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What is included in the building inspection report?

what is Building inspection report content

The building inspection report is a document prepared by a licensed building inspector in accordance with local regulations and code. An experienced and professional building inspector will provide a detailed and easy-to-understand building inspection report. The report is key factor for price negotiation and completion of sale. Australian legal system allows the conditional sale of the property based on the outcome of the building inspection report. The following information is included in the building inspection report:

Table of Content

This is a list of content in the report with the page numbers.

Client and Property information

This section basically contains information about the client, property, and inspections.

The section starts with client information which includes contact details of the client, for whom this report is made. The report has the legal name of the client, the contact details of the client, and the mail address of the client.

The middle of part this section contains the details of the property. This includes the location of the property (full address), type of building, style of building, construction type, floor types, walls type (brick, wooden, boards), roof types(tile, color bond, etc), direction of property, and photographs of the property.

Last part of this section record the basic information about the inspection and inspector. It describes the date of inspection, time of inspection, people present at the time of inspection, weather condition at time inspection, name of inspector, contact details of the inspector, important definitions, tools used during inspection. 

Some building inspectors also mention the most important finding here. Usually, these findings are major defects of utmost importance.

Description of Inspection and Defects

This is the main part of the building inspection report and contains inspection details about different sections of the property.  Property is divided into sections based on the location of that section. Inspection findings for each item in each section are put together in the report. The report contains common inspection attributes and parameters for each item inspected. First, let us look into the information recorded for each inspected item.

Common Attribute and Parameter recorded for each item:  The following attributes and parameters are recorded for each inspected item on the property.

  • Name and description of the Item: Name and description of item inspected (For example: Which wall of the room, Kitchen bench-top, etc. )
  • Scope of inspection for that item: This part explains which part of the item is inspected and which part of the item is not inspected. The reason for not inspecting the complete of part is also clearly mentioned.

Example: If the retaining wall is earthbound then only the exposed part of the retaining wall be inspected and the rest of the part will not be inspected due to non-accessibility.

  • Methodology and Tools used: Building inspector mentions what methodology and tools are used for the inspection of that part. (Visual inspection, thermal imaging, Moisture meter, spirit levels, sonar, etc.)

If a defect is detected in the part of the building then the following information about the defect is recorded in the building inspection report.

  • Name and Type of Defect: Name and type of defect (crack in-wall, water damage, missing part, incomplete work) is recorded in the report.
  • Defect explanation: Inspector adds a detailed description of the defect in the report. Description contains information about defects in an easy-to-understand format. 
  • The Severity of Defect: The reading(offset reading, Gap measurement, Crack size, Moisture meter reading) of the defect is recorded if a tool is used to measure the defect. A defect could be a minor, major, or safety risk depending upon the size, location, and effect of the fault.
  • Scope of defect: Scope of defect defines whether the defect is confirmed in the whole item or part of the item and the reason for not able to confirm in the whole item.

Example: If the retaining wall is earthbound then the defect in only the exposed part of the wall can be confirmed and the rest of the wall inside the earth cannot be confirmed for the defect.

  • Photograph: Photographs of the defects are attached with an explanation of each defect.
  • Recommendation: Further course of action for the client is recommended.

The above information is recorded for each inspected item in the property and grouped together into sections based on the location on that part with respect to the property. Following is the section-wise list of the items for which inspection details are provided in the inspection report.

Inspection Description for the site

This subsection of the report contains the inspection details about the parts of the house which are not attached to the main building of the property. The parts covered in this part of the report are fence, retaining wall,  fence, gates, garage, carports, sheds, driveway, paving, paths, ramps, steps, handrails,  entertainment area, bbq area, pergolas, pools, spas, ponds, letterbox, clothesline, garden beds, flag poles jetty. The inspection is not only limited to the above-mentioned part of houses and may include other parts not mentioned here.

Inspection description of the Exterior

The building parts included in this subsection of the report are attached to the exterior of the main building. The parts of the house for which inspection details are provided in this subsection are lintels, brickwork, block-work, cladding, windows, doors, laundry, storage rooms, sunrooms, front patio, back patio, stairs, balustrade, verandahs, decks, balconies, chimneys, attached garages.

Inspection description of the interior

The main items covered in this subsection of the report are walls, windows, doors, ceilings, floors, stairs, balustrade,  bench-top, cupboards, sinks, tubs, spa, taps, tiles, cistern, pan, showers, vanity, washbasin, mirrors, damp problems, ventilation, skylights. All the parts of the interior must have clear and safe access.

Inspection description of the roof interior

The interior of the roof is also called the roof cavity or attic and contains roof insulation. The building inspectors do a thorough inspection the roof cavity. The most common defects found in the roof interior are roof leakage, water damage, and roof sagging. This sub-section of the report contains the inspection report about the following parts of the roof cavity, roof tiles, roof sheeting, roof framing,  insulation, lighting covers, ceiling framing, ceiling lining, wall framing, and flashing.

The building inspector must have proper access to the roof cavity to furnish the inspection of this part and mention in building inspection report

Inspection description of the roof exterior

The building consultant will inspect the roof exterior and any visible major defects or safety hazards associated with the following areas will be included in this subsection of the report. The items covered here are roof tiles, roof sheeting, skylights, hot water systems, solar panels, vents, flues, valleys, gutters, downpipes, fascia, bargeboards, and eaves.

Inspection description of the subfloor

This subsection of the report contains information about the inspection of subfloors. Some buildings have accessible subfloor. Inspector records any visible major defects or safety hazards associated with the following areas in the subfloor.

footings, piers, bearers, floor joists, flooring, moisture damage, rot, drainage, ventilation, retaining walls.

Conclusion and Summary

This part of the report provides the conclusion and summary of the building inspection. The building inspector summarizes all minor and major defects. Summary of other findings and overall condition of the property is provided in an easy-to-understand format.

Terms and Conditions

This part of the report contains all the terms and conditions of building inspection.

  • Detailed description of the accessibility clause
  • Scope of the report
  • The purpose of the report
  • Legal limitation of the report
  • Disclaimer from the building inspector
  • Legal Disclaimer of the report
  • Copy right information of the report

General House Maintenance Tips 

Some building inspectors provide general guidance for up keeping and maintenance of the building. These guidelines are great to help the naive owner to plan the maintenance of the building at minimum cost.

Above mentioned most frequently used segments in a building inspection report and an individual inspector may different format.