Buying a property can be exciting and daunting at the same time. There’s a fear of the unknown and risk involved with such a big purchase, but that’s why getting a pre-purchase inspection is a good decision. Having an inspection means you can make an informed decision and reduce your risk. But if you’ve never been through the buying process or you’ve had a bad experience, knowing questions to ask a building inspector when buying a house (or building one) is a smart approach. You want to make sure you are armed with the information you need before signing the dotted line.
Take a look below to see a list of ten questions to ask your house inspector.
1. Are you licensed?
One of the first questions to ask your building inspector is if they are licensed. It can be easy to overlook this question and assume that everyone is licensed, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. It’s important to note that Queensland is the only state where a building inspector needs to be a licensed builder and have a residential building inspector’s licence. The license must be issued by the QBCC to perform a building inspection legally.
2. Are you actively trading?
This may sound like an odd question to ask when booking your property inspection before buying, but it is essential. Builders who are still trading tend to be more up-to-date with the latest regulations and are also much more knowledgeable about household building materials. There isn’t any requirement for the latest trends and changes, but actively working in construction helps an inspector learn new trends and techniques when assessing a property.
3. What does subject to building inspection mean?
Have you found yourself frantically searching “what does subject to building inspection mean?” worrying you won’t qualify for your loan or secure a contract? Subject to building inspection basically means that a contingency has been placed on your loan or contract agreement and that the bank will not approve the money until after the inspection results are reviewed.
4. What insurance do you have?
Your building inspector should have professional indemnity insurance. This insurance will cover any errors or omissions involved in a building inspection because mistakes happen. Professional Indemnity insurance covers the building inspector for the advice, consultation, and reports should a claim be brought against them.
5. Do I need a pest inspection?
Sometimes your building inspector may recommend that you get a pest inspection done. A pest inspection ensures that there are no rodents or termites in the house. It also ensures that you will not have an expensive repair job on your hands later down the line. Getting a pest inspection done will save you time and money, particularly because a pest inspection tends to find what you can’t see. Some mortgage providers will ask you to do a building and pest inspection before you make an offer. Either way, getting it done is in your best interest as well.
6. What areas are covered in the report?
The areas covered vary depending on the type of report you get. However, a general building inspection should cover every accessible area of the property. Your building inspector will not knock any holes in the walls, nor will they move furniture. The inspection includes checking under, over, inside and outside of the property. It includes a general check of electricals and plumbing, along with structural checks. That being said, it is worth it, purely because rectifying issues like this at a later date could be costly.
It’s important to note that some inspectors may not inspect outbuildings and pools. If you require a pool safety certificate, you will need to pay extra to get this done. Visit our pool certifier Brisbane page for more information on our pool safety service.
7. Are you going to look on the roof?
Yes, a building inspector should look in the roof space and on the roof. However, where a roof exceeds 3.6 metres high, a building inspector cannot access the roof. In this case, building inspectors like Admired Building and Pest inspections, who are CASA licensed, perform drone aerial inspections to inspect the roof.
8. How many times will you visit the property?
Planning a building inspection for new property means you have the option to have an inspection at different stages (or all). Even though a new build can have top quality workmanship, like everyone, builders still make mistakes. An inspection at each stage is a good idea before the next stage commences.
A new build inspection typically takes place over four stages, followed by a warranty inspection within the warranty period to ensure any defects are rectified:
- Slab stage inspection
- Frame stage inspection
- Lock up or enclosed stage inspection
- Handover inspection
- Warranty Inspection
9. Can I attend the inspection?
By all means, yes, you should attend the inspection, but check before you book to avoid disappointment. There are many benefits to attending the inspection. It’s your chance to do a complete review of the property and ask the inspector questions as you see things. It’s also a time to cast fresh eyes over the property to get more of an idea of what you’re getting yourself into.
During the inspection, you might pick up minor defects that you can easily change when you renovate. You and the inspector might stumble upon some more significant defects, at which point the inspector can explain whether they are something to worry about or not. Attending the inspection is a good idea for those who like to visualise instead of just reading them from a report. Be wary of those building inspectors who do not allow you to attend an inspection.
10. How long will it take to get the report?
Working to specific timelines is critical when building or purchasing a home, so knowing when you’ll get a building and pest inspection report is an important part of planning. Aim to hire an inspector who can offer a turnaround time of between one to two days. A thorough report, particularly one for a large property, can take longer to write, so of course, a building inspector must have the time to get it right. But many inspectors dedicate a specific part of their day to writing their reports when the inspection is fresh in their minds. If you end up waiting longer than a few days, this can end up inconveniencing several parties.
Remember. A good inspector will always be willing to talk to you about any queries you have before, during and after the inspection. Check their Google reviews and rely on word of mouth referrals which are usually the most accurate.