There are just so many reasons why building inspections before you buy are important. So many elements of a house can be concealed by vendors, that it makes it almost impossible for a normal person to detect major defects, not to mention identifying termite activity. At Melbourne House Check we have listed the five main reasons why a pre purchase building inspection are a worthwhile investment. Our considerations are based on the consequence of missing these five elements and financial loss that could potentially be incurred.
Electrical safety – Issues relating to electrical safety are a common defect we see during house inspections in Melbourne. Often, we see light fittings covered over with insulation or dangerously close to the timber frame, whereby the timber is burnt. We often see an accumulation of dry leaves congregating around light fittings, but probably the worst is the presence of foil insulation in the ceiling that is in contact with exposed live electrical wires. These issues, if undetected, can cause a fire and possibly death.
Illegal building works – It is common now days for homeowners to attempt their own house projects after watching reality building TV shows. The problem however, is that these shows give the illusion that it is easy and quick, and that anyone can do it. The reality is that renovating a house is complex and requires tedious planning and the assistance of many well trained professionals. While conducting house inspections it is common to find walls that have been removed without the relocation of roof load. We see roof spaces that have been modified into new rooms and we see decks and pergolas that have been constructed, all without the required planning and building permits. The consequence of buying a house with illegal building works is that when the local council finds out, they may require the works to be demolished. Also, house insurance may not cover these illegal works.
Cracking – Cracking can be a common defect in houses. Plaster, brickwork, concrete slab floors, tiles and timber can all develop cracks. While some cracks are considered minor, others can be major and structural. It is vital to establish what is structural and non-structural when it comes to cracking in the house’s elements. Structural brickwork cracking for example can be extremely expensive to fix.
Termites – Termite are destructive creatures. They can do considerable damage to a house in a very short time. Most people would have no idea where to look for evidence of termite activity, nor would they be able to identify the conditions around the house that are conducive to termite activity. In most cases termites gain undetected access to the structural timber components of a house. It is vital that not only a visual inspection is undertaken, but also other inspection methods, for example sounding tests, moisture tests and computer radar testing. Currently 1 in 10 houses inspected have evidence of termite activity.
Site drainage – Site drainage may seem like one of those considerations that is not necessary when purchasing a new house, however it is an element of the house that will determine the long term stability of any house, and one that cannot be ignored. The slope of the site and the direction of water flow is important to consider. Water that pools around or underneath a house can not only affect the structural elements of the house but may also affect the occupant’s health. A thorough property inspection will consider the site.
These five considerations are only a few of the hundreds of things that can be defective in a house. Remember that no house is perfect, however it is vital that when you buy a house, these elements are considered by a professional and that the important and costly defects are identified.
Read more about building inspections here. If you would like to have a conversation regarding a house you are considering buying, you can contact us at Melbourne House Check here, or call us on 1300 729 352.
You can view our Google+ post on this matter also here.