Tricks to hide building defects

Building Inspection Council has observed that fresh paint and a little new rug is not always an innocent attempt to uplift the property. One of the factors that make building inspection mandatory for property buyers is that sellers go to any extent to hide the building defects. Building inspectors are trained and experienced to detect these defects. They know what to look for and where to look in and give you get a true picture of the property. Here are 10 ways sellers use to hide building defects.   

1. Cracks - Walls and Ceiling

One of the most common building defects is cracks in the walls and ceiling which could be due to serious problems underneath. People have tried to hide the stress fracture with quick re-plaster and repaint to cover it up. Another method used is the use of wallpaper and additional wall lining covering the cracks. Be wary of the fact that furniture and boxes could be strategically stacked to hide major defects.  (To read more “NUMBER 2 BUILDING DEFECT IN AUSTRALIA – WALL CRACKS“)

2. Flawed Floors

Floor damages that are tried to hide under the carpet are traps to be wary of. Inspector can feel the uneven floor by walking on it and looking for a gap in the corner. There could be a rotting stump causing the dampness and cracks. Timber stumps are concealed by shutting down the access to the sub-floor through the use of plants or screens. 

3. Wet Area

Building Inspection Council has encountered countless stories where the vendor has tried to disguise the leaks and water damage from buyers. A fresh makeover may see brand new tiles and carpet in the kitchen and bathroom but a hard look reveals rotten timber, sub-standard plumbing, and poor wiring. Some vendors seal the water supply to a certain section of the house to hide the water leaks. (For more information you can read “HOW DO BUILDING INSPECTORS DETECT WATER DAMAGE?“)

4. Rising Damp

Building Inspection Council has observed that NSW is the hub of rising dampness and causes peeling paint, lifting tiles, skirting rot, and mold. The plaster or rendered over patch-up work are common tricks used to conceal the damp problem in walls. The other way used to conceal the defect is by placing the boxes or furniture to cover the problems. In few instances, the vendor was pretending to just wash the walls to disguise the dampness. 

5. Roof Faults

Roof Defects - Building Inspection CouncilRoof defects are difficult to assess due to accessibility issues. Badly fitted, strained, or buckled eves are the signs of gutter or roof problems. There could be broken tile or sheeting allowing the birds, possum, and water to enter. The vendor uses the paint to hide the rusted corrugated iron sheets. In the case of the roof structure, roof supports are placed to compensate for the broken or damaged roof frame. (For more information on roof defects, read “WHAT ARE THE ROOF DEFECTS FOUND IN BUILDING INSPECTION?“)

6. Window and Doors

Window and doors reveal a lot of problems in the property. Make sure all the windows and doors are opening the property. A jammed window or door is an indication of a compromised building structure. A fresh repaired or replace window or doors are the tricks used by sellers to hide these  building defects. The presence of mold and excessive condensation are symptoms of poor ventilation.

7. Illegal Add-ons

Illegal structures are a double whammy – first you pay extra for the illegal add-on structure and then bear the cost of legal fees or the cost of demolishing it. Illegal structures are a growing problem in Australia. If the property has recent renovation or construction then it is important to check with the local council to ensure that permits are obtained.

8. Electrical Wiring

A simple flick of the switch can tell you if the electrical system is working or not. The most common electrical problem is earthed power points. Burn marks around the switches, fittings, and fuses are signs of improper wiring of the house. In case of any doubt, Building Inspection Council advises seeking professional electrician help.

9. Garage and Sheds

In Australia, a shed is an important aspect when buying a property. By looking at the water stain on the timber and metal, the inspector can check the structural integrity and water tightness of the shed. Any sign of the fire hazard, faulty power points, and bad wiring are identified by the inspector which may be concealed by the vendor.

10. Garden

Large trees in the proximity are the reason for cracks in the walls and foundation and can also lead to subsidence in the building. The building inspector makes sure that garden water is not getting accumulate in the subfloor that can damage footings. A neglected garden may not be the deal-breaker but show the attitude of the owner towards the property.

Inspector - Building Inspection CouncilThe building inspection gives you information about the true condition of the property even if defects are concealed by the vendor. It depends on you how you use this information. For some buyers, a simple structural defect may be enough to frighten them off the purchase. But for others, it is a great opportunity for bargaining.  The important thing is to make an informed decision and not get deceived by the vendor.

Building Inspection Council is a not-for-profit community service that helps the property in Australia. We pre-verify the building inspectors in your local area to help you with free quotes. These inspector are able reveal the building defects hidden by sellers. The best thing about being a not-for-profit organization is that we do not have to compromise on anything for profit. You always get honest and genuine building inspection Quotes. FOR FREE QUOTES, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Tricks to hide building defects