Mr Inspector is a qualified Building Inspector and has carried out numerous Building and pest Inspections Melbourne wide since 2004.
We see all sorts of Building Inspectors
We have seen many house inspection companies come and go. We have seen terrible reports and great reports and have seen inexperienced house inspectors, lazy inspectors and great inspectors. We see people saying they are building inspectors when they are not. We know of people doing house inspections who have no experience or qualifications at all in the building industry, yet they say they do.
A qualified Building Inspector is one who has obtained a Diploma in Building Surveying. A Builder can’t even call himself a Building Inspector….that’s why some say they are qualified house inspectors or building consultants which is not recognised by the Building Act.
In Victoria an 8 year old can inspect a home before you purchase it as the pre-purchase inspection industry is not regulated. We know one who was a car salesman not long ago and has no experience in the building industry. We have seen inspectors who are not insured, yet they say they are. We know of people doing a two day course on how to write reports and stay out of trouble and call themselves qualified house inspectors.
We know of some franchises who conduct in house training and call themselves qualified house inspectors -or building consultants – there is no such thing as per the Building Act.
We have seen inspectors shine their torch under a home, take a photograph and leave without getting under the house when there is ample clearance to do so. They may as well call themselves “Google Earth Inspections” and carry out their inspections from their office computer via Google Earth.
We have had vendors call us after their homes were inspected by other inspectors – one stated an articulation joint was a major crack and major structural defect when an articulation joint is supposed to be there due to reactive soil conditions.
We are not saying we are the best in the country as I have seen many builders who are very good and very knowledgeable. I’m just saying we have been trained to detect defects left by tradespersons like builders and carpenters, defects that do not comply with the Building Regulations or the National Construction Code. They are not normally major issues or defects but technically they may not comply with Australian Standards, Building Regulations or the National Construction Codes.
Some issues we encounter as Building Inspectors
Anyone carrying out a pre-purchase building inspection in Melbourne must do it as per Australian Standards 4349.1 2007. There are things we have to report on and things we don’t. For example we do not have to report on every single minor/maintenance type defect found. We just have to give an overall assessment of minor defects as high, typical or low in comparison with a well maintained dwelling of similar age. All major defects and safety hazards must be reported.
We can only inspect and report on areas we can access. We can’t pull walls apart to check wall frames if we notice excess moisture behind a shower and we can’t dig up someones yard to check if pipes are broken – it is a visual, non invasive inspection. To me this is common sense – I wouldn’t allow a building inspector to dig up my yard or remove my wall linings if I was selling my house.
We have clients that don’t want to pay us because we could not get under a house that was built on a slab – go figure! We have clients who want us to check if the sewerage lines on the street are in good order (need to dig 4 meters in some circumstances. We have had clients request us to ascertain if power lines are emitting signals that can cause brain malfunctions. We have had tenants that won’t let us in. We have had home owners (vendors) follow us into the roof and under the home and abuse us for taking notes of defects. We have crawled in mud and been bitten by spiders.
We have had agents abuse us for including defects in the inspection reports – apparently that is not what we are supposed to do. We have had agents tell other potential buyers that we inspected the home and it was all OK, when it wasn’t. We do inspections during “open for inspection times” and have people wanting a free inspection report, asking us how the home stacks up. We have heard of a client wanting his money back because an outdoor toilet door was missing a hinge screw.
Look at What You are Signing before you commit.
I recently had an agent call me requesting information as our client wanted to rescind the contract due to termite damage. After getting the all clear from my client I told the agent that termite damage existed in the structural timber members of the roof frame. She wanted to know if there were any live termites which there were not.
Why was this asked – too many home buyers are not reading the fine print in the contract clause which basically states they can end the contract if live termites are found, not termite damage. This is a clause beneficial to the vendor. You are paying good money for a home that may have termite damage and too bad, its your home unless live termites are found. Do yourself a favour and use a conveyancer or solicitor to go over the Contract of Sale. I would never buy a home with the standard REIV clause of subject to Major Structural Defects and Live Termites. Nor would an agent and nor would a vendor agree to this clause if they were buying a home.
Are Minor Defects worth worrying about?
Please understand that minor defects are present at every home we look at and in my opinion, should not be a reason to not buy it. You will never buy a home if you are worrying about minor defects. However, the presence of major structural defects, live termites and termite damage is a different matter. The rectification of Termite damage alone can be anywhere from $500 to $200,000. We have had one in Ivanhoe that cost our client $280,000 in repairs.
Get you contract of Sale (section 32) assessed by a conveyancer before committing to buying the home. If you are putting in an offer do not use the conditions clause most agents use – they wouldn’t. My advice is to put in your offer subject to a “satisfactory building and timber pest inspection”. You’re spending the big money and the vendor wants your money – it should be on your terms. We have seen too many clients stuck with homes with major repairs required due to not reading the conditions clause.
Get the building inspection completed by a qualified Building Inspector – one who has a Diploma or Degree in Building Surveying. Ask to see credentials, a sample report and Insurance Certificate. The Building Inspector should make himself available lat at night to discuss the building inspection findings as this is a very important time in your life. Mr Inspector is available to 11 p.m. every night to discuss.
Once you have received and read the building inspection report you should be able to discuss the findings in depth with your building inspector, especially if you are confused or have major concerns. The nature of building inspection reports and Insurance requirements within these reports can make these reports look like a house is about to collapse – this is never the case. There are so many things we have to include in the report that we wish we didn’t have to. For Example – paint deterioration, minor cracking in paths, fence rot, loose door handles.
Dont walk away if minor issues are found. We will explain the rectification costs involved and what needs fixing first. Some major defects are easy to fix and sometimes cheap to fix. You need a building inspector who will be available to discuss the finding in depth. We have had so many clients not want to buy a home after reading our reports and after lengthy discussions they have bought the house and lived happily ever after.