You don’t need to think hard to realise how things could easily go wrong leaving building inspection to just about anyone. Unfortunately, the truth may be a shocker: only one state in Australia requires building inspectors to be licensed. This means that, in every other Australian state, almost anyone can set themselves up as property inspectors.
With this sad fact in mind, it can be troubling to think how many home buyers are commissioning the property inspection to individuals who may not even have the proper credentials to be able to spot serious building defects. What’s worse is that the financial loss from investing in a money pit would eventually fall squarely on the shoulders of the buyer.
This is why you have to make sure that the building inspector you get for the job has to be a registered builder or has relevant qualifications.
Why a Building Inspector Should Be a Registered Builder
Building and pest inspections are best left in the hands of professionals with sufficient experience and up-to-date qualifications. This is why it’s important that they’re carried out by registered builders. For the most part, these professionals are familiar with various areas of construction and this understanding alone helps to make sure that the building you’re planning to buy complies with the Australian Standards and the relevant building codes. Furthermore, registered builders are accountable to building commission bodies in the respective states and you certainly want to work with a professional who work with an edge over someone who simply poses as an expert.
With the accumulated experience in the overall construction of buildings, a registered builder is the perfect guy to inspect properties. From the planning right through the handover to the client, the builder is well-versed with them all so inspecting what might potentially be a problem with a house would be a cinch to him or her. In the end, their extensive knowledge in this field will surely save you time and money (not to mention, peace of mind)—something you probably won’t get when you have the place assessed by wannabes.
How to Steer Clear of Dodgy Building Inspectors
For sure, you want to feel confident that you’re making the right investment decision with your future home purchase. That can be a little difficult to achieve when you’re not even sure if the building inspector you commissioned to assess a property isn’t fully equipped (or qualified) to make a comprehensive building inspection report.
As you’re looking to engage a pre-purchase building inspector, proceed with caution and keep these tips in mind at all times:
Be wary of the rates. Being an unregulated industry, there aren’t any regulated or standard fees when it comes to building inspection reports. However, a rule of thumb is that the cheaper the report, the less thorough the inspection/reporting will be. For the most part, the price of the building inspection depends on the experience of the inspector as well as the size of the property being assessed.
Do a license check. To be sure that the building inspector you’re getting is licensed or registered as a builder, pay government websites or call any of the relevant regulatory bodies to do a licence check. The inspector has to appear somewhere and this should be proof that he’s certified to do the job on hand.
Search the Web for client feedback. You could ask the prospect inspector for references but if you don’t have the time (nor energy) calling strangers and asking for their candid thoughts on the inspector, a more convenient option is to scour the Internet for feedback. Take note of any bad feedback and compare them against the positive ones.
Ready-made reports are an absolute no-no. It is tempting to come to a building inspector who’d tell you that they’ve already surveyed the property you’re planning to invest in. Of course, it’d save you time that way. However, if you’re to pay for a report that isn’t recent, how sure are you that the property still is in the same state as it was previously checked? And if it’s the property vendor who’ll offer you this, remember that you better protect your interest (and money) by hiring an independent building and pest inspector.
A Registered Builder Has the Edge
For a building inspector to do justice with the inspection report, he needs to have extensive knowledge of the Building Code of Australia, building regulations, the Building Act, and various Australian Standards relevant to the construction industry. It’s for this simple reason that it’s best if he or she has a building trade background. Without such a qualification, it’d be hard to trust that he or she can spot a money pit when he or she sees one. Sadly, it does happen. Many home buyers end up trusting someone who might not be as keen about the job and the result is countless litigation cases.
Because they’re expected to have a keen eye for defects and property issues, pre-purchase building inspectors need to understand every bit of how structures are built. They need to understand a thing or two about tiling, gyprocking, roofing, and even landscaping. This way, they can back up their claims and stand by their reports, which is crucial when the document will be used to negotiate for a lower asking price to take repairs and replacements into account.
Luckily, your search for a qualified professional to perform a comprehensive building inspection doesn’t need to be a hard one. The fact that we are registered builders means that we’re more than capable of making a proper assessment of the house you’re zeroing on. Not only that, we’re insured and have a combined 50 years of building and pest inspection experience with two inspectors and we intend to protect our reputation as Melbourne’s leading independent building and timber pest inspection company by delivering only building inspection reports that will give you the real score about any residential estate you’re planning to purchase.