The Types of Inspections

Building Inspection Types

There are many types of Building Inspections.

Mostly in Canberra most building inspections are the seller Pre-Purchase inspection.  But there are several other types as well.

Basically, a builder, as a third party, can inspect anything you wish him to inspect.   Different states have different laws.  ACT is different to NSW.  We service both ACT and NSW.

Model house on drawings for inspections

In ACT it is compulsory for the vendor to complete a full inspection package and offer it to each prospective purchaser.  This includes all those listed on the front page. They are here linked to other pages in more detail: The Building Inspection. The Termite and Timber Pest Inspection. The Energy Rating. The Compliance Report.  And the Conveyancing File.

But in New South Wales the vendor does not have to do that.  Each prospective buyer needs to arrange their own.

EXISTING HOME INSPECTIONS:

The vendor package in ACT comprises the Building Inspection, the Timber Pest Inspection, the Energy Rating Assessment, and a Compliance Report, presented along with the current plans approved from the ACT Planning Authority.

Homes can be old homes, with heritage qualities to them.  They can be quite unique and joy to inspect.

It can be a new home, a home built twenty years ago or a country heritage home.  They will all have their unique problems, some which may or may not impact on the buyer after they sale. during their time they have been added to and changed.  Generally they are more difficult to inspect and buyers of older homes are more forgiving.

But when an older home has been renovated it sometimes needs a third party to inspect it.  Sometimes the builders are not real builders and they cut corners.  This happens.  Renovating old homes is not easy and a builder can get into cost troubles very quick and so can his trades people.

In the ACT houses must be inspected by law.  This does not work for apartments.  It is up the new purchasers, if they want. In this case it is the buyer who engages the inspector.  But apartments need energy ratings performed.

There are many types of other Building Inspections, and below is what happens when you build a new home.  You may need us, you may not.

NEW HOME BUILDING INSPECTIONS:

Not everyone wants a new home inspection.  Most builders are very ethical.  They really are.  So are tradesmen.  But sometimes the builds just starts to fall apart, and the relationship seems to not work, and the builder gets too much work.  His subcontractors seem to not be able to get to the project on time, and we have seen this when times are very busy.   At this time, you need an inspector.  The builder does not have enough resources to check all his work.

These inspections usually are the staged inspections for payment.  They usually do not include the footings or foundations.  But they could.  But for structural integrity, it is recommended an engineer do the inspection.  As a builder, that is what we normally do.  In inspecting footings and concrete we can insist that the builder supply the dockets stating the strength of the concrete.  But please note, an inspection is not supervision.  An inspection is a snapshot of what was there at that moment only.  So it is good to have an experienced builder.

And on a two story project there are stairs and the upper level to also check.  They are not easy to build but experienced builders do it easily enough.

As the roof frame goes on, or as the roof plate goes on for the roof, there is plate height.  And inspection can be done there.  And there can be one done at the roof itself.

Most likely there is one when the building is locked up.  This is the roof on, the windows in and the doors locked.  But the walls may not be lined.  It all depends on your contract.  And that can depend on your bank.  Usually it is called lock up stage.  The stages are exact, but approximate.  For example, the footings and concrete for the garage may be later.  But it will be outlined in your contract.

There is another term when it reached the fit-out, the walls are in, the cabinets are in and the power points and taps are in, but it is not really finishes as it is not painted.

Practical completion is the term used to mean that for all purposes it is finished, and can be lived in, but we all know there is more to fix as the building settles and so on.

It means the house is now occupiable.  This term is important as we have done inspections and found the house could not be occupied.  Technically the builder may not come back for another six months if it is handed over and the funds transferred and the water does not work, doors are jammed, and power points do not work and so on.  So, you really want to get this inspection done.

There will be the defects liability period after this, while you live in the house and you make note of what needs to be fixed after the six months.

Label showing free things for inspections

There are more building inspections and they apply to Commercial and Special Inspections.

OFFICES, FACTORY and SHOP INSPECTIONS:

Offices, like houses, should be inspected.  A person buying a commercial property may or may not feel comfortable signing off against a property.  An office needs to make sure the wiring, plumbing and sprinkler system works as best an inspector can inspect.  There are professionals that can inspect the fire services and plumbing, if there are needed questions.  Shops have the same needs. Factories as well.   Please do understand that we do not get on the roof.  If a roofer is needed we will call one in.  If a roof plumber is needed to inspect guttering more closely, again we will engage on, at the client’s extra expense.

HOME UNITS:

Home Units do not require a mandatory building inspection like houses do in the ACT.  But it is highly recommended that the inspector be called in at the Practical Completion stage.  Never have we found the inspection a waste of time.  Certainly there is more to fix that what the cost of the of of the inspection.  Canberra is going through a apartment boom right now and it seems the companies do not have the quality control that they once had.  For example we have found a light fixed in each garage five meters about the ground, unreachable.  The builder had to get the electrician to hang the light the correct way.  We found a bidet not working at all. And we found once a whole garage cracking at this stage.  We find doors too tight, or under sliding doors to the balcony where tiles were left out, and so on and so on.

SPECIAL INSPECTIONS:

These can be dilapidation reports, reports on property that may be hurt during nearby earthworks.  They may be inspections done for court cases, insurance works, or law firms.

Written by Nick Broadhurst, our inspector. For more information on Nick: SEE HERE