Australian Home Inspections

WHEN CONSIDERING YOUR OPTIONS FOR HIRING A BUILDING INSPECTOR, ITS A GOOD IDEA TO PICK UP THE PHONE & HAVE A CHAT... ONLINE QUOTES & PRICES CAN BE QUICK & EASY, BUT IT DOESN'T TELL YOU MUCH ABOUT THE PERSON WHO YOU ARE TRUSTING TO HAVE YOUR BACK DURING ONE OF THE BIGGEST INVESTMENTS YOU'LL EVER MAKE... PICK UP THE PHONE & ASK THEM THE FOLLOWING:

1. Are You A Registered Builder

Contrary to popular belief, there is currently no licensing requirements for Building Inspectors in any state of Australia.   However, both the Building Commission (Dept of Commerce) & industry bodies (such as HIA & MBA) recommend that your building inspector should be a current registered Builder.

2. What insurances do you have?

Your Building inspector should carry both public liability & professional indemnity insurance. These insurances give peace of mind, and cover you as the purchaser in case the inspector misses any structural faults that would have otherwise stopped your purchase going ahead.

Indemnity is not as critical in new builds, as the builders indemnity insurance covers you for an additional 6 years after completion of your home & would take precedence here.

3. Are you still actively building?

Seems an unusual question to ask, but like any profession, often the best way to keep up with changes & trends is to be actively practising.  There are no requirements for on going professional development in building, however actively constructing projects keeps building inspectors up to date with both regulation & standard changes, as well as new techniques, trends & technologies entering homes.

4. What areas of the property are covered in your report?

Depending on the type of report, this can vary slightly... but generally a building inspection (whether new build or pre-purchase) should cover all accessible areas of the home... inside, outside, under & over.  

Things like out-buildings & pool areas may cost a bit extra to get inspected, but this is well worth the investment, as poorly constructed sheds & pool safety compliance issues can be costly to rectify down the road...  not to mention the potential risk to little ones if the pool fence is compromised.

5. Does that mean that you even get into the roof space & look around?

A building inspector wont knock holes in walls, or move furniture... however they should get the ladder out of the car & get into the roof space and walk around... checking structural members, plumbing, electrical & insulation for compliance & safety concerns.  Unless access size is specifically an issue, they should be up there having a good look around... your roof is one of the biggest sources of structural issues, and needs to be checked thoroughly... not just from the manhole.

6. How many times do you visit during a build?

When choosing an inspector for your new build, how many times they visit site during the construction can have a noticeable impact on the quality of your home.  Some inspectors will class only 3 or 4 visits as a full package, while others can visit your new home up to 7 times on a single storey & up to 10 times on a 2 storey throughout construction.

Also check what stages are covered... do they cover ALL progress draws for the build?   Do they come back after PCI to make sure all the rectifications have been carried out correctly? Don't be left wondering if everything's fixed once you have the keys!  

As you can imagine, what gets measured gets results, so wherever possible opt for as many inspections throughout your build as possible.  This means rectifications can be monitored as the building progresses, rather than potential problems being covered up with finishes before fixes are completed correctly.  

Building Inspectors will often bundle up full construction inspection packages, which provides a substantial discount if you commit for your whole build.

Australian Home Inspections

7. Who does your Termite inspections?

Some inspectors will offer to book a specialist pest controller at the same time as the building inspection... meaning you will have 2 specialists on site at the same time, making sure nothing is missed... By utilising experts in their field, who are active practitioners, you can be assured your investment in your new home will be protected.

While other building inspectors offer termite inspections as a 'one stop shop' offering when inspecting...  This can offer a marginally cheaper 'package' option, however important detail can be missed when splitting attention over 2 focuses instead of specialising in 1... Plus, you know what they say... 2 pairs of eyes are always better than 1!

8. How long does it take to get the report after you have done the inspection?

When building or purchasing a home, timelines are often very critical...  That's why we recommend asking how long it will take to receive your report after your inspection when looking at various inspectors.

We'd suggest going with inspectors who offer report turn around times between 1-3 days... A proper report can take time to write, referencing National Construction Codes  & Australian Standards, so immediate reporting isnt always condusive to a highly detailed report.

Where as on the other hand any longer than a few days & things are progressing on site or Pre-Purchase inspection windows are closing.  Thats why we always recommend going with an inspector offering report turn around times between 1-3 days.

Australian Home Inspections

8. How long does it take to get the report after you have done the inspection?

When building or purchasing a home, timelines are often very critical...  That's why we recommend asking how long it will take to receive your report after your inspection when looking at various inspectors.

We'd suggest going with inspectors who offer report turn around times between 1-3 days... A proper report can take time to write, referencing National Construction Codes  & Australian Standards, so immediate reporting isnt always condusive to a highly detailed report.

Where as on the other hand any longer than a few days & things are progressing on site or Pre-Purchase inspection windows are closing.  Thats why we always recommend going with an inspector offering report turn around times between 1-3 days.

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