We are often asked how much the average asbestos survey costs. The fact is, there is no such thing as the ‘average’ asbestos survey. When quoting for an asbestos survey, asbestos companies are typically looking at various criteria, including but not limited to; the size of the property; the age of the property; the use of the property; whether there are floor plans we are able to use; what health and safety considerations there are. Also considered is the purpose of the survey; for instance, is it for asbestos management purposes or prior to refurbishment or demolition.
In most cases and at Core Surveys, a quote can be given based on the information you give us at the point of the enquiry, together with being able to view most properties using Google Street View nowadays. For more complex buildings we may request a site visit, but in all cases with most asbestos companies, including here at Core Surveys, quotations are free of charge, and you are under no obligation to accept the quotation.
When receiving a quotation from us we will have obtained all relevant information to give you an accurate quotation on the survey required, to ensure it is fit for purpose. We include costs for all sample analysis, so you do not need to worry if we take more samples than originally anticipated. We can keep the cost the same as we have our own in-house laboratory.
We regularly review the pricing of our surveys, sample analysis and air monitoring, and benchmark them against other UKAS accredited companies in the industry. If you receive a price which is lower, please do let us know, we value this feedback. At the same time, ensure other quotations you have are from UKAS accredited companies and that there are no additional costs for extra samples taken. The Health & Safety Executive recommends the use of UKAS accredited companies due to the rigorous accreditation process and the operating procedures we abide by.
Different Types of Asbestos Surveys and Factors That Affect The Price
There are three types of asbestos surveys; Asbestos Management Surveys, Refurbishment Surveys and Demolition Surveys. The type of survey you require will depend on the reasons for having the survey. For instance, if you were buying a new property, whether it be residential or commercial, then you would most likely need a Management Asbestos Survey. However, if you were planning to refurbish or demolish a property, no matter whether it was residential or commercial, then you would require either a Refurbishment or a Demolition survey.
The Price Of Commercial Asbestos Surveys vs. Residential Surveys
The cost of a survey is not directly linked to whether it is a residential or a commercial building that requires asbestos surveying. Some residential properties will be larger and more complex than commercial premises and vice versa. The time on site to undertake a survey varies greatly, with a four-bed detached house possibly taking half a day on-site whilst a large complex school asbestos survey could take several weeks to undertake fully.
The age of the building is also a very important factor. For instance, we know that the likelihood of identifying asbestos in a building built in 1960, will be far greater than one built in 1990. Therefore, for the 1960 building we will be anticipating that the survey will be more complex, will take longer to undertake and will involve taking more samples, so it makes sense that the 1960 building will be more costly to survey than the 1990 building. Therefore, it’s so important that we gain as much information as we can from the outset as it can have a direct impact on the cost of a survey.
Asbestos Surveys in Residential Properties (Residential Asbestos Surveys)
The type of asbestos survey you require in a residential property will depend on the purpose of the survey. If you require a survey purely for peace of mind; if you are purchasing a property and your mortgage lender has requested an asbestos survey; or if a chartered building survey/homebuyer report has recommended an asbestos survey due to suspected asbestos materials (ACMs), then you will most likely require a management asbestos survey. If asbestos is in good condition and is not likely to succumb to damage or be disturbed in any way, then it can remain in situ, but if it is damaged then removal may be required. Depending on the type and extent of asbestos-containing materials, removal can be expensive,so knowing about it prior to purchasing a property is essential. It is also useful information when ensuring you remain safe during DIY projects.
However, if you are planning refurbishment or any kind of demolition then you will require a refurbishment asbestos survey or a demolition asbestos survey. It is important to note that if you are planning to undertake work on a residential property you are purchasing, due to the level of intrusive survey work required, it is unlikely you will get permission to undertake an R&D survey until you own the property.
Residential management asbestos surveys start from as little as £200, but the price will be dependent on several factors including, the size of the property, its age and location.
Refurbishment & Demolition Asbestos Surveys
As the names suggest, a refurbishment asbestos survey will be required prior to refurbishment works and a demolition asbestos survey will be required prior to demolition works. Both these surveys are far more intrusive than an asbestos management survey, to the extent that it is unlikely you would be able to undertake these types of surveys until you own the property. We are often asked to undertake a refurbishment asbestos survey to a property someone is looking to buy, but the current owner generally does not allow this due to the level of damage it can create. Therefore, it is important to remember that if you have had a Management Asbestos Survey undertaken prior to purchasing a property, but are then planning refurbishment once you own it, you will need to upgrade your survey and always keep in mind that additional asbestos may be identified once you own the property and following the more intrusive survey.
Refurbishment or demolition asbestos surveys, otherwise known as R&D surveys, start at as little as £350, but the price will be dependent on several factors including, the size of the property, its age, its location and specifically the nature and extent of the refurbishment or demolition you are planning to undertake. Remember, the primary purpose of these surveys is to protect the people undertaking the work and those in the vicinity, so it is essential they are undertaken.
Following an R&D survey, you may require removal of the asbestos-containing materials identified and often these works need to be undertaken by a company licensed by the Health & Safety Executive. The works may also include the need for asbestos air testing during and on completion. Core are UKAS accredited to undertake this air testing and can assist with the whole removal process. Core are independent and do not undertake asbestos removal and removal companies are not permitted to undertake their own air testing, so you will require the involvement of two companies during the removal process.
Management Asbestos Surveys
The type of asbestos survey you require will depend on the purpose of the survey. If you require a survey to fulfil your legal obligations under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR2012); if you are purchasing a property and your mortgage lender has requested a survey; or if a chartered building survey has recommended an asbestos survey due to suspected asbestos materials, then you will most likely require a management asbestos survey. If asbestos is in good condition and is not likely to succumb to damage then it can remain in situ, but if it is damaged then removal may be required. If asbestos is to remain in situ in a commercial premises, then you should have an asbestos management plan, which sets out roles and responsibilities and how you intend to manage the asbestos. An important part of the management process will involve re-inspecting the asbestos materials for signs of damage or deterioration.
Management asbestos surveys whether commercial or residential, typically start from as little as £300, but as with residential asbestos management surveys, the price will be based on the size, age and location of your property.
Re-inspection Asbestos Surveys
These are an important part of managing asbestos in commercial premises or the communal parts of residential buildings. Your legal responsibilities under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR2012) do not stop once the asbestos survey has been undertaken if asbestos has been identified.
Your asbestos survey report will identify the location and extent of asbestos-containing materials, it will risk assess them and then make recommendations for future management. If the asbestos is in good condition and not likely to be damaged, then it can remain in situ and depending on the type of asbestos-containing material it will need to be subject to either six-monthly or annual asbestos re-inspections. The re-inspection will monitor its condition, ensuring it remains undamaged and in a safe condition. If the material has been damaged or has deteriorated, then the recommendation may be to undertake remedial works or remove the asbestos. Following an asbestos survey, a commercial decision can be made to decide whether the cost of future re-inspections is going to outweigh the cost of removing the asbestos in the first instance.
Asbestos re-inspection surveys start from as little as £250, but the price will be dependent on the quantity of asbestos to be re-inspected and the location of the property. The cost also often depends on whether you will be using the same company that undertook your original asbestos survey. For example, if we did not undertake the original survey and we are working from another company’s asbestos survey report, then as a UKAS accredited company, we must undertake an audit of the original asbestos survey to make sure it is fit for purpose, so the process is more involved. That said, every year we undertake a considerable number of re-inspections based upon other company’s survey reports, putting them into our own report template, taking new photos and drawing new plans, making it easy for us to re-inspect and update in future years.
Other Factors Which Can Affect The Cost Of An Asbestos Survey
There are other factors which can affect the cost of your asbestos survey, some of these include:
How Many Samples Need to be Taken/Tested During An Asbestos Survey?
The number of samples taken during a survey will vary considerably and will be dependent on the size of the property, its age and construction type. At Core Surveys, at the point of enquiry, we will assess these factors and our pricing will take into consideration the number of samples that we would anticipate being required. However, if receiving a quotation, it will most likely say ‘all samples included’. This means that even if we take more samples than originally anticipated, you will not be charged extra. The reason we can do this is because we have our own in-house laboratory, meaning that although there might be a slight increase in costs for us, it is minimal, and we prefer to give you the confidence that you are not going to incur additional costs.
Some companies will include a specific number of samples within the quotation and then a cost for additional samples, that additional cost per sample can be high, meaning the cost of the survey can escalate quickly. This is something to look out for when obtaining and comparing quotations.
All sampling is undertaken in line with current guidance and our UKAS accreditation, so there is no need to be concerned. Samples are generally the size of a thumbnail, and the sample point will be sealed once it has been taken. In occupied premises, we will aim to take samples from less conspicuous locations.
How Accessibility Of The Site Can Affect The Cost Of Your Survey
The location and accessibility of the site are important when we are pricing a survey as it can have an impact on the amount of time we allow. Accessibility may not just include physical factors, it could include security factors, such as those required when working in government buildings or at airports. With regards to physical factors, we have had surveys where a 4×4 is essential to access the site and we have undertaken surveys where a boat has been required to access certain sites located off the River Thames.
The condition of the building or site is also an important consideration. If the building is fire damaged or structurally unsound, then we may not be able to access it prior to enabling works taking place.
In all cases, forewarned is forearmed, so it’s important to let us know any and all potential access or safety concerns from the outset so we can price accordingly and reduce any delays when we arrive on site to undertake the survey.
Have You Chosen an Accredited Asbestos Company?
“The HSE strongly recommends the use of accredited or certificated surveyors for asbestos surveys. The duty holder should not appoint or instruct an independent surveyor to carry out a survey unless the surveyor is competent.” HSG264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide
Not all companies are accredited and when obtaining prices always compare like for like. The cost of a UKAS accredited survey may be more than the cost of a survey from a company who are not accredited. As an accredited company all our staff have the relevant certifications and level of experience for the work they undertake, which may not be the case for those companies or sole traders who are not accredited, so it’s important to check when appointing an asbestos surveyor.
Core is a UKAS accredited asbestos company, a rigorous and costly process to ensure that we are undertaking all asbestos surveys, sample analysis and air monitoring is in line with current guidance and our standard operating procedures. Not only does this give us confidence as a company but it gives our clients confidence that all works are being undertaken in a safe and highly professional manner.
Looking for a UKAS Accredited Asbestos Company?
We have been undertaking asbestos surveys since 2004 and many of our consultants were undertaking surveys prior to that. Our consultants have a wealth of experience within the industry and have worked in all manner of buildings over the years. We offer the full asbestos consultancy package, from a review of your existing asbestos information, surveys, land remediation consultancy, sample analysis and asbestos testing, air monitoring during and after the asbestos removal process, together with asbestos awareness training. By offering all asbestos services under one roof, with particular reference to the analysis of samples in our own asbestos laboratory, we are able to offer a seamless process, which is cost-effective and that can respond quickly.
Core are UKAS accredited to ISO/IEC 17020 for all types of asbestos surveys and ISO/IEC 17025 for asbestos sample analysis and air monitoring. Our surveyors hold the P402 as a minimum standard and in addition they may hold the P405, S301 or CoCA, whilst our laboratory staff hold the P401 as a minimum and our air monitoring staff the P403 and P404 as a minimum.
In addition to our UKAS accreditation, we are also members of Constructionline and ATAC and are certified by SMAS and CHAS.
Our surveyors, as well as their industry-specific training, also hold a variety of other training, including CSCS; IOSH Managing Safely; IPAF; PASMA; First Aid at Work; Manual Handling; Working at Height; and confined space training.
At Core Surveys, we obtain all accreditations and certifications necessary to ensure we are providing the best possible service to our clients, and we provide our staff with all relevant training to ensure their safety and that of our clients, at all times, whilst at the same time providing a cost-effective asbestos solution all under one roof.
We have offices based in both Sussex and Wales, allowing us to cover the whole of the South East, from Brighton to Surrey, London and Kent, as well as the South West (including Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Swansea). Speak to our team today about our asbestos surveys!