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The prevalent assumption is that if a new property has passed the required staged building inspections, it must be free of defects. Unfortunately, this is not the case since council inspectors or construction certifiers only enforce building code compliance, not the construction materials or workmanship. As a result, you should hire an independent building inspector to conduct a complete examination of any structure you intend to buy.
This entails an examination of the workmanship and construction materials used, even if the structure meets accepted requirements, identifying any problems and whether significant repairs are necessary. In this post, we will surmise the reasons why your new building still needs property inspections and why you should choose a good property inspector for the work.
Do New/Recently Built Homes Need Inspections?
It is normal to expect and assume that your contractor will have double-checked it before handing over the keys to your new house. However, it is pretty common to later discover errors in construction, incomplete technical work, or general finishing that has been left undone. Without a final inspection, you risk being forced to carry out repairs and renovations, which are bound to be quite costly, on your soon-to-be-new house.
In many circumstances, it is up to you, as the new homeowner, to decide if you want an inspection of the new home or if you are ready to take it "as is." If you skip a pre-purchase building inspection, you will miss out on some of the critical benefits and protection that these inspections guarantee. An inspection might reveal things that the contractor or even a real estate agent would not otherwise tell you or might not even notice.
If you encounter problems during a building inspection, you will have the option to get them fixed before assuming ownership, or at the very least know what you're getting into when the home is finally yours. Ultimately, this depends on your purchase contract and any guarantees issued by the seller.
Your building and pest inspection specialist will refer to a specific Australian Standard or the Building Code to ensure that the builder corrects any flaws they come across on time. The expense of dealing with repairs and renovations on a property that you believed was perfect would significantly exceed the cost of a fundamental building inspection.
The Various Kinds Of Building Inspections
The term "building inspection" is quite broad, and several inspections fall under it. Most inspectors have several specialties, which focus on certain residential or commercial building elements. Some situations, such as building a new house or purchasing an existing one, necessitate a particular building examination. These inspections ensure that you make the right choices in your home deal. They include:
Building and pest inspections
Building and pest inspections can assist in determining the state of your new or existing property, detecting hints of deterioration caused by pest infestations, and calculating repair costs. Professionals can undertake pest inspections during pre-purchasing building inspections, which are suitable for new home purchasers.
Special purpose building inspections
Special purpose building inspections are undertaken to deal with problems that develop randomly or over a long period. These examinations are designed to discover and pinpoint specific faults in a given building's components, such as timber decking, beams, and walls.
Fire inspection experts undertake fire inspections and are in charge of detecting possible fire hazards and failures in both old and new structures. These specialists check buildings for two reasons: fire prevention and public safety.
Because the weight of any given house rests on the slab, slab inspections are one of the most important aspects of a building inspection during construction. If the concrete slab on your new home has issues, it could result in severe structural flaws. These include cracking in the exterior walls, interior cornice, walls, and ceilings, cracks in the wall tiling and floor tiles, and even jamming and sticking of doors and windows, among other things.
A handover inspection is undertaken towards the end of the construction process. Before handing over the house keys, your home inspector can do a building inspection and prepare a building report on your behalf. This inspection ensures that your new home has been constructed following the Australian Standard 4349.0.
The faults that must be addressed at proper completion are listed in the report produced by your house inspector. This report also contains information on the state of the concrete slabs, stonework, roof framework, roof exterior, windows, fire and safety, floor and wall tiling, plumbing as well as electrical, ceiling works, stairs, painting, carpentry, home exterior, and other components of your house.
Common Issues Found In New Homes
You would think that buying a brand-new house eliminates the need to be concerned about faults or quality concerns, but building defects are more frequent than you might expect. When it comes to substantial construction projects, builders subcontract out the majority of the work.
All of that coordination and switching between subcontractors can lead to missed steps and building flaws. Let's look at the most common problems associated with new buildings that might appear in an inspection report.
Incomplete construction work
There's always the possibility that the contractor that constructed your home forgot a critical step in the construction process, such as adding fire blocking, missing insulation in sections, or improper tiling or caulking. These are usually minor concerns, but they must be addressed before your family can move in.
Overlooked painting job
It is typical for certain parts of a building to be overlooked while painting is being done. Some portions of a newly-built home, such as basements, utility closets, and also other out-of-the-way locations, may not have been professionally painted. Touch-up paint may also be applied at the very end of the construction to give it a fresh look. You may resolve many of these issues following the inspection.
Improper plumbing connections
As a building owner, hiring an expert plumber to do the plumbing in all new buildings is essential. Failure to do so could result in several issues, such as plumbing connections and pipes may be constructed incorrectly, potentially violating local construction codes.
Inadequate appliance installation
Home appliance installation can be an afterthought while building a new house because it is one of the last items done. Therefore, inspections are essential in ensuring that appliances such as dishwashers, trash disposals, washing machines, refrigerators, and dryers are correctly installed from the start.
Scratches on the floor and wall damage
Dragging heavy materials and equipment during construction around a house might create scratches and damage, but this should be repaired before the house is up for sale or completed and ready for sale. Keep an eye out for any scratches, no matter how minor, on the wood flooring and wall damage.
Improper window installation might lead to costly repairs or replacements in the future. Broken thermal seals, poor locks, and draughts can all cause long-term problems.
Faulty heating and cooling systems
Incorrectly installed heating and air conditioning systems may cause discomfort in your home and also increase your electricity bills. It is essential to check these items right away.
Dirty home duct systems
Construction generates a lot of debris and dust, which may accumulate in your ductwork and cause damage to your HVAC system if not properly cleared. During construction, floor registers should be sealed or covered.
Wood flooring separation
Gaps in the flooring can be caused by faulty installation and moisture variations in your home, and significant gaps can be difficult to repair. This is especially prevalent in drier regions with strong humidity fluctuations. Movement happens as the flooring wood expands and shrinks, causing the issues.
The original problem might have been a failure to enable the wood flooring to adapt to the environment before installation. Fast-paced manufacturing timelines might result in shortcuts, with the impact not being visible for months after the installation as your flooring components acclimatises to the installed site.
Concrete shrinkage cracks
If concrete is improperly mixed and too much water added, it may eventually result in shrinkage fractures that are not immediately visible. Such cracks are not structural; they allow water to flow into the cement. As water freezes inside them, it could expand these spaces, causing sagging and heaving. When these cracks appear in driveways and pathways, you should have them sealed by an expert.
Grading and drainage issues after construction
These have the potential to cause significant issues. Correct grading and drainage are required to prevent water from seeping into your foundation and causing water damage. As mentioned earlier, the water might also freeze in the winter, producing foundation cracks. Newer grading is more prone to settling and doesn't necessarily settle evenly. This might result in poor drainage or uneven surfaces.
Selecting A Building Inspector For Your Home
Are you looking for a new house and considering hiring a great building inspector to complete a pre-purchase building inspection? Here are some considerations while selecting a building inspector.
Are they qualified for the job?
Inquire with your inspector about their industry experience and how long they have been in operation. A general building inspector is well-versed in the intricacies of sound house construction. All licensed building inspectors are also assigned a licence number, which they must present to you. You can examine their registration data if you are concerned about their trustworthiness.
Does insurance cover them?
When selecting a building inspector, make sure they are adequately insured. A professional service ought to have Professional Indemnity insurance to cover their staff's safety and Public Liability insurance to cover any harm caused to a third-party person or your property.
Do they permit you to be onsite during the inspection?
The refusal to allow you as the client to be onsite during an inspection is a crucial signal of an unskilled building inspector. When a good inspector undertakes your house inspection, they spend the initial part of the examination alone.
This allows them to walk through the house gradually and devote all of their concentration to the more minor aspects. They will then welcome you later on so that they may address any initial concerns you may have or clarify our results.
What do they charge?
Although it might be awfully tempting for you to select the lowest building inspector available, it is critical to examine the quality and completeness of the service provided. If you choose an inspector primarily on pricing, you may end up with one who takes shortcuts, which can cost you in the long term.
Therefore, you should look for a qualified building inspection company with a favourable rate. For instance, the pre-purchase inspections at Jim's Building Inspections begin at around $350. They include an assessment of any visible issues as well as coverage of all sections of the home.
Get A Qualified Building Inspector For Your Home
As you can see from this article, undertaking a building inspection of your new home is very important. Choosing a well-known and reliable building inspection company in your locality is the best way to avoid unpleasant surprises later on. They are equipped with the inspection knowledge and skills to guarantee that any faults in your new home do not go undetected.