BUILDING INSPECTIONS ACT & CANBERRA

Selling or Buying your Home? Need an Inspection?

Many Building Inspectors are not Registered Builders. But we are.

Our specialty is Pre-Purchase Vendor Inspection packages.  House Inspections are what we mostly do.  First, we need to stress that we are here to help you.  Yes, we get paid. But we actually want to help.  So if you are not happy in any way, let us know, please.  If you are not satisfied by our ACT Building inspections report, please say so.  Integrity is vital to life.  We can inspect your home, shop, home unit, partial build, offices, medical centres, and anything you think you can use us for.  We have even provided expert witness testimony.

In ACT  any house to be put on the market must have its package of home inspections.  This applies to townhouses as well.  The five inspections are listed below. Other states do not have this, but here in ACT it is the vendor who must supply these.

So, for home units, most apartments and flats, the purchaser arranges all these as they need them.  The vendor however must still get the below energy rating done in ACT.

Here are the five:

1. ACT Building Inspections

The inspection is mostly about the workability of the of the house in relation to its age.  A forty year old house is viewed differently to that of a two year old house.  The structural integrity is looked at, as does the workability of the electrical; and plumbing items.

An illegal brick underpinning of house in NSW.

On the right is a correct pier. On the left is a pier that is dangerous and was only one of several hastily put together. 

We turn on and off power points and stoves and ovens and hotplates. We do not test dishwashers.  We check that lights turn on and off. Do the smoke detectors work?  For the seller it assists his sale price when the buyer knows the house works.  Most people are proud of their homes.  And if they need help on how to fix some of these items, we can give free advice.  We can also give free referrals too. For more information: SEE THIS PAGE

2. The Termite and Timber Pest Inspection

Here we cover all timber pests, meaning fungi, borer, termites and so on.  With the cold the wood sometimes rots as it freezes and expands.  We need to also look out for termites and that they stay out of our home and do not breed next to us.  Fortunately the cold can keep the termite problems down.

Borers in trees also have to be reported.

The inspection will also mention materials found conducive to termites living there or being food for termites.  Damp areas in the house are looked at.

Timber Pest inspections should also include not just current termites and other timber pests. The reports should also include previous damage found, and what is seen as conducive material that would encourage future attack. Such conducive material should include stacks of untreated timber, areas that are damp under a house, as termites like damp areas. Plus one should report on any materials found in construction that are untreated.

The fungal attack had collapsed the fence.

Fungal decay causes backyard fences to fall apart. This is not uncommon, but must go in the report.

It should be noted that as vigilant and as professional as one can be, termites have survived through hiding.  An unobtrusive inspection has its limits.  Furniture can hide pests.  The inspector does not have a duty to move furniture, timber, bricks or anything else.  He may however note what he could not see and why and then recommend n intrusive test.  But in saying this the inspectors we have are good and will spot well what is there to be observed. For more information: SEE THIS PAGE

3. The ACT Energy Efficiency Rating

This is a report from a program that has been around for many years.  There are different versions.  The one we use is an older version called First Rate Four.  It is the fourth edition of the First Rate software.

As homes are newer, they have been built with more energy efficient materials and designs. The report has a section that shows how an owner can also increase the energy efficiency of their home. All this is so a buyer can evaluate one home to another and know what he i=or she are buying in relation to energy efficiency. The report has stars and a three star property is not as energy efficient as a four or five star property. There is no room for the building assessor to evaluate the report. it is simply what it is. For more information: SEE THIS PAGE

Insulation has blown away from the roof.

Much of this blown-in insulation has blown out over the years. It might state 75 mm on the plans, but there is 25 mm or less now.

4. The ACT Compliance Report

This inspection is to look at what was approved by the ACT Planning Authority, and compare it to what is there on the block of land.  Were all building additions approved?  Were all the changes approved?  And sheds and pergolas, were they are approved or were they exempt from approval.  It is all evaluated and put into the report.  The report is precise and what is looked for is no unapproved structures on the site. For more information: SEE THIS PAGE

5. The ACT Conveyancing File.

Then once all the above is done, the building file history summary is supplied by us, to you, from ACTPLA. The vendor then has a copy of this file in the contract. A copy should also be at the home so that prospective buyer can see in the report any items, and can compare it to what is really there on site. This is a summary of all the pages of plans, with their respective approvals stamped on them.  For more information: SEE THIS PAGE

REQUEST A BUILDING INSPECTION

Should you wish, read what you need, and request us to call.

Mid or finished Building? Need an Inspection?

PRACTICAL COMPLETION INSPECTIONS

Practical Completion Inspections are done when the building is livable in, and the work is practically complete. It is the most common form of construction inspection. It is a legal term. When builders hand over the building at this stage they can get their last large payment.

There are two major types of practical completion inspections. They are:

The Home Unit when it is bought-off-the-plan.

The House at construction end.

Units Off-The-Plan

When a person buys a unit off-the-plan there are many advantages.  But for the building, he is not dealing with the builder, but rather he is dealing with an agent, representing the developer or the real estate company.  This is very different to building a house.  We would recommend that all buyers get an inspection. That is our experience.  And some buyers are bullied when they want to have the time needed to see the property properly.  Our inspectors will not be bullied by builders or developers.  We have been there ourselves.  We know what is going on. And that property is going to get its inspection.  If it takes time, a lot of time, that is because of the errors found that need to be fixed.

Staged Inspections

These inspections start with the builder and client working together.  And why not.  A good set of inspections tends to apply a little ethical pressure on the builder to do better than he would if he was left to deal with the client alone.

Years gone by it was the architect who was this role, working between builder and client.  Without this third party role relationships can get strained.  Our job here is to help the client and builder have more trust in each other and bring the building to an ethical construction solution.

The house builder is expected to attend the practical completion inspection, and it is necessary for the inspector to make sure these two parties are working together.

The inspector is not there as an opponent to the builder.  The home is benefited by both parties working together and that is what we want as an inspector.  And we will also be mediators if needed.

Water is under the house footing in Canberra

This water under the footing is 70 mm in. 

If the builder is not present then the inspection is done just matter of fact and all items noted. It was noted that in one inspection the drawings showed underfloor insulation, but upon inspection, it was missing.  The reports can be heavily documented with photographs and be dozens of pages long.

Special Inspections

These are anything from legal needs, insurance, court attendance, a call out for a second opinion, just to know what is happening with their house.

Water damage to a ceiling and wall.

This client just wanted to know, what was this water from.

Commercial Inspections

Commercial inspections can be of a shop or a a medical centre.  These are not uncommon. If they are existing buildings they can be a swiftly inspected, as shops and offices are open, without furniture, with little vegetation.

They can be factories, small or big, but if big they may also need an engineer or a professional roofing plumber.

They can also be a development off-the-plan.  This gets more complicated as that requires plans, and what the person contracted to buy. It always includes looking at common areas, as do existing shops and offices.  Also SEE THIS PAGE.

New South Wales

We go to nearby New South Wales.   We inspect in Boorowa, Bungendore, Cooma, Googong, Goulburn, Gungendai, Harden, Jindabyne, Murrembateman, Queanbeyan, Sutton, Tumit, Wagga Wagga, Yass and so on regularly. We will do farm sheds too. We have been to Sydney. 

We will list all the suburbs here where we love to inspect: Aranda, Cook, Charnwood, Belconnen, Bruce, Evatt, Florey, Flynn, Frazer, Gungahlin, Giralang, Grace, Hawker, Hall, Holt, Kaleen, Kippax, Latham, Lawson,  Macgreggor, Maqckeller, Macquarie, Ngunnawal, Nichols, Woden, Palmerston, Write, Tuggeranon and their nearby areas.

AUTHORITY FORM

The ACT Planning Authority (ACTPLA) need from every inspector a signed authority by the vendor.  It needs to be downloaded, filled in, and returned.  The form then goes to the ACT Planning Authority so that we can pay for the conveying package and complete the inspection.

Download the Authority Form here

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

It is a matter of insurance protocol that you have, or have access to, the Terms and Conditions which are being used here for all Building Inspections.  They are being presented here on the first page of the website.

Download the Terms and Conditions here

Please, download the above two PDF files, by clicking on each DOWNLOAD… separately.

Additionally, visit our DOWNLOAD PAGE and select the PDF files from there. This includes sample reports.

All inspections are done by Nick Broadhurst, our inspector. SEE MORE HERE

Phone me, and I’ll answer all your questions.  0449 543 682

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Inspection Types

Most Building Inspections in Canberra are the mandatory seller residential Pre-Inspection Reports legislated by the ACT government. But there are others. There are those who prospective buyers initiate themselves. And there are also commercial inspections of varying degrees. And there are people who just need help from someone who knows.

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Cottage in the countryside for inspection.

Residential

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House completion for inspection at lock-up stage.

Construction

Completion

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Inspection site of a Commercial property in ACT and Canberra.

Commercial

Property

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