CANBERRA BUILDING INSPECTIONS ACT, & NSW

Selling or Buying your Home? You Need an Inspection now? Try My Canberra Building Inspections ACT.

0418 388 911

Open Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Often Building Inspectors are not Registered Builders, but at My Canberra Building Inspections ACT we are.

At My Canberra Building Inspection ACT our work is in ACT, Canberra and nearby NSW.  We do house inspections in the main. However, we also inspect houses, home units, townhouses, shops, offices, and factories.

Plus, we inspect almost anything you think you can use us for.  We also provide expert witness testimony.

The Legislated House Inspection Package

In ACT, any house put on the market must have its package of building inspections.  However, this can apply to some townhouses as well.  The four inspections in the sale package for ACT are listed below. Other states do not have all this exactly.

It is the vendor who must supply these in ACT. Our price for this package is from $1,447 plus GST of 10%. See our pricing page for more information. However, our prices are for average sized properties in an average condition. Contact us at My Canberra Building Inspections ACT.

So, for home units, most apartments and flats, the purchaser arranges all these as needed.  However, the vendor of these 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 slightly differently to that of a two year old house.  The structural integrity is looked at, as is a basic workability of the electrical and plumbing items.

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. However, we do not test dishwashers, farm pumps or solar panels.  We check that lights turn on and off. Do the smoke detectors work?  Though, we do not test NBN or security.

For the seller all this assists their sale price when the buyer knows the house works.  Most people are proud of their homes.  If a seller needs help on how to fix some of these items, we can give free advice.  We can also give free professional handyman referrals. See this page.

Our price for just the home inspection alone is $597 plus GST for an average size house.

2. The Termite and Timber Pest Inspections

Here we cover the mandated timber pests, meaning fungi, borer, termites and so on.  With the Canberra cold the wood also sometimes rots as it freezes and expands.  We need to also search for termites, and that they stay out of our home. No one wants an infestation.  Canberra and rural New South Wales are high risk termite prone regions. Fortunately, the cold can keep some of the termite problems down.

Borers in trees also have to be reported.

The inspection will also mention materials found conducive to having termites live there, or being food for termites.  Damp areas in the house are looked at. Please consider valid all warnings in our reports.

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

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

Access Restrictions

The report should note the site access and its limitations. Termites have often survived through hiding.

This is a visual inspection only. However, an unobtrusive inspection has its limits.  Furniture can hide pests.  And 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. Then he can recommend an intrusive test if needed.  But in saying this our inspector is professional. For more information: See this page.

Our price for the Building and Timber Pest Package is $847 plus GST. This also applies to nearby NSW as well as ACT.

3. The ACT Energy Efficiency Rating

This is a report from a computer-program, of which there are different versions in Australia.  Contact us and we will give you our best advice. It is part of the overall mandatory building inspection package for ACT. Those who do the ratings are Building Assessors. Why pay more?

Why The EER report

Newer homes have been built with more energy efficient materials and designs. The report also has a section that shows how an owner can increase the energy efficiency of their home. This is so a buyer can evaluate one home from another. Thus a buyer knows what he or she is buying in relation to energy efficiency.

The report gives ratings in stars. For example, a three star property is not as energy efficient as a four or five star property. There is little room for the building assessor to evaluate the report. It is simply what it is. For more information: See this page.

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

4. The Compliance Summary Report

This inspection is to look at what was approved by the ACT Planning Authority, now known as Access Canberra. In New South Wales we do these reports. We simply compare what was approved to be there to what is there now. Were all building additions approved? Were all the backyard changes approved? Such as the sheds and pergolas, were they approved or are they exempt from approval? This is all evaluated and put in the report. The report is precise.

We can also do these for commercial buildings. Just ask.

What is looked for are added  unapproved-structures on the site. This affects the buyer, by way that insurance companies generally will not insure added unapproved structurers. For more information: See this page.

This inspection is part of the overall overall mandatory building inspection package for ACT.

Commercial Compliance Summary Reports

The Compliance Summary Report is also recommended for all major commercial building inspections. But you must ask for it. Please read this Compliance Summary Report page to understand more.

Some councils make this easy, but the smaller the council in NSW the more difficult it might be. Access Canberra is easy to work with. Why pay more?

5. The ACT Conveyancing File

Then, once all the above is done, the building file history summary is supplied by us, to you. We buy this from Access Canberra and supply a copy of it to you. The vendor then has a copy of this file in the contract for the buyer. A copy should also be at the home during open house, so that any prospective buyer can see items reported. Thus, buyers can read the report and see how compares to what is really there on site.

This conveyancing file includes a summary of all the pages of building plans plans, with their respective approvals stamped on them.

For NSW councils it can be more difficult. However, we always advise that someone obtain these for any buyer. Even the buyer’s legal conveyancer can obtain these.

For more information: See this page.

Commercial Inspections

Commercial inspections can be, as examples, of a shop, motels, offices, factories, or even a medical centre.  These are not uncommon. We have inspected buildings up to ten stories. Existing buildings can be a swiftly inspected. Shops and offices are usually open, without much furniture, with little vegetation. But understand this is only a visual inspection. And it is not a Compliance Summary Report.

We also inspect factories, and even pups, small or big. But if big they may also need an engineer or a professional roofing plumber to check out the roofing. Such professionals will often be recommended on bigger properties with the applicable reasons for that property.

Commercial Inspections can also be a commercial development off-the-plan. This gets more complicated, as that requires plans to be sent to us, and what exactly the buyer is contracting to buy. This can also include looking at common areas, which we would normally not commission to do.  Also, see this page.

Generally a small shop costs $597 plus GST, but that can cost more depending on the building, its size, and where it is. We recently did a pub a few hours out from Canberra. Most often we work on an hourly rate and we do what you ask for, and if you want more, have questions, that is fine. We just do more work, on that hourly rate until all your questions are answered.

Special Inspections

These inspections are anything from legal needs, insurance, court attendance, a call out for a second opinion, just to know what is happening with their house. Generally these are $647 plus GST. The report writing is longer and the inspection needs more time on site explaining what is there, and why, with the client.

Some of these inspections are simply because the client is worried about some work done by others. Occasionally these inspections are done for legal cases and they cost more. Some are done for submitting to legal bodies in ACT or NSW. There is also Expert Witness testimony.

Please see this our prices page, and here: See this page.

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

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    Mid or finished Building? Need an Inspection? Try us at My Canberra Building Inspections ACT.

    Practical Completion Inspections

    Practical Completion Inspections are done when the building is livable in. The construction work is practically complete. This is the most common form of construction inspection. Practical Completion is a legal term. When builder hands over the building at this stage he can get his last large payment. It is a common sense inspection and and at My Canberra Building Inspections ACT we prefer if the builder is there. See this page

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

    The House at Construction End

    This is $597 plus GST. This can also be simply called a Practical Completion Inspection.

    Units Off The Plan: The Pre Settlement Inspection

    This can be a multi storey unit off-the-plan. The cost is $577 plus GST.

    Or it can be a single or two or three storey townhouse, or row house. These are $597+ GST

    When a person buys a multi storey unit off-the-plan there are advantages.  But for the building, he is most likely not dealing with the builder. He is often dealing with an agent representing the developer. Or they represent a real estate company.  This is different to when building a house.

    We recommend all buyers get a building inspection. That is our experience.  Some buyers are bullied when they want to have the time needed to see the property properly.  Our inspector will not be bullied by builders or developers.

    Experience

    We have been there.  Also, 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.

    Please note that we do not inspect your contracted legal inclusions lists. That is up to the client. Rather, we inspect that inclusions work, per our Terms and Conditions. We expect you to know what you bought, and for you to be there at the inspection as well. See this page

    90 Day Defects Liability Inspection

    When you want a Ninety Day Defects Liability Inspection, the cost is $597 plus GST.

    This 90 day inspection is for defects that have occurred, or become evident, after the you have taken over the building. Understand, by accepting the building, and paying for it, to gain access, you have usually accepted it as it is. It is generally too late to suggest that it should be rebuilt etc.

    The Practical Completion Inspection is usually your last chance to say that the building should have been built better. Now we are just looking at how defective it has become in the last 90 days.

    But this inspection is important.

    90 Day General Exclusions

    A 90 Day Defects Inspection is for those things that went wrong after being built. Those things have gone defective, or fixtures that were defective are valid here. Downpipes drop. Skirting and architrave crack. Doors do not close as well. Fences move and gates drop. And there is more. These all need fixing.

    Paint that is flaking, degrading, is valid. Runs and dribbles found, usually are not valid. Paint runs should have been picked up in the Practical Completion Inspection. But, if something is found against the building codes regards structure, it is still valid.

    If you are not sure which is which, and you have not signed up, get your lawyer to make an easy-to-understand clause on which is which for you. But also keep in good with your builder. His reputation is important to him.

    Most want to do well for you, in exchange for a good reputation. A good reputation is always good business.

    Staged House Inspections

    Have as many Staged Inspections as you need through your house construction. See this page.

    These inspections start with the builder and client working together.  And why not?  A good set of inspections can apply ethical pressure on the builder and then the trades, to do better than they would if it was just left to the client alone.

    Architects and Inspections

    Years gone by it was the architect who had this role, working between builder and client.  The architect has all but gone. Without this needed third party role, relationships between builder and client can get strained.  At this construction stage, their job was to help the client and builder have more trust in each other, and bring the building to an ethical conclusion.

    The Specific Staged Inspections

    All building stages are effectively below. But having an inspection at each stage may not really be needed. It all depends on the size of the home you are building. The bigger the house, the more stages.

    1. Slab Stage
    2. Frame Stage
    3. Façade Stage
    4. Roof Stage
    5. Lock Up Stage
    6. Pre Lining Stage
    7. Fit Off Stage
    8. Fixture Stage,
    9. Painting Stage, and then
    10. Practical Completion Stage.

    For an average sized new home, a useful series of inspections might be: a slab inspection, a frame inspection, a lock up inspection, then the practical completion inspection. But these can vary depending on the building size and your needs. Also, one project home builder has a different administration system from another. So, you tailor the above to your needs.

    The first inspections do not need anyone else there with the inspector. But, a home builder representative is expected to attend the Practical Completion Inspection.

    Some of these stages can be joined. And so can the inspections. You make that decision.

    General Strategy

    Our inspector is not there to oppose the builder.  Your future home is benefited by both parties working together. That is what we want as an inspector.  We will also be mediators if needed. The inspector has also worked for younger builders who wanted to make the certifier tougher.

    This water under the footing is 400 mm in and needs an engineer to give the direction. 

    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 long.

    When found, exposed reinforcing, such as under this two storey house, needs a two-pack epoxy structural grout, covering it to the satisfaction of the engineer.

    Design Advice

    Before you start designing it would be a good idea to read the design advice in the Staged Inspections pages written above.

    If you are thinking of a flat roof, perhaps this is worth reading. See this page here.

    And if you are getting your contract ready, here is the page for Your Building Contract.

    From the Your Building Contract page you will find lots of useful advice. If you are going to build a house you need to read it. It will help you.

    Expert Witness Reports

    If you need legal reports please be sure to see the Expert Witness page.

    New South Wales

    We go to nearby New South Wales.   We inspect in Boorowa, Bungendore, Cooma, Googong, Goulburn, Gungendai, Harden, Jindabyne, Murrumbateman, Queanbeyan, Sutton, Tumit, Wagga Wagga, Yass and so on regularly. And we have even done Sydney home inspections. If there are other areas a few hours away, we will ask for remuneration based on the time and travel distance. 

    Canberra

    We will list all the suburbs here where we love to inspect: Aranda, Cook, Charnwood, Belconnen, Bruce, Denman Prospect, Evatt, Florey, Flynn, Frazer, Gungahlin, Giralang, Grace, Hawker, Hall, Holt, Kaleen, Kippax, Latham, Lawson,  Macgregor, Mackeller, Macquarie, Ngunnawal, Nichols, Woden, Palmerston, Taylor, Wright, Tuggeranong, Whitlam, Strathnairn and their nearby areas.

    Authority Form for My Canberra Building Inspections ACT

    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 for you.

    Download the Authority Form here.

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

    Terms and Conditions of My Canberra Building Inspections ACT

    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. Please visit our Terms and Conditions page of the website. These Terms and Conditions will be sent to you as a PDF when you seek to become a client or you can download them here. They are my expectation of what I am doing, when I am inspecting a property, so as to then be paid.

    Our Canberra building inspections are done by Nick Broadhurst, our inspector. See more about Nick.

    Please also support our site by giving it a like on Nick’s and our pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Instagram. Thank you. And we hope to hear from you.

    Phone me, and I’ll answer all your questions.  0418 388 911

    New image for Canberra building inspections.

    Inspection Types

    Most Canberra building inspections are the mandatory seller residential Pre-Inspection Reports as 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. Plus, there are the many staged construction inspections. And there are people who just need help from someone who knows.

    Cottage in the countryside for inspection for Canberra building inspections.

    Residential

    Pre-Purchase

    Inspections

    House completion for inspection at lock-up stage for Canberra building inspections.

    Construction

    Completion

    Inspections

    Inspection site of a Commercial property in ACT for Canberra building inspections.

    Commercial

    Property

    Inspections