• Preliminary site visit. It is always advisable to complete a brief site visit before commencing the survey. This is normally essential to cost survey work, but a preliminary visit is essential in understanding access requirements or restrictions, and the general approach to the survey.
• Research. Review of extant condition survey reports and archaeological papers and reports before commencing the survey provides background understanding. Archaeological excavation reports are particularly useful, since they frequently provide a baseline of condition to understand the rate of decay of the buildings.
• Drawings. Obtain drawings of the site in advance of the survey so that working drawings may be prepared for use on site.
• Identify source and availability of materials. It is not always possible to identify the construction materials before commencing the site survey but it can be useful, especially if the original materials are no longer available, since this may influence the approach to repair which is developed during the survey.
• Prepare survey record sheets. Record sheets used to record survey information should be prepared in advance, particularly tabulated record sheets for a schedule of defects.
• Backup records. Always take at least one spare set of record sheets, drawings and notebook.
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