At South West Property Inspections we understand that buying or building a a home can be a stressful task and people want to have as much information about the process as possible.
That’s why we have compiled the below list of questions we are often asked regarding the process, and our services.
Of course if you can’t find the answer you are looking for, we would love to help you – so please contact us with your enquiry.
Unfortunately, in September 2009 the Department of Fair Trading removed the need for building consultants (of which pre-purchase building inspectors are categorised) to be licensed or to hold Professional Indemnity and/or Public Liability Insurance. This means that anyone who wishes to do so can call themselves a building inspector and legally trade as such.
This poses a problem for prospective home owners as they could possibly engage these people, or companies, without knowing if they have relevant experience or qualifications and if they hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover them if something significant is missed in the inspection of the property, resulting in a dispute later on.
There are a few checks that you, as the client, can ask to ensure you are getting the advice of a trained and insured inspector.
At a minimum, you should ask the following questions of any inspector you intend on hiring:
Ask to see their qualifications and Insurances to see they are relevant to property inspections.
At SWPI, we have completed the following relevant qualifications and training:
Trade Qualifications in Carpentry & Joinery
Certificate IV in Building Studies
Pre-Purchase Inspection & Report writing course through Master Builders Association NSW
Timber Pest Management Qualifications through MPL Urban Pest Management Training Centre.
In addition to training we hold the following insurances:
$2 Million professional Indemnity Insurance
$5 million Public Liability Insurance.
Copies of our Certificates of Currency and qualifications can be supplied upon request.
Ask a few questions to test their knowledge regarding their field of expertise for example:
Q: What Standards do your inspection reports conform to?
At SWPI, our inspections and reports are conducted in accordance with and fully comply with AS 4349.1-2007 Pre-Purchase Inspections – Residential Buildings and AS4349.3– 2010 Inspection of Buildings – Timber Pest Inspections.
Q: Do you look at wall cracking as part of the inspection and if so, how do you categorise them?
At SWPI we conduct a thorough inspection of the external of the property and categorise them as per the Guide to Standards and Tolerances 2017, which is Structural, Major and Minor.
Q: Can I see a sample report that you have previously conducted?
Sure! At SWPI we are very proud of our reports and how thorough they are; we are happy to provide a copy of a sample report – contact us and we can email you a copy.
If you have any doubts about the answers provided when asking an inspector, or company, the above questions – it is likely that they may not be able to provide the same level of service or quality reporting that we at SWPI are known for.
Depending on location, size of the home/property and who you engage, the cost of having a combined Building and Pest Inspection Report within Sydney can vary from as little as $220 up to $900. With such a large range of pricing it can be confusing as to what is the best value for money option.
At SWPI, we have structured our pricing in a way that allows us ample time to spend on-site conducting your inspection and provide a comprehensive report with additional phone support – whilst still providing value for money. We want to ensure prospective buyers do not shy away from getting a quality report due to a high cost at what is usually a very expensive time in their lives.
With the varying quality of reports and inspectors providing them, the old adage of you get what you pay for is extremely pertinent.
At South West Property Inspections our fees range from $250 for a Pool Compliance Report up to $525 (inc. GST) for a combined Pre-Purchased Building and Pest Inspection Report.
We also offer an additional Repair Estimate that can be ordered and delivered at time of inspection, or within five days of the delivery of your report, at an additional cost of $220 (inc GST).
For more information on our pricing and reporting options, please visit our Services page.
Yes. At SWPI, we have full Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance, we are more than happy to provide you Certificates of Currency, upon request.
At SWPI, we understand how stressful the 5-10 day cooling off period can be, so we do our part to minimise this stress by providing your inspection report on the same day as your inspection.
This will allow you as much time as possible to digest it and make the decisions you need to make within the cooling off period.
If the inspection was ordered by your Conveyancer, a copy will also be sent to them for their records.
At SWPI, we want you to get the most out of your inspection, and the best way to do this is to allow us the opportunity to go through the home without distraction.
Whilst it may seem like a good idea to attend your inspection, in your doing so prevents us from concentrating 100% on the task at hand.
This is not something we are willing to compromise on as our job is to provide you with the very best inspection and report we can.
Yes, in fact we believe this is almost an essential part of the inspection process.
Unless you have technical construction knowledge, there is likely to be items in the report that you may not fully understand, which is perfectly fine.
At SWPI, we want you to fully understand your report before making a decision as to whether to proceed or not with a purchase of a property; so much so that we make ourselves available to you until 9pm each night to answer any questions you have.
When you get your report, thoroughly read it from front to back and allow yourself some time to digest the information; write a list of questions you would like to ask your inspector and then contact us to go through these questions, this way you will get the most out of your report.
Arguably a pest inspection is more important than a building inspection due the extreme damage that can be caused by termites and other timber pest in a short period of time, and the undetectable nature on how they infest.
A Timber Pest inspection report completed by South West Property Inspections will contain the following points of inspection:
A full Pest Inspection, which is carried out as per Australian Standard 4349.3 – 2010 Inspection of Buildings: Part 3 – Timber Pest Inspections.
Any live or past termite activity.
Any excessive moisture readings, which is an indicator of termite activity or conducive conditions.
Any borer damage.
Any timber fungal decay or rot.
Conducive conditions that would attract termites.
Any structural damage caused by timber pests.
Trees, fences, retaining walls, outbuildings are checked.
Safety hazards caused by pests is assessed, for example, balustrade rot.
Recommendations going forward to prevent timber pests are included.
Once you have decided what type of inspection you would like completed, simply go to our Bookings page, fill out the details in the form and submit it to us.
From there you have nothing else to do, we will do the rest in arranging your inspection.
Alternatively you can contact us on 0404 320 455 to arrange your inspection over the phone.
A building inspection carried out by South West Property Inspections gets you a thorough inspection of the home and property; it covers all the major areas of the property, including the roof space, sub-floor, roof cladding, externally and internally, as well as the property within thirty metres of the main house.
We use modern technology to collect the information we need to provide detail on minor and major defects with the property as well as any safety hazards. It will explain what each defect is, where that defect is at the home and what is required to have it further assessed or rectified. Each defect will be accompanied by a colour photo of the defect.
Click here for a list of common (but not limited to) defects that are inspected in order to compile your report.
The report, based on the inspector’s knowledge and experience, combined with the number and type of defects found will indicate the condition of the house in comparison to other houses of similar age and construction if they had been subject to regular maintenance.
A typical inspection will take 1 to 3 hours to complete depending on the size, condition and accessible areas of the house.
Obviously a larger house in poor condition will take more time to inspect than one which is in good condition with very few defects. Despite the condition of the property, we take the same methodical approach to every inspection to ensure nothing is missed.
As eluded to in our name at SWPI, we focus on servicing the South Western Sydney region, stretching from Liverpool to Bargo, Oakdale to Appin.
We find by restricting ourselves to these boundaries it allows us to spend more time on-site focusing on your report, and less time in the car travelling.
If you require a report to be completed outside these boundaries we are happy to do this for you but an additional fee to cover the additional travel time will apply, this is worked out on a case by case basis depending on the distance required.
If you have such a request please contact us to enquire.
You could but we would highly advise against it and here is why:
Building and inspecting buildings are two very different skill sets, trust us we have experience in both!
Most builders will look for obvious workmanship defects but will lack the experience or skills, mindset and equipment to detect issues that may have a negative effect on the property long term. For example, we use moisture meters to detect issues that may be hidden within a wall cavity or under a floor and naked to a visual inspection; this is not a tool your average builder would own.
At SWPI, we could spend anywhere up to 3 hours inspecting your property and providing you with a comprehensive Australian Standards compliant report detailing the issues found, this is far different to a half hour walk through and a “yep looks good to me” that your builder friend will likely give you.
Additionally, how much is your friendship and new house worth, if your builder friend misses something substantial it may end up costing you thousands of dollars to rectify and likely your friendship in the process.
With SWPI you get the assurance of a qualified, experienced and fully insured company to undertake your inspection.
Is it really worth the risk?
We will send you a Tax Invoice detailing the type of inspection you have ordered. We accept Visa or Mastercard, direct deposit or cash prior to the inspection, or on the day if you are attending.
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