The main purpose of a building inspection prior to purchase is to provide advice to the client regarding the condition of the dwelling at the time of the inspection. A building inspection considers and deals with any evidence of structural damage and conditions conducive to structural damage. It deals with any major defects in the condition of secondary elements and finishing elements and also any collective minor defects.
Serious safety hazards are also commonly documented at the date and time of inspection, an example of which may be
- hot down lights in the roof space in contact with or close to timbers or insulation.
These conditions may be considered a fire hazard. A limiting factor of a building inspection prior to purchase is that the inspection is limited to the readily accessible areas of the building and the site and it is based on a visual examination only of the surface work, and it does not deal with the carrying out of any tests. Nor does it allow for any invasive inspection if defects are suspected.
In providing an overall assessment of a dwelling the building is normally compared with a building that was constructed in accordance with the generally accepted practice at the time of construction and compared also with a house that has been maintained such that there has been no significant loss of strength and serviceability.
A further objective of a building inspection prior to purchase is to expose any hidden defects in a building that may have been concealed purposely by a vendor in order to sell the house. Conditions such as concealed subfloor doors or locked rooms are a common occurrence and in these cases caution should be taken and further questions asked. Other concealed defects might include the presence of new subfloor timbers that may have been replaced, or new skirting boards also, both conditions that may suggest past termite damage.
Another common consideration of a building inspection is given to whether a house has been recently altered. It is vital to establish whether the correct documentation has been sort if recent works have been undertaken, including permits and registrations.
Melbourne House Check conduct thorough building inspections and can be contacted on 1300 729 352.