Pre-Purchase Apartment Building Inspections: What You Need to Know

apartment building in Adelaide

When you’re looking for a new property to call home, it’s important to do your research. A pre-purchase building inspection is an essential step on the road to becoming a homeowner, allowing you to uncover any potential problems or hazards before you sign the dotted line. This blog post will discuss some fundamental defects that inspectors look for when performing pre-purchase apartment inspections. We’ll outline the most common faults discovered in apartments and units and explain why investing in a professional opinion can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

A pre-purchase building inspection is an assessment of a property conducted by a licensed building inspector. As their name suggests, pre-purchase building inspections are conducted before you purchase a property. The inspector assesses the condition of the apartment or unit and provides you with a detailed report outlining any areas of potential concern. A licensed building inspector will have the skills and experience needed to identify any potential problems, even if they’re not immediately apparent or, in some cases, imperceptible to the untrained eye. As construction industry veterans with over 8 years of experience, pre-purchase apartment and unit inspection reports provided by inspectors at Select Building Inspections are thorough, comprehensive, and cover all of the following:

As you can see, a pre-purchase apartment building inspection report covers many potential problems and hazards. So, why are they so important? Let’s look at some of the key benefits of investing in an inspection report before buying.

Why are pre-purchase apartment inspections necessary?

There are two key reasons why pre-purchase apartment building inspections are necessary:

  1. They can help you avoid investing in a property riddled with hidden defects that will begin cropping up weeks, months, and years down the line.
  2. A pre-purchase apartment inspection report can provide peace of mind knowing you’re making a sound investment once you receive the all-clear from a professional inspector.

Do apartments and units need a building inspection?

Many prospective homeowners believe that when it comes to apartments, and in particular, new apartments, pre-purchase building inspections are an unnecessary expense. After all, what could go wrong with a brand new property- especially one that is linked to a major developer? Unfortunately, apartments and units can foster as many hidden issues as any other property type. In fact, in some cases, they can have more. For example, poor workmanship is often an issue in newly built apartments. This can manifest in several ways, including water leaks, cracks in walls or ceilings, and electrical problems. In addition, many apartments are built on a tight budget, and as a result, corners may be cut when it comes to the quality of materials and finishes.

What do inspectors look for?

As outlined, building inspection reports should cover various potential problems and hazards. However, some areas of focus commonly crop up as areas of particular concern.

1: Balconies

Balconies are a common feature in many apartments and are often considered a significant selling point. However, they’re also one of the most commonly cited problems in pre-purchase inspection reports. Due to this, inspectors will take particular care in evaluating balconies for signs of water damage, structural defects, and improper drainage. Water damage is a specific concern when it comes to balconies, as it can lead to mould growth, mildew, and weakening structural supports.

Inspectors will also check for:

  • Loose or missing handrails
  • Cracks in the floor
  • Unsafe glass panels
  • Missing or damaged tiles

2: Showers and bathrooms

Showers and bathrooms are a common concern in any home, but this becomes especially true in apartments. Inspectors will check for leaks, water damage and poor workmanship. As showers are often tiled, it can be challenging to ascertain the waterproofing quality and condition of the shower walls. Building inspectors use specialised tools to measure the moisture levels in shower walls and investigate any signs of water leaks or damaged piping in the wall cavity. Inspectors will also assess the tiles, grout, silicon condition and the installation of puddle flanges to ensure that the bathroom is correctly constructed.

3: Windows and doors

Another critical area of focus for inspectors is windows and doors. Building inspectors will check that all windows and doors are properly sealed and weatherproofed. They will also assess the condition of frames, seals, and glazing. In particularly windy or rainy areas, windows are not uncommon to be blown in or damaged by driving rain. As a result, an inspector will ensure that windows and doors can open and close correctly and are securely fastened.

4: Carpets and flooring

While many apartments will have high-quality carpets and flooring, this is not always the case. In some instances, cheap or poor-quality materials are used to cut costs. Building inspectors will check for damage, staining, or wear and tear. They will also assess the condition of the skirting boards.

Summing Up

Building inspections are an essential part of the home-buying process, especially for those looking to purchase an apartment. Inspections help identify potential problems or hazards that could affect the value or livability of a property. So, if you’re considering buying an apartment, invest in a pre-purchase report from a licensed professional. While a building inspection report does not guarantee that problems won’t arise in the future, it does provide peace of mind and protection against any significant surprises down the line. At Select Building Inspections, our team of experienced inspectors can provide comprehensive building inspection reports for all types of properties. Get in touch today to find out more.


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