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What is covered in a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection?

Used to identify any major flaws to a building, a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection can be vital in determining the value of a home and give you the peace of mind that any future problems have been identified. The minimum level expected of a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection is defined by Australian Standard AS 4349. To attain registration in News South Wales, your building inspector has to meet or exceed rigorous knowledge and skills criteria. So, what exactly are they inspecting?


Ceilings and walls are thoroughly checked in a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection, checking for problems such as sagging, bulging, popped nails, cracking or water damage. Timber floors are checked for damage and decay, water damage, levelling, and movement. Concrete floors are checked similarly with an extra check for cracking. Timber and metal framed windows are checked, as well as the glass in the windows. A pre purchase inspection report should check all accessible doors and door frames for problems like loose or poorly fitted doors, frame integrity and other faults.

Kitchens are checked and your report will detail the condition of bench tops, cupboards, taps and sinks and any tiling. Bathroom and toilet checks include inspections of the toilet pan and cistern, bidet (if installed), any taps, basins, vanities, tiling, showers, and baths. Even the condition of any mirrors is checked. Ventilation is also checked in bathrooms and laundries. Taps, tiles, and tubs will be checked, and all areas of the house will be inspected for visible damp problems. Any internal stairs will also be scrutinised.


A Pre-Purchase Building Inspection should check the building’s walls for problems such as deterioration or defects in paints or protective coatings, and any fault with their structural integrity. Stairs, verandas, patios, suspended concrete floors, decks and balustrades will all be checked for structural integrity, looseness, or safety issues. If your home has a chimney, it will be assessed on verticality, flashing and brickwork deterioration.


Other Areas

A Pre-Purchase Building Inspection should check all accessible parts of the property. This includes both your roof exterior and roof cavity. Gutters and downpipes, skylights, vents and flues, valleys, eaves, and barges are all assessed. Insulation is checked. Subfloor space is assessed according to the flooring above. Suspended concrete floors are inspected for deterioration only whilst for timber floors, ventilation, drainage, damp check and checks of the supports will be carried out.

Any external structures such as freestanding garage or carport, detached laundry or garden shed will have their condition checked. Paths, driveways, and steps are checked for subsidence, integrity, and trip hazards. General fencing and pool fencing is inspected with particular attention being paid to the self-closing and self-latching gate, that is a mandatory requirement of pool fencing. Retaining walls supporting other structures are assessed for stability and deterioration, and landscaping retaining walls higher than seventy centimetres are also checked.

What IS NOT covered in a Pre-Purchase Inspection

What IS NOT covered in a Pre-Purchase Inspection?

Generally speaking, these areas do not fall under the remit of a standard Pre-Purchase Building Inspection, and won’t be checked:

  • Footings below ground.
  • Concealed damp-proof course.
  • Electrical installations, operation of smoke detectors, light switches and fittings, TV, sound and communications and security systems.
  • Concealed plumbing.
  • Adequacy of roof drainage as installed.
  • Gas fittings and fixtures.
  • Airconditioning.
  • Automatic Garage Door mechanisms.
  • Swimming pools and associated filtration or similar equipment.
  • The operation of fireplaces and solid fuel heaters, including chimneys and flues.
  • Alarm systems.
  • Intercom systems.
  • Soft floor coverings.
  • Electrical appliances including dishwashers, incinerators, ovens, ducted vacuum systems
  • Paint coatings (except external protective coatings).
  • Health hazards (allergies, soil toxicity, lead content, radon, presence of asbestos or urea formaldehyde).
  • Timber and metal framing sizes and adequacy.
  • Concealed tie-downs and bracing.
  • Timber pest activity.
  • Other mechanical or electrical equipment (such as gates, inclinators).
  • Soil conditions.
  • Control joints.
  • Sustainable development provisions
  • Concealed framing timbers or any areas concealed wall linings/sidings
  • Landscaping
  • Rubbish
  • Floor cover.
  • Furniture and accessories.
  • Stored items.
  • Insulation.
  • Environmental matters e.g., BASIX, water tanks, BCA environmental provisions.
  • Energy Efficiency.
  • Lighting Efficiency.

Our Inspection Is Your Protection

Vital Building Inspections Sydney will give you a timely, thorough, accurate and professional building inspection. Taking the time to carefully assess any possible issue with the property informed by more than 18 years’ experience in a wide variety of fields within the building industry, your report will be delivered in a clear and concise manner, supported with photographic evidence. All the information you need to inform your decision to buy or avoid.

Vital Building Inspections Sydney are also qualified to carry out Timber Pest Reporting and can combine both inspections to a single visit, saving you the time and hassle of sourcing a dedicated pest inspector using inspectors who come armed with years of local knowledge and experience. Us today to discuss your property inspection needs or discuss our wide variety of services. Call us today on 0401 012 074 or email support@vitalbuildinginspection.com.au.

Our Inspection Is Your Protection