What Is a Dilapidation Survey?


New construction is a sign of a growing and developing city. As a city grows, more jobs become available and there is an increased demand for housing, shopping, and dining. Construction work often requires demolition and excavation, and the heavy machinery used during a project can cause damage to the land, roads, and buildings nearby. Dilapidation surveys can help a property owner to assess the current state of their property before construction takes place in case damage should occur. Contractors and property developers can also protect themselves from potential claims by doing the necessary dilapidation surveys before starting a project.

A dilapidation survey includes inspecting the entire property, recording any existing damage, and taking pictures. With this information, a dilapidation report can be compiled. This report can be referred to in the future if the property owner suspects that damage has been caused by the construction work. The dilapidation report includes areas like gutters, paths, driveways, trees, fences, and any areas that might be affected by the project. They’ll record any existing damage, such as structural cracks, loose frames, indications of ground movement, concrete cracks, missing roof shingles, and other problems. Road dilapidation surveys can also be done to record conditions in case of damage caused by construction or natural causes. Local councils often benefit from having a council road dilapidation report on hand so that reparations can be taken care of quickly.

Dilapidation surveys require two inspections, one before any work begins, and another after construction is completed. In this way, it is easy to see if any damage has occurred and disputes can be avoided. Any dilapidation report should be handled by a third party, to avoid a conflict of interest.

Why You Need a Dilapidation Report

Getting a dilapidation survey and report is important to avoid disputes with other property owners. Here are a few ways dilapidation reports are beneficial:

  • They help identify weaknesses. If your building or property has any weaknesses or instability, a dilapidation report can identify it before a construction project starts and causes further damage.
  • They help builders avoid problems with neighbors and the city. If all existing problems are recorded before construction takes place, it’s unlikely anyone will make false claims about damage caused by construction or demolition. Any damage caused by the project can be identified in the second inspection and addressed promptly.
  • They serve as a guide for contractors. If contractors are aware of the conditions of the property and surroundings, they can take the necessary precautions to avoid further damage during the construction project. It can also help them to restore the area around the project to its original condition after the project has finished.

Dilapidation reports are sometimes required by law. But even if it’s not a requirement where you live, it’s still a good idea to get a report as a precaution.

When to Get a Dilapidation Report

Both property owners and contractors or builders can request a dilapidation report for certain projects.

Homeowners or business owners should obtain a dilapidation report if they’re going to start a construction project on their property that might affect nearby buildings or properties. Projects that require a dilapidation report might include pipe laying, excavation, or demolition. If you’re starting a project that might cause ground vibration or shift the surrounding land, a dilapidation report can protect you and help you avoid problems with your neighbors. If you’re renovating an existing building, a dilapidation report can also help you to spot potential problems that might be worsened by a construction project.

Builders, developers, and contractors should get a dilapidation report before starting a project that involves digging, demolition, renovation, or construction work that could result in damage to surrounding properties. If heavy machinery will be used on the project, a dilapidation report is advised. If machinery will be using city roads to transport materials over a period of time, a road dilapidation report might be necessary as well. A roadway dilapidation survey often uses vehicles with cameras to drive and record a video of the road, as it’s more affordable to record road conditions using video than it is using photos. Before starting a project, contractors should make sure that they obtain the proper reports, as it can save them the headache of dealing with false accusations or even a lawsuit.

Construction projects require a number of inspections and permits before and during the project. But don’t overlook getting a dilapidation report before you start a major project. Whether you’re a property owner or a builder, obtaining a dilapidation report can save you from disputes and reveal weaknesses that you might not have known about. With a dilapidation report, you’ll easily be able to identify existing problems and damage that was caused by the construction project. If you’re starting a project or new construction is about to begin near your property, get a dilapidation report and avoid conflicts and unnecessary property damage.