Do I need the building inspection service? If you are visiting this page then you probably do.
If you are looking to purchase a new property, build a verandah or alfresco then building inspections are vital. However, this does not mean that you are legally binded to such the service.
A lot of people think about the home building inspection, the same way as the building code or building control.
What's more they also think that there are serious implications if the building inspector criticizes parts of the property.
So, let's put things in the more human scenario:
"you - the purchaser - come to the temple of the Building Inspection Guru. The Guru asks you: what do you seek? The truth! You reply...".
In other words, the building inspector provides the true and professional observation about the property you enquire. But it is up to you, what you are going to do with this information.
Essentially, there are two types of building inspection services:
The first type of the building inspection is to reinforce building codes and building control. These inspectors work for local authorities, such as: municipality, townships or cities.
Failure to meet local building standards results in serious consequences. Local governments can confiscate or demolish any building which does not conform to the required specifications.
The second group of building inspectors - the home inspectors - are private and independent contractors. They also must adhere to the strict building regulations. However, home inspectors cannot reinforce the law on the dodgy works. They have no authorities to prosecute builders but have still the same responsibility to provide a professional building report.
Generally, building inspections deal with the structure, plumbing and wiring. However, an increasing number of inspectors also provide the termite reports.
Those building inspections, which offer all types of services under the same umbrella, are generally cheaper. They are also easier to deal with, should the issues arise.
New home inspections can be performed by the council and private contractors. The council building inspection service has legal bearing. Builders will not ignore the municipal building inspections, otherwise serious consequences arise. The private contractors do not have the same legal powers.
However, new home owners have legal rights not to accept the building which was poorly regarded by their inspector. In this case, the builders (or current owners) are indirectly forced to break the contract because of a dodgy construction.
Can I do new home inspections? Of course you can.
Anyone is permitted to do their own inspection. The more informed and more qualified you are the better you understand the property.
However, even though you may have the expertise, your personal building inspection will not be objective. Your new property is your financial future and often your "heart" will win over your "brain".
New home inspections are particularly vulnerable to our subjective opinions. We may desperately want the new home, or be unreasonably picky on irrelevant issues to drop the price.
On the other hand, the objective building inspector will not be bias to advice on the structure, plumbing, wiring and termite infestation. Only after these solid facts you can decide whether the building is suitable for the purchase.
All building inspection service providers carry relevant licenses. Australian industry standards for such works are AS4349.1 for building and AS4349.3 for pest inspections.
What's more, all inspectors must provide a certificate of currency for professional indemnity insurance. They cannot walk into the property without the appropriate insurance.
If the inspector cannot produce these relevant papers then they cannot provide the service.