When you are buying a very expensive home and need it checked out thoroughly, you’d hope the person is qualified and insured.
Unfortunately, people out there doing these inspections are not all qualified or insured and you must obtain proof.
In Melbourne, there are 80 plus building inspection companies and you would not know who is and who is not qualified or insured. Many claim they are accredited, but have only completed a 2-day course. However, this is not recognised by the Building Act 1993 or the NCC.
Peter Alexander is the Director and lead inspector at Safehome Building Inspections in Melbourne and has been operating since 2004. He has completed a Diploma in Building Surveying. Peter also has Certificate in Inspect and Report on Timber Pests and Certificate 3 in Asset maintenance (Pest management Technical). Hence, he is recognised as one of the few qualified and insured building inspectors in Melbourne.
“In Victoria, unfortunately anyone can do pre-purchase house inspections without being qualified at anything, I know it sounds unbelievable but it’s true. They don’t even have to be insured,” according to Peter.
When I started in 2004 there were about 20 businesses, most were registered builders and a few qualified inspectors. Most had insurance. Then obviously word gets out that you don’t need any qualifications and there’s a buck to be made and everyone jumps on board.
“I’ve seen them come and go, normally they get sued and leave. Now there’s about 80 businesses in Melbourne and only three that I know of are actually qualified. I know some that are not even insured. The flow on effect from that is that some blokes don’t know what they’re doing and they give all of us doing the right thing a bad name”
“People looking for an inspector MUST ask for qualifications and insurance. This “accredited house inspector” is a two day course. Its not recognised by the Building Act 1993.”
“If they’re not a registered builder or qualified building inspector with insurance I would avoid them at all costs” Peter says.
Safehome’s building inspectors have been around for 15 years now and concentrate on not only doing a thorough inspection but providing great communication to our clients throughout the home inspection process. Below is a recent building inspection review taken from our emails –
Totally agree with Ying. Please pass on my thanks to Doug as he went well beyond expectations with phone calls at 11pm and beyond. Was also great to talk through the report and get some insights and really understand what you were trying to tell us, great service and much appreciated. I can see why you come highly recommended.
In a highly litigious industry such as house inspections we are proud that we have never had any litigation and in 14 years that’s amazing.
To avoid any problems, the building inspector needs to inform the client of exactly what we do, what we are required to do and what we don’t do. This small thing alleviates any confusion. We also have our clients read and agree to (hopefully) the terms and conditions of the inspections as per the relevant Australian Standard.
The Australian Standards tells us we have to show you our terms and you have to read and agree to them. In 14 years we have never had any issues with the terms as they basically say we don’t inspect or report on areas we can’t get to and there may be defects in those areas….common sense I would have thought.
The areas where Inspectors come unstuck is where they do not inform the client of exactly what they do and therefore some clients may have an unrealistic view of what is done. Clients may believe the building inspector checks all the wiring and power points, but they don’t. Only a licensed electrician can inspect these.
By explaining exactly what is done and providing a sample report to our clients it reduces any confusion and potential arguments. We’re lovers, not fighters, we do everything right.
The photographs here was taken by Safehome’s qualified building inspector at building inspection in Richmond and shows an inadequate footing being used to support the floor frame.
This is non compliant with AS2870 Footings standards and an entire new stump would be needed to be installed. It becomes costly as soil test has to be carried out to ascertain the required depth of the new stump. Additionally, we also need to acquire a permit as it’s a load bearing or structural component.
One can see the benefits of a building inspection by this photograph alone, however people are still buying homes without one. Some are luck and some are not.
The client for this photo above had already bought the dwelling and was wondering why the floor was bouncing.
The photograph depicts a timber rot in a joist under the bathroom, a commonly found issue when inspecting under the house.
Inadequate water proofing of wet areas carried out during construction is the main reason for these leak defects. This defect is one of the most prevalent in Victoria.
The costs to repair these defects ranges from $3000 to $10,000. Its cost depends on the extent of rot to the floor and the floor frame.
It is highly recommended to obtain a pre-purchase building inspection prior to buying a dwelling because once you have bought it, the problems are automatically becomes yours. There is absolutely no way you can oblige the previous owner to pay for repairs.
Thanks Peter, I understand the finding of the report. Thank you so much for the amazingly quick response and turn around of the report. I was able to put in an offer today and secure the property and I wouldn’t have felt as comfortable doing so without your input so thank you. – Sara
The above is a review from a client who we carried out a building inspection in Richmond for. We pride ourselves on out great building inspection service and reports. Safehome Building inspections organises the entire inspection, keep syou informed by text, sends the report to you on the same day and stays up to 11 pm to help you with queries.
Where else in Melbourne could you get better service from a building inspection company?
Safehome Building Inspections has been around since 2004 which is a long time in the house inspection industry. Tools and equipment to assist in locating defects have advanced over this time. Because of this, as qualified building inspectors in Melbourne, have to keep up with the changes.
Many people ask what equipment do we use to assist us in locating defects. In regard to the equipment, we are supposed to use as per the Australian Standards, there is nothing stated. It does state in sections that we only require a 3.6 m ladder.