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 Inspection Middle Park – Masonry Brick Damp

Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector took the above photograph during one of his building inspections in Middle Park.  It depicts damp and age damage to a masonry brick wall.
Some older homes we see during our building inspections in Melbourne show deterioration of masonry bricks and mortar on lower walls.   This is normally caused by rising damp or excess damp penetration over time, poor drainage or can even be caused by the down pipe flowing directly onto a wall. Mr Inspector checks these issues during the building inspection and investigates to ascertain the likely cause.

Building Inspections Black Rock – Rusted Valley Gutters

Mr Inspector, a fully qualified building inspector conducts building and pest inspections in the Black Rock area and surrounds and the photo above depicts valley gutter rust taken during a building inspection in Black Rock.
A building inspection of all the roof components is essential due to age of components over time.  Valley gutters take rain water down to the gutters and then through the down pipes to storm water point of discharge.  Over time the valley gutters can rust and the valley mortar can crack open and dislodge into the valley. This can cause water to stagnate under the mortar debris and this rust can develop.  Regular cleaning and inspecting of the roof components is recommended.

Building Inspections Heatherton – Rusted roof sheeting

Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Melbourne and this is a photograph that shows rusted roof sheets on a flat roof, found during one of our building  inspections in Heatherton.
This could not be seen by potential buyers unless they actually had a ladder and got on the roof. Replacement is recommended in some circumstances where it won't be long before the rust penetrates and leaking occurs. Many house inspections we conduct show homes that have repaired the front or sides of the roof – the parts you see when you turn up at the “open for inspection” – but the blind sides have not been repaired or replaced.  This shows the importance of having a thorough house inspection carried out as to replace an entire roof could leave you out of pocket by at least $15,000 to $25000.

Building Inspections Brighton – Blocked guttering

Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Melbourne and the above photograph was taken during one of his building inspections in Brighton.
Although relatively easy to rectify, debris and blocked gutters can lead to rust in the gutters and down pipes and then possibly $5000 plus to replace everything.  Stagnant water and air will cause rust and keeping these areas clean of debris will save you money over time.  There are numerous small business in Melbourne that come out and clean your gutters for a reasonable fee.

Building Inspections Moorabbin – Down Pipes

Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Melbourne and took the above photograph during one of his recent building inspections in Moorabbin.
Many older homes around Melbourne, especially in the inner suburbs don't have their down pipes connected to storm water, rather they are directed out onto the street or into a lane. This is not normally an issue but down pipes leaking or flowing close to the homes wall can pose a problem over time. Common problems are deterioration of the bricks mortar, timber rot on timber stumps, weather boards or plinth boards, footings settlement, rising damp problems and is also conducive to termite infestation. These issues are assessed, photographed and included by Mr Inspector in his building inspection reports.

Building Inspections Mentone – Sub Floor Plumbing Leaks

Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Melbourne and this photograph was taken during a building inspection in Mentone. It shows excessive water ponding in the sub floor area.
This is considered a major defect as further deterioration of the building or its elements could occur. Sometimes it may be something minor causing the problem like a down pipe not aligned at the base causing water to flow in under the home and other times it can be something major like a broken water pipe under ground or inadequate surface drainage or landscaping which can be expensive to rectify. In this building inspection it was a water connection to the bathroom and a plumber had to attend to rectify.  If this was not found during the house inspection the likely problems would be settlement in the stump footings and possible a termite infestation.

Building Inspections Aspendale – Cracked storm water pipe

Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector conducts building inspections around Melbourne and the above photograph was taken during a building inspection in Aspendale. It shows a broken storm water pipe.
It is likely that it was damaged during construction and not replaced.  Technically a major defect due to the potential of further problems arising, it is relatively easy to rectify and should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid potential footings settlement.  A licensed plumber should be engaged to repair the damage so no excess water gets into the homes footings.

Building Inspections Cheltenham – Water ponding in Sub Floor

Mr Inspector, a qualified house inspector in Melbourne took the above photograph during one of his Cheltenham building inspections after discovering excess water ponding in the sub floor of the home.
You can see water ponding around the stump – this is considered a major defect as footings settlement may occur if excessive water gets into the footing over time. The end result is differential settlement in the homes footings which can cause wall and ceiling lining cracks, binding doors and windows and excess masonry wall cracking. In this case a plumber would be required to attend the home and carry out the expensive process of elimination to find where this water is emanating from. Broken pipes and leaking plumbing under the surface would need to be checked. Mr Inspector believes anyone who does not pay a reasonably small fee for a building inspection before purchasing may end up having to fork out thousands of dollars to repair issues not seen.

Building Inspections Hampton – Unconnected shower base

Mr Inspector, a fully qualified building and pest inspector conducts house inspections in the Hampton area and surrounds.  This photograph depicts why it is so important for a building inspector to get under the house.
This photograph above was taken by Mr Inspector during a house inspection in Hampton and shows the shower base under the home is not connected, this shower waste is just pouring into the sub floor. At some stage it was connected but works had been carried out and someone forgot to reconnect to the sewer. There is also evidence of a leak from the shower recess as you can see the timber joists and bearers are wet.  This building inspection defect would not have been picked up unless a full inspection of the house's sub floor was carried out by a qualified building inspector. It is a good example of why you need to get a thorough home inspection by a qualified building inspector rather than just attending an "open for inspection" and having a look around the house.

Building Inspections Sandringham – Sagging roof

Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector who conducts building inspections in Sandringham and surrounding suburbs. The above photograph was taken during one of his building inspections in Sandringham.
The roof line is sagging and can be caused by weight gain in tiles over time or framing defects.  Mr Inspector observes this often during his house inspection on attached dwellings where brick party wall meets with the roof tiles and as you get further from the party wall you see some sagging due to tile weight gain over years. The structural integrity of the roof frame requires assessing and most times this can be monitored. Mr Inspector, who is located in Cheltenham believes a building inspection is imperative before you buy a home so all defects can be exposed, thus putting you in an informed position before buying.