So What Are Building Inspectors And Why Use Them?

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Published: 05th February 2017
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This is a good question that many will ask as they decide to buy a new home.

When you buy your intended home, will it be what you expect? Will it have some hidden defect that a professional will find, but you, being a lay person in construction, might miss? This is the big question.

Okay, so let us say you decide to get an inspector. What makes a good one verses an ordinary one? A good one will likely not just give you a list of defects page after page. You may not want every scuff mark and every scratch noted. In a fifty year old house for example, you will not want every possible scratch on the gutter. You may want to know if it is rusted through, and if it is there at all. So a house has to be compared to another of its same age. On the other hand, as an example, if it was a new home you were inspecting then maybe if there were three bathroom tiles scratched you should be informed of each one, because in a new home they should not be there.

A building inspector goes into a house looking at things from his point of view and that is different from the usual home buyer. He looks for what should not be there. What is out of place? What crack does not make sense? A good inspector will source the cause of the crack, and not just note the crack. If he sees new paint, and slight cracking he will be suspicious that the crack has been filled and reopened. She will want to know why and try to work that cause into his report. You as the client need to know.

There are many different kinds of inspections. There is the usual building inspection, or structural inspection. It looks for significant major defects, which really could alter the value of the building.

There is the staged inspection of construction, and inspections can happen during any of these stages; from concrete pouring, to roof on, the house locked up, it being practically fitted off, painted and then reaching practical completion. Sometimes it is only for the last stage that the inspector is called in. The reason inspectors are used here is because the owner might feel a little intimidated dealing with the building direct and he might want a little bit of professional back up. The inspector will give it.

The other inspections being done by the inspector are the timber pest inspection, looking for termites and borers and so on, while the last would be an energy efficiency rating inspection to tell you how your new home is going to stack up to the hot and cold. These last two inspections might be contracted out to others as not all inspectors have this specialist training.

Most inspectors are pretty good, but the best will obviously be those who have experience in building procedure, and these are going to be builders, engineers and architects. They will usually note their qualifications on their website. It is up to the client o research who is good and who not, and so on.

Good luck and we hope this article helped.

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