To begin with always use a suitably qualified person (such as a licensed builder, a surveyor or an architect) to provide a professional building inspection. These professions should see through any cosmetic improvements that might otherwise be missed by an untrained eye.
A professional inspector will ensure that the format and content of the report complies with the relevant Australian Standards.
It is crucial to ascertain if the building inspector intends, subject to accessibility, examine the roof cavity and underfloor areas. Timber pest activity and damage, structural damage and rot and decay can be detected by a thorough examination of these areas.
Ensure that the person you choose has adequate insurance cover, particularly for professional indemnity and public liability.
What is a good building inspection report?
Ask about the layout and content of the report. A good report should be set out in an orderly, easy to read fashion, with supporting photographs and lots of assisting information. We use 3D software and it produces a report that has labelled colour photos. It is easy to read and can be emailed to you on the day of the inspection. Hand written and box ticked reports are not adequate. Ask for a hard copy of the report for your files if you want to keep for future reference.
The report should give you:
– A summary of the overall condition of the property (considering its age and type)
– A list of any areas or item that wasn’t inspected
– If necessary, a recommendation that a further inspection or assessment be carried out by a suitably accredited specialist (e.g. pest inspector, electricity supply authority, water supply authority, structural engineer, geotechnical engineer, surveyor or solicitor).
Because Building and Pest Inspections are visual only, they are not intrusive. The Inspector can only inspect areas that they can visually see and access. Making sure areas are not locked on the day of the inspection -areas such as manholes, garages and subfloor doors. If there are areas that you are particularly concerned with make sure debris or furnishes are moved for the inspection.
A dedicated inspector should go through the report with you to make sure you understand the key elements. Time spent going over the report with the inspector is an important part of the inspection process.
Areas you can follow up with after the report may include – discussions with your Solicitor or Conveyensor on areas that have been noted in the report -additions, extensions and improvements that have been undertaken. Searches may need to but undertaken.
Choosing an independent inspector is an important step. Your report is for your eyes only. Reports should only be passed onto Agents or Solicitors with your approval. Choose your own Inspector that you feel comfortable with not one that is recommended by the real estate agent.
Google reviews are a good was of finding out how others have found their inspection reports.