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What are the Differences Between Building and Pest Inspections?

Posted on 17 November 2014

Arranging professional building and pest inspections is an essential step when buying a new property. It’s important to understand the difference between these inspections –something which is commonly misunderstood.

So what is the difference between a building and pest inspection? A building inspection may be able to identify any structural damage or issues which could have a significant impact on the property and end up costing your money in the future. It does not report back on general wear and tear and weathering of a property. A pest inspection is an examination of the property for evidence of timber pests, and an assessment of any damage that has been caused by pests.

If you’re buying property, getting both inspections is important, and offers valuable piece of mind. Pest or structural problems can arise no matter the age or location of a property.

Why do I need a building or pest inspection?

It’s vital to ensure that any pre purchase property inspections are carried out by licensed and qualified inspectors, and are completed before your new property settles, so there are no unexpected or nasty surprises once you take ownership. Inspections are generally carried out during the cooling off period after a property has been purchased, or are listed as conditions of sale before the property sale is finalised.

What is involved in a building inspection?

An experienced and certified building inspector will visually inspect your property and all structures within a 30-metre radius of the main building as per the Australia Standard (AS4349. 1-2007). The inspector will inspect both the interior and exterior of the property.

The interior inspection of the property generally involves:

•    Inspection of walls for any significant cracks or other damage.

•    Check all walls, floors and ceilings for any signs of structural problems or damage.

The exterior inspection generally includes:

•    Inspection of the condition of gates and fences for any signs of rotting, and to ensure they are structurally sound and present no safety hazards.

•    Inspect external structures such as carports, pergolas, granny flats, and sheds to confirm they are both structurally sound and comply with council regulations.

•    Check the roof for signs of damage and to ensure structural integrity.

What is not included in a report?

It’s important to remember this is a visual inspection only. Inspectors will not move, cut into, or test any structures or items within the property. A building inspector will not report on general or minor maintenance issues, and will not inspect the following:

•    TV reception

•    Appliances such as dishwasher, oven, or ducted vacuum system etc.
•    Security alarm and intercom systems.

•    Plumbing, drainage and gas fittings.

•    Pools and equipment.

•    Footings.

•    Electrical wiring and smoke detectors.

•    Air conditioning systems.

•    Outdoor watering systems.

•    Carpets and floor coverings.

What happens during a pest inspection?

A pest inspection not only involves a visual examination of the property to identify any evidence or damage which has been caused by timber pests, but also includes a risk report of the property’s susceptibility to future pests and any past pest treatment that has been carried out.

The inspection will generally cover the same areas as the building inspection – the main property and any structures within a 30-metre radius. The inspection will include:

•    The interior of the property.

•    Both the property and roof exterior.

•    The roof void.

•    The subfloor.

•    Any outbuildings, fences, paving and garden timbers.

•    Any trees or stumps larger than 100mm.

It’s important to note an inspection normally does not include:

•    Wall cavities.

•    Areas behind cupboards, furnishings or furniture.

It is also worth noting that pest inspections are generally not advised for individual strata purchases, as pests come and go throughout buildings. A body corporate will usually carry out a yearly pest inspection.
Both building and pest inspection reports will also make note of any areas that may not have been fully inspected due to weather or access issues.

As you can see, regardless of where your property is located, it’s essential that you obtain a pest and building inspection report. Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, Rosebud – building and pest issues don’t discriminate. Why not let us help you with your pre purchase inspection reports?



By Darel McBride


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