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This Report can be long.

It is an important Inspection.

The Practical Completion Inspection is offered at the end of construction. It can be after the house is built or it can be after the unit is finished. In both cases the person has bought a home and it is finished.

The home may be a unit bought off the plan or the home may be one that the owner commissioned a builder to build.


If the home is bought off the plan the building developer may call this a Pre Settlement Inspection.

This name is selected as the building is not really finished. The garages are possibly not finished, the stores areas are not finished, and often the inspector is not invited down there to view the basements. Also the building entry and foyer may still be a building site. Often the community landscaping may not have started yet.

But the unit itself is ready to be inspected. And by inspecting it the owner is attesting that the property is finished and completed inside.


Please know that your inspection of 90 days afterwards – either after this inspection or after you move in – is not the same inspection. If you have accepted the painting standard now, having inspected it, it does not mean you can come along ninety days later, now having lived there, and now bring up all those things you should have brought up before.

The ninety day inspection, unless written otherwise into the contract, if for those parts of the building that have failed in the first ninety days. In the pre-settlement inspection you have approved of the standard, except what you nominate to be fixed, when you sign over that inspection.


So if you do not think the painting is good and you do not like the tile grout smudges, and you do not approved of the scratches on your sliding door frames, note that if you have already approved of those earlier, it will be hard to get the builder to fix these later. And, unless you have a contract that says you can look and revisit all those same defects again, it is very probable that you cannot, regardless of what someone might tell you verbally.

The reason is simple. This inspection is done when there is still a building site. Elevators are dedicated to building. Teams of painters and the like are there fixing other units up. It is not expensive to fix these faults when the same people are doing dozens of others. But after the building has been handed over to occupation, the costs to fix have trebled, or maybe are even ten times more. So, please make sure you take full advantage of this inspection opportunity.

Also, always get what is said put in writing if someone tells you otherwise. And that means that if the other party will not do that, then you put it in writing what was said and you send that to the other party.

Further, if in doubt, please consult your attorney.


This inspection if for homes that are practically complete. It is a very legal definition. It is when the building – for all extent and purposes – is livable in a practical sense.

For example, a building without fly wire windows is not practical to live in. Nor is a home without its taps. The same goes for having lights that work, smoke alarms working or even having a driveway.

A good definition of practical is: of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.

This stage does not mean that the building is completely finished. But it seems to be finished, and it seems that one can now take it as finished and it can be occupied even though things will be found to fix.

To help with this we have an inspection. And in it we will include all those things we find that do not comply with standards. We photograph the things that are not finished. We put them in the report. It can be what we have mentioned, but it can also include scratches, chips, and obviously defective tradesmanship.


If the painter left drips on the skirting, that need top be fixed. If a door does not close it needs to be fixed. And, if the screen doors are scratched they need to be repaired. A general easy to understand rule for the builder would be, what would he think if he was the client? Would he accept that work for his own home? Honest people understand this. And that is most of us.

Even if you are being seen through the property by a representative of the builder, most understand as they are people too, and they all want nice homes to live in.


Note that most builders are generally good. It is not easy to get that license. Some will have a rule, just keep the client happy and give them what they want. For some, reputation is important – and it should be. Some however will be tighter. Some might also be going bankrupt. You just do not know.

So, there are codes that tell you what you can ask for to be fixed. We generally just stay inside those codes.

And above all, understand that not all people are perfect. Build that into the equation as well. The inspection is $547 plus GST.

One last thing to remember is this. There is a Building Certifier, and what he does is certify that the building is built to the building codes. He is also on your side, even if employed by the builder. Do not be afraid to contact him. See more here.

We hope this page helps you.

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

Canberra building inspector pictured.

Call us today for your next Special Building Inspection.

We will answer your questions. All Building and Pest Inspectors are registered here at Access Canberra. Our number is 111.

  • 0418-388-911