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What Does A Building Inspector Inspect?


Good question. To the new home buyer a building inspection can seem like an added expense which they could do without. But the reality of the situation couldn't be further from the truth.

In fact, a building inspection done correctly can save you making a mistake purchasing a dodgy property and a whole lot of heartache if things go pear shaped after the sale.

A building inspector checks the property throughout and looks for telltale signs of any problems with the way the dwelling is built, the foundations and the interior. If there is a problem with the way the house is built and there is a chance it might be dangerous, a suitably qualified building inspector will likely uncover the issue before it becomes your living nightmare.

The fee you pay your inspector for your pre purchase inspection or pest inspection will be worthwhile if anything is uncovered, and will give you peace of mind if the property is in good shape. Either way, its best to know what lies below the surface of your new home or commercial premises.

Contents of the Building Report

Some building inspection reports will adopt a standard format or use a comprehensive checklist while others will be individually tailored for each property. Photographs may or may not be included. The important thing is that the report complies with the Australian Standard (AS 4349.1).

The type of property goes a long way in determining the format and the amount of content that is contained in the report. Important features that are considered by the professional who is making the report include the size of property, the age of property, and the state of the property. These factors also go a long way in determining the cost of the report.

A building inspection report should include enough information for you to be aware of the property's condition and identify any significant problems. Th report is focused on making general visual inspection and does not take structural defects and other covert problems into account.

You can obtain additional reports that cover additional more details detail by employ the service of suitable professional such as pest inspector, structural engineer, Geo-technical engineer, surveyor, solicitor, electricity supply authority or water supply authority

General information contained in the report

The consultant making the report should make detailed inspection of all the visible parts of the property such as:

  • Interior parts of the building;

  • Exterior parts of the building;

  • The roof space;

  • The under-floor space;

  • Exterior parts of the root; and

  • The entire building site

Besides the items in the list above, you can also request that the following items be inspected by the inspector:

  • Visible signs of asbestos deterioration;

  • The presence of functional electrical safety switch system; and

  • Functional smoke alarms.

The site

A building inspection report will usually take the under-listed into consideration during the inspection.

  • Garage, carport, and garden shed;

  • Separate laundry room or toilet;

  • Small retaining walls that are non-structural;

  • Steps in the building;

  • The fence of the building;

  • The surface water drainage;

  • Storm-water run-off systems; and

  • Paths and driveways within the property.

Make sure you specify any particular items or areas on the site that you want to be inspected.

Other report details

The under-listed are usually included in a building inspection report.

  • Name of the person who ordered the inspection;

  • The address of the inspected property;

  • Reason for the property inspection;

  • Date when the inspection was carried out;

  • Scope of the building inspection;

  • A list of parts of the building that was excluded from the inspection, the reasons for the exclusion and recommendation for further investigation (if required);

  • The synopsis of the overall condition of the property;

  • A list of existing problems that should be fixed; and

  • Where necessary, a recommendation of further inspection by other accredited specialists such as pest inspector, electricity supply authority, water supply authority, structural engineer, Geo-technical engineer, surveyor or solicitor.

The report summary

The summary is arguably the most important aspect of the report. It does give a brief synopsis of all the major faults that are found in the property, and an overview of its overall condition in view of the property type and age.

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