What happens during a conservatory site survey?

A site survey is essential to ensure the site is properly evaluated and the work planned in advance so that your conservatory can be constructed to meet the required specifications and your expectations. The survey will also take into account any problems or conditions that may arise that could cause a delay to the build.

The following areas should be thoroughly evaluated before any building materials are ordered, and before any construction work takes place:

- Access requirements and storage
- Site evaluation
- Measurement survey
- Ground assessment
- Design specifications and requirements
- Risk assessment

Access and storage

One of the first things a surveyor will do is check the access width and whether any narrow access could restrict access for delivery vehicles. Parking limitations or restrictions are also taken into account, along with rear access and assessment of space for construction materials to be stored without causing any difficulty for the client or damage to the property. The type of property will also be noted i.e. detached, semi-detached etc.

Site evaluation

The surveyor will take several factors into account, such as whether there will be any required demolition involved before your conservatory can be built, who will be carrying out the work and if planning permission is necessary. If your property is a listed building or located in a conservation area, you may need consent before any work is carried out.

A risk assessment for health and safety should be carried out, which will include the elimination of possible exposure to asbestos, and no materials should contain this.

Photographs will be taken of the existing structure of the house and existing walls, with any structural defects noted to you, the client. It should be determined that the host wall is strong enough to support the structure of your conservatory. Gutters will also be inspected and photographed.

Existing services such as drains and sewers should be located and recorded, along with any necessary re-positioning.

Measurement survey

This will include detailed line drawings showing the proposed layout of your conservatory and its measurements, including all windows and doors.

Ground assessment

It is critical to inspect the grounds before any building takes place, as this could dictate the depth and type of foundations your conservatory should have. The foundations of your existing house will be taken into account, and an inspection pit is usually recommended. Other elements to take into consideration include trees, slopes and the possibility of subsidence.

Other design specifications

This includes looking at ventilation, neighbouring buildings and any shadows that may be cast on your conservatory, as well as how your proposed build could affect your neighbours.

Risk assessment

A risk assessment of the site and proposed build is highly recommended before taking any further steps. This is sort of a 'prepare for the worst' scenario that will save you from any unwanted stress or difficulties later on.