If it’s peace of mind that you want as you purchase a property, you need a building and pest inspection done before you affix your signature on the sale contract. It can be a little unnerving thinking about how you could be investing in a fault-ridden asset, after all. Thankfully, these two kinds of property inspections can give you a good glimpse of major problems that may be hidden in plain sight.

Even if there are no major issues identified the said reports will still take note of minor problems. This can come in handy as you negotiate for the property’s purchase price. This is why experts often advise buyers to get the inspections done prior to settling on an offer by the vendor. Do so during the cooling-off period and it’d be much more difficult haggling for a lower price.

As you’re about to bring in inspectors to a prospect real estate, you may wonder what they actually check. Naturally, you’d want to know what a building and pest report basically covers.

Essentials Checklist

As the building inspector arrives at the property, they will examine all accessible parts of the said place. That includes the interior and exterior spaces. The roof space, underfloor space, roof exterior, and the actual site will typically be assessed too.

As the inspection goes underway, the building and pest inspector will look out for potential deal breakers such as major water penetration, significant structural movement, and widespread deterioration in various building elements, especially on the following areas:

  • Ceilings
  • Carports
  • Driveways
  • Exterior Spaces
  • Fencing
  • Garage
  • Garden Shed
  • Interior Areas
  • Laundry
  • Paths
  • Pergolas
  • Retaining Walls
  • Roof Exterior
  • Roof Space
  • Steps
  • Surface Water Drainage
  • Toilet
  • Under Floor Space
  • Walls
Areas Not Covered by the Inspection

Although pre-purchase inspections can be a powerful tool for any property buyers, it pays to remember that the reports do have their own limitations.

Here are some things often not covered by standard building and pest inspections:

  • Home Appliances
    Some properties are sold with built-in appliances like air conditioner, oven, dishwasher, ducted vacuum, and range hood. However, you may have to personally inspect if these are working because the property inspectors will not check if these appliances are functional or not, also if working efficiently.
  • Everything Hidden by the Walls/Ceiling
    Inspectors typically don’t assess features in a property that are obstructed or not readily accessible at the time of the inspection. Expect that the electrical wiring, framing, plumbing, drainage, and gas fittings in the property (especially those tucked behind walls) won’t be covered by the building report.
  • Size and Layout of the Rooms
    As much as you want to know whether your current furniture pieces will fit into your new place, the building and pest inspection report won’t include the sizing and layout of each room. You may have to go back to the original property sale posting to find the dimension you’re looking for.
  • Operation of Swimming Pools, Fireplaces, and Saunas
    The likes of pool filters, chimneys, and saunas aren’t covered in typical building and pest inspections. These aren’t usual property amenities so to have them checked, you will have to request that a special-purpose inspection be done.
  • Home Accessories
    Just like with home appliances, the likes of CCTV cameras, intercom systems, sprinkler systems, fire and smoke detectors, and alarm systems aren’t covered by standard property inspections. For the most part, you may have to check these yourself to see if they’re in working condition.
Thorough Property Assessment

For the most part, though, the combination of a building and pest inspection will give you a substantial assessment of the property you’re planning to buy. On one hand, the building inspection report covers structural safety hazards and any apparent defects while the pest inspection focuses on finding evidence of pest or termite infestation within the property. Together, these two assist in determining the overall state of the property before the actual purchase.

What to Expect

Most building and pest inspections are performed before the prospect investor buys a particular property. It may be worth noting, however, that both processes have to be completed only by licensed inspectors. They will supply a detailed and competent report documenting the state of the property, both inside and out.

The building inspection report is expected to contain information about any problems and defects in the asset that were found at the time of the actual inspection. Common issues found in the report include details surrounding a leaking ceiling, leaking shower bases & balconies, faulty roof, visibly cracked wall, DIY alterations, rot to subfloor timbers and any presence of mould. On the other hand, a pest inspection will report signs of pest infestation and provide recommendations on how to manage such a problem.

With thorough property inspection reports, buyers can easily decide whether to proceed with the intent to purchase the property in question or not. In certain cases, the buyer will use the findings of the said report to negotiate the asking price, or outright refuse the deal. Getting the faults fixed will cost a substantial amount outside of the sale price, after all.


No matter how well a building or house is engineered or designed, they are still subject to wear and tear and ongoing moisture issues. Over time, structural problems are bound to come up and these could cost a lot to repair, especially when left unattended for a long period of time. But why throw that much money down the drain for fixes when you can avoid them in the first place? That’s where a building and pest inspection will come in handy.

Naturally, you’d want to secure your soon-to-be asset and one way to do so is getting the appropriate property inspection completed. Doing so will let you know the actual condition of the real estate investment you’re about to purchase and assess if it’s safe and ready for occupancy. Indeed, there is little reason not to get these kinds of assessments done.