Do I need a building inspection when purchasing a new property?

Buying a new home brings about a time of excitement as well as a lot of questions. You may be wondering if you NEED to have a building inspection...
Building inspection

Buying a new home brings about a time of excitement as well as a lot of questions. You may be wondering if you NEED to have a building inspection done. The short answer is yes, for several reasons! Throughout this post, we’ll share why you shouldn’t skip a building inspection to ensure your new purchase is worth your hard-earned dollars.

Here are some questions we get about building inspections when buying a new property

The house is new, surely I don’t need to get a building inspection done?

Many make this crucial error to forgo a couple of hundred dollars assuming that their new purchase is unlikely to have anything significant wrong with it. Just because the home looks brand new and is boasting contemporary features, doesn’t mean it’s going to be up to standard. It’s not uncommon for structural and moisture issues to be undetectable to an untrained eye. Most reputable building inspectors have state-of-the-art equipment which allows them to get a gauge of what’s happening both in front and behind the walls.

Being new, wouldn’t it have passed a final inspection?

All new homes indeed have to pass a final inspection, however, building certifiers and council inspectors are enforcing code compliance rather than looking at other things such as the workmanship and materials used to build the house. When hiring a building inspector, they will examine the entire house in detail. They look at the construction of the house as well as identify inferior materials that they find throughout the home. They will list defects and areas that need attention in their report.

A building inspection has been done by the construction company, can I rely on this, or should I still book a building inspection myself?

For peace of mind, we always recommend getting an independent building inspection done. This way you are getting a completely factual and unbiased professional opinion about the condition of the home.

Will the builder’s warranty cover me if I choose not to get an independent building inspection done?

Yes, it does but only for a certain period. For structural defective issues, the warranty covers you for 6 years and 3 months, and defective non-structural issues its 12 months. To get defects rectified, you need to lodge a formal complaint with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) as soon as you notice them as strict time limits apply. The builder will be notified of the defective work by QBCC, and they should do the right thing and fix it however, some builders don’t, and pursuing them to repair the issue can be a painstaking task.

Problems that are likely to be found in a new property

To be fair, most new homes are built to Australian construction standards, but sometimes issues arise, and poor workmanship is carried out which causes defects within the home. Property defects are categorized as either patent defects or latent defects. A patent defect is a noticeable defect that can be easily observed, for instance, a crack in the wall. A latent defect, on the other hand, is a defect that isn’t easy to spot and may go unnoticed by someone who isn’t trained in this area of expertise. One example is moisture behind the walls. The reality is, just because a home is new doesn’t mean it will be exempt from defects. Here are some common defects building inspectors come across in new homes:

  1. Plumbing issues. This can be anything from leaks to inferior or improper placement of pipe works and fixtures.
  2. Structural problems. Cracks in the concrete slab are a common one, framing that isn’t up to standard is another.
  3. Leaks of various kinds.
  4. Inadequate drainage and poor grading. This can cause major water damage issues down the track if not see too quickly.

Benefits of hiring an independent building inspector before buying a new home

It can save you thousands of dollars

Having a building inspection done can alert you to issues you may not have had any idea existed. Significant home repairs can cost thousands of dollars, and while you are covered under a building warranty for a certain time, if there are problems that go unnoticed for an extended period and your warranty has expired, you’ll be out of pocket to fix the problem.

You can determine the properties worth given its current condition

From the information gathered on the report, you can make an informed decision knowing the exact condition the home is in. You can then decide if you want to proceed with the sale or not. If there are issues you can negotiate the price or ask the vendor to fix them before purchasing. Either way, you will know what you are signing up for if you purchase the house.

Peace of mind

Knowing the property you are buying is structurally sound and in good condition is worth its weight in gold.

Judging the integrity of a home-based on what it looks like can be a costly mistake. Getting a building inspection done is a must-do regardless of whether it’s new or established. Here at Premier Building and Pest Reports, we conduct comprehensive building and pest inspections on all property types using sophisticated inspection equipment to ensure no fault goes undetected. If you’d like to book an inspection or if you have any questions, contact our friendly team today.

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