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Why Choose James Ross & Co Ltd?

No sub-contractors

Stephen Howes will carry out the survey. No trainees, sub-contractors, recently qualified surveyors or inexperienced employed staff will be used.

Readable and Easily Understood Reports

One of the strengths of our reports, which is often noted in our feedback, is that they read well and are understandable. We try not to use jargon, and instead use laymen’s terms in referring to building elements, their condition and defects found.

We are not alarmist

Some building surveys read as documents of doom. Many references are couched in the gravest terms, with a numerous recommendations that estimates are obtained, without any clear need, to the point where people are sometimes put off a property purchase for no good reason. Of course defects need to be detailed and explained, but if the property is in good condition or has some positive features, then these should be pointed out as well.

Relevant Experience

Stephen Howes, prior to 2006, worked for 20 years in London, carrying out building surveys, but was primarily engaged in refurbishing Victorian properties. This experience in taking buildings apart and putting them back together again gave a depth of knowledge of building pathology. This has proved invaluable in making an accurate assessment of the condition of a property, from external signs that may be concealing other, more important internal matters of concern.
In addition, he has obtained a post-graduate Diploma in Building Conservation under the auspices of Reading University, one of the first chartered building surveyors in the country to obtain such a qualification.


Stephen Howes, like every other chartered building surveyor, has to undertaken a minimum of 20 hours CPD (Continuing Professional Development) each year, in order to continue to practise as a chartered surveyor.

In addition, mandatory insurance has to be held as a chartered surveyor, with indemnity cover in place of £1,000,000.

Number of Instructions Undertaken

There are some chartered surveyors who manage to do two surveys per day. In our opinion, that can only be achieved by putting in 14 hour days, or alternatively, cutting some corners.

We only undertake one survey per day, which allows the inspection to take place without any undue stress or time pressure. It also gives the appropriate time period to allow for reflection and consideration in putting the report together.