Purchasing property and property renovations are some of the biggest financial investments many people will make in their lifetime. Additionally, no matter how well homes are designed and engineered, they are still subject to structural problems due to wear and tear over time. That’s why it is so critical that your investment is as sound as possible, which can help minimise any potential problems down the track.
Engaging a qualified building and pest inspector before you build, buy or renovate will not only give you peace of mind, it will ensure your home lasts a lifetime! But how do you find a credible inspector, what’s involved in the process, and what does it cost?
Why Do I Need Both A Building and a Pest Inspection?
A building inspection will only give you a report on the condition of the property as well as structural defects and safety hazards. A pest inspection only determines whether there are, or has been, any possible pest (particularly termite) infestations.
In Queensland, it is recommended that both a pest and building inspection be carried out before you buy or renovate as it will give you a full and in-depth assessment of the property. If you are wanting to purchase a property, the property owner is not legally bound to divulge if there has been a termite infestation or damage as a result of an infestation. However, if the owner informs their selling agent, then the agent is legally bound to inform potential buyers.
And it’s also not unheard of, for even relatively new homes with the latest termite barriers installed, to discover significant termite damage due the barrier/s having been compromised.
How Do I Choose A Credible Inspector?
Qualified building and pest inspectors will hold a current license with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and some companies hold both licences. These professionals are trained to see “beyond the surface”, for example, beyond cosmetic cover-ups that sellers might undertake to increase the value of the property. They will also ensure any reports produced are in accordance with the current Australian Standards and regulations.
What’s Involved In The Process?
Licensed building and pest inspectors will work closely with their client to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed purchase or renovating decision. They will carry out a thorough inspection and formulate a detailed report that documents any issues, both inside and outside the property.
The report will contain information about any defects with the building such as leaking ceilings, a faulty roof, water damage, the presence of mould and/or problematic walls. Inspectors will also check for any pest infestations, including of borers and termites. Termites, in particular, can cause major structural damage to a home by destroying and weakening a building’s floors, walls and roof structures where non-treated materials have been used. Inspectors may also provide advice and help you formulate a maintenance and/or renovation program.
What Will The Building Inspector Check?
Your building inspector will check and provide detailed information regarding the condition of the entire property, from the roof and foundations to the interior and exterior, including:
- Roof space
- Roof exterior
- Under-floor space
- Retaining walls
- Surface water drainage
What Are The Benefits of A Pest and Building Inspection?
You Will Know the Property’s Condition Based on Accessible Areas
With a pest and building inspection, you will end up with a clear and concise report of the property’s condition. This can be difficult to do yourself as most of us don’t have a trained eye that will allow us to see defects. This is particularly the case with termite damage as it can be notoriously difficult to detect.
Unfortunately, many sellers will also attempt to conceal defects to make the property more appealing and presentable to buyers. With a proper inspection, you will know what the current state of the property is, and can either negotiate down on the price or request that defects are dealt with before you buy.
It’s also worth mentioning that even though you have engaged a reputable company to carry out your inspections, there are often access limitations to some inspection areas. These include furniture, small or inaccessible voids, or roof spaces and garden sheds obstructing external walls, etc. In these cases, the inspector may recommend “further investigation”.
This often involves what is known as an “invasive inspection”, where roof tiles or sheeting may be removed for access, or holes drilled or cut in walls to determine whether there are any issues. Sellers are often reluctant to allow this type of inspection, but in many cases it has saved potential buyers thousands of dollars in repairs.
It Will Save You Time and Money
Yes, paying for a pest and building inspection is an added expense, however, it is a sound investment. The report will give the purchaser the option to withdraw from the purchase should issues be found or negotiate a price that will offset the cost of repairs. Repairs and pest control can also be done before you move in, ensuring these issues don’t become more severe later.
Booking an inspection will also save you time if you decide to build, as you will be advised of certain issues before you engage a builder to quote, contracts are signed and the building works are ready to commence.
The Resale Value Of Your Property Will Increase
A property’s value is largely influenced by its condition, and a dilapidated home generally costs considerably less than a home that’s well maintained. With a pest and building inspection undertaken and any necessary repairs completed, the structure of your property is maintained and its value increased.
What’s In a Typical Building and Pest Inspection Report?
Generally, these types of reports contain information about:
- Property address
- Purpose of the inspection
- Date of the inspection
- The extent of the inspection
- Lists of places and items that were not inspected, stating the reason why it was not included in the inspection and a recommendation for further investigation if necessary
- A summary of the general condition of the property including minor and major defects
- A list of issues that require repairs
- A recommendation for another inspection if necessary
What Does a Building and Pest Inspection Cost?
The cost depends on the state where you are buying or renovating the property. In Queensland, inspectors generally charge between $400 and $500 for a three-bedroom house. In the whole scheme of things, it is not much to outlay compared to the financial costs that might be incurred if a property’s structural integrity is compromised.
Here at Bruin Builders, we are not building and pest inspectors ourselves, but are experienced in some of the repair work associated with termite damage. We are also able to provide recommendations for quality building and pest inspectors in your area.
Need help with repairs due to termite damage? As a family-owned business with over 30 years’ experience, building is in our blood. Get in touch with Bruin Builders online today or call (07) 3050 5652. Our custom home builders would love to help you get started on your home building journey!