Why have an inspection?

Pile of thick textbooks

As a long term participant in the building and construction industry I have realised, for a long time now, the immense diversity of the industry and its participants.  How is it possible for one contractor to construct and complete a project without significant issues along the way, maintaining quality control, completing projects on time, and within budget, whilst other contractors and projects fail to achieve the same result, leading to dissatisfaction and ongoing dispute?

What safeguards can I apply when selecting a Building Contractor to build my house or renovation?

  • Do your homework!  Never be pressured into making a decision or signing anything unless you are totally satisfied and understand the full implications, obligations, and commitments that are bestowed on you and/or other signatories.  Seek legal advice whenever possible.
  • Ensure that you are totally satisfied with the building design prior to seeking quotes or calling for tenders.  Final design plans also help Builders to quote more accurately.
  • Obtain quotes from several builders.
  • Ensure builders are currently licensed with the State Builders Licensing Authority.
  • Check out builder’s history with the State Licensing Authority.
  • Make notes on communication response times and quality of communication between you and your potential contract builder.
  • Make a written request to builders and seek clarification with regard to the builder’s commitment to Quality control, Progress control, and Budgetary control and what processes are in place to ensure agreed outcomes are met.
  • Obtain contact details of at least three of the builder's previous customers.  Contact each customer and gather their opinions on their experience, especially in terms of quality, time frames, and costs.

Why do I need a building and/or timber pest inspection?

Whether you are building or purchasing a property there are a number of good reasons why you should consider a building and/or timber pest inspection. 

A building inspection is different to a timber pest inspection, in that a building inspection will reveal to you any significant defects or problems such as rising damp, ventilation, building movement, roofing issues, safety hazards, construction issues, visual damage that may have been caused by termites, wood borers or fungi, to name a few.  The building report will usually not include the existence of termites or other wood destroying pests.  Building inspections should only ever be carried out by suitably qualified, experienced and licensed building inspectors.  Never settle for second best.

The purpose of a timber pest inspection is to assess the building for: evidence of timber pests, the severity of damage caused by timber pests (visual assessment), susceptibility of the building to infestation by timber pests, remedial and protective measures required, and whether further investigation is required.  A qualified pest management technician is also able to: identify pest presence, the type of timber pest present, understand their behaviour, and is qualified to make recommendations in terms of timber pest eradication and prevention strategies.

I have been in the building and construction industry for over 40 years and I would strongly recommend to anyone undertaking construction work, or is about to purchase an existing property to have it inspected.  New construction should be inspected at the various phases of construction to ensure quality is maintained.  Existing buildings for purchase should be inspected to expose any significant issues associated with the building, which may be unbeknown to the buyer.  Be sure you know what you are buying.