What to expect in a building inspection report

by Greg on June 9, 2017

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Buying a home is one of the most expensive ventures that you will probably engage in. It is often a lifetime investment that takes sweat and blood to achieve. So before you purchase what looks like your dream home it is very important that you have a professional home inspection performed. This will help you ascertain if the property is in good shape or not.

A pre-purchase inspection report can help you discover potential problems which may not be obvious to your eye. This will save you from incurring paying a premium for the property or simply avoid exorbitant expenses in the long run. An inspection may be useful even in new constructions, commercial properties and renovations.

In the report you should expect to see the following set of information:

  • The name of the person requesting for the building report, this will be your name or any other person requesting for the report.
  • The address of the building to be inspected.
  • The name the inspector and the names of other people present.
  • The inspector’s qualifications and work experience.
  • Date of inspection
  • Weather as at the time of conducting the actual inspection.
  • The scope of the inspection, which shows what is covered in the inspection.
  • What is covered in the inspection and the reasons why it is not covered.
  • A comprehensive list of defects identified.
  • A conclusion on the overall condition of the building.
  • Recommendations

The inspector will take a look at the general condition of various items in the building including the gutters, downpipes, mortar joints, plaster, roofing material, window panels, drainage, wiring, and plumbing. In most cases the inspection is concluded within a day. But for a large building more time may be needed to complete the exercise.

In drawing up the conclusion the inspector will take into account several factors including the age of the building in question, type of building and the general expectation in similar building. In the recommendations check to see if there is a recommendation for further inspection has been made. The recommendations are entirely based on the conclusion and you may find the inspector recommending further inspection by a specialist in a certain area such as plumbing and electrical.

Generally the building report will not cover the following unless you specifically request the inspector to conduct an inspection to include this information.

  • Cost of fixing defects identified.
  • Building code compliance
  • Building consent compliance
  • Title search
  • Planning and resource consent matters
  • Special heritage responsibilities and compliance.

However, the building inspection report does not guarantee that all possible faults or defects in the building have been identified. Similarly the report does not in any way guarantee that the building meets the building requirements as stipulated in law. The report will only provide you with information about the issues that were seen at the time of inspection plus any other information that you specifically requested for. To find out if the building complies with the building act or code, you can ask for a special inspection report.

Once you receive the report, you can make your own follow up inspection using the information provided in the report. Your follow up inspection will enable you to do a number of things including:

  • Decide if the faults are within your budget to have them fixed.
  • Decide if the defects are not that bad such that you can live with them.
  • Negotiate for a lower price.
  • Decide not to buy the building if it has too many defects.


Peter Alexander

Peter is a qualified building inspector from Mr Inspector who carries out the majority of inspection for his clients. He is also qualified to carry out timber pest inspection or termite inspections in Victoria.

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