The purpose of a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection is simple, to identify and report on:
• Any major structural and other problems with the property,
• The risks to the buyer if the proposed purchase proceeds, and
• How much it might cost to fix the problems?
And you need the answers quickly while the property is still on the market.
Many of the virtues of a building are readily evident even to a novice property buyer. What is needed is a wide-ranging, systematic investigation and professional interpretation what is seen – and not seen – then clearly communicating any shortcomings to the client together with desired rectification work, a suggested schedule of works and estimated costs.
There is no time for extensive research or for an inspector to learn on-the-job. You need the nitty-gritty from a hard-nosed master builder with years of experience handling wide-ranging challenges as a building supervisor or, ideally, as a professional building owner-renovator. They also need to be a good communicator.
Architects and draftsmen may be experts in specifying the skeleton, organs and fabric of new builds and renovations but are less well equipped to spot what is wrong with an existing building without tests, consultation and, of course, added costs.
Building Degree and Diploma Graduates who lack any breadth of practical experience in the industry may have little to offer, either.
Just as an aircraft or orchestra is more than the sum of their parts, so too is a building. A qualified tradesman might report with authority about their own field of expertise – such as the electrics or plumbing – but not necessarily with the same level of skill on other matters.
Many tradesmen who progress to become licensed builders, initially lack broad building experience and hope to pick it up over time. Some do; some don’t.
Registered master builders with many difficult renovations of existing homes and offices successfully completed under their belt are best equipped to provide the answers and guidance that prospective property buyers need.
You might well ask why they would choose to undertake pre-purchase building inspections, building inspections, pest inspections and asbestos inspections for a modest fee when they could make more money continuing with their own renovation projects.
The building industry is tough and unforgiving. It takes its toll on building renovators and redevelopers. There comes a time in the life of many when they want to step back to catch their breath. They occasionally want to smell the roses yet still continue an active involvement in the vibrant building industry – the blood of which still pumps through their veins.
They have not lost their touch – nor do they want to.
They know how to spot problems and fix them fast, yet properly, and at low cost. This experience they readily share in their reports and conversations with you.
Just because a building inspector has grey hair, it doesn’t mean they are the best person to carry out an inspection report on your behalf. Quiz them before you appoint them. Remember, there is no government licensing certification for building inspectors.
Ask them about their length of experience in building inspections and during the years prior starting out in this field. What is their background and what, specifically, have they done? Try to get some hard numbers and facts. You are probably making a major property investment and will be relying to some extent on the scope and thoroughness of their investigations and their conclusions, recommendations and costings.
Yes, you need to undertake your own due diligence on the building inspector you are considering commissioning. Make sure that the person you speak to about the inspection is the person who actually carries out the work. And don’t forget to ask them about their professional Indemnity Insurance cover.
Building Masters Building Inspections is a group of expert building inspectors each with years of practical experience, who competently undertake wide-ranging building inspection assignments:
Learn more about the author Mike Heathcote, today.
Building Masters Building Inspections can be contacted on 1300 780 931 or via their website www.buildingmasters.com.au. They are really good, down-to-earth people to work with.