Category : Blog

What do you get from a good building inspector in Adelaide

Before knowing what a good building inspector in Adelaide does during an inspection, it is important to also understand what he doesn’t, or rather, is unable to do, due to any limitations that a building and its site may present. To establish a good knowledge of this, an inspector should enter into an agreement with a client, as per the requirements of the current Australian standard, prior to performing any inspection.

This is generally done by issuing the client with what is known as a Pre-Engagement Inspection Agreement to read. This document outlines the purpose and scope of the building inspection, so that both parties are on the same page about what can or can’t be done, to prevent any confusion or disappointment occurring. Every good building inspector wants the expectations of their client satisfied, and if it is possible, exceeded.

Building inspectors are not magicians and they can’t fly!

For example, an inspector cannot be expected to see behind wall linings, under fixed floor coverings, or into rooms and voids where doors are locked, or there is simply no access at all. Another common limitation that should be highlighted to prospective purchasers are height and safety restrictions. This can include situations where it is just too dangerous to get up on and inspect the roof covering of the second level of a two storey house, or when wet weather conditions do not permit a building inspector to safely walk on a tiled, or corrugated steel roof covering to check its condition.

It is also vital that a client understands that when he is getting a pre purchase building inspection, they are not getting an engineering report, a building warranty or an insurance policy against the potential development of any building defects in the future. If they want to get an engineering report or a warranty that’s fine, but get your money out folks! These can potentially cost thousands of dollars, whereas a quality building inspection can cost somewhere between $400 and $600. A big difference, and you will generally get your report the same day.

Valuable information that is worth every cent

What they will get however, is a thorough visual inspection that enables advice to be provided to a prospective purchaser in the form of a written report, regarding the condition of the building and the property within the site boundaries at the time of inspection. This inspection is done in accordance with the requirements of the current Australian Standard governing residential building inspections, and the inspected structure will be compared to a building built in a similar era and of similar construction. This information is extremely valuable to a potential purchaser, and worth every cent, as it arms them with the ability to make an educated decision on whether to buy or move on to other more suitable options.

Once all the cards are on the table and these situations and others have been clarified in the agreement, generally clients can see the logic behind this and are happy to proceed with the requested inspection. To learn more about what you get with a first class building inspection report checkout my article, A building inspection in the southern Adelaide suburb of Trott Park finds suspicious moisture.


The importance of having a pre purchase building inspection prior to buying Adelaide properties

Obtaining a pre purchase building inspection when searching for and purchasing a new property in Adelaide can make this exciting, but stressful process seem somewhat more bearable. Unbelievably, some would even consider getting this service not worth the trouble or the expense! Go figure. This type of thinking is so wrong it is not even funny.

I don’t have enough time to get a building inspection completed

This thought has probably passed through the mind of many a potential house buyer. Yes, finding the time and organising a reputable building inspector to conduct an inspection, amongst the numerous tasks that are required to own that dream home, can seem like one box too many to be ticked. Not to mention finding the extra money to pay for the report. However, time and again it has been proven to be one of the best investments you could make, as there are a wealth of reasons why it is essential not to forgo this incredibly beneficial service.

Really, it’s as simple as going to google on your mobile and typing in “building inspections Adelaide”, checking out some reviews and making the call. Most companies will accommodate you either the same day or the next, including the receipt of your report. It is not a complicated process and you will be glad you did.

Essential reasons why you should have a building inspection before buying residential property

A new property means a new home, because it is a place where you are sheltering and living with your greatest possessions, your family, friends and loved ones. As a result of this, the safety of the building structure and its components is of paramount importance. Aspects such as the installation of smoke alarms, electrical safety switches and downlight covers, and the integrity of internal and external stairs, handrails, balustrades and balcony structures. Cracked window and shower screen glass, even cracked ceramic toilet pans and basins can pose safety issues.

Also, undulating and raised concrete paths and paved areas can create tripping hazards that only the trained eye will pick up on. The presence and condition of possible asbestos an other hazardous materials is important to identify for the long term well being of all occupants. These situations and many others can put you and your family, as the unsuspecting new owners, at serious risk. A good building inspector will be on the lookout to diligently report on any dangerous circumstances such as these to make sure you are fully aware and ultimately safe.

Detecting major defects to load bearing structural members even in a newly built house

Everyone knows that once your cooling off period expires, or the auctioneers hammer falls with you as the highest bidder, there is no turning back. Like it or not, and we always hope that you do of course, you are the proud owner of a new house. If you haven’t had an inspection carried out already it is just too late. You inherit everything, including the structural defects that could be lurking, and the associated costs to fix them up.

A roof frame that is sagging due to split rafters or poorly strutted underperlins, or new roof trusses with delaminating nail plates can be expensive to repair. Roof coverings that are leaking, downpipes not connected to stormwater, and worse still, no stormwater installed on the site can bring about an additional financial burden that would be totally unexpected. We do many building inspections to properties for new owners who have realised after the fact that there are problems with their home and repairs are required. Our recommendation is that you don’t become one of them. Have an inspection so that you have the option of putting the financial burden for building defects back on the departing vendor.

And now… the number one reason for a building inspection in Adelaide

Possibly the number one reason why you would want to conduct a building inspection is to have the peace of mind that you are not purchasing a lemon, or, as it has been colourfully described on previous occasions, a money pit. After all, for most people buying a home will be the biggest financial investment they will ever make. I doubt whether many potential buyers would climb onto or into the roof, check out under the flooring, or even do something as simple as look in the electrical meter box.

Then… amazingly, people go ahead and sign on the dotted line to lock into a mortgage usually worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The logic behind that is almost scary. Knowing the true and actual condition of your dream home prior to making a commitment just makes perfect sense, and is the surefire path to experiencing the element of, peace of mind, which can be so important through this stressful time.

If you are not already convinced, for more reasons why you should get a house inspection, read my article, Why building inspections in Adelaide suburbs like Sheidow Park are essential.

Found a great property and want free advice regarding your pre purchase inspection needs? Call Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections on 0451 070 398 to talk directly to one of our inspectors today.


A Happy Valley Building and Pest Inspection uncovers roof covering deformation

The justification of making sure you get a Pre purchase Building and Pest Inspection in Adelaide was never more evident than with this Happy Valley home built in 1979. Getting this important service is a bit like going on an expensive world trip and taking out travel insurance. No one really wants the extra expense, but it gives you a certain sense of confidence knowing you have done the right thing to protect your investment, whether it be an overseas holiday, or more crucially, buying your new house.

A Building Inspection is all about being made aware

You’ve probably all heard of the saying, knowledge is power? Nothing could be truer when it comes to buying a house. The more you know about a property and its structural integrity, the more comfortable you will be about buying it. It just makes sense. Essentially, as an unsuspecting buyer, you know very little about a property that you virtually drive up to one sunny weekend, apart from its aesthetic appearance. You may even own that house Monday morning if your rose coloured glasses offer gets accepted! Enter stage left, the building inspector, and we can put some sanity back into the situation. The report will provide you with detailed knowledge that gives you the power to make the right decision….buy, or move on and find another property.

Adelaide’s Happy Valley… the suburb of gum trees equals the suburb of potential termites!

Happy Valley is a delightful sleepy suburb to the south of Adelaide. Located just 10 minutes from Clarendon, it has a very rural feel to it with gum trees flourishing on and around most residential properties. This means termites can be an obvious serious threat to any home, so including a Pest Inspection with your Building Inspection should be a logical choice. In this example, active termites were not detected in or around the property. However, being a brick veneered, timber framed dwelling adjacent to some large established gum trees to the reserve at the rear of the property, establishment of an ongoing termite management plan was highly recommended to our client to help deter any future potential termite attacks.

A renovation of reasonable quality has been conducted in recent years to this home, including an excellent render finish to the external brick walls. Impressively, no cracking was evident to all elevations on the day. Our only criticism of the rendering was excessive mortar partly filling some of the weep holes (vertical slot openings between bricks) at the base of the wall. Weep holes are necessary to allow moisture to be removed from, and to ventilate the wall cavity, and should be clear and unblocked at all times. A suitably licensed builder was recommended to further assess and rectify this situation. It was a simple repair, but one we deemed worthwhile for the long term wellbeing of the building structure.

The concrete tiled roof covering had also been re-pointed and spray painted and this appeared to be of adequate workmanship. However, a good building inspector, if the safe working conditions exist, will walk over the exterior roof covering which is exactly what we did. This is how we were able to find that the hip ridge to the rear left section of the roof was unusually severely bowed laterally. Under normal circumstances, this roofing component should actually be straight to the naked eye at least, as a hip ridge is formed where two planes of the roof surface meet at a hip rafter. A hip rafter is a straight piece of timber that runs from a ridge to the top plate of an outer frame or wall. It is then capped by tiles to flash the area, so it should be reasonably straight.

The building inspector who goes the extra mile

What should be fully understood is that a pre purchase building inspection is a visual inspection to provide advice to the client regarding the condition of the building and site at the time of inspection. Some tools are used such as a moisture meter, but at no stage is a building inspector required to be invasive with his investigations, and this is clearly stated in the Australian Standard governing any building inspection conducted in every state. Clients are made aware of this by the establishment of a Pre purchase Inspection Agreement, provided and signed off to prior to the service.

In this instance, inspection of the hip rafter in question was not possible from within the roof void, as the only manhole provided was so poorly positioned, and then blocked by air-conditioning ducting, that only a limited inspection from the manhole was possible on the day. Of course we recommended the installation of another manhole in a better position to enable complete access into the roof void, so a more complete report could be submitted. Most times this advice is not actioned by the client, but the option is always presented. However, a good inspector will go the extra mile and exceed the Australian Standard in some cases, which is what we did. We went ahead and did a further more invasive inspection and lifted a number of roof tiles in the vicinity of the defective hip ridge. What we found was that the hip rafter and the jack rafters connected to it were actually quite sound with no obvious defects present.

So what was the reason for the bowed hip ridge?

This is where the investigative skills of an experienced building inspector comes to the fore, where he or she can observe a property and come up with answers that can only be found by looking at the structure in its whole context. A previous extension meant that when the builders were keying in the new roof to the original structure, all the roof tiles had to come off in this section. So when the building was finished and the tiles were replaced, they purely and simply did a poor job of it. Add to that subsequent re-pointing and re-spraying of the tiles, and what you have got is a series of tradesman that have literally worked around and bedded in the deformation, in this case a laterally bowed hip ridge. A comedy of errors you might say, but not a serious structurally unsound, or unsafe building defect. What is important is that the client is made aware of it, and he can make an informed decision based on this new knowledge, including whether he wants to spend the money to rectify the offending hip ridge issue in the future.

If you want a Building Inspection in any Adelaide suburb completed by an inspector that is happy to go the extra mile, contact Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections today.




What does a good Building Inspector in Adelaide actually do – Part 1

In a way, to ask what an Adelaide Building Inspector actually does and what he looks for, is like asking how long is a piece of string. Any house, building or residential property as a whole consists of many components, and a skilful building inspector will do his best to forensically examine all of them to the best of his ability, knowledge and experience. It is an exacting process, and dedicated concentration is required to problem solve a myriad of issues, as building defects manifest themselves in many ways.

Time is the enemy of most Building Inspectors when doing an inspection!

Why you may ask? Well completing a good comprehensive building inspection is quite simply a time consuming process, and some older properties, particularly the more run down, poorly maintained types can take much longer. Although the prospective purchaser is our client, and they naturally have no problems how long an inspector takes, the other parties that could be present at the time, which can include either the vendor or a real estate agent, or both, want you out as soon as possible. This too is understandable, as for the owners the inspection can be quite intrusive, however, most have a good understanding that it is all part of the sales process. They just want it all over and done with.

As far as the agent is concerned, building inspectors may not necessarily be the enemy, but detected building defects can be the instigator of an extra set of issues that need to be worked through and renegotiated with the relevant parties. The results could even mean the sale could fall through, and horror of all horrors, there goes the agent’s commission. Their agenda is to get the inspector in and out with a minimum of time and fuss. This is hardly conducive to a careful, attention to detail house inspection.

Most inspectors usually take 1.5 hours to complete an inspection. This should be the absolute minimum, but we believe that although this may be adequate, when you see what is involved with an inspection when it is done properly, it is only just enough. Depending on the size of a property, two to three hours is a more practical time to accumulate the necessary information required to produce an excellent report.

Needless to say, like many niches within the construction industry, there is your odd cowboy doing up to four building inspections a day!! You do the math…it just doesn’t add up. The only way to accomplish that, when you include the report writing and travel time, is to breeze in and out a property in less than an hour. This is doing the client an injustice and if you can identify this sort of inspector you should take a wide berth at all costs, regardless of any enticing cheap price tags. We always ask our enquiring potential clients, “Do you want a cheap building inspection, or a good inspection, because there is a difference”.

So how do we avoid the enemy…

The best way a good building inspector can set himself up to avoid the “time is the enemy” scenario, is book in no more than two inspections a day, and also let the selling agent know when you are making the appointment time, that you need a minimum of two hours possibly more, and they can organise themselves accordingly. Most times, here in Adelaide at least, they are happy to oblige. It’s really an easy fix so that the paying client can get the best service and overall result.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series when we delve deeper into the mechanics of what is actually done when you engage a good inspector to look over your dream property. Also, check out my article, Building inspection in the Adelaide seaside suburb of Brighton comes up trumps for buyer, and others, to read about real life building inspection scenarios.

If you need a Pre Purchase Building Inspection in Adelaide provided by an independent, qualified inspector who does not allow the pressures of time constraints to reduce the quality of reporting for the clients he values, contact Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections today. You can stake your house on it!



A Building inspection in the southern Adelaide suburb of Trott Park finds suspicious moisture

So why do you get a Building inspection in Adelaide before you sign on the dotted line to purchase what is more than likely to be the most expensive asset you will ever own? The following example will clearly demonstrate many reasons why.

There is no doubt about it, the buyer who gets a building inspection report has an advantage over the buyer who thinks they do not need one, or who deceives himself into believing everything will be fine with their new house. This may be so, and we as building inspectors always hope that is the case with every property we inspect, but, can you be sure?

Only a building inspector will tell you about the existing problems…

Here’s the thing…when you’re in the market to buy a new property, who is genuinely on your side when you want to know the true structural condition of a house that you have finally found suitable to your needs? The vendor (seller)? Maybe the agent? Hardly! Only when you have a fully independent building inspector working on your behalf will you know the facts about any potentially costly defects that may exist. Many new home purchasers who have benefited from a building inspection testify that it was well worth the money.

This typical Trott Park home built in 1983 actually performed quite well for its age. It was obvious to see that the outgoing vendors took pride in their property and maintained it to a good standard. A timber framed brick veneer construction built on a concrete slab with a concrete tile roof covering, all the major loadbearing components of this dwelling appeared generally sound with this visual inspection.

The conventional cut and pitched timber roof frame appeared to provide good support for the roof covering. Minor chips were present to the concrete tiles, but nothing too serious to allow leakage into the roof void and cause decay to any roofing components. As with most concrete roof tiled dwellings of this age that have not had any roof restoration maintenance, cracking to the hip capping tile mortar was causing these tiles to become loose and move. This can facilitate roof leakage and decay within the roof and should be repaired by a licensed quality roofing contractor. There are literally hundreds out there, so a number of quotes and positive referrals is the best way to go.

An unusual aspect with this suburban property is that it did not have any garaging or carport. Hardly a building defect that a building inspection report highlights, but this can affect the selling price for the vendor. A good opportunity to add value instantly for the incoming purchaser. What this property lacked in garaging, it certainly made up for with pergolas. Two were located to the rear elevations and typically some decay to the timber members was present. Nothing that good general maintenance and painting could not fix to seal the timbers and prolong their life. Any handy person with a bit of roll up your sleeves attitude can accomplish this successfully.

Internally this building inspection provided few hiccups. The wall and ceiling linings were generally good with some minor cosmetic splitting to the ceiling joins within the hallway, and some plasterboard cracking within the kitchen. This happens from time to time with these materials and periodic maintenance will be required by a qualified plasterer to enable a quality finish.

A bathroom renovation doesn’t guarantee no leakage!

Awesome…you say when you come across a fully renovated bathroom. In most instances this is the case, however this renovation was about five years old. Visually it was in quite good condition, but behind the scenes, and this means plumbing behind wall linings, the possibility of leakage is always lurking. A good building inspector relies heavily on one of his most useful tools, a moisture meter. Adjacent to the bathroom within the rear bedroom high moisture readings were noted in one area about 700mm above the floor. Moisture comes in many forms within a house, but in this case, not being detected directly behind a shower recess, this was looking very much like a slow plumbing leak.

Although a building inspector cannot definitely confirm this, because believe it or not, we can’t see through walls, we always ere on the side of caution. Much to the angst of the selling agent, we always recommend a further investigation by a licensed plumber to ensure that leakage is not present. This entails the determination of the likely starting point of the leak and removing a small section of the gyprock wall lining to have a better look within the wall. If leakage is not located then all is well, but plumbing repairs are required if it is. The wall lining can easily be repaired by a good plasterer. Better to be safe than sorry.

Oh no… the asbestos fence is hidden behind the foliage and double fence

A closer examination to the boundary fencing revealed some interesting, and possibly expensive nuances. Foliage and double fencing was covering extensive asbestos fencing to the left and rear boundaries. The positive slant on this is that the fencing appeared to be in reasonable condition and was not deteriorating. If left alone it probably would not be a major issue, but no guarantees can be given on this. The new incoming owner needs to know that removal of this fencing can be expensive, and should only be conducted by a suitably qualified and licensed asbestos contractor. Something a good comprehensive pre purchase building inspection report must identify.

Do you want a cheap Building Inspection report, or a good one…there is a big difference. Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections will provide a quality report to make sure you know what you are buying.


Building inspection in the Adelaide seaside suburb of Brighton comes up trumps for buyer

Every pre purchase building inspection conducted in Adelaide  is unique in its circumstances, and yet…very similar. As building inspectors, we see this sort of scenario happen more often than not. The buyers offer has been accepted and contracts have been signed, how wonderful, everything is going as planned…or is it? Oh no…the cooling off period is ticking away and I need a building inspection. What about the termites? Better make that a building and pest inspection!

It’s all about the building inspection report results

Thank goodness for google. Page one comes up with over a dozen options. On the third call a building inspector is engaged and the inspection can be done the same day. Awesome, what a relief. It’s all about the results of the report now. A lot of the hard decision making has been done, and a certain sense of peace of mind comes from knowing a professional in the building industry is doing something that the average property purchaser generally can’t…..check the structural integrity of the dwelling to ensure there are no expensive repair surprises awaiting the unsuspecting buyer.

With this inspection, our client had selected a property in a very tidy street in the southern seaside suburb of Brighton. This is a popular tightly held area of Adelaide, and like many established suburbs, it is a combination of old and newly constructed houses. This one however was from the older era and was built in the late 1950’s.

It’s a no brainer to have a building inspection conducted on older homes

Whether the prospective property is old or new, a building and pest inspection should always be carried out prior to purchase, but even more so with a property of this age. Built with besser blocks painted on the exterior on concrete strip footings with timber floors, this house presented very honestly with no nasty surprises. Solidly constructed, foundation settlement was very minimal and this was reflected with just some minor cracking to the right elevation. This cracking was mainly along the mortar line which is very typical of besser block constructions.

When settlement movement is negligible within a building, it is usually because of good site drainage that is either naturally occurring, or by good design and installation of paths, drains and stormwater. In this case it was more of the former as the downpipes were not connected to stormwater.

However good concrete paving sloping away from the building right around the perimeter of the dwelling has helped to maintain the footing subsoils at a stable moisture content and prevent unequal subsoil movement. It also diverts surface water and seepage away from the house and its foundations. Our recommendation was that stormwater should be installed to the property and the downpipes connected to it which will also enhance the sites excellent natural drainage properties and prevent conditions conducive to the attraction of termites.

Minimal footing movement combined with adequate subfloor ventilation has resulted in the original timber flooring being quite level and generally in good condition. A real positive for a building of this vintage. One detail worth mentioning was the state of the original concrete tile roof covering which was found to be in fair condition considering its age.

However, some efflorescence was noted to the underside of the roof tiles within the roof void. This is when a white powdery deposit forms on the surface of concrete materials. This is caused by crystallisation and subsequent dehydration of soluble salts contained in the concrete tiles. This is because when tiles are aged they can lose their glaze and subsequently become slightly porous and absorb some moisture after consistent periods of rainfall. When this is the case we recommend monitoring the underside of the tiles within the roof space after heavy rainfall to ensure excessive moisture ingress is not occurring. If it is, serious consideration should be given to re-spraying of the roof surface to prevent this issue and any future associated problems such as roof sag and undulation.

Overall this property came up trumps and was very typical of a house built in the 50’s that has been reasonably well maintained.

Are you buying an older home in Adelaide? Having a combined building and pest inspection  is an absolute must. Contact Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections  today on 0451 070 398 to book your same day inspection.




A building inspection in the large Adelaide suburb of Morphett Vale puts a smile on our face

We do many building inspections in Adelaide on a weekly basis, and a lot of our clients use us for the second and even third time until they find the right property. This frequency of building inspections occurs for a reason, and it puts a smile on our face when the client finally finds a house and property that is just right for them.

Keep looking until you find the right one, until you are comfortable and you know in your heart of hearts that it feels right. It’s not about the agent, even if you have signed off on contracts you can walk away at any time without giving a reason if it is within the cooling off period. That is your legal right. The cooling off period is fairly tight in South Australia, a real bug bear of mine and I would love to see it changed, you only have 2 business days. Victoria is 3 days, NSW and QLD is 5 days.

Get your building inspection done to help you make a decision

When a building inspector is engaged to conduct a building inspection on a property, he has a very specific job to do. He is acting for the purchaser and no one else. With all emotion set aside, completely opposite to the client as a prospective purchaser, he is there to identify major defects to the loadbearing components of the building, minor defects to non-loadbearing components and finishing elements, and any safety issues that may be present.

The results of this inspection, depending on what they are, could mean the client may lose confidence in the property and decide to walk away from the deal….

You know what…that is perfectly fine. A building inspection is designed to do exactly that, guide a client in the right direction….to the right property. This was how client felt when we provided him with his second and final inspection on his journey to locate the perfect property for his needs. Our job as pre purchase building inspectors can be very satisfying when this is the case. We are not looking for thanks, but we appreciate a happy customer.

The grand old lady gets a new lease of life

So who is the grand old lady you ask…..?

She is the faithful house that has been standing solidly in one of Adelaides largest suburbs, Morphett Vale since 1967. Like I have said before, we do many inspections, but not all are necessarily enjoyable to do. This one however, was a pleasure to inspect. She just presented so honestly and generally performed as a house that was very typical of that kind of construction and age era.

Including an extension of additional living areas and a pergola that were of good construction quality and building practices, this north – south facing property had much to offer. The grand old lady was just looking for one more lease of life, something a caring new owner with energy would be able to offer.

As good as she was, some cracking can be expected in a building of this type of construction, double brick with concrete strip footings. Sure enough, we found that some movement had taken place to the left corner of the front elevation. It appeared that the footings had dropped slightly causing some stepped cracking through the mortar joints to the left elevation by this corner. Any cracking that follows the mortar line and not right through the bricks is a better scenario and not as severe. This cracking was mostly less than 5mm in width and entirely repairable.

Another positive was that the external cracking reflected only in a very small way to the adjacent internal walls, however the expected consequence of any cracking is really unknown until further information is obtained. Therefore we always recommend a qualified structural engineer / licensed builder be called to provide a further evaluation before conducting suitable rectification and repairs. The old lady can breathe again as her walls can be returned to their former glory.

If you need a pre purchase building inspection anywhere in Adelaide so you can be steered in the right direction when seeking your dream property, call Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections on 0451 070 398 anytime.



Can property buyers afford a pre purchase building inspection in Adelaide

I think you would all agree the question should be, can property buyers afford NOT to get a building inspection in Adelaide ? It’s a scary fact, but many home buyers in Adelaide simply neglect to get a building inspection prior to purchase. They prefer to run the gauntlet and hope that everything will magically be alright with a house that they essentially know very little about in most cases.

In the following example, a pre purchase building and pest inspection in the Adelaide suburb of Seaford Rise was able to expose some important and potentially expensive issues. Although these issues may not necessarily mean a buyer should definitely cool off on a property, they are issues that a new house owner would appreciate knowing about to at least give them the information to make an educated choice.

Prevention against receiving unpleasant surprises after committing to a property and moving in is one of the main reasons for getting a building inspection carried out.

Council building inspections not carried out

First appearances of this property built in the early 70’s were quite good. An extension and renovation had been conducted, possibly 20 years ago. However, on examination it became clear that these works were of dubious quality. It was highly likely that the extension was an unapproved structure, and that the local council probably had not conducted any inspection to ensure it met with their requirements and standards.

This situation can have far reaching consequences for the unsuspecting new buyer. If the local council planning department were to find out, they could enforce the new owner to have plans drawn up, an expensive exercise in itself, and the structure brought up to standard. If this is not complied with, this government department can authorise the owner to take down the unapproved building structures. A potentially devastating and costly decision to say the least.

How will the council building and planning department ever know?

You are entitled to ask the question, how would the council authorities find out about this in the first place? Apart from the fact that you may not have any idea about the friendliness of your new neighbours, you may want to do some extension / addition construction yourself in the future. Simple building structures such as pergolas and decks require council approval, and it is during the inspection of these that previous misdemeanors can be exposed.

When a building that we have been engaged to inspect appears to have had an extension or an addition, and this may include pergolas, awnings, decking, additional living areas etc., we always recommend the purchaser contact the local council to ensure that the new structures have been approved and inspected as required. Although this can mean a bit of extra leg work, the trouble is well worth the effort to avoid any of the hassles mentioned above.

It goes without saying that this advice was well received by our client. He was starting to see this property in a very different light.

Unfortunately, that’s not all folks…

This property, including the extension itself, performed quite poorly in many of its components. The exterior walls of the extension were clad with fibre cement weatherboards and a number of defects were identified. Corner flashing was either loose or missing, and flashing between the window and door frames was not installed at all. Holes from previous fixings and cracked or damaged weatherboards were observed to the baseboards and below the air conditioning penetration. All these situations can allow water from rainfall or other sources to penetrate into the building and cause potential wet rot decay to the timber wall frame studs, bottom plates and to the interior wall linings and skirtings. Sounds nasty, but these defects in themselves are not massive and easily fixable by a licensed builder, however, left unattended the structural consequences will be inevitable.

When you are buying a new house, why would you want to purchase pre-existing building defects? Over the years, a house has the knack of quite happily providing you with enough ongoing issues all by itself without inheriting needless ones before you move in.

Maybe you can ignore building defects and address the issues later on….wrong!

This sort of attitude can come back and bite a new home owner. For example, it doesn’t take long for wet rot decay to develop, an entry point, moisture, some warmth and bingo, the makings of timber rot and expensive repairs. When issues are identified by a building inspection, don’t hesitate to get them rectified as soon as possible. Failure to act upon any recommendations by a building inspector is not wise and opens up a new purchaser to unexpected additional financial stresses, including the worrisome job of locating and organising suitable and reliable tradesman to conduct the repairs.

One area of concern that can end up being very costly and damaging to surrounding structural components is a leaking shower recess, particularly when flooring to adjacent rooms is of timber construction. This bathroom renovation was not very recent and again the quality of its workmanship was not of the highest standard. Visually it looked fine, look closer and the story is different.

Instrumentation such as a moisture meter that is a standard tool for any good building inspector is invaluable to determine if shower recesses are possibly leaking. Leakage is usually the result of the breakdown of flexible sealant within the tiled wall joints, or the lack thereof, cracked tiles or simply poor grouting that is loose or missing. Another logical reason is simply a plumbing leak. In these cases, repairs and rectification by a licensed professional tiler and or a plumber is required to prevent ongoing moisture damage to walls and flooring.

It wasn’t however all bad news for this property, there were some great redeeming features, the least of which was no significant cracking was observed to the exterior brick walls. In most cases this can indicate that the footings are quite sound and movement within the building has been limited over the years.

Why take risks when buying that dream home. For specialists providing Pre purchase building inspections in Adelaide to give you that all important peace of mind with your new property, call Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections  now on 0451 070 398.



Why building inspections in Adelaide suburbs like Sheidow Park are essential

Scrimping on a having a building inspection in Adelaide, particularly in hilly suburbs such as Sheidow Park is just not wise. True or false? I think we can all agree that this statement is true, and that there are better ways to save a dollar. The money you hope to keep in your pocket could ultimately cost you thousands later on.

Adelaide is generally built on a plain, however, many suburbs hug the beautiful hills regions, or the hilly coastal areas of the southern beaches. Sheidow Park, O’Halloran Hill, Trott Park, Hallett Cove and Seaford Rise are examples to name a few. Sloping land on most housing lots is the norm in these areas and because of that, many building and property issues can arise that are easily overlooked by unsuspecting purchasers.

Organising a qualified professional to conduct a comprehensive pre purchase building inspection will go a long way to exposing these potentially costly defects.

Here’s how a building inspection can help Adelaide buyers

A recent client of ours was a single lady buying her first home and the price appeared to be just right. Built in the mid 70’s, this house was the perfect starter with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and appealing raked ceilings throughout the lounge and dining areas.

Even though she had her rose coloured glasses firmly on, common sense prevailed and she engaged us to conduct a thorough pre purchase building and pest inspection during the cooling off period before fully committing to this property.

Sloping land was the cause of two potentially expensive property defects, both of which our client had no idea of. Firstly, new and adequately engineered retaining walls had been constructed to the rear of the property where the ground level was quite steep. Generally this appeared fine, however in the process the landscaping had resulted in the rear right metal sheet boundary fence becoming a retaining wall in itself. The ground level was effectively 3 feet higher than the adjacent property. In time the already slightly leaning fence would totally fall over much to the neighbours’ disgust. Further retaining and fence repairs would be required to prevent this issue with costs of up to $15,000 plus being highly likely from appropriately licensed professionals.

That’s not all…

Secondly, although no rainfall was falling at the time of this building inspection, water marking evidence suggested water was pooling on the concrete carport slab floor adjacent to the two main roof frame timber support posts. Un-retained land to the rear of the open ended carport, as well as a perfectly sloping concrete path was facilitating a 10 foot wide runway of water during times of rainfall through to the carport. As a result, severe rust to the metal stirrup and wet rot decay was causing failure to the major timber support post. Any further deterioration of this post could easily produce catastrophic collapse of the carport roof and a very large bill from a reputable builder. Current pro-active remedial works would still be substantial enough.

Needless to say the client was very grateful for the findings and was now armed with the right information to determine whether the property was a bargain or not!  This example is why a good inspector is worth his weight in gold, as he is able to peel back the layers and find the true story.

What you can do to avoid any property pitfalls…

Protecting property buyers from expensive and even potentially dangerous structural defects is what we do best at Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections.

If you want to be sure about the condition of your new property and need a Pre purchase Building Inspection in Adelaide, contact us today for free no obligation advice 7 days a week on 0451 070 398.



Building Inspections in Adelaide Save Clients Thousands

Clients getting building inspections in Adelaide have proved many times they receive the confidence and peace of mind they are looking for when making their property buying decisions. In this case, the actual condition of this suburban house was not revealed until we were engaged to conduct a comprehensive building inspection which uncovered a major defect that could not be seen by our unsuspecting client.

The house certainly looked the goods and was prepared brilliantly by the vendor for sale. The big selling points for any home such as the updated bathrooms, a brand new kitchen, new floor coverings throughout and a fully landscaped garden were all in place. The renovation appeared complete and thorough. However, one important thing had been omitted from the to do list….

Fortunately, because our building inspections where possible involve the entering of the subfloor space, when we did so we discovered that the renovation did not include repairs to major structural elements of the house, in particular those which were crucial to the support of the floor and preventing internal walls from collapse. We were amazed at what we found. The footings consisting of brick piers had substantially collapsed, and this left the timber floor floating without support in many areas. To fix a problem like this the house owner could be conservatively up for $20,000 plus.

The bottom line is it would have been a financial nightmare for the new purchaser, but having a detailed building inspection carried out prevented this from happening. Needless to say, our client was very thankful and breathed a sigh of relief that he had the foresight to engage a professional building inspector before committing to this property.

The sad fact is there is a good chance that the person who eventually buys this house may not do the same, and therefore will be completely unaware of the structural issues below the floor. The cost of a building inspection is worth every cent as this example demonstrates, and a smart buyer will ensure it happens.

Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections are available anytime to conduct excellent building inspections Adelaide wide. Our fully qualified and insured inspectors have the experience to provide you with the best report to make your important property decision. All this the same day and within hours of the inspection.

To discuss your inspection needs give us a call now on 0451 070 398.