What's a building inspection?
28 March 2012
Before you buy a house, it’s important to have your new home checked out professionally so there are no nasty surprises. Organising a building inspection is essential; it could potentially save you from expensive mistakes.
A building inspection is a report on the current condition of the property.
It’s good to know upfront what sort of maintenance and repairs you may be up for in the near future and another good idea is to have a pest inspection completed. This is important whether your home is a vintage piece or just a few years old.
Here’s some of what inspectors do:
Look for cracks in the wall, they may be hidden by wallpaper
Check walls and floors for dampness
Confirm ceilings are clear of mould or leak stains
Check windows/blinds are in working order
Check plumbing systems – look for leaks, check drainage is working including outside drains
Test the electrical systems including all power points, air conditioning, heating, ceiling and extraction fans
Find any rusting framework
Check doors are functional
Check the level of traffic noise
Check phone lines and TV aerial points
Check condition of gates and fences to ensure bases are sound
Check the garden for poisonous plants
Check for large trees close to the house as their roots could cause structural damage
Look for any rotting timber on the outside
Inspect external structures like pergolas and granny flats (confirm extensions are legal and council approved)
Keep an eye out for fire hazards such as external cables or power points
Ensure external walls are straight
Test water pressure of external taps
Check the roofs condition including frames and tiles
Look for signs of pests
Once a report has been complied on the condition of the property, you can then make a knowledgeable decision based on the findings. Often items can be fixed and you could include in the contract that your purchase be subject to a favourable inspection.
There are a range options when looking for an inspector, look for an experienced and reputable supplier. This could be a qualified builder or specialised architect, some suppliers offer 12 month guarantees on their work which could save you money if anything goes wrong in that time.
Also have a professional pest inspector give your home the OK.
Remember, it’s good to identify the problems early so you know if you’ve truly found your dream home!