There is always the risk of overlooking something important unless you have extensive knowledge of and experience with construction codes. This means you should only trust your new home inspection to a trained professional.
Queensland law currently states that sellers are NOT obligated to reveal issues that are 'likely to be identified by a buyer exercising reasonable care' during a property inspection. Many people who purchase brand-new properties do so with the assurance that they would be completely free of flaws, so this news could come as a rude awakening.
It's just as typical to find problems in brand-new homes as it is in older ones. Newer structures aren't always the deals foolish first-time homeowners think due to escalating material and labour costs, construction shortcuts, contract deadlines, and overall shoddy quality.
According to studies, over 22% of all construction projects experience complications. In the construction industry as a whole, these concerns cause millions of dollars in extra expenses for things like fixing faulty work or settling disputes. The standard of the construction, worries about the terms of the contract, or an expansion of the project's scope are common sources of contention. We offer comprehensive reports that contain photographs of any issues found during our thorough assessment of the facility.
New Construction Inspections Under Regulated Building Standards
All builders in Western Australia are obligated to follow the regulations outlined in the National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia), which governs the construction of new homes. The BCA references a number of other documents in addition to the Act of Parliament, the Australian Standards, the National Construction Code, and any other relevant legislation.
To address quality concerns that aren't covered by Australian Standards, inspectors of recently completed buildings frequently use the 2018 Guide to Standards and Tolerances. It should be stressed, however, that this is merely a recommendation and not a legally binding requirement. Nonetheless, the vast majority of constructors are aware of this recommendation document and fix the subpar quality items listed in each report to an acceptable level.
When there is a dispute over faulty construction, the BCA or building contract governs. Unlike competing reports, ours always include a reference to the relevant section of the Building code or Australian Standard that covers the problem in question. Moreover, the clause number (e.g., AS 1684 clause 7.2.4) and specification provision are included. Each component of the structure is inspected for flaws and deviations that are outside the acceptable range. Although the Western Australian new construction housing market is mainly self-regulated, once builders obtain the new construction inspection report, they will typically fix these concerns without challenge. All work performed by contractors or subcontractors engaged by the builder will be included in the builder's Sub-standard Quality category in all reports if any defects are found.
Variations & Blemishes In New Houses
Problems with the paint job or the render are also frequently mentioned as sources of dissatisfaction. During new-construction inspections, flaws and variances must be obvious from a standard viewing angle.
A standard viewing distance is defined as 1.5 metres or more, and 600 millimetres for appliances and other fixtures. Inspections of surfaces require lighting that is neither parallel nor glancing. There is no critical point at which this light becomes harmful. Regular maintenance should be performed by the owner once the project is handed over to ensure the building keeps functioning as expected. Owners can lessen the likelihood of structural damage and cracking by using standard landscaping practices.
Standard maintenance plans will address issues such as clogged gutters, broken sprinkler systems, overflows from air-conditioning units, the proximity of trees to the home, resealing of shower recesses, downpipes that are not linked to stormwater, and asphalt that slopes towards a building.
Benefits Of Staged Inspections
Staged inspections are timed to coincide with the client's milestone payments. In this way, the customer may rest assured that each phase was constructed properly and in accordance with all relevant codes. We are able to perform inspections at any point in the construction process, but do so most frequently at:
- Roof frame
- Practical completion (PCI)
- Plate height (brickwork)
The most major benefit of these inspections is that issues can be fixed before moving on to the next phase of development. It can be challenging to fix structural items once the build is complete. Moreover, many customers' current leases on existing properties are expiring, necessitating an immediate relocation to the new residence. It's possible this period will test your patience and resolve. Clients may rely on Master Building Inspectors for impartial advice and support during the construction of their new homes. An experienced inspector checks in on the construction at key checkpoints to give you peace of mind.
Customers may rest assured that their new structure will adhere to all relevant provisions of the National Building Code, Australian Standards, and Guide to Standards & Tolerances. Construction times range from 7 months to several years, depending on complexity.
The Master Building Inspector
Unfortunately, there is no oversight of Perth's building inspection business. This is why it is crucial that the building inspector you choose to evaluate your project has the necessary experience and credentials. In Perth, many businesses boast that all of their inspectors are certified. This, unfortunately, is not true; no such certification exists at this time.
Many people who call themselves "registered building inspectors" actually have backgrounds in accounting or management and aren't qualified to assess buildings at all.
- All inspectors have valid licences from the WA Building Commission, proving their qualifications as professional builders.
- No gaps in coverage. There are no uninsured building inspectors in the country because every single one of them has public liability and professional indemnity insurance policies from Lloyds of London.
- The inspectors all have professional experience. They've been active in the business and residential construction industry for quite some time.
- Every one of our inspectors has received in-depth instruction in the inspection and reporting procedure.
FAQs About Home Inspections
The importance of a building inspection when you build a house is often something that many people overlook. However, it is vital, for many reasons, that you invest in an independent building inspection during multiple stages of your build as well as before the keys are handed over.
The overall reason you should engage a building inspector is to make sure your house is safe for your family. That means it meets the Australian Building Code and best practices. Of course, there is nothing more important than the well-being and safety of your family. But many additional reasons could save you money and the stress associated with defects to your new home.
We must stress that our member builders all have certification and experience building homes, but robots aren’t building your home (yet), so there is always the chance of human error. Also, when you build a house, it is not a cheap process. It will be one of the biggest financial commitments you make. Therefore, it is well worth engaging a quality and independent inspector to give you the peace of mind that everything is to the highest standard.
Naturally, the main reason to get a building inspection is to pick up on any defects to the home that you or the builder might have missed. Building inspectors are thorough and will look at things you might not have even considered. They should do this at all five stages of the build.
- Building inspectors will track whether your builder is sticking to the building codes. This will guarantee that builders have built your home in compliance with all the builder codes and regulations.
- Although many builders have their building inspectors, hiring your independent inspector means that you have someone solely working on your behalf. They become your eyes and ears throughout the process, providing you comfort in the integrity of your new home build.
- Cohesion is important when building a home. With so many different components in a new home, from plasters to kitchens, flooring, and painters, having someone who can survey the work with a compressive understanding of the entire process is a huge benefit. Contractors will come and go throughout the building process, but having an independent inspector means someone is looking at the whole project for you holistically and continuously.
- Building inspectors are generally retired builders who are off the tools with many years of experience behind them. This is a huge benefit for you! Having worked in the building industry for years, they know what to look for and where some of the potential shortcuts may creep in, sometimes not even intentionally.
- If you hire a Jim’s Building Inspector, you have the bonus of receiving a report and photos after they have surveyed the building site at each stage of the process. You will get this before you are required to pay each progress payment, giving the builder incentive to fix any issues before you pay. Not only that, but Jim’s Building Inspection also guarantee their work, so if they overlook something they should have picked up, they will come back and fix it themselves at their cost.
- Although a building inspection is an additional cost, it could save you money down the track if they pick something up that you might have missed. The builder will have to fix it before they can finish the house, so you won’t have to deal with it later.
Here are some of the most common things that fail a home inspection.
- Problem #1: Rundown roofing.
- Problem #2: Drainage issues.
- Problem #3: Faulty foundation.
- Problem #4: Plumbing problems.
- Problem #5: Pest infestations.
- Problem #6: Hidden mould.
- Problem #7: Failing heating systems.
- Problem#8: Electrical wiring.
The home inspector has a responsibility to perform a non-invasive, visual examination. This means the home inspector can only examine the readily accessible areas of the home. A home inspector cannot perform destructive measures such as removing drywall, siding, trim, panelling, floor coverings, etc.
Determine What A Home Is Worth
Often a client may ask a home inspector, “do you think this house is worth it?” Unfortunately, home inspectors cannot determine what the house’s market value is or should be. Establishing a house’s market value or appraised value is reserved for a real estate appraiser. We will state appraisers look at market conditions and establish what a home is worth based on many factors, including current market conditions.
Before becoming a home inspector, I attended real estate agent school. One of the things that we were taught there is that real estate is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. So as a home inspector, when I’m asked this question, my response is almost always the same;” I don’t know the details of your financial situation. However, if you’re comfortable with the findings we’ve discussed today, then I see no reason for you not to purchase a home.”
Determine Property Boundary Lines Or Encroachments
Property boundary lines are used to establish the size of A parcel of real estate. Property boundary lines are sent by land surveyors and outlined on the property plat. Home inspectors are not allowed to determine property boundary lines as this is outside the scope of the standard home inspection. However, if a home inspector is also a trained land surveyor, the home inspector can provide this service as an ancillary service separate from the standard home inspection.
Repair A Home They’ve Inspected.
Home inspectors are licensed in most US states. However, there are some states in which they are not licensed. Even in states where no licensing exists, home inspectors can and should be certified. There are two major certification organisations for home inspectors. They are the International Association of certified home inspectors (InterNACHI or NACHI for short) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Home inspectors that are certified but either or both of these organisations are bound by a code of ethics which does not allow for a home inspector to repair any home that has been inspected, for a fee, for one year.
Report On Cosmetic And Matters Of Taste
Home inspectors are not allowed to report on aesthetic concerns or what could be deemed matters of taste or a cosmetic defect. Instead, home inspectors are looking for items deemed a material defect. According to NACHI Standards of Practice, a material defect is defined as a specific issue with a system or component of a residential property that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property or that poses an unreasonable risk to people. For example, the age of a system or component in a residential property in and of itself has not been deemed a material defect.
The Insurability Of A Home
Home inspectors are not allowed to determine the insurability of a home. A home inspector can collect information for an insurance company via an inspection report, such as a four-point inspection; however, the decision of insurability rests with the underwriter at an insurance company, not the home inspector.
The Life Expectancy Of The Property Or Components
Home inspectors cannot determine future conditions or the remaining life expectancy of a property or its components. A home inspector can determine the current estimated age and current condition of a property or components. However, no one can predict when a property or a component will need to be repaired or updated. Therefore, a home inspector may advise you that a system or component is nearing the end of its useful life. Still, as stated earlier, a property or component that is old in and of itself is not a material defect.
Determine The Presence Of Hazardous Materials
A home inspector is not allowed To determine the presence of potentially hazardous materials such as lead-based paint, asbestos, radon, or mould without proper laboratory testing to justify their findings. In addition, these ancillary services are performed for a fee over and above the standard home inspection. As a result, not all home inspectors offer the services.
Determine The Presence Of Air Quality
Hey, a Home inspector is not allowed to determine the indoor air quality without proper laboratory testing to justify their findings. Indoor air quality testing is an ancillary service performed for a fee over and above the standard home inspection. Not all home inspectors offer the service.
Determine The Presence Of Electromagnetic Fields
Home inspectors are not allowed to determine the presence of electromagnetic fields within a home. Electromagnetic fields are a combination of invisible electric and magnetic fields generated by natural phenomena (such as the earth’s magnetic field) and through human activities such as the use of electricity. There you have it. We hope this article helps you better understand home inspections and what a home inspector is not allowed to do.
House Inspectors Aren't Authorised To Do
Conduct Destructive Testing
A home inspector typically does an inspection for a client who is planning to buy the house or use it as an investment property. Often, a buyer's offer will be conditional on the results of a satisfactory house inspection. Sellers typically endorse sales contracts after coming to terms with buyers because they want to move quickly. Inspectors are tasked with evaluating a home's condition without making any structural or mechanical changes. This limits the inspection to the visible and easily accessible portions of the house. During a home inspection, the inspector must not destroy anything.
Let's say that during a home inspection, the inspector discovers some signs of damage. In that scenario, they can perform a non-destructive examination, make a note of the damage in an inspection report, and suggest a professional contractor take a look. A home inspector owes it to the homeowners and their property to handle it with the utmost care and consideration. This includes returning the premises to its original condition.
Give A Pass/Fail Grade
A house inspection is not a test. A home is not given a passing or failing grade. A home inspector has no business advising a customer on whether or not to purchase a property. A home inspector will look over the property and make notes in their report about anything they find that is broken or not working as it should. If a system or component isn't performing as expected, it should be checked by a licensed contractor to see if any repairs are necessary. In the end, it is up to the customer to decide if they want to make an investment in the property.
Condemn A Property
Inspectors are not authorised to decide whether or not a home is habitable. Inspectors cannot formally condemn a dwelling under current law. A home can be condemned only by local code enforcement officials, and only within their own jurisdiction.
Implement Local Building Codes
A home inspector is not the same as an inspector for compliance with the building code. Home inspectors are well-versed in the relevant building rules and can provide a citation to a specific code in their reports, but they are not empowered to actually enforce these codes. Officers of the law who are tasked with enforcing construction codes are the ones having this discretion.
But, unless there is new construction, an ongoing remodelling project, or a complaint about living conditions, building code enforcement officials do not inspect private residences. However, there are challenges associated with building brand-new houses. We explore some of the most common concerns detected in new house construction, like the limitations of building code enforcement inspections, in our article New Construction Home Inspections - Common Issues & Building Defects.
Issue A Certificate Of Occupancy
A certificate of occupancy is required for the utility company to place the metre and connect power to a home. This occurs in both brand-new buildings and preexisting residences when the service metre is removed because of vacancy. In order to receive a certificate of occupancy from the local building department, an electrical examination is required. This service is beyond the scope of a home inspector's work because they are not permitted to perform it by the local code enforcement agency.
Queensland law exempts sellers from disclosing flaws "likely to be detected by a buyer using reasonable care" during a property examination. New homes have the same challenges as older ones due to growing material and labour costs, building shortcuts, contract deadlines, and poor quality. WA builders must follow the National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia). Inspectors use the 2018 Guide to Standards and Tolerances for quality issues not covered by Australian Standards. The BCA or building contract decides defective construction disputes.
Western Australian contractors and subcontractors will report problems with newly built homes to the builder's Sub-standard Quality category. After taking over, the owner must maintain the project. Master Building Inspectors typically evaluate the roof frame. Construction can take seven months to many years, depending on the complexity.
Perth building inspectors are licensed by the WA Building Commission and insured. Inspections cannot change the home's construction or mechanical systems or harm the property. A home inspector cannot recommend buying a house based purely on inspection results. Instead, inspect any malfunctioning system or part by a professional. Home inspectors cannot issue certificates of occupancy, which utility suppliers need to install service metres and supply power. The local building authority disapproves of electrical inspections.
- There is always the risk of overlooking something important if you have extensive knowledge and experience with construction codes.
- This means you should only trust your new home inspection to a trained professional.
- Queensland law states that sellers are NOT obligated to reveal issues that are 'likely to be identified by a buyer exercising reasonable care' during a property inspection.
- It's just as typical to find problems in brand-new homes as in older ones.
- All builders in Western Australia must follow the regulations outlined in the National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia), which governs the construction of new homes.
- When there is a dispute over faulty construction, the BCA or building contract governs.
- Although the Western Australian new construction housing market is mainly self-regulated, builders will typically fix these concerns without challenge once they obtain the new construction inspection report.
- All work performed by contractors or subcontractors engaged by the builder will be included in the builder's Sub-standard Quality category in all reports if any defects are found.
- During new-construction inspections, flaws and variances must be obvious from a standard viewing angle.
- The owner should perform regular maintenance once the project is handed over to ensure the building functions as expected.
- Using standard landscaping practices, owners can lessen the likelihood of structural damage and cracking.
- It can be challenging to fix structural items once the build is complete.
- An experienced inspector checks in on the construction at key checkpoints to give you peace of mind.
- This is why the building inspector you choose to evaluate your project must have the necessary experience and credentials.
- In Perth, many businesses boast that all of their inspectors are certified.
- The inspectors all have professional experience.
- Our inspectors have received in-depth instructions on the inspection and reporting procedure.
- During a home inspection, the inspector must not destroy anything.
- Ultimately, it is up to the customer to decide if they want to invest in the property.
- Inspectors must be authorised to decide whether or not a home is habitable.
- A home inspector differs from an inspector in compliance with the building code.
- A certificate of occupancy is required for the utility company to place the metre and connect power to a home.
- An electrical examination is required to receive an occupancy certificate from the local building department.
- This service is beyond the scope of a home inspector's work because they are not permitted to perform it by the local code enforcement agency.