People interested in purchasing a property in Melbourne Victoria should always consider hiring a reputable building inspector to examine their real estate before committing to the contract. After all, it may be the biggest expense in their lifetime, so it is better to avoid any risk.
Remember that no property comes without its share of issues, and a structural inspection lets you make an informed decision about it. When the inspector arrives at your property, they perform a thorough inspection, checking for potential issues. In the end, they provide a report detailing significant structural defects they found. Building Inspections Melbourne defect reports also report on any structural defects
What Is a Structural Building Inspection?
Structural inspections are visual assessments that structural engineers, licensed building inspectors, or registered builders perform to confirm whether the property is structurally sound. They are typically carried out before buying a home, after renovations, or during the construction of a new building.
Inspectors can perform the structural building inspection independently or in combination with other more specialized services, such as pest inspections. Nevertheless, you should think of them as a professional service that provides you with an accurate overview of the property in question.
Who Does Structural Building Inspections?
According to the Australian Standard, there are no regulations regarding who can conduct structural inspections. Some states, such as Queensland and South Australia, require every building inspector to be a member of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors.
Nonetheless, building surveyors, licensed builders, architects, or structural engineers carry out most of them. You can always request a sample report or check if they offer a money-back guarantee or insurance. These things give more credibility to the building inspector and can help you decide on the professional service you wish to contract.
What Does a Structural Building Inspection Include?
A structural building inspection includes the visual assessment of the following things:
- Electrical work of the property
- Plumbing and drainage
- All fixtures and fittings within the property
- All joinery (cupboards, kitchen cabinetry, etc.)
- Internal and external windows and frames
- Internal and external doors and frames
- Internal and external roof frame walls
- Internal and external guttering
- Floor and sub-floor space
- Driveways and paths
This is not an exhaustive list, and a property report might include more items or even fewer items depending on who performs.
Generally, a structural building inspection only reports on the condition of the property. It does not include estimates for the repair cost of found defects.
Additionally, building inspections do not cover minor problems or issues out of the inspector’s scope. If you want extensive details about the existing condition of your property, you can ask for a special-purpose inspection or pest inspection on top of the general building inspection.
Usually, structural building inspections take a couple of hours to finish at most. They do not determine whether the property complies with the National Construction Code. However, the report does follow a standard set in the Australian Standard 4349.1.
Inspectors do not comment on aesthetic damages unless they recognize it is a sign of a more significant structural issue or check parts of the house that they cannot access.
What Are Structural Defects?
According to the Australian Standard for the Inspection of Buildings, a structural defect is a fault or deviation from its intended structural performance. It also divides it into two categories: major and minor.
Major Structural Defect
It is a defect of a magnitude where rectification is necessary to avoid loss of utility, unsafe conditions, or further deterioration of the property. These include electrical, gas, and plumbing problems, damaged or deteriorated roof tiles and gutters, non-structural damp issues, and more.
Minor Structural Defect
It includes any problem that does not fall under the definition of the major defect clause. Occasionally, inspectors refer to them as maintenance defects because they are repairable with small efforts. Blemishes, cracks, corrosion, wall dents, and general deterioration are some examples of it.
Types of Structural Inspections
Most structural inspection agencies offer several types of inspections for property buyers, investors, and sellers. These provide you with a comprehensive report resulting from the visual inspection of the property in question. Here are some of the most common types they offer.
Pre-Purchase Building Inspections
Pre-purchase inspections are comprehensive visual assessments done by inspectors at the request of people looking to purchase a property. It is carried out in most cases once the property buyer and seller sign the contract.
A pre-purchase inspection usually includes a review of a property’s internal and external conditions, the roof space and void, floor and sub-floor, and the surrounding area.
The information you can gain from a pre-purchase inspection can prove invaluable when you negotiate the price if the building inspector finds any fault. Otherwise, it lets you proceed with the purchase normally.
Pre-Sale Building Inspections
A pre-sale inspection is almost the same as a pre-purchase inspection, the difference being that the vendor or real-estate agency organizes it. People usually request this structural inspection for two reasons:
- It is an excellent way to determine the state of the property before putting it for sale
- It gives the vendor the option to present the report to a prospective buyer
The first one is the typical reason people ask for it. After all, relying on a report from the vendor is not a good idea, even if they have the best intentions.
Pre-purchase inspections are simply the best course of action for buyers if they want to avoid potential issues. The vendor’s report could be out of date, or they could have hired a lenient inspector. Should a vendor present you with one, read it but don’t gamble on it if you want to avoid being stuck with a poor property.