It’s a huge expense for you to invest in a property. No matter the building is small, big, new or old – you have to make sure that it’s in a habitable condition. So, to make sure that your spending is in the right place, you should not think twice about booking a building inspection service.
With this in your mind, you first have to equip yourself with everything that is there to know about building inspections. Having this knowledge will come in handy when you are talking to an inspector. You can ask relevant questions and also check whether the inspection is carried out in a proper manner or not.
So, get ready to read a detailed article on how building inspections work and some must-follow tips to ensure that you are purchasing the right property.
A building inspection service is done by a licensed inspector who runs a comprehensive check on your building and provides you with a detailed report.
The inspectors are usually experts and can detect all the errors present in the house. From minor to major and severe – you will have a full list of the faults that may threaten the safety of the building or to your health. Looking at those errors, you will know whether to proceed with buying or simple to call off the deal.
It usually costs around $400-500 for a single inspection. However, the rate increases if you also wish to have pest, termite and swimming pool inspection.
Reasons to consider building inspection
You may think to skip the building inspection process by looking at the price. However, think like this: Suppose you have purchased the house without doing the inspection. At first, everything may seem fine. but gradually, you may observe leaky taps, moisture-retaining walls, cracks in the building, etc. You may also encounter certain major problems in the roof, garage, cellar, attic, etc due to improper construction. The only solution left for you is to repair the problems which become an additional amount you have to spend other than the investment.
So, don’t hesitate to book for inspection services as they are famous for notifying the problems beforehand, allowing you to make the right purchase. Some other reasons include:
- To know the exact condition of the property
- You can deal with problems before they get worse
- You can make a valued decision
- The resale value increases
What areas are checked during an inspection?
A licensed and registered inspector will check for all the accessible parts of the property. Every part in house interiors, exteriors and other parts are inspected thoroughly to find any defaults or malfunctioning.
Below is the list for you to have an idea on what areas are inspected:
Faults in interiors like:
- Cracks in the walls
- Moisture retention
- Rising damp issues
- Irregular Attics and basements
- Improper toilet and laundry rooms
Faults in exteriors like:
- Structure of the building
- Sagging or collapsing structures
- Roof and under-roof space
- Gutters and the pipes connected to it
- Garage places
And other inspected areas can be:
- Driveways and pathways
- Electrical wiring and plumbing system
- Garden area and fencing
- Drainage system
- Steps and their structure and alignment
- Any visibility faults in doors, windows, etc
- Timber decking and patios if any
- Anything that causes fire hazards
Inspectors also check for wooden frames for any signs of pest and termite infestation, if you asked for the pest inspection as well. Other than this, they also check the garden more deeply and see if the infested trees or plants are in anyway cause damage to your health.
Questions You Need to Ask Yourself
- Do I really need a building inspection?
Absolutely Yes! There’s no need for you to hesitate. A building, whether it’s new or old, is bound to have some errors. Be it from daily wear and tear or due to some mistakes during construction – you must know beforehand the type of faults present in your house.
An inspection will wipe away any hesitation you have regarding the condition of the building. Either you are a buyer or seller, knowing what you are getting into will eliminate half the problems that you might have to face otherwise.
- Do I need both building and pest inspection?
Again, the answer is yes. Both building and pest inspection will give youa complete assessment of the building. As pests can be a persisting problem, it’s important for you to identify them before they turn into something major. Also, pest inspection says about the pests or termite’s infestation that can damage your property. As they can also be dangerous to your health, it’s recommended to get both building and pest inspection.
- Can I check the property state before the inspection?
Yes, you can have a look at the property before the inspector arrives. You can note down the certain visible irregularities that are present in the house. And you can discuss them at a deep level with the inspector while the procedure is going on. But what areas do you have to check? If you are wondering about the answer, here are a few points to enlighten you:
- Check your door, windows and see if they are fitting properly
- Check the floors whether they are dampened or not
- Check the walls for the bold and visible cracks
- Observe your ceilings and note if they have sagged
- Check the whole plumbing systems (taps, pipes, toilets, sinks, etc)
- Check the electrical fuse and the whole wiring in your house
- Don’t miss the gutters, roof, tiles, etc
- Check for the presence of moulds, pests, rodents, etc
Being self-aware is important rather than being ignorant. Doing an inspection by yourself will add weight to your final decision.
- Do I have a full idea of building inspection procedure?
It’s imperative for you to have the full idea on the inspection process. Initially, you might not know anything about it. But when the inspector arrives, work closely and see for yourself the errors and other defects. Ask how a certain problem will affect the building in the long run. Also, ask for a rough estimation figure on repairing the costs. Though inspectors cannot exactly say the figure, you can know whether it’s going to affect you big or not.
- Does a qualified inspector is enough to complete the job?
Yes, it’s enough. Normally, building inspectors come with the expertise and knowledge they have gained over their extensive experience. So, in an inspection, they can detect and make out the issues that are going to cause you trouble.
Also, inspectors also have certain tools and equipment to find the root cause of the problem in the property. So, when you appoint an inspector, you can relax that you are going to get a truthful and honest opinion of the condition of the building.
- Can I decide whether to buy or sell after the inspection?
Yes, you can. To be more precise, people book for inspection service for this exact purpose. Whether it’s buying or selling, you should have full confidence that you are getting exactly for what you have invested. Even when you are selling, you can demand a fair price if you repair all the faults and keep the building health in good condition. You will have more chances of selling your house when you come across with potential buyers.
- How long does a building inspection report take?
For a medium-sized house, it usually takes 2-3 hours provided it’s only for building inspection. If it’s a large building, it takes around 5-6 hours. However, the time required may change according to the service you requested. If you also want pest, termite and swimming pool inspection, then the inspection takes nearly a day. And then the inspector prepares and produces the detailed report usually within 24 hours after the inspection.
- Do I have to book the inspection early?
As mentioned, the whole inspection procedure takes up to 2-3 days to complete. And yes, it’s better if you arranged for the inspection prior to the fixed date (either for buying or selling). Never neglect inspection procedure and plan accordingly that you are giving enough time to inspect and analyse the problems in the building you are going to buy or sell.
Also, if the building has many repairs, then clearly you need time to fix things, especially if you are looking to sell. And you can’t expect how many days or months the repairing time takes. So, to avoid last-minute adjustments or hurrying up the things, make careful planning.
To have the correct estimation of time, you may take help from building inspection companies, which brings us to the next topic.
How to Choose the Right Building Inspector?
Though you can do the outside or superficial inspection on your side, it’s always ideal to rely on professionals to have an expert and in-depth survey. However, the problem arises when you fail to choose an efficient inspector. Not only is there a danger of misleading but you will also lose your valuable time and money. So here we have collected some points which guide you to choose the right inspector:
- Must be experienced and licensed
Not only for inspection but in every other service, choosing the experienced and licensed personnel makes all the difference. Having experience means they have the knowledge of every single fault and irregularity of the houses. So, you can depend on their opinion and trust that they are doing the right kind of work for you.
- Must contain the right inspecting equipment
When you consult professionals, ask or check whether they are using the advanced tools and equipment. For instance, experts have tools for moisture detection and some other difficult areas in roof, cellar, garage, etc. With the smart tools, you can expect the inspection report to be accurate and honest.
Also, check whether the experts are equipped with the knowledge of using the tools and they know both the ins and outs of the equipment.
- Ask for the previous reports or portfolio of the works
When you still don’t have assurance, request the expert companies to present their previous inspection reports or portfolio. The honest and confident companies should not have any doubt in providing you with the work reports.
Looking at those reports or portfolio, you can draw a map of their working mechanism, integrity, honesty and other factors which tell the efficiency of the company.
- Are they giving you straight-forward answers?
An inspector giving you confident and straight-forward answers are much more reliable than the one who communicates ineffectively.
You should always observe their mannerism like their body language, eye-contact, hand gestures, etc. all these will tell you how ready are the inspectors to accept and deliver the work.
- Don’t ignore your gut feeling
Always rely on your instinct or gut feeling. If something tells you any inspector is not reliable in delivering the work, then it’s better if you don’t go along with their service.
You will automatically know whether to hire the inspector just by looking at their way of behaving. All other things like experience, license, etc are additional perks you get.
What Does an Inspection Report Include?
It’s already stated that after a thorough inspection of your building, the inspector will submit you a detailed report within 24 hours.
But for what details should you check for in that report? Or what will be the structure of the report? If you are wondering about these, then look for these contents below:
- Your name and address of the property checked by the inspector
- The purpose/ reason for the inspection (either for selling or buying)
- Date of the inspection conducted
- The extension of the inspection (whether it’s for only building or including pest)
- Any places or areas that are not inspected
- The reason for not conducting the inspection process
- And if those areas need inspections, it’s suggested in the report
- Now the main points like where inspection is conducted
- Any major or safety concerns are clearly listed
- The repairs of the problems mentioned
- A brief about the condition of the building (whether it’s suited for living or not)
- Depending on the state of the building, the inspector may suggest another inspection as well.
Other than these details, sometimes, inspectors may also include the rough estimation needed to repair the problems in the building. Looking at the figure, you will know whether it’s profitable if you purchase the building or go for another option.
Whatever be the reason, a building inspection report will give you a crystal-clear idea on what your next step should be.
Want to Skip Pest Inspection? Think Again.
It’s not suggested to skip the pest inspection, especially when the building contains a garden with tall trees or heavily built with wooden materials. You never know the underlying trouble the pests slowly cause if you leave them untreated. So, you need to rectify them before you can think of living in that building.
Pests are any kind of animal or plants that threaten your health when you subject to their contact. Take a look at some of the issues here:
- Mosquitoes which are responsible for causing fatal diseases
- Presence of abundant grasshoppers and caterpillars which destroy the vegetable plants
- Mice or rodents destroy the stored food and chew away the furniture and other related items
- If the building has wild animal access like feral dogs, then it’s a safety concern, especially if you have kids
- Termites are usually the silent-killers, as they eat away the foundation without you knowing until it’s too late
- And other insects like bed bugs, silverfish can destroy your clothes and other furniture, etc
If you feel like building consists of any of the pests mentioned above, then it’s a definite for you to take the pest inspection service along with building inspection.
Some Useful Tips to Follow
- For sellers
To get a fair price, it’s a must for you to keep the building in a good and presentable condition. But you can’t go and fix every problem that the house has. So, instead, have your building inspected by the registered inspectors where they provide a report along with a must-repair list.
You can fix those repairs and can sell the house at a price you wish to desire.
- For buyers
Pouring a huge load of money into something requires thought and planning. So, don’t hesitate to get an inspection report consisting of all the faults in a building. It gives a perfect solution and clears away whatever dilemma you are in.
So, after reading this long article, you must have realised how vital it is for you to book a building inspection. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you must ensure that the building is in a healthy, habitable condition, so that you don’t have to face any problems in the future.
If you are worried about finding a licensed inspector or a competent one, rely on the internet and ask your friends and family for advice. You are sure to find the one that works and helps you to find closure for your decision.
Well, that’s it. It’s everything that you must know about building and pest inspection. Don’t delay any further and start searching for the companies who provide reliable, trustworthy and honest inspection reports of the building.