5 things about building inspection helps the property buyers know about the property. 

Daily shopping and buying a property are all different balls of the game.  In daily shopping,  problems are visible on the product (mostly), stakes are low and the retailer is happy to return a $10 item. In the case of real estate, things are much more complex. The stakes are high, return is not an option, and defects are hidden from the naked eye (sometimes intentionally).  Theoretically, a home inspection is optional but practically it is one the most important part of the property purchasing journey. Buying a property without building inspection is equivalent to driving a car blindfolded. home inspection protects you from the potential costly hidden building defects.

That was all about why home inspection is important, Now what do you know about building inspection – What is building inspection? What is covered in it and what is not? Who can do home inspection and how can you order it? These questions not only help you better understand the building inspection but also get maximum out the building inspection.

Here are 5 things about building inspection  asked by property buyers :

What is building inspection?

A building inspection is an assessment of the condition of the property by a licensed and qualified building inspector. Home inspection should be ordered before the exchange of contract or there should “subject to building inspection” condition in the contract. End result of the assessment is a report which lists all the present and potential risks/defects in the property such as water damage, cracks in the walls, building movement, fire risks, health risks, and other safety hazards.  It is important to know any major defects in the property to avoid expensive repairs in the future. For detailed information about building inspection, visit the Building Inspection Council website.

Who can do building inspections?

Who can do building inspections (1)

The building inspector must be licensed and qualified. Although there are hardly any guidelines by the government in Australia(except in 1 state). You can read (How to choose building inspector) to identify a competent building inspector.

A building inspector should have knowledge of the Building Acts,  the Building Regulation Building Code of Australia, and the current building practices.  A qualified home inspection knows where to look for defects even when concealed by cosmetic improvement.

The building inspector must have adequate insurance and must adhere to the Australian Standard (AS 4349.1 -2007).

What is covered in building inspection?

The building inspection covers every part of the property as per (Australian Standards 4349.1 -2007) and generally includes the following section of the property:

Property Site: This is the exterior section of the property that is not attached to the main building such as a fence, retaining walls, driveway, sheds, landscape, etc.

The exterior of the Building: These are exterior parts of the property that are attached to the main building such as a garage, laundry, staircase, porch, etc.

The interior of the Building: This is the interior of the main building and includes rooms, kitchen, washrooms, staircases, windows, doors, walls, ceilings, floor, etc.

The interior roof: The section between ceiling and roof also called roof cavity or attic is covered in this part. Inspector checks insulation, roof tile, roof sheeting, support bars, light covers, etc. This part should have safe access for the inspector.

The Exterior of roof: The exposed and upper part of the roof is covered in the inspection and the inspector checks the roof tile, roof sheeting, gutters, valleys, etc.

Footing: Many houses have safe access to the footing and inspector checks for any problems such water damage, decay, movement, termite infestation, etc.

Besides the above-mentioned section, you can request the building inspector to include specific sections of the property. The scope of inspection depends on the agreement between the inspector and the client. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. For detailed information on what is covered in the building inspection, please click here

What is not covered in home inspection?

Although the building inspection is an extensive inspection but there are some exceptions that are not covered as explained below:

Inaccessible Area: If any parts or areas of the property are not safe to access then it is not covered in the inspection.

Under walls and Ceiling:  Building inspector will not penetrate any surface as it is only visual inspection of the property.

The Size and Layout of the Room:  The size and layout of the different parts of the property are not covered in home inspection.

Home Appliance: Building inspectors do not inspect the home appliance even if these are part of the home package.

Home Accessories: Accessories such as smoke alarms, intercom systems, Fire alarms, CCTV, burglar alarm systems,  lawn watering systems are not covered in building inspection. 

Operation of Fireplaces, Swimming Pools, and Related Equipment: This equipments need a special inspection from certified professionals and are not covered in standard building inspection.

Solar Hot Water and Solar PV Systems: These are not part of the standard houses so not covered in the building inspection.

Compliance Issues: Building inspection does not cover compliance with building code and guidelines.

Building Land Safety: Many areas are prone to sinkholes, floods, landslides which are not part of building inspection.

Health Risks: The building inspection does not cover the inspection of toxic or hazardous materials on the property.

Other Exclusions: Superficial or minor defects, repair cost, fixing any defects, design of the house, design of part of the house, the termite is not part of a standard inspection.

The above-mentioned exclusions are a general practice of the industry and not a final rule. As mentioned earlier, the final inclusions or exclusion of the building inspection are determined by the agreement between the client and inspector.

Read (What is not included in building inspection report? ) for detailed report information on the exclusions.

How to get building inspection?

How to get a building inspection

It is a good idea to shortlist competent building inspectors in the local area, especially in the fast-moving market. You should verify the building inspector on basis of the license, Qualification, Experience, Type of inspection, insurance, inclusions and exclusions, Standard followed, Tools used, follow-up support, onsite presence, report quality, price, etc. For compete guidance, read How to get building Inspection and How to choose building inspector.

The above 5 points about building inspection  help you understand the home inspection and guide your expectations from it. Now you know how it works and how to get the maximum out of it. For more information, you can visit the Building Inspection Council website.

Once you understand these 5 things about building inspection, you will definitely buy building inspection.  Building Inspection Council is a not-for-profit organization and arranges free quotes from the local building inspector. The best thing about being a not-for-profit organization is that we do not have to compromise for profit and you get the most honest and genuine quotes. For free quotes, Click here.