What is a building inspection?
It’s always good to know as much as you can about a property before you make a decision.
A building inspection is a detailed assessment of the condition of the property that is carried out by a qualified professional. The inspection process covers all areas like cracked and damp walls, faulty roofs, etc.
A building inspection report will give details on where problems were uncovered and recommendations on the repairs needed to fix the problems.
A building inspection covers the following:
- Checks for defects in the property before buying a home, selling a home, after renovations are made or after the completion of a new building.
- It can be standalone or done in tandem with pest inspections.
- The inspection will provide an accurate overview of the property you are concerned with.
As a seller, it can help you:
- Uncover problems and make repairs on your property before selling to potential buyers.
- Give a good impression to buyers and you might get an upper hand during negotiations.
- Sell the property quicker as another building inspection might not be needed.
- Make sure to review the report and take extra note of the limitations outlined in it.
- If there are items or recommendations that you do not understand, seek advice.
- The report would contain areas that could not be checked due to inaccessibility.
- Some building inspections could only do a visual inspection which does not always identify issues with the property.For example, termite damage can only be found out through an invasive inspection, which the seller might not allow as it causes damage to their property.
- Compare the recommendations made by the inspector against the age and relative condition of the building.
- Every interior of the property.
- The exterior of the property includes roof space and floor space.
- Garage, carport, fencing, paths and driveways
- Substantial deterioration in building elements like foundations, floors, walls and roof.
- Any evidence of maintenance and defect cover-ups.
- Mould and dampness.
- Drainage issues.
- Structural movement.
- Significant water penetration.
- Fungal decay, etc.
- Familiar with your location
- Covered by insurance especially for professional indemnity.
- For small apartments up to 100 square meters, the cost ranges between $200 to $250.
- For an average 3 bedroom home in a regional area, it could cost between $250 to $300
- For a large size 4 bedroom home in a regional area, it could cost between $400 to $500.
- For a large size 4 bedroom home in a metropolitan area, it could cost between $800 to $1000.
- Sub-standard paintwork.
- Damage to carpets like staining, chipped tiles, scratches on windows, etc.
- Poor workmanship on cabinets and drawers.
- Aluminium doors and windows are not fitted properly.
- Fixing points on balcony handrails are not fitted properly.
- Power points are not active.
- Ensure the doors are unlocked so rooms can be inspected.
- Move furniture so there is ample space between the wall and the furniture.
- Prevent children from entering.
- Keep your pets on a leash or away from your house during the inspection.
- Make the garage accessible.
- Bring down posters, frames, pictures, etc, that are covering your wall.
- Keep the house clear of unnecessary objects.
- Remove any obstacle that blocks access to the roof void.
- If you have tenants in your apartment or home, kindly ask them to leave the premise during the inspection.
Downloadable building inspection checklist
We’ve created Buidling Inspection Checklist that you can download to help in your home buying decision.
Please note that this building inspection checklist is not a substitute for an inspection done by a professional.
Is a building inspection report sufficient?
A building inspection is recommended before you make any buying or selling decision, but it is not the only inspection you should do.
A building inspection report will have some limitations that you should be aware of:
Since a building inspection will only look for repairs needed due to structural issues, it ignores problems caused by pests and termites (unless stated in the contract).
Therefore, most building inspections should be done with a pest inspection.
Who does the inspection?
A building inspection is done by a building inspector who will examine:
The inspector will be looking for:
After the completion of the inspection, a comprehensive report of the findings and recommendations is provided.
The report made by the inspector has to be compliant with AS 4349.1 – 2007 Inspection of Buildings. Part 1: Pre Purchase Inspections – Residential Buildings.
The building inspector has to be:
Most likely, the building inspector is a surveyor, architect or a builder, and you can get recommendations about a building inspector from your conveyancer.
How much does it cost?
Depending on the size, location and the number of services you require from the building inspector, the costs vary and ranges between $200 up to $1000.
Building inspection for off the plan new apartment
While you might assume that a new apartment would not have any issues with it, there could be some minor defects with it.
Since most off the plan contracts have a clause that a buyer can do building inspection, it’s best to bring a building inspector with you.
It’s best to know about the defects before you decide on whether to buy the apartment.
Some minor defects which are common for new apartments are:
These minor defects can be rectified at no cost by the builder or developer.
Furthermore, if these problems are found post-settlement, the builders’ warranty will not cover it, and the owner has to pay the repairs.
Can I get a building inspection during the cooling-off period?
Yes, you can do a building inspection during the cooling-off period.
In most Australian states, the cooling-off time is up to 5 days, which is the time when signed contracts are exchanged. During this time, either the buyer or the seller can terminate the contract with a written notice.
To do a building inspection during a cooling-off period, you will have to give the consultant prior notice so time can be allocated for the report to be made.
If you decide not to buy the property, you will need to get the letter to the vendor of the agent indicating that you’re withdrawing from the contract.
How to get your house ready for a building inspection?
The first thing is to remove any distractions that will hinder the inspection and make areas accessible to the inspector.
Since the inspector will check every area of the property – from the basement to the roof and the indoors and outdoors – this information will be included in the report as well.
To prepare your property for a building inspection, you should:
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a building inspection to get a home loan approved?
No, a building inspection is not a requirement for home loan approval.
However, it is recommended that you get one as you do not want any nasty surprises regarding your home after you’ve bought it.
How long does it take for an inspection?
Building inspections can be done within 2 to 3 hours, but this will differ according to the age, location and size of the property.
Furthermore, some thorough inspections might take even longer and the report will only be available after 2 to 3 days.
Skipping a building inspection might mean that your dream home is not what it seems.
Whether you’re a buyer or seller, a building inspection can help you uncover hidden problems about your property and place in position to make an informed decision about your property.
Get pre-approved before signing a contract of sale!
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a property, talk to us and get pre-approved before entering into a contract of sale.
We can help you find a home loan that best suits your needs.
Give us a call on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form.