Canberra Building Inspections. Looking down over Melba from its mountain.

Construction Stages

My Canberra Building Inspections ACT

Inspections per stage

What to Expect

During construction of your home you may wish an inspector to look at the house as it progresses before payment.

A builder will have his contract worked out so that he can progressively be funded through the construction.

After the deposit is paid the builder will then want to be paid during the following stages, or a variance of these following stages. They may be less stages too.

The Stages

  1. Deposit. Before signing, please read the Your Building Contract page.
  2. Concrete slab formwork and reinforcement prior to the pour, and another is offered after the pour.
  3. The wall frame is built and the roof frame is up. It is recommended to do an inspection for each floor if it is big.
  4. The bricks are up, windows in – Façade Inspection.
  5. Roof Inspection.
  6. Lock up.
  7. Pre-lining Inspection.
  8. Fixing and Fit Off – the fixing is finished. All the walls are lined and doors are in and skirting on, cabinets are in, and fixtures there.
  9. Practical Completion Inspection. The landscaping is done and the building has reached practical completion stage.
  10. The Ninety Day Liability Inspection is last, and after you have moved in and things may need fixing.

We offer inspections to match the above stages. Just follow the links.

Recommended Inspections

The inspections we highly recommend minimally are: Slab Inspection, Frame Inspection, Lock Up Inspection, Fixing and Fit off Inspection and Practical Completion Inspection.

Note that there is generally no roof, façade or painting inspection. Should the client require a full roof inspection the client should engage a separate roofer or roof plumber. This is especially recommended for flat or low pitched roofs, and roofing that cannot be viewed fully from the ground.

There will be varying changes to the above. Your house may have another floor for example. Or there may be another stage in there, or one less. We recommend that you get an inspection for each of your claims for payment by the builder. They are not expensive.

Plan Consultation

You also might want to have a consultation about your plans before you sign up. In that case I will go over all the different things that you might need to know and have worked out before you start. But most of that information is on this page, Your Building Contract. Please read it.

What to Look For

For example, do you have a timber floor under the top bathroom. Did you know it may not likely slope or drain as it will be flat? So if you want a bathroom floor to drain to the bathroom floor waste, you better include it in your contract.

And what are the reveals the builder will use in your robes? Will they be timber or a cheaper bent metal? Or perhaps there will be none at all.

More to Look For

And landscaping? Will it include trees? Are the path side bricks be cut at angles or just filled at joints?

And your windows sills, how will you want those bricks to look? Ordinary, the cheapest? Or something a bit more classic, such as soldier coursing? And what about the bricks over the lintels? Do you want the extremely ugly core holes just partially filled with mortar? Or do you want something looking a bit more classy? Perhaps solid bricks?

More to Look For

And your flat roof, with its box gutter – are you really sure it will not flood? Does it have its overflow pipes?

And that horizontal colourbond, beneath the windows, are you sure the water will be held out? What flashing is designed for it?

And what about your internal doors? Will the tops and bottoms be painted? The manufacturer may void his warrantee if the doors are unpainted on top and bottom. Many painters do not paint the door tops in Canberra.

And More to Look For

And what about the front timber threshold? It is nicely stained when it leaves the factory? Will it be repainted after the house is finished? Most likely it will not be, unless you specify it.

And what about your beautiful garage concrete floor? Will it be a rubbish pit and left stained and discoloured with plaster and cement? Most likely, unless you specify it. Will it be painted with concrete paint afterwards if damaged by house paint and trades etc?

Get it All listed in the Contracts

Many clients wish they had gotten what the builder was going to build ironed out before they contracted. So understand this. If you do not state exactly what it is you expect to receive in your specification, you may not receive it.

What We Do Not Do

What we do not do is measure up your building, check its sizes or setbacks against the plans. We may not necessarily see the slope of the concrete floor that wrong. We do not check if the plumbing pipes are free of blockage, or many of the myriad of things that the supervisor checks during the hundreds of days it takes to build.

What We Can Do if Asked

Of course, we can do all those above things if asked and paid for. We can engage surveyors and plumbers on your behalf and so on if asked. But what we do standardly, is that we go on the site, and look visually for things that are not there that obviously should be there. Or we look for things that are there that obviously should not be there.

We do not check your contract and what you are getting, and if it is there. We do not check if your special inclusions are good for you. On the day of the inspection we will look at what is there and if it seems correctly built by what we see.

We do our best, however we are not the supervisor. We are also not there everyday. But in saying that, we hope another set of eyes will help the supervisor, his job and thus help you, the client.

Regards Pricing

The inspections done here do not necessarily include the client at the inspection, or the builder. These are relatively quick inexpensive inspections, inspected between other inspections that day. There is no taking the client through the building site and explaining what is observed, as what is observed will be in the report. We do not do it twice.

Clients Attending

If the client wants to have a Special Inspection, with them being in attendance on the site at the same time as the inspection, that can be scheduled at the times of 10 am or 2 pm, and the price is as listed as an additional inspection. In this case the client makes the arrangements with the builder and any other accompanying people.

The Client’s Role

To keep the prices down for the Staged Inspection prices, the client contacts the builder for access, and we send the report that day after the inspection is done. That is usually what is done.

Our prices are displayed on the prices page here. They may rise as inflation goes up. There are no long-term fixed lump-sum amounts. It can take a year to build a house. Our Building Inspector is registered here at Access Canberra. No. 111.

You decide how many inspection reports you need and when you need them.

Contact Us

If you want our services, please send this in the contact details:

Your Name

Your Phone Number

Include your Builder’s Name and the Supervisor’s Name. Please also include his contact details: phone and email.

Your House’s Address.

Other relevant information.

Special Terms and Conditions for Staged Inspections

Having Enough Staged Inspections

1. Staged inspections are not difficult if they are done one stage at a time. But when an inspection is done on a building which has already passed several stages before the first inspection, then the inspection does become difficult. In such a case the inspector must then look at so many glaringly obvious unfinished parts of the build, and decide which are defects, and which are simply unfinished things the builder is obviously going to attend later.

As such, later stages of construction can obfuscate the errors of earlier stages. Unlike the builder and his supervisor who can be there every day, the inspector has to view and absorb in around an hour all that the builder and his supervisor have somehow missed.

Earlier Stages not Inspected

Thus, there are two things of note here now. When there are two or more stages to be inspected, the inspector will look at the last stage as the priority. If the inspector sees things in the earlier stages, he will note them. But the inspector will also recommend that an inspection be later done for the earlier stage or stages. This means, that the inspector will view the last stage, and anything else he finds, and return from site and make his report. But the inspector may also recommend returning to look specifically at any earlier stage(s) on another date.

The inspector hopes that the client will agree to have the inspector do additional inspections. The client would also thus then get invoiced for as many needed stages that are separately inspected.


2. Scaffolding must be completely assessable for the inspector to use. If upon inspection, the scaffold is not totally standardly built, then the inspection will be done without the use of that scaffold. The client will be invoiced fully, and expected to pay, even though the scaffold was not accessed. This may inhibit the inspection.

For one example, the inspector has found scaffold erected but the top floor access was through a top floor window over a void with no supporting access and people were expected to skip over the void below. On some other occasions the inspector has found ladders being used to access the different outside levels and the top floor inside, and the ladders were not standardly secured, but rather were fixed by twisting a thin bit of wire around a post. The inspector will not use such.

Scaffold Not Accessed

So, the inspector will not access scaffold when he feels the access is faulty. The client has a contract with the builder and that includes standard Worksafe conditions and building access on site. It is up to the client to ensure that scaffold access to the site is standard. If the inspector has to return after the scaffold is fixed and the building accessible, that will be another inspection and the client will incur another invoice.

Builder Permission

3. Please understand that the inspector will not go onto a building site that the builder has not given permission to do so. It is up to the client to get that permission.

Client Attendance

4. Neither the builder nor the client have to be present during an inspection, but they can be. It is up to the client to coordinate such. If the client wishes to be present they must have explicit approval from the builder to be there. The inspector cannot give that approval. Only the builder can.

5. Our inspector is not a Certifier. The inspector does not have any power or authority over the builder. Your Certifier and client do. It is advised that the client know who the Certifier is and his contact details.

Full List of Building Stages

Also see more about the full list of building stages and contracts below. We would recommend five of those be inspected. The bigger the house the more inspections we recommend you have.

     Your Building Contract

     Slab Inspection

…..Frame Inspection

…..Facade Inspection

…..Roof Inspection

…..Lock Up Inspection

…..Pre Lining Inspection

…..Fixing and Fit Off Inspection

…..Practical Completion Inspection

…..Ninety Day Defect Liability Inspection

Worksafe ACT

To report unsafe work practices, such as faulty scaffold, please contact Worksafe ACT.

We hope this page helps you.

Written by Nick Broadhurst, our inspector. For more information on Nick: See here

Nick Broadhurst building inspector on top of a roof.

Call us today for your next Building Inspection.

We will answer your questions. Our Building Inspector is registered here at Access Canberra. No. 111.

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