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Building Inspections

Building Inspections, what are the benefits?

Why you might need a building inspection:

  • Identify Major Defects
  • Be informed of significant safety hazards
  • Be informed of the extent of minor defects
  • Be informed of the general condition of the property
  • Deal with problems in your existing home
building inspections

What type of report will you receive?

You will receive an easy to understand, typed, photographic report within 24 hours of the inspection. Any major issues will be discussed via phone prior to receiving the report.

The report will be compliant with Australian Standard 4349.1 Inspection of buildings and include:

  • Identification of Safety Hazards
  • Identification of Major Defects
  • Identification of Minor Defects (maintenance items)
  • Photos of Safety Hazards and Major defects
  • Advice on required remedial works

The Process of Purchasing a Property in Perth

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So you are looking at purchasing a property? It is highly recommended that a property inspection report is factored into the budget when buying a home. For a relatively small sum, you can potentially save thousands of dollars and ensure the property is not a lemon.

Once you have found the dream home, the estate agent will require a contract to be signed upon submitting the offer. Most estate agents in Perth, use REIWA contracts for the sale of residential properties. REIWA stands for Western Australia’s real estate institute.

During the signing of this contract, it is advised that additional clauses are included to cover the building & timber pest inspections. A subject to finance clause is also highly recommended!

The building inspection clause will allow for a structural pre-purchase property inspection report to be conducted on the property. This property inspection will detail significant building defects present on the day of inspection.

Any structural faults identified during the assessment would then be the responsibility of the home owner to rectify prior to settlement. Structural faults are typically categorised as major defects in a property report. The definition of a structural fault is a deviation from its intended performance.

Building Inspections in Perth – Australian Standard 4349.1

AS 4349.1 – 2007 Inspection of buildings Part 1: Pre-purchase inspections – Residential buildings details the minimum requirements that a pre-purchase building report is required to conform with.

This standard also states that the inspector must be suitably qualified and experienced in order to provide advice to prospective interested parties who are purchasing a property. The standard covers all freestanding, semi-detached, terrace and villa houses along with townhouse and multi-unit buildings.

Prior to a building inspection taking place, a pre-inspection agreement is always required to be issued. This agreement between the client and inspector defines the purpose, scope and acceptance criteria upon which the inspection is undertaken. Never engage the services of a building inspection firm who do not issue this documentation.

The building on which the inspection is being undertaken is always required to be compared with a similar building in age and construction type and in accordance with the accepted practices at the time of construction. The comparison is also accessed against a building which is in reasonable condition.

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Significant Items Relating to Building Inspections & Property Inspection Reports 

The definitions of the significant items identified in each report are detailed as follows:

  1. Safety Hazards: any major defect that is an urgent safety hazard to occupants.
  2. Major Defect: defects that require rectification works to avoid the development of unsafe conditions.
  3. Minor Defect: commonly identified in most properties including cracking to walls and ceilings, corrosion of materials and general deterioration.

Recommendations may also be given, when applicable for further specialist inspections, by suitably qualified inspectors for specific aspects of the building e.g: plumber, structural engineer, electrician etc.

Where cracking has occurred to masonry walls, the damage is categorised as per Australian Standard AS 2870: Residential slabs and footings requirements.

This standard describes typical damage and assigns a damage category based on the crack width. This category will then determine the required remedial works. The damage is categorised from 0 – Negligible to 4 – Severe. Crack width limits are increased by 50% for easily repaired plasterboard partitions.

Master building Inspectors building inspection reports are always presented with a clear and comprehensive approach, along with evidenced based conclusions detailing the overall condition of the property.[/cs_text]


Cracking to Masonry Walls – What is Considered Defective During a Building Inspection? 

Cracking of a building element is a structural defect, where in the opinion of the inspector, the present or expected consequence of the cracking is that the structural performance of the building element is impaired, or where the cracking is the result of the structural behaviour of the building.

Unfortunately cracking to walls and ceilings is quite common in Perth. There are many benefits of having a full brick home (masonry external & internal walls), however cracking is not one of them!

Masonry walls provide a rigid structure without much flexibility. When slight movement occurs to the slab, or environment conditions (heat/cold) occur, cracking to the internal walls can be the result. Cracking to the cornice, commonly known as cornice cracking is also commonly identified.

However, this even occurs in newly built homes! Typically with is caused by fiction/movement at the cornice/plaster wall junction between these dissimilar materials. Many Perth builders are now dry lining the internal walls with plasterboard instead of render. This allows for the plasterboard walls and ceiling to be of the same material, thus minimising cracking.

Please contact us to arrange a building inspections Perth, should concerns arise with cracking in your property.

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Perth’s Building Inspection Industry, Is It Regulated? 

No, unfortunately the building inspection industry in Perth is currently unregulated. Currently anyone can call themselves a building inspector and do not require any certification or paperwork. Many firms in Perth call themselves qualified or registered building inspectors. In reality, there is no such title.

If you are considering price shopping around for your pre-purchase building report, it is strongly advised that you request the qualifications of the building inspector.

We hear too many stories of disputes arising from building inspectors missing obvious defects. Therefore, there is a huge risk having an unqualified building inspector assessing your property.

The WA Building Commission also has their own recommendations for consumers when it comes to purchasing a property. Keystart are a government lending organisation that have recently introduced requirements for building inspector qualifications in their contracts.

Pre-purchase building inspections conducted on behalf of Keystarts clients, must be undertaken by either a registered builder or structural engineer. This is a huge step in the right direction!

Combined Building & Pest Inspections

To ensure a thorough inspection, our combined building & pest inspections are undertaken by two qualified inspectors. This is generally conducted at the same time and they work together throughout the inspection.

Most companies only use 1 building inspector for both inspections!

You will be provided within 24 hours of the inspection, a comprehensive & professional building and pest report.  These reports will be jargon free, with digital photographs highlighting areas of concern.

The inspectors will also call if specific major structural issues have been detected.

Master Building Inspectors building & pest reports throughout Perth are in strict accordance with the Australian Standards requirements; AS 4943.1 & AS 4349.3.

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Master Building Inspectors reports also contains a conclusion. This gives an overall impression of the property – relative to similar properties of approximately the same age and construction type that have been reasonably well maintained.

Building Inspection reports are available within 24 hours of the building inspection, or same day if required.

Perth property buyers are strongly recommended to add a combined building & pest inspection into their contact of sale. These reports will provide you with full insight into any structural or termite related issues with the property. Further information can be found via our Master Building Inspectors blog.

We are available with a few day’s notice to conduct Building Inspections and Pest Inspections Perth wide from Monday to Saturday.


AS-4349.1-2007-Inspection-of-buildings-Pre-purchase-inspections-Residential-buildings (1) can be found here.

Building Inspections Perth