A building inspection is essential before you buy a property for at least three reasons. First, it helps you identify in advance what the problems are. Second, with the information you have, you can try and negotiate the price of the property. Third, you can get a specialist’s advice on how the major problems (if any) will affect the property in the long run.
While it’s important to know the inclusions in a building inspection, it’s also important to determine which ones are excluded. This way, you won’t be caught off guard, and you can then plan any additional inspections accordingly. Below is a list of the items that are not included in a building inspection.
1. Footings are excluded from a building inspection
This is what you call the structure on the soil. Footings help the foundation, the structure on which the whole building sits on, transfer loads from the weight from walls and columns.
2. Layout and sizes of rooms
Review your property sale posting because this information should be reflected there. Pre-purchase inspectors will not check if the furniture you own will fit in the rooms. Ideally, before you hire your property inspectors, you should have already decided if you will keep or let go of your old furniture.
3. Electrical wiring and smoke detectors
According to the building inspection guide from NSW Government’s Office of Fair Trading, electrical wiring and smoke detectors are not usually included in a building inspection. However, this should not be overlooked when it comes to an assessing a property.
4. Plumbing, drainage and gas fitting
A standard building inspection is generally a visual inspection. Checking the plumbing, drainage, and gas fitting of the property you are planning to buy entails an additional examination.
5. Air conditioning
Moving in to a property with poorly maintained air conditioning may result in various problems. You may experience discomfort, presence of bad odours from bio-films and microbial off-gassing, and building-related illnesses. You may also encounter higher running costs if the unit that came with your property is not functioning properly.
Fortunately, these can all be avoided if you request an air conditioning inspection. However, note that this is not included in a standard building inspection so it’s best to hire air conditioning experts to do this type of inspection for you.
6. Home appliances
There are properties that come with built-in appliances when they are sold. This can include an air conditioner, dishwasher, rangehood, oven, or a ducted vacuum. A building inspector will not specifically check if these appliances are working or not. It is best to look into these appliances yourself, especially if they are included in the property’s selling price.
7. Other home appliances
This includes alarm systems, CCTV cameras, intercom systems, fire and smoke detectors, and even the television reception. None of these items will be covered in the inspection. Similar to the home appliances mentioned above, these should be personally checked. This way, you can negotiate for a lower price if these items are not working.
8. Fireplaces, swimming pools, and other related equipment
Pool filters, saunas, chimneys, etc. are not covered in a standard building inspection. The reason behind this is that these are not common property areas. These places will only be inspected once you’ve requested for a special-purpose inspection. At EBI, we do pool & spa certification for those looking to have this done.
9. Health risks and overall building safety issues
A standard building inspection will not check if toxins or other hazardous materials are present in the property. It will also not check the building’s surroundings and the land where it is situated for these hazards or if the property is prone to landslide, flooding, or erosion. This type of inspection will not review the property’s compliance to any building regulation. It is recommended that you research about these concerns before participating in a negotiation for the property.