How much does an asbestos survey cost?

Here's something you won't find anywhere else, a full and in-depth price list for how much an asbestos survey costs.
What is the cost of an asbestos survey?This is the only place you will find the real reasons behind cost differences when it comes to asbestos surveys. There are some sites that give a few asbestos survey costs; however, they do not give any detail. This article is for those looking to purchase an asbestos survey so that they can clearly understand the pricing behind this service.

I have worked in the asbestos industry and have been pricing asbestos surveys for more than 25 years. Price difference between asbestos survey types and building types has always been a confusing subject for many of my clients and customers. I felt it was time that someone explained the differences in cost and why it is that there is so much variation on prices in the asbestos surveying industry.

The best way to explain this is to show you some standard pricing structures and what you would be likely to pay for an asbestos survey. I will then explain why survey pricing can change so dramatically. It is not possible to show every single price for every single asbestos survey as there are so many variations in building type. The list below includes a good example of the basics and is a good guide to what you can expect to pay. Remember that the difference in price within each column in addition to the information below will be down to the individual organisations pricing schedule and as such there will be a slight variation across multiple surveying companies. I believe this is the most comprehensive pricing list currently available online.

Below this price list you will find a detailed explanation of each one of the pricing brackets so that you can understand the differences in cost and why they happen.

Having worked in the industry for so long I have always tried to provide a pricing structure for our customers which puts Oracles costs and prices in the expected column. Even in this column there are some minor price differences which I have detailed in this article.

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Domestic Property:
Asbestos Management Survey
Industry Low Cost / Price:Industry Expected Cost / Price:Industry High Cost / Price:
1 or 2-Bedroom
Flat
£50 - £85£195 - £275£350 - £500
2 or 3-Bedroom
Semi-Detached House
£95 - £195£250 - £395£495 - £695
3 to 5-Bedroom
Detached House
£150 - £250£395 - £695£695 - £800
Domestic Property:
Asbestos Refurbishment or Demolition Survey
Industry Low Cost / Price:Industry Expected Cost / Price:Industry High Cost / Price:
1 or 2-Bedroom
Flat
£50 - £85£195 - £275£350 - £500
2 or 3-Bedroom
Semi-Detached House
£95 - £195£295 - £495£495 - £990
3 to 5-Bedroom
Detached House
£195 - £250£395 - £695£495 - £990
Commercial Property:
Asbestos Management Survey
Industry Low Cost / Price:Industry Expected Cost / Price:Industry High Cost / Price:
Warehouse type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 1000m2£295 - £490£495 - £695£700 - £995
Factory type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 1000m2£295 - £495£395 - £695£695 -£ 990
Offices / School type: Mainly offices and rooms – Size 1000m2£395 - £695£695 - £1390£800 - £1600
Warehouse: Mainly open area with some offices - Size 2000m2£495 - £700£1390 - £1490£1400 - £2000
Factory type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 2000m2£495 - £700£1390 - £1490£1400 - £2000
Offices / School type: Mainly offices and rooms – Size 2000m2£700 - £1000£1390 - £2180£1600 - £2500
Warehouse: Mainly open area with some offices - Size 5000m2£1000 - £1500£1390 - £2500£2000 - £3500
Factory type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 5000m2£1000 - £1500£1390 - £2500£2000 - £3500
Offices / School type: Mainly offices and rooms – Size 5000m2£1500 - £2000£4000 - £6500£4500 - £8000
Warehouse: Mainly open area with some offices - Size 10,000m2£2500 - £3000£4000 - £6500£7000 - £10000
Factory type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 10,000m2£2500 - £3000£4000 - £6500£7000 - £10000
Offices / School type: Mainly offices and rooms – Size 10,000m2£4000 - £6000£12000 - £15000£14000 - £18000
Commercial Property:
Asbestos Refurbishment or Demolition Survey
Industry Low Cost / Price:Industry Expected Cost / Price:Industry High Cost / Price:
Warehouse type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 1000m2£295 - £490£495 - £695£700 - £995
Factory type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 1000m2£500 - £700£1390 - £1890£1390 - £2000
Offices / School type: Mainly offices and rooms – Size 1000m2£500 - £700£1490 - £2980£2000 - £3500
Warehouse: Mainly open area with some offices - Size 2000m2£1000 - £1500£1490 - £2980£2000 - £3500
Factory type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 2000m2£1000 - £1500£1490 - £2980£2000 - £3500
Offices / School type: Mainly offices and rooms – Size 2000m2£1000 - £2000£2980 - £4490£3000 - £5000
Warehouse: Mainly open area with some offices - Size 5000m2£1500 - £2500£6000 - £8000£7000 - £10000
Factory type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 5000m2£1500 - £2500£6000 - £8000£7000 - £10000
Offices / School type: Mainly offices and rooms – Size 5000m2£3000 - £5000£9000 - £12000£12000 - £16000
Warehouse: Mainly open area with some offices - Size 10,000m2£7500 - £9000£14000 - £16000£15000 - £20000
Factory type: Mainly open area with some offices – Size 10,000m2£7500 - £9000£14000 - £16000£15000 - £20000
Offices / School type: Mainly offices and rooms – Size 10,000m2£10000 - £13000£23000 - £26000£25000 - £32000

Low Cost / Price: Why are there such low asbestos survey prices?

What should you look out for? The following are some of the reasons behind low asbestos survey prices and costs. There are generally 6 reasons for a very low asbestos survey cost. It could be one or it could be more. It is easy to see how just a few of these items can result in a very different price for exactly the same asbestos survey. I have included your potential risk for each item.

1) No UKAS accreditation:

Those organisations in the low-cost bracket that provide this level of cost for an asbestos survey will not be accredited. UKAS accreditation for asbestos surveys is the only accreditation for this service in the UK. You do not need to be UKAS accredited to provide this service. However, there is a risk to you as the customer if those that have provided the price or cost for your survey are not accredited. For more information on this risk follow this link

UKAS accreditation is very expensive to achieve and maintain. This is why those with UKAS accreditation will not be able to match prices in the low cost bracket.

Your RISK: Poor substandard survey. Current legislation says that is you use an organisation without accreditation it is down to you to undertake due diligence to ensure that who you are using is suitable. If you do not undertake this due diligence you are placing yourself at risk if things go wrong.

2) No or low professional indemnity insurance:

Legally every company in the UK must have insurance. The insurance that you should have for asbestos surveying above normal insurance cover is Professional Indemnity (P.I.) insurance. Many companies that are in the low cost bracket do not have this insurance.

P.I. insurance covers you as the customer for expert information and advice that you are given i.e. the asbestos survey report. Without P.I. insurance the survey is not covered and if wrong you would be liable for any cost associated with an asbestos problem after the survey. Asbestos problems can be very expensive and very often run into many millions of pounds.

Is Having P.I. Insurance Enough? No: The next reason for lower cost surveys is lower P.I. insurance cover. Many companies to tick a box will have P.I insurance but at a very low level. This is a much cheaper option for the company. The recommended level of P.I. insurance for asbestos is £5m. If it is lower than this then as a customer, you are at risk.

P.I. insurance for asbestos at a level of £5m is expensive. This is why those with the correct cover for the recommended amount will not be able to match prices in the low cost bracket. 

Your RISK: No or low insurance cover would put you at risk if the asbestos survey were incorrect or gave you wrong advice. Asbestos when things go wrong is a very expensive business and most of the time results in claims of millions of pounds.

3) Sole trader or very small company:

It goes without saying that if a company is of a certain size then it will have the basics of most successful long-term companies. It will have a management, administration, quality, health & safety and human resources structure. This is all part of a good company set up. These basics ensure a company can deliver the services correctly that they provide cost and prices for.

To have the basic structure for a good long-term company of a small to medium size and beyond is expensive to run. For those single employee or sole trader businesses this is a cost which they do not have. A business of a size beyond 5 -10 employees will not be able to match prices in the low cost bracket. 

Your RISK: No or little action if things go wrong or the service is not delivered to your liking. Organisations of a larger size with a good trading history will be more likely to deal with things in the right way and quickly if something goes wrong. This can and sometimes happens.

4) Low experienced surveyors:

The better the surveyor the more experience they have the more they earn. This means that companies that have the best trained surveyors who are paid for their experience will be a higher cost for your asbestos survey than those with lesser experience.

Companies with the best asbestos surveyors will not be able to match prices in the low cost bracket where lower paid and less experienced asbestos surveyors are used.

Your RISK: Low experience puts you at risk as there is a potential that the surveyor will not know or fail to find all the asbestos containing materials during the survey. Unidentified asbestos after a survey poses a big risk of accidental damage and potentially lethal asbestos exposure.

5) Hidden extras within the quotation:

There are some companies that price their surveys differently than others. That is to say that they will provide a very basic cost. If you view your quotation in more detail, they may have additional costs that you will be charged for. Things like the report or even more common is to have a price per sample undertaken.

This results in a big cost difference on the quotation for the same asbestos survey. The risk to the customer is that they think they have a complete price for the survey but will be charged a much higher price when the survey has been completed.

Companies that have no hidden extra price structures will not be able to match prices in the low cost bracket.

Your RISK: Your risk with hidden extras is an unknown actual cost of the survey you are having carried out. You will not know the actual price until after the survey is completed and it may be a price you are not willing to or cannot pay.

6) Number of surveyors:

How many asbestos surveyors would you expect on your asbestos survey? With the lower end of the asbestos surveying market virtually all asbestos surveys are undertaken by a single surveyor. With the slightly bigger to large surveys this creates challenges and will affect the quality of the survey.

Ask yourself, how can a surveyor safely climb a standard ladder to access high level without the ladder being footed? They cannot. On those larger surveys the information that is required to be collated is substantial if the survey is to be undertaken in line with legislative guidance.

Usually this entails one surveyor collating information, taking photographs, working on plans, and helping the lead surveyor where needed. The lead surveyor then has the required time to be able to effectively undertake the inspection process which is arguably the most important aspect of the survey. Identifying asbestos containing materials.

Your RISK: If your survey is carried out with not enough surveyors then there is a risk of the survey being substandard. This creates further risk due to unidentified asbestos materials. Additionally, there is a health & safety risk where lone working is happening on a project where it should not be. Although this is a risk primarily of the surveyor, should something happen in your building you may well leave yourself open to legal action.

Expected Cost / Price: Why is there a variation in expected prices?

This is the generally expected price and cost of an asbestos survey. This is where most quality organisations costs and prices of asbestos surveys are placed. So, with the expected price for an asbestos survey what should you be getting. You may need to enquire or take a good look at the survey quotation to make sure, however you should expect as a minimum:

  • UKAS Accreditation
  • Good P.I. Insurance (£5m)
  • No hidden extras (fully inclusive)
  • Good, experienced surveyors
  • Additional surveyors on Larger buildings
  • Good company structure (size, trading history)

The variation in this pricing column is usually down to these 3 items:

1) Age of the building:

One of the questions a good asbestos surveying company will ask when they are about to provide a price is “how old is the building”. The reason for this is that good asbestos surveyors can determine the likelihood of asbestos products within the building and potential quantity by its age of construction. The older the building the more likely that there will be many more types of asbestos materials in many more places than say a building constructed more recently. This means that the survey will take longer, it will be more complex and may require more than one surveyor.

2) Specific area asbestos surveys:

It goes without saying that where you do not require a whole building or site surveying then the cost will be reduced proportionately. Specific area asbestos surveys are generally required for localised areas of refurbishment or demolition prior to a project. Make sure when you ask for your price that the cost is only for the areas you wish to have surveyed.

3) Timing:

When it comes to asbestos survey prices and cost, timing is a big factor. Do not underestimate the value of great timing to the surveying company. Time is money and asbestos surveying is no different. If you are demanding a time or timing of the work that does not fit well with a company’s current workload then you can expect to pay a slightly higher price as they work to accommodate your demands.

On the flip side of this, let’s say the company is working on a certain day very close to the building you want surveying. If they ask and it can be done on a day that works for you and them, you will find the cost may well be reduced as the timing will save them time and money.

High Cost / Price: Why are there higher asbestos survey prices?

Generally, when a survey price falls into the high column it is due to extra services that you require with your survey. The following is a list of some of these extras. If they have been included and you have not asked for them it may be why your asbestos survey price is higher than expected.

If they are items, you required then this is why the survey cost has risen. There are many cost variations depending on the survey and building / site type. Here are the big 7:

1) High Level Items & Access:

Surveying companies normally include basic ladder access for surveys. This is enough for tall ceilings, first floor roofing such as garages and similar. When it comes to heights above a single-story specific access is needed. In the absence of high-level access, the surveyor will make appropriate presumptions or not include these areas in the survey.

You need to decide if you have high level areas which must be included within the survey and if you do, you need to make allowances for the cost of this access. This could be powered access or similar. This is a cost which is generally not included.

The only time a surveying company would normally include this is if you have made them aware of the need to inspect areas at this height. This is normally discussed during the information exchange when you are discussing your quotation. The prices for high level access vary dramatically and this will need to be assessed when you ask for your asbestos survey price.

2) Confined space & specialist access:

Part of the pricing stage of asbestos surveys will include asking about sub floor areas or underground ducts. In many cases these are not fully accessed by surveyors due to health & safety. They will make assumptions based on what they can see. This will be a problem for you if you have asbestos located within such areas.

If a survey company has included confined space access within their price this can be an expensive add on. That is the same for any specialist access. If the site has other health & safety sensitive areas. Check that this has been included if you need it and that it has not if you do not.

3) Out of hours working:

It may be that you need the asbestos survey undertaking when the building is empty. Or it may be that you need the survey carried out at a particular time. If this is one of your requirements and it involves asbestos surveyors being on site outside of normal working hours Monday to Friday, this can have an impact on your survey price and increase cost.

4) Making good and reinstatement:

During refurbishment and demolition surveys damage to the fabric of the building will happen. Some companies include this already within their survey cost. However, you may not need it. It could be that damage to the building is not a concern for you.

If that is the case, check to see if it has been included and ask to have it removed. Generally, however this is not included. The quotation will warn you of damage to the building. If the building is going to be occupied after the survey you may want to have making good and reinstatement works included. If you do then this will increase the cost of the survey as it will require additional time, materials, and labour.

5) Quick site attendance and report turnaround:

One of the most asked questions when pricing for asbestos surveys is “how quick can the survey be done and how fast can I have the report”. If you require super-fast survey work and reports or results returning very quickly then this will increase the cost of the survey. Many organisations offer a super-fast turnaround service; however, this involves a lot of coordination and additional work which will affect the survey price.

6) Air testing:

Air testing is not a requirement for an asbestos survey. However, if the building you are having surveyed is or will be occupied then an asbestos air test can be a great way for you to put people’s minds at ease. During a refurbishment or demolition survey there will be intrusive works. If the building is known to contain asbestos, then questions of safety may be asked.

Although these can be answered by a competent surveying company nothing speaks louder and gives more confidence than a certificate showing the cleanliness of the air within that building. During and after the asbestos survey. If you would like an asbestos air test as part of your asbestos survey, then the cost and price of the survey will increase.  

7) Location:

If your site requires extensive travelling time for the surveyors, then this will be additional time that your survey will take to complete. This additional time and expense around travelling will increase your survey cost. This is usually avoided by those surveying organisations that cover the whole of the UK. These types of organisations will already have included travelling within the general cost of survey work. In addition, many organisations of a larger size covering the UK will have surveyors located in many areas and as such travelling time is not generally a concern.

For a fast & free asbestos quote call
0844 800 0801 or request your quote online.

Providing a Nationwide Service From Our Strategically Placed Offices Throughout the UK