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What is a Building Inspection?

Last Updated Feb 20, 2013 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald


If you are building, renovating or buying a new home, an inspection to ensure that you know what you are buying is a must. The most common inspection done is the building inspection.  Here’s what you need to know.

About Building Inspections


A building inspection is an inspection that checks for defects in a property, either before buying a home, after renovations have been done, or after a new building has been completed.  Building inspections can be done on their own or in combination with a pest inspection or other more detailed inspections.  You can think of a building inspection as providing you with an accurate overview on the property that you are currently concerned with.

What Do Building Inspections Cover?


A building inspection will generally cover the following things:
  • The electrical work on the property
  • All plumbing and drainage
  • The conditions of the windows and doors
  • Any fittings and fixtures within the home
  • All joinery (kitchen cabinetry, cupboards etc)
  • Walls
  • Underfloor space
  • The roof and roof space
  • Driveways
  • Retaining walls
  • Outbuildings (sheds etc)
  • Guttering and downpipes
Be aware that a standard building inspection will only report on the condition of the property.  It will not include estimates for the cost of repairing any problems that are found.  Standard building inspections also will not report on minor problems (such as cosmetic issues) or if termites were found.  If you need this additional information, you may need a special purpose property report on top of the building inspection, or a pest inspection.

Who Does Building Inspections?


Building inspections should be carried out by a qualified building inspector who is fully licensed and insured.  Experience is a must as an experienced inspector will be able to find things that may otherwise remain hidden.  Ideally, they will also be fully accredited with the relevant body.  Ensure that your building inspector follows all of the relevant Australian Standards such as Australian Standard 4349.1 when carrying out the inspection and also when writing the report.  The report should be delivered to you in plain, easy to understand language and it should contain information on all areas of the property that was inspected.

Before hiring a building inspector, it is a good idea to ask for a quote first, as well as the estimated time it will take them to do the inspection and deliver the report to you.  The time taken can be quite important if you are waiting on the inspection to buy a property, or to rectify any issues with your builder.
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