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Handover Inspection Checklist

A pre-handover inspection (or PCI) is a form of building inspection done for you as the buyer of a newly built home. The inspection typically takes place before you can take possession of your new house, but after all construction work has been finished. It is often the final phase in the construction of a house or unit. And it is a crucial phase in the home building process.

For you to be sure that the work done on your new home is finished to the agreed-upon standards. The buyer employs building inspectors as impartial parties to discover any unresolved problems and/or incomplete finishes, ensuring that the building meets industry standards.

Following a comprehensive inspection of all aspects of the new house, a handover inspection and dilapidation report are prepared and emphasise in detail any minor problems in quality, omissions, blemishes, as well as general building defects and bad workmanship (internal and external). This post will go into additional detail about a handover inspection and why you need one as a new home buyer.

What Do Handover Inspections Include?

To begin, you must provide the handover inspector with copies of the fundamental contract paperwork (such as drawings, project specifications, schedules of finishes, etc.). These will assist the building inspector in understanding what your contractor was required to do. Additionally, if you have any building specifications that need to be checked, ensure to let the inspector know.

Through handover inspection services, you get a chance to obtain an unbiased assessment of the seriousness or otherwise of supposed problems. A competent handover inspector will test and also check items you would not think of, and they won't have to discover anything amiss to justify their fee.

Areas covered during a pre-handover inspection

A pre-handover inspection covers the entire house from top to bottom. Your consultant will assess the whole exterior and roof, as well as all finishes, fixtures, fittings, and appliances, room by room. A pre-handover examination is not the same as the necessary final inspections performed by your council's building surveyor or a private building inspector (called a Principal Certifying Authority or PCA in NSW).

Your building inspector verifies that everything is built following the BCA, Australian Standards, and your state or territory's building requirements. The building surveyor guarantees that the structure is technically 'habitable.' On the other hand, the pre-handover inspection is focused on the delivery of precisely what was agreed upon within your contract with the building contractor.

This comprises specified building finishes, colours, inclusions, and so forth. Unless you advise the inspector otherwise, this sort of inspection seldom involves things like functioning appliances (which are frequently not installed till the day of handover to reduce the danger of theft), a building and pest inspection, or even counting the number of lights or power points present.

What happens after the inspection?

Following the completion of the pre-handover inspection, your inspector will write a report, which should contain a summary of any flaws and omissions and any certifications that you may reasonably expect your builder to supply. Within 24 hours, your report should be ready for the contractor to study and (if required) correct or defend their case over whatever has been offered.

Maintaining constant communication with your builder at this stage is critical, especially listening to any acceptable arguments as to why the builder did something in a specific manner. Your handover inspector may be able to assist and advise you on these explanations.

In general, your contractor will review the inspection checklist and undertake all corrections as needed or answer your complaints about the job. Typically, the contract will provide a deadline for these modifications to be completed. At this point, you and your building inspector will go through the issue areas again.

If they have been resolved to your satisfaction, then the handover of your house should proceed without delay. Furthermore, all of these occurrences should occur at the contract's specified times. In most cases, these faults will be trivial, and the contractor will have no trouble just correcting them.

Checklist For Handover Inspections

As previously mentioned, handover inspection reports are extensive reports covering all accessible parts of the entire property. Below is an example of a handover inspection checklist:

  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Brickwork and cladding
  • Insulation, sarking, and roof structure
  • Roof covering (wherever accessible)
  • The standard of the tiling, plastering, painting, and other finishings
  • Cabinets and wardrobes
  • Walls, both external and interior
  • Ceilings and flooring
  • Doors and frames, both exterior and interior
  • Windows and frames, both external and interior
  • Staircases
  • Patios, balconies, and decks
  • Fences and outbuildings

Benefits Of A Handover Inspection Report

You will have more peace knowing that an unbiased third party has completed your handover inspection report. Even though a reliable and established builder constructed your new house, mistakes could still happen, and the builder might overlook some problems. This is why it's crucial to enlist the aid of a building inspection service provider who is highly adept at seeing any potential construction issues that the builder hasn't discovered.

The inspection's objective is to find out whether the property was built according to design and specifications and fulfils Australian Building Standards. Your definition of quality work may differ from the builders, so a building inspection will assist you in ensuring that the craftsmanship is satisfactory.

Many builders will be eager to hand over the house and collect their cash as soon as possible. As a result, you should arrange for the handover inspection as soon as the construction has reached the actual completion stage. Keep in mind that you will have a limited period after practical completion to report faults and expect your builder to make the necessary repairs.

As you already know by now, having a handover inspection ensures that the professionals will uncover issues that non-experts may miss. And if the report reveals severe flaws, a handover inspection might be an effective negotiation tool in the last phases of completion.

Top Qualities Of A Good Handover Inspector

A handover inspection is a critical component of any property deal. Before you fully commit to accepting a project from a contractor, you need a qualified handover inspector to point out any flaws or damages. You need a dependable, educated inspector that can be counted on to arrive on time.

And, of course, a complete handover inspection report that is easy to understand and gives a clear record of a property's condition is also crucial. But what precisely distinguishes a competent handover inspector from a genuinely exceptional one? All the top handover inspectors appear to possess these key characteristics.

Very responsive

We live in a fast-paced society, and waiting more than a day for a call-back or an email feels like an eternity. The most outstanding handover inspectors create solid relationships with customers immediately, promptly responding to calls, emails, and messages. Responsiveness fosters trust and allows you and the inspector to communicate effectively. It will also ensure that it runs smoothly and faster.

Attention to detail

Inspectors must have a strong vision and keen listening abilities to accomplish a thorough job. The most outstanding house inspectors do not rush; instead, they enter each room with interest in what they could discover. Moreover, they question their preconceptions and approach each property as if it were a whole new area.

Clear communication

Being a successful building inspector includes expressing what you observe in the house in simple terms that your consumers can easily comprehend. In addition, they should be able to explain any technical jargon to their clients. Many handover inspectors might use technical jargon when giving you a tour of their findings.

Hence, a comprehensive house inspection report is also essential. The finest inspectors have a detailed checklist and can take clear, succinct notes to ensure that all bases are covered.

High ethical standards

The greatest home inspectors understand and communicate exactly what they can and cannot perform to their customers. They follow their code of ethics seriously since they know it protects you as their client, allowing them to perform at their peak. They behave earnestly by consistently performing the finest, most comprehensive job possible.

Your building inspector must be licensed

Before hiring a building inspector, ensure that they are licensed. It is worth noting that you should inquire whether they are a member of any national organisations, as they demand a certain number of inspections before actually certifying an inspector.


Great handover inspectors are well-versed in all aspects of building a house, from foundations to roof rafters. They are familiar with traditional methods but are also up to date on the most recent innovations in everything from plumbing to electrical to eco-friendly appliances and HVAC systems. Simply put, they stay up to date with the business and memorise information like an encyclopaedia.


A skilled home inspector always arrives on time for all appointments. Successful inspectors tend to be busy, but they understand that customer care is essential. They know that when you contact them, you may be worried already, and they will not want to keep you waiting for long.

Your building inspector should have positive reviews

We all have shortcomings; however, it's a different story if your building inspector's website is littered with negative comments and criticism. A great handover inspector will be a good investment if the majority of their company's ratings are favourable and good, and their past customers highly recommend them.

Should practice ethical pricing

A reputable building inspector charges their clients according to market standards. Some contractors overcharge their clients, whereas others might even include hidden expenses you will only discover after paying the bill. A reputable handover inspector should reveal all charges before you sign the contract.

They ought to have insurance cover

A reputable building inspector should be insured by a third party. This is critical in the event the inspector makes a mistake in the inspection report or gets injured during inspections.

Qualities Of A Good Handover Inspection Report

The inspection report should include photographs

An extensive explanation of the components and features investigated will never be as informative as a picture. As a result, a high-quality report will include images taken by the building inspector during their visual assessment. To improve accuracy, the inspector can utilise arrows, comments, or any other approach to convey the observable facts as clearly as possible.

The report should be written in simple language

A full and detailed inspection report is always preferable. However, it is still vital that it be comprehensible. A report brimming with technical jargon may appear impressive, but it will not assist you in grasping the building's status and may cause some uncertainty.

A good handover inspection report must be both informative and written in plain English. This is especially important to ensure that anyone who reads it, even if they are not specialists in the subject, can comprehend everything in it. A document prepared in overly technical language is useless, especially in the event of litigation.

Do You Need A Handover Inspection?

A handover inspection, as you've read in this post, can let you know if your contractor performed a decent job on your house or if they need to correct mistakes made along the way during construction. Even though your home has undergone a handover inspection, you may require the services of a building inspection and or pest inspection firm in the future for other forms of inspections.

For example, if you need to sell or purchase an existing property, you will require services such as building and pest inspections, among others, to secure a decent bargain. If you want the services of a handover inspector or a general building inspector, please contact the best building inspection company in your area.

Before you buy. Before you build. Inspect with confidence with Jim's!

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