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What Does a Building Inspection Cover?

Purchasing a property is a significant investment, and a building inspection plays a crucial role in this process. This inspection helps identify existing and potential issues, providing expert advice on the property’s overall condition.

With an inspection report, you can negotiate the property’s price based on factual information. Understanding what a building inspection includes and its limitations is essential for making an informed decision.

Key Takeaways

  • Building inspections identify current and potential property issues.
  • Inspections cover structural elements like walls, roofs, floors, and plumbing.
  • Additional checks can address specific concerns not in the standard inspection.
  • Cannot assess hidden elements, built-in appliances, or certain home accessories.
  • Does not cover building codes, hazardous materials, land issues, minor faults, repair costs, structural design, or termites.
Structural Elements

What Building Inspectors Look For

Inspectors focus on the structural aspects of a property, ensuring it is safe and sound. They check the following areas:

  • Interior and Exterior Walls: Inspectors look for cracks, dampness, and any signs of structural damage.
  • Roof Space and Roof Exterior: They assess the condition of roofing materials, checking for leaks, insulation issues, and structural problems.
  • Floor and Subfloor Space: This includes examining the floors for stability and any signs of rot or damage beneath the surface.
pests and pest damage

The inspection covers essential parts of the property to ensure they are functional and safe:

  • Inspectors check toilets for leaks, proper installation, and any potential plumbing issues.
  • Assess the plumbing systems and the structural integrity of the laundry area.
  • Examines the garage, carport, and shed for structural soundness and any signs of wear or damage.
  • Examine driveways and paths for cracks, subsidence, and other potential hazards.
  • Stairs, steps, and fencing are inspected to ensure they are safe and stable.
  • The condition and stability of non-structural retaining walls are assessed to ensure they are secure and effective.

Special-Purpose Inspections

For areas not covered in a standard inspection, special-purpose inspections can be requested. These inspections are tailored to address specific concerns that fall outside the typical scope. 

Examples include assessing the condition of swimming pools, fireplaces, or specialised equipment like saunas.

Limitations of Building Inspections

Inspectors cannot assess elements that are not readily accessible or are concealed. This includes:

  • Anything Concealed by Walls or Ceilings: Electrical wiring, plumbing, and framing hidden behind walls cannot be inspected.
  • Obstructed Areas: Large furniture or other obstructions may prevent a thorough inspection.

Additionally, built-in appliances such as ovens, air conditioners, and dishwashers are not part of the inspection. It is advisable to check these items yourself, especially if they are included in the sale.

Home accessories like alarm systems, CCTV cameras, and fire detectors are also excluded. These should be personally inspected to ensure they are functional.

The inspection does not address whether your existing furniture will fit in the rooms. Room dimensions are usually provided in the property listing, so consider this information before hiring an inspector.

Items such as fireplaces, swimming pools, and related equipment require separate inspections. These areas are not typically covered in a standard building inspection.

What the Inspection Does Not Cover?

The inspection does not include a review of the property’s compliance with building codes or regulations. Building Inspectors do not test for toxins or hazardous materials within the building or its surroundings.

How Building Inspection is Conducted

Issues related to the land, such as susceptibility to landslides, erosion, or flooding, are not assessed. It is important to research these factors independently before proceeding with the purchase.

The inspection report will not include:

  • Minor Faults or Defects: Issues that do not require substantial repairs or urgent attention are generally not reported.
  • Repair Cost Estimations: The report does not provide cost estimates for repairs.
  • Structural Design Comments: Inspectors do not comment on the adequacy of structural design.
  • structural design.
  • Termite Detection: Wood-destroying insects like termites are not covered. A separate pest and termite inspection is recommended.

It’s always a good idea to discuss your specific concerns and needs with your building inspector before the inspection to ensure that all of your questions and concerns are addressed. At Vital Building Inspections Sydney Sydney, our team is committed to providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions.

Understanding the scope and limitations of a building inspection is vital for making an informed property purchase. While the inspection provides valuable insights into the property’s condition, it is essential to recognise areas that require additional expertise. Consulting specialists for specific concerns ensures a comprehensive evaluation of the property. For more information or to arrange an inspection, contact us today!