Case Study: How Choosing the Wrong Building Inspector Can Spell Disaster

Building inspectors are basically all the same, right? Let me tell you a little story about a hard-working and entirely unsuspecting couple who made the mistake of believing just that. Spoiler alert: Things didn’t end well…

As any young couple might, the pair felt it was time to take the very exciting next step of purchasing a home together. They found themselves the perfect property in Melbourne’s Inner-North and couldn’t believe their luck. Being the cautious and forward thinking people they were, the couple figured that the safest and most appropriate thing to do next would be to call a building inspector and have them assess the home for any issues. 

So far, so good! However, this is where the story begins to take a nasty turn. Despite having the absolute best of intentions, this couple was one of the many who believed that all building inspectors are basically the same… and who could blame them? They should all be doing a satisfactory job, right? The business they decided on, whom we’ll call… oh, I don’t know, how about “Exposed Backside Inspections” or “Uncovered Rear-End Inspections”, seemed just as good as any other. Why shouldn’t they trust a fairly well-known building inspection business who, on paper, seemed to tick all the right boxes? Well, I’ll tell you why…

Home truths

Several months after this building inspector assessed the property and gave them the green light to move in, they suddenly realised what a terrible mistake they’d made. Not long after this inspector signed off on a defect report ensuring the couple that their dream home was free from any serious structural complications… the cracks began to appear. And no, I don’t mean the metaphorical kind. Actual cracks had begun to form in all areas of their home’s interior! This expensive up-market property was starting to look like a household horror waiting to happen.

This is when we were called in to… get to the bottom of what “Exposed Backside Inspections” entirely neglected to identify. What was causing these cracks, and what would need to be done to fix it?

As veteran building inspectors with over 35 years’ building and renovating experience, it didn’t take long for us to work it out. The ground on which the renovated house was sitting had not been properly prepared and drained in order to enable the future sustainability of the structure. In other words, the previous owners had taken shortcuts with their renovation. As you can probably tell, this is not good news. 

Bad advice after bad advice

Before calling Building Masters Inspections, the increasingly exasperated couple had even sought the advice from a re-stumping contractor who were just as unhelpful as “Uncovered Rear-End Inspections” They did nothing but give them a quote to extensively re-stump the property. This might seem like a suitable course of action since re-stumping can become an essential requirement needed to rectify problems associated with uneven foundations. However, far from being extremely pricey, re-stumping the entire property would have created even more problems!

The first thing that needed to be addressed was the root cause of the issue. The ground around the house had to be stabilised with adequate drainage and paving installed on all sides. Without this, rain water would continue to drain under the home causing the floor and wall stumps to sink deeper into the ground. First and foremost, all of this construction needed to be completed and only then, after a period of several months to allow the ground enough time to dry out, could any re-stumping begin.

Choosing poorly could lead to financial catastrophe

This is what inevitably caused the cracking in the home’s interior and is the main concern that needed to be fixed. So, what now for the unlucky couple? Well, since none of these defects were ever found by Exposed Backside Inspections, they are now faced with a repair bill of over $80,000. Yes, you read that right. $80,000 that they had not budgeted for and, let’s be honest, would be a financial catastrophe for most people. 

Had they called Building Masters Inspections for a pre-purchase property inspection, not only would they have saved $80,000, they would have had the opportunity to re-negotiate the purchase price to make up for the cost of these defects before signing the contract.

So, building inspectors are basically all the same, right? Maybe not.

 

By |2019-11-08T11:22:20+00:00October 9th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mike Heathcote
Mike Heathcote is the founder of Building Masters Inspections and a veteran builder with decades of experience. Utilising his decades of industry knowledge, Mike has set up a Building Inspection service that is catered towards providing expert opinion on the true condition of buildings and helping house buyers find their perfect home Melbourne wide.

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