As per the Australian Standards for pre-purchase building inspections we must report on Major Defects and a general impression regarding the extent of minor defects. We also must inspect for any major defect that is an urgent and serious safety hazard. Mr. Inspector has supplied a list and examples below of the types of defects we look for and report on.

Your building inspections report will include Structural Defects, Major Defects, Minor Defects & Maintenance Issues and Major Defects that are an urgent and Serious Safety Hazard.

There are many defects that Mr Inspector searches for in a home inspection. There are over 1000 potential defects we could potentially list in your report, but one would hope that wasn’t the case.

Apart from listing defects and supplying photographs, the object of getting us to carry out your home inspection is to provide advice to you regarding the condition of the property and to form an opinion of the general condition of the property in comparison to a home that is of similar age and construction that has been well maintained over the period of its life.

After 11 years of experience in the house inspection industry we can guarantee you that every house will have defects. Houses like cars get old, some are poorly maintained and some are pretty good overall.

Mr Inspector doesn’t just send you a house inspection report listing all these defects for you to try and work out. I wouldn’t pay for that. We tell you what type of defects they are, where they are located and what’s required to fix them. All our house inspection reports are about 60 to 70 pages and include photographs of the defects with labels and arrows to help you out.

Best of all, Mr Inspector is available all hours of the night until you understand your building inspection report. We do this for your benefit and ours because we would rather you fully understand it on the same day when it is fresh in our mind rather that calling us the next day when we are under a house.

IMPORTANT: Mr Inspector wants you to totally understand the significance of the defects we find. A home can have major defects that are cheap to fix as well as minor defects that are expensive. By having an understanding of what is expensive to rectify, you know what you’re getting into, know what it is all going to cost to fix and then you can decide which way you want to go or alternatively how much you are willing to spend to buy the property.


In Australia, a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection should be carried out as per Australian Standards (Inspection of Buildings – Part 1: Pre-purchase Inspections – Residential Buildings (AS 4349.1 – 2007).

This Standard is quite a large and overwhelming document that provides Building Inspectors with the basic criteria for the inspection and the inspection report. It tells us what to inspect on and also what we shouldn’t include in our house inspections. In basic terms we inspect all visible areas within our area of expertise, telling you what type of defects are present, where the house inspection defects are located and what you need to do to rectify them.

Most Building Inspectors are insured in the event something may go wrong, some are not. If a building inspector did not satisfy the requirements of this Standard his/her insurance company would likely not support them in the event of a claim by a client.

Mr Inspector is fully insured and carries out his inspections in accordance with AS 4349.1 2007.

Building Inspections Highett – Gutter Rust

Mr Inspector, a qualified Building Inspector conducts professional pre-purchase Building and Pest Inspections in the Highett area and surrounds.  The above photograph was taken by Mr Inspector during one of his many building inspections in Highett and shows the importance of having an actual qualified building inspector assess your property in Melbourne before you buy.
Mr Inspector often observes gutter rust which is common in older homes.  The cause of rust is water and air - when gutters get blocked the water remains stagnate and over time causes the rust in the gutters and subsequent penetration. Many of our building inspections reveal debris in the gutters and water ponding due to blockages from debris, leaves etc. Depending on the size of the home replacing gutter can be expensive.  Rust is caused by water and air and removing debris so the water can adequately exit the gutters via the down pipes will prevent the rust.   Gutter replacement can range from $1000 to $3000 depending on the size of the home. Mr Inspectors says that overflowing gutters is also the main cause of timber rot to fascia and eave linings so cleaning regularly is important.

Building Inspections Sandringham – Timber debris

Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Melbourne and took the above photograph during one of his building inspections in Sandringham showing timber debris under a home.
When we access the sub floor during the building and pest inspection we often observe timber debris under a home. This includes old builders off-cuts and timber stored by the owner.  When it is in touch with the soil it allows easy access for termites to enter via the ground soil and therefore is a conducive conditions for termite infestations. It is preferable to remove all timber from under the home or if you really want to keep it, place it on shelves so it is not in contact with soil.  This also applies to fire wood in storage boxes up against walls.  Some house inspections Mr Inspector has conducted reveal termites in wood piles. Again, this reiterates the importance of having the sub floor area of any home regularly inspected by a qualified building inspector.

Building Inspections Hampton – Leaking toilet pan cone

Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Melbourne who conducts building and pest inspections in the Hampton and Bayside areas. The photograph above was taken by Mr Inspector during one of his building inspections in Hampton and shows a leaking pan cone sleeve on the rear of a toilet.
During our house inspections Mr Inspector will always inspect behind the toilet for leaks and poorly fixed toilet pans.  We often see rubber pan cone deterioration and when you flush the toilet it leaks fresh water, not sewer. This is not likely to cause a lot of damage in the short term but over a longer period you may observe rot in you skirting board and after a while, in the floor boards and frame. This is also conducive to termites attacking the home due to the supply of moisture.  Note, it is clean water that is leaking, not sewerage. A plumber should be engaged to replace any leaking or deteriorated pan cones.

Building Inspection Black Rock – Leaking Shower Base

This is a photograph taken by Mr Inspector, a qualified Building Inspector, showing a leaking shower base found during a house inspection in Black Rock.
We often observe old and current leak damage from showers and washing machine connection leaks during our building inspections around Melbourne.  The only way of finding out if this is occurring is by gaining access to the sub floor to carry out a thorough inspection under wet areas for leaks and damp related problems. Normally due to inadequate water proofing, cracked shower tiles or deteriorated tile grout, leaking will be causing rot to floor and floor frame and the longer this remains unnoticed, the more damage this will cause.  Some house inspections we have attended have revealed termites in the vicinity of leaking bathrooms and showers, so an inspection of this area is paramount.

Building Inspections St Kilda – Rising Damp Problems

Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector carries out building inspections in the St Kilda area and rising damp is one issue commonly seen.  The above photograph shows moisture readings on a lower wall during one of our St Kilda building inspections.
If a home has been recently painted you won't see rising damp problems and many damp issues get covered up by owners.  The only way to find rising damp is to use a moisture meter which detects dampness in walls. Rising damp is a quite common problem in very old homes.  The St Kilda and Elwood areas that contain older double brick dwellings are quite prone to rising damp due to ageing of the original and very old damp proof courses which were made from a bitumen compound many years ago. My Inspector inspects lower walls for rising damp problems during all building inspections and pest inspections.  Using a moisture meter the lower walls are checked for any damp problems and rising damp.  Common damp areas we see are shower leaks where the opposite walls and skirting board have been damaged due to water penetration. More problematic is rising damp on masonry walls due to an old damp proof course that has been breached or has deteriorated.   Symptoms are paint flake or bubbling on lower walls and if a wet area or shower leak can be eliminated it is normally rising damp and can be quite expensive to reinstate a new damp proof course.

Building Inspections Sandringham – Leaking pipe

Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector in Sandringham believes that most building defects are found under the house due to the area rarely being inspected.
The above is a photograph taken during a building  inspection in Sandringham showing a leaking pipe found during a house inspection in Sandringham. Having a building inspection prior to buying a property can reveal hidden defects.   The importance of inspecting the sub floor prior to buying a property is evident in this photograph.  A recent house inspection in Sandringham revealed a leaking plumbing pipe connection under the home.  This is considered a major defect because the leak may cause further problems, such as decay to timber framing, footings settlement and is also conducive to termite infestation. As the sub floor of most homes is rarely inspected, these defects can continue for years without anyone knowing and it is very important to engage a building inspector to assess the sub floor of your home at least annually and definitely before buying a home. The importance of a thorough building inspection carried out by a qualified building inspector in Melbourne can not be underestimated, especially under the home.

Building Inspections Bentleigh – Roof Inspection

Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector took the above photo during one of his many building inspections in Bentleigh.  The importance of a house inspection carried out by a qualified building inspector can not be overlooked, especially under the home and on the roof.
It is showing a chimney that has not been capped.  This can cause excess water entry in heavy rainfall periods over time and a roofing plumber should be contacted to cap or seal the chimney.  Very rarely do home owners climb on their roof and inspect for damage, broken tiles, rust or flashing problems and only find out when the ceiling starts to see damp damage. Mr Inspector says annual inspections of the roofing areas should be carried out by a qualified building inspector.  

House Inspections Cheltenham – Rusted Roof

Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Cheltenham, Victoria and took the above photograph during a building inspection in Cheltenham showing a rusted roof.
Mr Inspector's house inspections sometimes reveal a beautiful new roof when we arrive at the inspection and park out the front.  Sometimes looks can be deceiving - the blind sides that you can not see from the street can be covered in rust.  The only time you will know abut this is when you see the water coming through he ceiling. A thorough building inspection by Mr Inspector can reveal all these hidden defects and is essential before you buy a property as an entire rusted roof could cost around $20,000 to replace.

Inspection Cheltenham – Roof Flashing Defects

This is a photograph taken by Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector during one of his building inspections in Cheltenham.  It shows flashing gaps which will allow and have allowed water penetration into the roof void and damage to the ceiling linings.
Mr Inspector climbs on the roof during the house inspection and looks at anything that will cause problems.  This can be inadequate flashing, lift or deterioration, cracked roof tiles, rusted and lifted roof sheets, moss build up, chimney cracking, hip and ridge mortar decay and sagging of the actual roof.  All these problems could cause leaking into the ceiling lining.  If we find problems like this during the house inspection and there is no visible leaking on the ceilings, we will then get the thermal camera out to see if there is any damp.

Building Inspections Highett – Stump Inspections

Mr Inspector is one of a few actual qualified building inspector in Melbourne. The above photograph was taken by Mr Inspector during a house inspection in Highett and shows a rotten timber stump footing.
You can see that the timber stump footing (that holds up the house) is rotten - see Mr Inspectors Termite Tapping golf ball is under the stump.  Further investigation revealed a leaking plumbing pipe  under the kitchen area and when the owners were told about this they realized why their water bills were so high.  This leak had been occurring for over 12 months and caused rot to the stump footings which required replacement.   This reiterates why it is so important to carry out a building inspection by a qualified building inspector in Melbourne so that you are well informed of any costly building defects before you buy the property.