When you are looking to purchase a property, you’re going to need a Building Inspector. Recommendations are helpful:
Look at google reviews they are a great platform or social media
Work colleagues or friends that have had positive experience
Websites are a great source of information
WARNING: It is advisable not to use an inspector recommend by a Real Estate Agent as they may not be independent. Many produce reports that are favourable towards properties selling fast and often cover up major defects. It makes sense that they won’t get ongoing referrals from an agent unless they are producing reports that help the Agent sell properties.
The Questions You Need Answered When Making Enquiries
Are you qualified to conduct the required inspections?
It is not a requirement in Victoria to hold any formal qualifications to carry out inspections. This means that anyone can be operating and conducting building and pest inspections such as an ex-car salesmen or landscaper. How would you feel if the person conducting your building inspection was not aware of a collar tie (roof framing member) or a window flashing detail or the correct waterproofing details for wet areas?
We believe the inspectors should be Licensed Builders and have the Wood Destroying Pest training completed by what we believe is the industry leader Rapid Solutions. Anything short of this is a risk to the purchaser. To ensure your building inspector has this qualification ask for DB-U Number (Domestic Builder-Unlimited category)
See Our Details:
Brett White DB-U 10825
Insured by Rapidsolutions.com.au
Do you have the correct insurances in place?
We believe it is essential that Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurances are in place to protect all parties and give longevity to the report. A large number of inspectors are not insured, this is a great risk for the consumer. If they fail to inform of a Major Defect or issue you have no option but to sue them personally. In addition if they are sued by another purchaser and disappear your report has no backing and its life span is over.
Some Dire Samples
- If inspector has no assets, then you will have little hope of being compensated of any shortfalls.
- If the inspector falls of a ladder when conducting your inspection and becomes permanently disabled, they could sue you.
- If the Inspector damages the vendor property whilst conducting the inspection. Who pays for this? I have seen damage to roof tiles and holes in ceilings due to inspectors falling through the ceiling whilst investigating the roof void.
Is your Building and Wood Destroying Pest Inspection in accordance with AS4349.1 and AS4349.3?
These are the Australian Standards for setting the guidelines for conducting Building and Pest Inspections. It is essential that the reporting and inspecting be conducted in accordance with the set standards to inform the purchaser with the required information to make an informed decision with their purchase.
How long have you been conducting Building & Pest Inspections for?
A lot of inspectors will count the years they have been building or renovating as inspection experience time, this is incorrect as it is a completely different skill set. It is important to be specific.
“How many years have you been conducting inspections or how many inspections have you done?”
We believe to ensure you get the best inspection for your money it should be a minimum of five years experience or over a thousand inspections.
Is it ok if I can attend the inspection?
We believe you should be welcome to attend the inspection if you so desire or have someone attend on your behalf. But we do recommend that you do not interrupt the inspection process. It is best to talk to the inspector after he completes inspection. The vendor does need to give their consent as well.
If you are unable to attend don’t be concerned. We like to call you after we have sent the reports/s so you can have the opportunity to view the Major Summary page first to give you some insight in reference to the report/s we do this as we understand it may be difficult to grasp all the report findings.
Can I see a Sample Report and does the report include photos?
We recommend that you ask to view a sample report, this is a great way of viewing what you will be receiving with your report/s.
• Is there a Major Summary Page?
• Does the report include photos? A photo speaks a thousand words.
• How detailed is the report?
We use the very best reporting software that allows us to provide extremely detailed reports including photos with annotations and highlights;
The software also allows us to provide a Summary page this is essential to allow you to determine between major and minor defects and allows you to view the Major Defects without having to scroll though the full content of the report. So if you are time poor you can view the major defects call the inspector to be confident to move forward with confidence. See sample;
SIGNIFICANT ITEMS – Summary:
Items observed that require attention are listed under the appropriate subheadings within the body of this report. For ease of reading, some of these items have also been listed here. This list is in no way to be considered complete or comprehensive.
You must read the entire report and not rely solely on this Summary. The order that the items may appear in this summary is not an indicator of their importance.
MAJOR/SAFETY DEFECTS ITEMS:
Internal Walls Condition:
High moisture reading was noted to walls adjacent to wet areas in the bathroom. This indicates a possible shower leak and/or other free moisture source and/or timber pest attack. This should be further investigated without delay. If the waterproof membrane of the shower has broken down, this will require replacing to prevent timber framing decay to surrounding areas. A licensed builder and timber pest controller is required to provide a further assessment and to offer suitable rectification as required.
It appears the shower recess is leaking. This has caused some wet rot decay damage to the surrounding components. (Please refer to heading Subfloor and Footings- then refer to-Wood decay damage) for further information. Rectification is required and the extent of works should be determined by a Licensed Builder without delay.
ROOF SYSTEM INTERNAL
Roof Supports – Type and Condition:
Additional support and/or rectification is required to the cut & pitched roof area in the form of; collar ties over the lounge. The additional and/or replaced roof framing members must be provided to assure the roof frame structure is adequately supported. RECOMMENDATION, A licensed builder is required to provide a further assessment and to offer suitable rectification as required.
SUB FLOOR AND FOOTINGS
Type & General Condition:
The building is constructed on a combination of strip footings and concrete piers.
Additional support and/or rectification is required to the timber floor structure in the form of joists under the lounge area. The additional and/or replaced framing members must be provided to assure the frame structure is adequately supported. RECOMMENDATION, A licensed builder is required to provide a further assessment and to offer suitable rectification as required.
Note: the area in the sub floor just if front of the access door appears to have been dug out, the lowered ground levels area may have undermined the concrete stumps footing in this area. A more invasive inspection is recommended to ensure the base of the footing to the concrete stumps in this area is on a stable base.
Type & Condition:
No steps are present to the double hinged doors to the front elevation and this presents as a safety/tripping hazard. This should be rectified to prevent such issues without delay. A licensed carpenter is required to provide a further assessment and to offer suitable rectification as required.
BRIEF SUMMARY – TIMBER PEST
TIMBER PEST ACTIVITY OR DAMAGE
Active Termites Found:
No – At the time of the inspection no visible evidence of termite activity (live termites) was found in the areas able to be inspected. Please read the report.
Damage Caused By Termites Found:
No – At the time of inspection no visible evidence of termite activity or damage was found in the areas able to be inspected. Please read the report.
Damage Caused By Borers Found:
Yes – Evidence (flight holes) of borers of dry seasoned timbers or borer damage was found. Please read the report.
Damage Caused By Wood Decay Found:
Yes – Evidence of damage resulting from wood decay fungi (wood rot) was found. Please read the report.
Warning: If safety concerns and/or hazards are not addressed, serious injury or death may occur.
• The definition of a major defect is the defect is of sufficient magnitude where rectification has to be carried out in order to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of utility or further deterioration of the property.
• The definition of ‘major defect’ includes defects that have to be rectified to avoid the development of unsafe conditions, and thus any defect that is a safety hazard has to be reported as a major defect, however, if in the opinion of the inspector, a defect is a serious hazard to the occupants or is about to become a serious hazard to the occupants it is considered that the inspector has a professional duty to ensure that the report clearly identifies the hazard in such a manner that it is not easily overlooked by the reader of the report.
CONTACT THE INSPECTOR:
Please feel free to contact the inspector who carried out this inspection. Often it is difficult to fully explain situations, problems, access difficulties, building faults or there importance in a manner that is readily understandable by the reader. Should you have any difficulty in understanding anything contained within this report then you should immediately contact the inspector and have the matter explained to you. If you have any questions at all or require any clarification then contact the inspector prior to acting on this report.
We also like to set ourselves apart by providing an assessment on all elements so you can view all items. Where are competitors just to document the defects only. We also use the four “W” system.
• What the defect is
• Where the defect is
• What to do about the defect
• What will happen if you don’t do anything
We believe this arms you with the information to deal with mediate or urgent issues and then implement a maintenance program.
• How long does the inspection take and when do you receive the reports?
The inspection time can vary from property to property dependent on the size, age and condition of the property. We finish inspection/s once all areas have been reported on. Roof, Sub-floor, Roof Void all accessible areas.
We have heard of cases were reports are not delivered until days after the inspection. We deliver reports on the same day of the inspection. We are actually getting close to delivering reports from site. See one of our reviews;
“Brett is really helpful and very efficient in finding out the defect, he checked the property at 12:56 (I was with him), and sent the detailed report at 14:43. …MoreBrett is really helpful and very efficient in finding out the defect, he checked the property at 12:56 (I was with him), and sent the detailed report at 14:43. His website is quite professionally made, and contains very extensive information about what he is going to provide. Although there is no sample of the report provided on the website, he is very happy to share if you sent an email request. I was really hoping to get that property, and about to negotiate private sale, and it turns out the owner is getting quick fixes of the property and the property itself has major structural damage (Foundation major structural failures with cracks everywhere). Brett explains all the issues in detail face to face and professionally in an easy to understand way. Looks like the house is not able to be fixed that easily. I wonder how much more I will cost if I did not use his services and bought the house blindly. Really great job done, Brett.”
• How much does the process cost?
With all the information mentioned above you could imagine that the price could vary greatly and it does. Ask yourself do you want the inspection company that provides the cheapest price? Is that the only criteria you are using to judge who you engage in the inspection?
I know who I would be trusting to inspect and report on one of my biggest investments.