fees will be £90 per hour - subject to budget estimate and an advance deposit being paid.

This is a focused, structural and water tightness building survey only. It is carried out visually, as are all Home buyer’s reports. Some property buyers have a good knowledge of building construction and do not need a full Home Buyer’s Report. They only require specialised checks and reassurances, and help with specific queries. The survey time, will be flexible enough to arrive at some answers. The most requested survey information is about structural, water ingress and damp issues.  You can request more points, adding to the survey. The report will aim to provide a more in depth focus, extent, and reasons for moisture ingress and structural defects with potential solutions.

Specific Inspections & Repair Supervision

A site visit to asses a problem is £90 per hour plus travel

Preliminary visual assessments of structural settlement or damp issues can be carried out on domestic properties and usually be completed within a couple of hours. Depending on the outcome, further investigation work, desktop work and/ or arranging other specialists may be necessary to establish a cause, arrive at a solution and arrange/ supervise any repairs. 

Dispute Assistance

Disputes arise between homeowners, builders, and subcontractors.

  • Assistance with documents in preparation for adjudication
  • Preparing reports on defective workmanship for homeowners
  • Calculating remedial costs of rectifying defective work
  • Valuing work part completed and work outstanding
  • Preparing current account balances owed
  • Writing letters in response to contractual disputes

Building Work Cost Advice

Lumsdale Surveyors also offers freelance Quantity Surveying and Estimating services for anyone who needs building cost advice on their planned home extension, refurbishment or new build.

For more information, click here


  • RICS Level 3 Home Buyer Structural Surveys
  • RICS Level 2 Home Buyer Condition Survey
  • Walk Around Survey
  • Home Seller Survey
  • Property Auction Survey
  • Defect Survey
  • Building Survey
  • Subsidence Assessments
  • Expert Witness
  • Dispute Assistance
  • Building Cost Advice


  • 30 years RICS Chartered Surveyor
  • 40 years construction industry experience
  • Property development
  • Private homes
  • New builds 
  • Barn conversions
  • Extensions
  • Refurbishment
  • Alterations
  • Subsided Properties
  • Structural and specialist works 
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Estimating 
  • Contract s Management


  • Binoculars
  • Telephoto camera
  • Condensation risk meter
  • Protimeter & Hygrometer
  • Thermal imaging
  • Telescopic ladders
  • Laser level
  • Metal detector
  • Borescope
  • Drone roof surveys
  • Digital construction estimating software

Customer Reviews

Lumsdale Building Surveyors has been helping customers throughout the Derbyshire Dales and North Derbyshire for over three decades. I have a wide range of clients in and around the local towns and villages including: Alfreton, Ashbourne, Bakewell, Baslow, Belper, Chesterfield, Darley Dale, Matlock, Rowsley, Wirksworth, Tansley, to name but a few.