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Why an Australian Standard for a Building And Pest Inspection

licensed inspectors

Why an Australian standard for a building and pest inspection, in Queensland building and pest inspections are done in line with the Australian Standard 4349.1-2007, the purchase of a home especially a first-time Buyer is a serious decision and must be sustained with an understanding of the condition of the property. Impartial and unprejudiced advice is required to make possible knowledgeable decisions.

The standard implies that the inspection by a licensed and qualified builder by its nature will be a personal assessment of the circumstances of your new home or building. As we are not Certifiers, we are not here to objectively assess the structure. And it goes without saying that different inspectors or even possibly the same inspector may reach different scenarios as to the condition of your new home or building. The Australian standard 4349.1-2007 informs us that it is seeking a balance between consistency of outcomes, the limitations of time and cost yet still giving the flexibility required to report on different and sometimes many types of homes and buildings.

The inspection of the building or new home is not restricted to prepurchase or presale but may have other interested parties, for example, an investor may be looking at the report for valuation, a real estate agent may be looking at it from a risk assessment point of view before taking on the rental. You should remember that the Australian Standard 4349.1-2007 sets out the minimum requirements for inspections.

There is an expectation that any inspection carried out under the standard will be combined with specialist inspections reports of elements of the structure that are not part of the standard these will include Timber pest inspections-termites borers, fungal decay and moisture. An electrician would be required to inspect the wiring and ensure that residual current devices are present (safety switch)

Plumbers, roof tilers, structural engineers and air-conditioning specialists are other types of’s special inspections that may be required.

Common sense would dictate that the building inspections and other associated inspections be completed early in the buying process thus enabling the purchaser to understand the property’s condition and hence make a well-informed decision if to carry on with the purchase.

On occasions, the vendor (the seller) commissions the building inspection reports to streamline the sales process and rectify any defects.

There are significant limitations to the Standard; significantly you need to understand that any report prepared in line with Australian standard 4349.1-2007 is not a “certification of compliance”. It will not prevent problems occurring in the future and will not locate or identify building work that is not or does not comply with building codes or regulations.

Australian standard 4349.1-2007 requires that inspection agreement is entered into before the inspection and will define the purpose, the scope and how the client accepts and commissions the inspection. Notations of any change to the purpose or scope of the inspection are to be noted.

In Queensland, The Queensland Building and Construction Commission is the body that licensed completed building inspections. It is a requirement to have professional indemnity insurance in place. Please note it is not part of the inspection to report on easements zoning covenants et cetera. Your legal representative is the person to seek an explanation about title and ownership.

In general terms, the scope of the inspection is the identification of major defects and form a view about the condition generally of the building. Estimation of cost of rectification is not required when the inspection is done to this standard. Where the client requests and estimation cost this estimate is based on the inspectors own experience and standard industry costs. Remembering the dependability of the costs and guide only. Seeking additional quotations for specific work including the extent is another method of establishing the costs of rectification or even a quantity surveyor will give an estimate of the cost of repair.

All available areas of the structure should be inspected, and where access is restricted or not reasonable, these should be excluded from the inspection nor will they form part of the inspection. Access and the right of entry to the dwelling or building are normally arranged by the purchaser or the purchases agent. It is not uncommon for us to arrange with the agent on your behalf time of the inspection as this removes the unnecessary telephone tag that may occur in seeking suitable times.

It is fundamental that the client understands that there will be limitations to the inspections. Having said that it would not be unreasonable to request the vendor to make access available when the limitations of the inspection have been removed.

The minimum expected under the standard is a report on major defects, safety defects and minor defects are reported on generally. At Twinspectors we exceed the minimum standard and endeavour to report on minor defects that we consider may influence your decision to continue with the purchase. All safety issues will be reported on as a major defect. We will endeavour to include these defects in our report in such a way that any major defect or safety issue cannot easily be overlooked.

The litmus test in our reports is that we are comparing buildings of a similar type of construction with similar age of construction in acceptable condition with an adequate maintenance program during the life of the building. And it is irrelevant whether the building complies with the current Australian Standard regulations, codes or acts that are in force at the time of the inspection. Reminding you that we are not certifiers and we are not there to report on illegal building work.

The building is to be compared with a structure that was constructed by the building practice at the time of construction and has been maintained as there has been no noteworthy loss of strength and utility.

Our inspectors are fully licensed builders with current licenses, Twinspectors is licensed to do building and pest inspections with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. We have our professional indemnity insurances in place as well is adequate WorkCover policy. Where possible Twinspectors is an equal opportunity employer.

I will continue with this series of articles trying to simplify what we do in an inspection and why, it is not a comprehensive document, and we are only talking in layman’s terms removing any jargon. If you have questions, please call Twinspectors, and we will endeavour to answer them. In the next article what we review the areas that to be inspected, and I will include limitations where possible.