This will sound obvious but a building inspectors job is to check a home for any defects, issues or problems that are not immediately obvious. Building inspectors have greater knowledge than the average person, and therefore, they know what to look for, and know if a home is likely to be a good investment, or if it has issues that would need to be addressed prior to purchase.
If you don’t hire a building inspector to run a report, then you may find that you have no recourse if something goes wrong with the property and that you still have to proceed with the purchase. Building inspectors helps you because you will know the true condition of the property, not just the condition that has been put forward for the purposes of selling a property. Most sales consultants will only highlight the benefits and advantages to buying a particular property and will ignore any issues. You will be better prepared if you enlist the services of a building inspector.
You will be able to budget for post purchase expenses if anything needs repairing or replacing, and that will give you the option to consider whether or not you still want to proceed with the sale. If the repairs are going to cost several thousand dollars then you can choose not to make an offer, or if you’re still going to put an offer in on the property you can choose to offer less than if the home had no issues. That said, it is very rare that a home will be perfect and that you won’t want to renovate or make post purchases changes.
As a seller you may want to get a building inspectors to conduct an inspection of your property prior to listing as well. This will create a more transparent process and you will build trust with buyers if you are open and honest about defects with the property. It will also give you the option to fix the problems prior to listing the property which will enable you to sell your house for a higher price than if you were to sell with defects. Finder.com.au reveals that you can command a higher price for every renovation that you undertake on your property, so it’s in your best interest to get a property inspection completed prior to selling. There would be nothing worse than listing the property and then discovering that it’s uninhabitable according to the legal standards or that it has huge issues like termites. It’s best to contact a building inspector and get a full building report.
Sometimes people can get carried away when they find a property that they love and they won’t get things checked because they’re so in love with the property. This can cause you to miss things and only focus on the things you love about the home. This is where property inspections are helpful. They will identify any problems that you may not notice and can offer independent advice, that is unclouded by emotion. Property inspections are designed to give potential buyers the full picture of the status of their home and let them know of any faults that there may be.
They’ll check all of the windows to identify if they are all working as they should be or if there are issues with the latches. They’ll also check all of the doors. It may seem obvious but there have been cases reported where people did not check one of their doors, and they later discovered that it couldn’t even be opened. If a door or window doesn’t work that could be a sign of a bigger issue such as moisture or mould, which could lead to health problems (you can read our blog on the effect of a damp home to see what issues this could cause).
A good property inspector will check all of the electrical outlets and the electrical equipment to identify if all powerpoints are working and if all electrical equipment is working. They will also check for equipment rust. If the equipment is rusted then that could be a sign of a much larger issue – dampness. Dampness can cause health and safety issues, especially if the electrical equipment is exposed to areas where moisture can get into the home.
A property inspection will check to see that plumbing is working and will look at areas that are not accessible to the average buyer without proper testing equipment.
Melbourne is subject to extreme temperatures like the rest of Australia, so if the house has an air conditioning unit, it’s worth checking to see that it’s working correctly as it should be. If it’s not, it could cost you thousands of dollars to fix or replace.
When you’re getting your property inspected, the property inspector will roof check the for any cracks between seals and identify if there are any possible leaks that could cause water to leak into the sealing.
A property inspection will potentially bring up issues with your home, however by knowing what issues there are, you are equipped to address the issues and if you decide you’d rather not pay for the repairs then you can simply choose not to buy the property.
Sub Floor Inspections
Unless you’ve ever purchased a home, you probably wonder what a sub floor inspection is. It is an inspection that checks for moisture or other issues under the building. The specific area that’s checked is under the building. It’s often forgotten due to accessibility problems. It may be quite difficult to get to, yet it’s essential that it’s checked because if not, you could find that your floor boards get exposed to moisture and that will potentially cause your timber and carpet to get destroyed and not last as long as they should.
A sub floor inspection is really important because it can actually cause other defects with a house other building. One way to identify if your home has sub floor issues is to check if your property smells. If it smells musty or has a dry humid smell, then it’s likely it’s the result of flaws originating from the sub floor.
Sub floor problems can also lead to the occupants suffering from health conditions such as respiratory problems like asthma. There have been cases reported in Australia where people have lived in damp homes and become extremely ill. In some reports they have actually died.
A sub floor inspection will give you the chance to repair any issues. In some cases, you’ll need to get the timber reinforced or you’ll need to replace the timber which can be costly and take a huge amount of time and money to fix.
A good inspector who inspects sub floors will check for gaps between floor boards to determine whether or not moisture can get into the home. Weather can cause floor boards to change shape and size. If the home is damp, then it’s likely that the sub floors will expand and that will cause greater issues. If the condition of the sub floor is really poor, then the boards may even shift which has the potential to destroy carpet or let moisture into the home.
A simple way to find out if the sub floor condition isn’t up to the standard it should be, is to check if the floor boards are squeaky. If they are then the most common reason is that the joists under the floor have shrunk and are uneven. The best way to deal with this problem is to secure all the boards that appear to be shifting. This may not always be possible so you’ll also need to install additional joists.
These are of course just some of the issues that a sub floor inspection can identify. If you’re in doubt about the condition of your floor boards or sub floor, it would be worthwhile getting a sub floor inspection to be on the safe side.
Roof Void Inspections
Leaky building syndrome was a property condition affecting a number of apartments in New Zealand in the 1990s and early 2000s were found to be leaky. This was because the homes were built without meeting local building standards. That aside, because every state and country has different standards, could have been avoided if people had conducted roof inspections. Times have changed since the 1990s, and in recent years, people have wised up to the importance of getting a property inspected prior to purchase. A roof void inspection could have identified structural issues and defects.
When you get a roof void inspection carried out you will be able to identify various problems prior to purchase which will allow you to either cancel the sale, negotiate the terms or extend the settlement date if you’re still going to buy the property and will be getting the roof repaired prior to purchase. A roof void inspection will identify termites, damage and unstable joints, which could lead to leaky home syndrome if not addressed. The roof void inspection will identify if the joints between roofing planes aren’t sealed properly. If that’s the case
If there are roof problems, then the issues can be extremely damage. Firstly, there’s the obvious risk of water damage which can not only cause moisture (link to moisture blog here) damage, it can cause mould. If you’ve ever had mouldy fabric or clothing, you’ll know that it’s fatal. Nobody wants to have their $5,000 couch damaged.
Roof void issues can cause moisture and dampness, which will make your home colder. By getting a roof void inspection carried out pre, or post purchase, you’ll have the opportunity to get such issues fixed, which will potentially reduce your possible electricity bills and save you money in the long run. A dry home is a healthy home, and one that will prevent you from getting sick due to dampness and the cold getting in.
When you get a roof void inspection carried out, you’ll be able to identify a range of issues. If the timber has termites that will be identified. Termites can spread through the timber and eventually damage every piece of timber in the building.
Did you know that if there’s significant roof void damage it could actually be a fire hazard? That is because of where the electrical wiring is located. A roof void issue could cause water to come in, which can potentially reach your electrical writing and pose a risk.
When you become a property owner, you take on the costs associated with owning it. These range from dealing with property managers, to repairs and regular maintenance expenses such as termite inspections.
The frequency with which you should get your home inspected for termites will vary depending on what type of area you live in. Termite inspections will be required more frequently when you live in and the materials that your home was made out of. If you own a timber home, then you’ll need to get your home inspected for termites more frequently. Even if your home isn’t made from timber and you don’t live in a high risk area, it’s still worthwhile getting a termite inspection at least once a year. Doing so allows you to identify the early stages of a termite inspection so you can take preventative action to deal with the issues.
If your home has termites and you don’t address the issue, then you’re putting rooms at risk, and potentially the entire home. Termite infestations can cause major structural issues, which can make it dangerous and unsafe. That is a breach of Australian building standards. If you left termites untreated and then needed to knock your house down, you may need to spend a few hundred thousand dollars getting it rebuilt. Getting the issue dealt with early on will prevent the termites taking control of the entire property.
When you know that your home has termites you can treat the problem to reduce the risk of it spreading. You’ll be able to treat the wood with chemicals that are toxic to termites. You can also inject the wood with Dri-Out which will assist in getting rid of termites, or you have the option of spraying the wood with a termiticide and a fungicide.
Even after getting a termite inspection done and treating your home to prevent them, you shouldn’t get complacent, because termites can return, even if they’re treated. Regular termite inspections will give you the opportunity to regularly treat your home and that means your home will last for much longer than if you allowed termites to run wild in the wood of your home. If you do have termites and you need to repair your home or take further preventative measures, you will still have a cost of up to $5,000, which although painful, is not as painful as the potential costs mentioned previously.
A termite inspection will look to see if there are any obvious signs that termites are causing your home damage, and an inspector can also perform other checks that you can’t. This is because termite inspectors have special equipment that the average person does not.