Why use a building inspector when constructing
15 Jun 20
Construction almost completed? Don’t drop the ball now!
Here at Capital Properties we make it our mission to help you with every stage of the finance and property investment journey. We hear stories of some poor souls doing all of the hard work only to have something go wrong at the last minute because they weren’t fully prepared for the final hurdle.
We want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you, so we encourage you to use a Licenced Building Inspector. Follow me through a sped-up scenario of a house and land construction to find out why.
On the go? Here’s 30 seconds of take outs:
- A building inspection is vital to ensure your property construction is finished properly.
- A Building Inspector carries out the inspection of a property to check for any defects.
- Practical completion means the day the building work is completed as per the contract.
- Book your building inspection 1 to 2 weeks prior to practical completion.
- Arrange the inspection after the builder’s completed their ‘defects document’ and the house has been cleaned.
- See below for a useful building inspection checklist.
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Here’s a typical scenario
Let’s assume that you’ve already done the hard yards; saved your deposit, gained finance and settled on the land and now the construction has well and truly started. In this scenario, you’ll have been paying the interest on your loan during the construction period for the last 6 – 8 months which means you’re getting to the pointy end and have reached the practical competition stage. Hurrah, you think! Job’s a good ‘un!
But have you ever spoken to anyone that’s moved into a “finished” a house and then the problems begin? They discover the jobs that were only partially completed or entirely missed? We don’t want that to happen on our watch, so read on and use our checklist to make sure that when the builder says your house is completed, then it’s really good to go!
Capital Properties have been doing this a long time and we want to share some simple steps to ensure your property gets handed over to you in the best possible condition. This is why a Building Inspector is essential!
What is a Building Inspector?
A Building Inspector is a person who carries out an inspection of your property to check for any defects. They can do this before a property is put on the market, after renovations have taken place, or after a new build has been completed. Building inspections can be done on their own, or in combination with a pest inspection or other, more detailed inspections. In a new build, we advise you to get the inspection carried out at the time of practical completion.
What is practical completion?
For a domestic building contract, practical completion means the day when the subject work is completed in compliance with the contract. This includes all plans and specifications for the work and all statutory requirements applying to the work. It means the work is completed without any defects, other than minor defects or minor omissions that won’t unreasonably affect occupation. If the building owner claims that there are minor defects or minor omissions, then the building contractor must give the owner a ‘defects document’ noting these. A full definition of practical completion will be in your contract.
Some minor defects and minor omissions are acceptable as per the state or territory’s building authority, e.g. Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
Long story short, practical completion means that virtually all of the building work has been completed and it’s ready for you to move in! But note the ‘virtually’, because it’s the final niggles that will cause issues if they’re not attended to at this stage.
This is when you need to engage a Building Inspector
Ideally the best stage for your building inspection is after the builder has completed their ‘defects document’ and the house has been cleaned well enough to ensure a thorough inspection of the completed works.
Your builder should advise you 1 to 2 weeks in advance of when they expect to do the practical completion. At this point you can discuss with your builder the most suitable time and date to arrange your inspection.
In Queensland, Capital Properties recommend a qualified building inspector, inspect to the QBCC standards & tolerances. Below are just a few of the guarantees that a good one will offer as well as a checklist that we use at handover inspections.
Through our network partners we guarantee:
- Same day reports, provided inspection is completed by 12pm.
- Best price or we’d love the opportunity to beat it by 10%.
- Licenced Builder & Inspector.
- 3rd party recognition. Capital Properties building inspection reports are recognised by 3rd parties as per the QBCC Standards.
- 1st class service.
- Highest quality. We work to the highest standard and not to the clock.
- Painted door surfaces
- Architraves & skirtings are damage/chip free
- Door margins are consistent
- Door fixtures including hinges & latches have all the screws
- Doors have door stops
- Architrave mitres are sanded flush
- Timber door & door jambs are not chipped
- No door rattles
- Door latches correctly
- Gaps under doors are not excessive
- Doors don’t rub on soft floor coverings
- Robe door operates smoothly
- Windows and/or sliding doors are not scratched
- No damage to window and/or sliding door frame
- Window locks operate correctly
- Windows slide correctly
- Window furnishings operate correctly
- All lights work
- No damage to Light fittings
- Exhaust fans operate
- Electrical power points & light switches aren’t loose
- Heat lamp globes work
- Wall & ceiling paint are damage-free
- Silicone sealant installed where required and with a professional finish
- Baths are not chipped and/or damaged
- Shower screens don’t leak
- No damage to shower screens
- Tap fittings aren’t damaged and operate correctly
- Toilets are fixed down and sealed to floors
- Toilet operates correctly
- Mirrors & mirrored robes aren’t damaged
- Towel rails & roll holders are level
- Towel rails & roll holders are not loose
- Hanging rails fitted to robes correctly
- Laminated cabinetry surfaces are not damaged
- Appliances are not damaged
- Cabinetry handles are plumb & level
- No sign of water leaks under the sinks, tub & basins
- Cornice lines are straight
- Timber skirting lines are straight
- Control joints are located accordingly to main floor tile areas
- No damage to tiles
- Tile grout is complete
- Tile surfaces are flush and no ‘lips’
- The aluminium angle under the doorways has silicone sealant
- Soft floor coverings are not damaged and/or frayed
- Garage panel and/or roller doors operate smoothly
Roof void checklist:
- Insulation installed professionally
- Roof sarking is undamaged
- Light fittings are not covered by insulation
- No damage to brickwork and/or render
- Face brickwork mortar joints are consistent
- Face brickwork is clear of mortar smears
- Window frames aren't damaged
- No gaps in windows and door frames
- Articulation joints are suitably filled with flexible sealant
- Eaves are straight
- Appropriate paintwork coverage to eaves/cladding
- Fascia/gutter straight and without damage
- No damage to downpipes and connections are secure
- Roofing and flashings installed correctly
- No roof damage
- Fencing installed correctly
- Gate operates perfectly
- No damage to the driveway
- No exterior concrete damage
- Check exterior concrete falls
- Check landscaping and surface water drainage
- No hot water leaks Sound like a lot?
We can help!
We’ve been there. Done that. We know building. And we know the unique challenges you have as a Defence Member. That’s why we make it our mission to support you in your journey to financial freedom. To help get you on your way, you can find out more with a free Capital Properties discovery session.
Check out our free investor tools: Online property investment toolkit | Book Your Pinnacle Program Review | Property Investor – Self Evaluation
We had help writing this article it was co-authored with our network partner David Firth from www.firthco.com.au | firstname.lastname@example.org | (07) 5593 6713
Downdown your free copy of New Home Truths to learn ‘What everyone needs to know when building a new home’ www.firthco.com.au/home-truths