The Civic Centre of Canberra.


The Purpose of The Inspection

The Building Inspection in ACT and Canberra, and New South Wales has a purpose to have someone who is external to the property transaction, look at the property, and state if it represents what both parties believe the transaction is about.

Most sellers are really only trying to get what their property is worth, and most buyers are only willing to pay what its real value is.  Many people in such a transaction are motivated by money.  The person representing the seller, wants to get a sale as they get a percentage of the sale.  So where does that leave the buyer?

Traditionally it has been a builder or architect who was relied upon to walk through a property and see if it was what the prospective buyer wanted. But times have changed.

In the Australian Capital Territory it was legislated to make it compulsory to have all houses that were being sold to have a building inspection.  That inspection is to find out if the property is really what is being claimed.

How The Inspection Occurs

First the inspector has to check for structural defects.  As a builder these are simple enough.  These defects are shown with cracks and the like.  Of course all buildings crack when they have masonry and concrete.  Cracking also occurs when soils move or shrink as water leaves it.  Some cracks open and close as the seasons change.  Bricks grow as they absorb moisture.  Concrete shrinks as it dehydrates and moisture leaves it. So an inspector has to know what all these are and why the cracks in front of him exist.  A structural crack once found, needs to have the reason why it is there if found.  If the inspector needs a more informed opinion, such as from a structural engineer and the like, then he must inform the client and ask the client to pay for that.

Timber is also checked for sagging, and it also changes as it loses moisture.  It will also bend under pressure.  You will often see a roof sagging.  The inspector cannot predict what the roof will do but he can report what he sees with no other evaluation, other than it may or may not need a more informed opinion.

The inspector will look for sags in the ceiling, gaps in walls and roof and timber.

We also check most appliances.  Do they work or not.  We cannot say if they work well or not.  But we can test if they warm up or not turn on.  We can check the electrical points.  Do they work when turned on?  Not all will in some old houses.  Does the hot water work.  The air-conditioning, does it turn on?  Does it heat, and so on. We do not check washing machines, driers or dishwashers. The client needs to do that upon his house visit.

This was used to support an outside roof.

Fungal decay from water entering outside, or termites? You have to know.

Inspectors are not plumbers so we do not test pressure. We do not say if the drains are clear, but we can say if we see a blockage.  But we can see a leaky tap, or a tap that does not flow. We can see water go down the bath drain, but we do not let the water drain through for very long.

Clients are very proud of having a house well represented.  So, before your inspection for sale, we ask that you check all your power outlets and if they work or not. Same with your taps.

You can help your sale inspection this way.

The inspection is non-intrusive which means we do not gouge or dig.  We also do not move furniture.  If there is a cabinet up against a wall, we do not move it.  We might pull out a moisture-meter to test it, if we are suspicious.  We will note readings, and we may ask that someone else move the furniture.  I think you get the idea.

We take many photographs.  Especially if areas that are closed off, like a garage of junk that prohibits a proper inspection.  Same with under the house or in the roof.  If we fail to get the right access, we photograph it, and note it in the report.

And if we find a leaky tap, I generally ask the home owner if they want to get it fixed by their plumber and when ready I will come back. And if good, it does not go on the report.

I work on the Golden Rule. I will do for others what I hope they would also do for me. I do not charge for that extra service of returning – once. But if there are multiple returns, I think it fair that the client pays some more.

I only once returned twice.  The house had someone elderly who was really wanting it done well, and he was working on it.  I did not charge extra as it was close by.

Also understand that I also would like the buyer to walk down the street one day, and meet the seller again, shake hands and both be very proud of the sale and purchase they made.  If that happens, then I am happy.  So, while my reports are short and easy to read, being a checklist, I really look hard for both parties.  As I point out to the seller, they would want the next inspector to do the same for them, when they are buying, wouldn’t they?  Oh, and yes, I wrote all the text and made this website. I also write books.  I do not crave to write long building reports.  There are other people who like reading what I write.

Press here for a sample download of the report style, without photos: 

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

The inspector has to know why this is happening.

Asbestos roofing shingles coming lose over a shopping complex.

Call us today for your next Building Inspection.

We can answer questions and schedule a time if you wish.

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