As the building process draws to an end, the builder will issue you with a date & time for a Practical Completion inspection, typically referred to as a PCI.
Generally, the practical completion inspection is the most critical inspection to be completed during the new home building process.
Client’s should be aware that practical completion does not necessarily mean that the building is completely finished.
Typically it is expected that the property is fit for occupation and the work has been completed as per the building contract.
The Home Building Contracts Act, Section 11 defines practical completion as when the home is ready for its intended purpose and all works completed excepting minor defects which do not prevent the property from being occupied.
When Should Practical Completion Occur?
Practical completion should not occur if the outstanding items prevent the property from being inhabited (lived in).
Usually the builder will notify the client once PC is approaching and agree on a date and time. This is when the building supervisor will meet the client on site to determine the outstanding defects that require repair.
Depending upon the builder’s requirements, we either attend site to conduct the PCI several days prior to your meeting, or at the same time which is generally the preferred process for the site supervisors.
Assessment of the New Home
We conduct our assessment of the build while the supervisor carries out the site meeting with the client. This typically takes between 1 – 1.5 hours for a standard 4 x 2 home.
At the end of our inspection, a verbal assessment detailing general areas of concern is entered between the clients, site supervisor and the inspector.
A written report detailing specific areas of non-compliance and substandard workmanship issues is then emailed within 24 hours. The builder will then have 10 working days, from receiving the report to rectify the identified items.
The PCI will include an assessment of all works completed to ensure all structural and building materials have been installed within the allowable tolerances.
Blue tape will be places on all areas of concern during the inspection. This helps the supervisor to identify the defective areas and allows the relevant trades to rectify these issues.
The defects liability period starts once possession of the property has occurred. If the builder does not meet these obligations, then the WA Building Commission or the courts will act.
Please note, a PCI report is not an all-encompassing assessment of the property. It is highly recommended that staged inspections are conducted during the building process. Many client’s skip the structural inspections and elect for just a PCI.
Unfortunately once the build reaches completion, the structural elements are covered and it is unknown whether these items have been installed correctly.
Practical completion inspections are highly recommended!
Items assessed during a PCI
The items we typically inspect during a new home practical completion inspection include:
- Roof Covering - ridge capping, hip capping, box gutters, flashings, tile/colourbond installation, gutters, downpipes, facia and eave installation.
- External areas - external walls, brickwork compliance, render installation, window & door installation, flyscreens, paintwork, cladding, portico, alfresco & taps.
- Internal areas - slab, internal walls, paintwork, window & door installation, ceilings and cornice, door & window hardware, tiles, taps, lights, cabinetry, floor coverings & plaster.
- Roof cavity - Insulation, sarking, roof frame & vents.
- Testing of all accessible windows & doors.
- Note all damage, chips, nicks and dents to window glass and frames, tiles, shower frames, mirrors, cabinetry, handles, benchtops, toilets & sinks.
About your Master Building Inspector
Unfortunately, the building inspection industry in Perth is unregulated. Therefore, it is paramount that the building inspector assessing your build is suitably experienced and qualified.
Many companies in Perth, state that their inspectors are registered. Sadly, this is a false statement, as there is currently no such qualification.
We recommend checking your inspectors credentials, as many so call “registered building inspectors” have no building experience or qualifications and come from accounting & management backgrounds.
- All inspectors are qualified, registered builders, holding registration with the WA Building Commission.
- Fully insured. Every building inspectors holds Public liability & Professional Indemnity insurances underwritten by Lloyds of London.
- All inspectors come from trade backgrounds. They have been involved with the construction of residential & commercial builds for years!
- Every one of our inspectors has undertaken extensive training in the inspection and reporting process.