4 Dangers of Hiring an Inexperienced Building Inspector: Why You Need a Qualified Professional

inspecting cracks concrete wall

Purchasing a home is one of the most significant investments you will ever make. Building inspectors play an essential role in the buying process and can help you avoid costly mistakes by assessing the condition of a property.

Currently, the South Australian building inspection industry is unregulated, which means that you don’t have to be a registered building inspector or complete any training to perform building inspections. This blog post will outline the critical pitfalls of hiring an inexperienced building inspector and explain why it’s worth investing in a qualified professional. So if you’re in the market for a new home, make sure to read on.

1: An unqualified building inspector may not be familiar with the building codes in your area.

In Australia, the construction industry is guided by two legislative bodies; the Building Code of Australia and the Australian Standards. Generally, the Building Code in Australia has a national reach. However, some rules may vary from state to state, so it’s vital to hire a building inspector familiar with your local regulations. While the Building Code is publicly accessible, Australian Standards are not. A building inspector should be up-to-date with any amendments and have an educated understanding of Australian Standards, which are complex and can be difficult to not only understand but put into practice. An inexperienced inspector without appropriate training or a background in construction may not identify potential code violations, leading to costly repairs and renovations.

Remember that when you consider hiring a building inspector, it’s essential to ask about their experience and qualifications and to ensure they are familiar with building codes and regulations. If they are not, don’t hesitate to look elsewhere.

2: They may not be able to identify potential hazards.

Building inspectors should be able to identify potential hazards that could cause problems for you and your family. A good building inspector will take the time to assess all aspects of the property, this includes:

  • The interior of the building.
  • The roof space.
  • The exterior of the building.
  • The sub-floor space.
  • The roof exterior.
  • The property within 30 m of the building that is subject to inspection.

Possible defects can range from water penetration, rising damp, distortion, material deterioration, operational faults and improper installations. A qualified building inspector will know how to inspect these crucial areas without putting themselves at risk – something inexperienced inspectors may not think about when conducting an inspection on their own.

3: They may not have the necessary tools and equipment to do the job right.

Building inspectors should have the necessary tools and equipment to do the job right. This includes ladders, flashlights, safety gear and specialised tools for moisture detection. If your inspector doesn’t have access to standard equipment, they may not be able to properly assess the property. In addition, inexperienced inspectors may not know how to properly use their tools, leading to incomplete or inaccurate inspections.

When choosing a building inspector, don’t hesitate to ask about what kind of equipment they will be using during the inspection. Finally, be sure to enquire about what will feature in the report. Australian Standards are very clear about the content that should be presented in a building inspection report, so this is an excellent way to vet prospective inspectors. In general, the report should contain the following:

  1. Administrative details:

    This includes the name, address and licence number of the inspector conducting the inspection, the client’s identity, the address of the property inspected, the date of the inspection and the details of the inspection agreement.
  2. Inspection details:

    Conditions at the inspection time and a description of the property.
  3. Major defects:

    The nature and location of any major defects.
  4. Minor defects:

    The overall extent of minor defects.
  5. Safety hazards:

    A thorough description of any potential safety hazards.
  6. Limitations:

    A description of any areas outside the scope of the inspection.
  7. Recommendations:

    The building inspector may recommend further inspections conducted by specialised inspectors.
  8. Conditions:

    The report may be conditional upon the information provided by the client, the concealment of defects and any other limiting factors.
  9. Conclusion:

    Concluding statements on the nature and extent of any defects and safety hazards.
  10. Summary:

    A summary of the property’s condition.

4: They may not be insured.

Some building inspectors may not be insured, which can lead to problems if something goes wrong during the inspection. If an uninsured inspector damages the property or gives you the wrong advice, you may be responsible for the costs. When hiring a building inspector, make sure to ask about their insurance coverage. This means both public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

Wait - are pest inspections included?

Before purchasing a new home, you may want to consider a pest inspection. Pre-purchase building inspections do not include a termite or pest inspection, so it’s essential to book this service separately.

To conduct a termite inspection, your building inspector must have specific accreditations necessary to legally perform this service in adherence to Australian Standard AS4349.3. In South Australia, this means possessing both a pest management technician’s licence and a pest controller’s licence if the inspector runs their own business.

What about the cost?

When it comes to building inspections, quality should be your first priority. While many inspectors offer lower prices, they are often inexperienced or lack suitable qualifications. Building inspectors with all the necessary qualifications, equipment and experience will come at a steeper price. However, they are more likely to conduct a thorough inspection that can save you thousands of dollars down the road. Purchasing a property is not an easy endeavour. When you invest, be sure to invest wisely.

Remember, we're here to help.

Building inspectors are a vital part of purchasing a new home. It’s essential to hire someone who has the experience and qualifications to do the job right.

Inexperienced building inspectors often make mistakes, leading to costly repairs resurfacing weeks, months, or even years after you’ve settled into your new home. At Select Building Inspections in Adelaide, we are fully licenced builders, carry white cards, are fully insured, and are a member of MBA (Master Builders Association).

The inspectors at Select Building Inspections are industry veterans, are fully insured and use state-of-the-art technology to get accurate results. We have over 20 years of experience inspecting homes throughout South Australia. We know what to look for, and we’ll make sure that your new home is safe.

We understand how important this process is for our clients – which means we’re committed to providing clear information outlining what we’ve unearthed both inside and outside your future property. If you’re looking for an experienced and qualified building inspector, call us on 0475 555 039 or request a quote online. We’re here to help!

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