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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Survey Provider!

Updated: Jan 31

July 8, 2019

The SUMO Group has 139 years of combined survey experience, consistently aiming to reach the highest level of survey quality and customer expectations.

But, in our experience, many clients are wasting their time and money through their choice of survey provider. They often return to SUMO to help resolve subsequent survey issues. To avoid this problem, we’ve put together this Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Survey Provider, to equip you with the best knowledge when approaching a potential surveyor.

SUMO professional Survey

Any survey provider worth their salt will have the following attributes:

  • Full professional and commercial licenses to carry out survey work within the UK.

  • The Survey Association (TSA) membership

  • Accreditations including CHAS and Constructionline.

  • Surveyors will hold CSCS cards

  • Up-to-date DBS checks to work on certain projects such as schools or care homes.

Appropriate insurances for commercial purposes, with suitable levels of cover. As well as professional indemnity insurance

If you have any reservations about any of the above, then ask your survey provider to see documented proof of these attributes. Any quality survey practice will be more than happy to reassure you with documented evidence.

Electromagnetic Location (EML)

SUMO has seen it all…

By employing a diverse range of talent (in our opinion, some of the best in the industry) over our many years of commercial experience, we have seen our fair share of clients returning to SUMO after experiencing ‘survey disasters’ elsewhere. Whether the client was misinformed about the company they used, or the surveyor simply couldn’t work to the high standards that expected. Here are some of the problems/typical quotes that SUMO hears of when clients return to us:

“The water and gas pipes weren’t detected”. In practice, it is actually very difficult to trace water and gas pipes. Especially with the popularity of plastic piping increasing. This is because Electromagnetic Location (EML), which is typically used to trace pipes and cables are rendered ineffective when attempting to identify plastic water and gas pipes. To overcome this problem, SUMO uses Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). Many competitors don’t use it.

  • “Invert levels were not detailed”. This is the measurement to the bottom of the out-flowing pipe within a manhole, which SUMO always measures when a manhole is inspected.

  • “Low-quality drawings”. SUMO prides itself on producing the highest quality, multi-layered drawings, for ease of client understanding.

  • “Utility survey techniques were used in isolation with unclear results”. SUMO understands the limitations of individual methodologies and has developed the SUMO survey with multi-disciplined survey techniques. This equals a comprehensive utility survey service, which provides greater clarity.

  • "I paid more than the price I was quoted”. It is our experience that clients are often hit with unexpected additional costs. SUMO has worked hard with its in-house contracts team to ensure that the price quoted, is the price that you pay.

PAS 128 compliance
  • “Lack of experience”. Of course, this is something that can only be gained over time. SUMO has the advantage of 139 years combined survey experience. SUMO employs some of the industry’s leading talent, each with many years of respective survey experience.

  • “I don’t think the completed survey is PAS 128 complaint, despite requesting for PAS 128”. SUMO helped to co-author the PAS 128 specification and therefore is extremely knowledgeable about the specification and how to adjust the various levels of PAS 128 to suit client’s projects and needs. Often clients return to SUMO asking for the PAS 128 compliancy that they thought they would originally obtain. Alternative survey providers can simply lack the expert knowledge needed to deliver PAS 128 compliance.

  • “The survey didn’t meet my expectations”. It is our experience that many clients are promised ‘all bells and whistles’ when this may not be achievable on a site. At SUMO, we aim to be honest with our clients about the limitations of the survey techniques that can be used. Over the years, we have learnt that managing client expectations is the key to happy customers. This means everyone’s expectations are carefully met.

SUMO Survey

What should you do if you are not happy with the survey provided to you by your current supplier?

Always contact your survey provider if you are unhappy with, or unsure about any elements of your survey deliverable. Any professional surveyor will be able to explain their survey deliverable to you in a manner that avoids confusion. They can also deal with any issues that have arisen.

If this cannot be resolved, then it may be time to look elsewhere…

Why should you consider working with SUMO?

We are committed to maintaining the highest possible standards in all aspects of surveying. We pride ourselves on providing a survey solution that is individually tailored to your needs. We use our extensive experience to support you throughout the entire life-cycle of a project, from concept, planning, design, construction to completion.

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