Building Inspections Auckland

What a Building Report Covers

What a Building Report Covers (And What It Doesn’t)


Congratulations on finding a property to buy! It’s a great achievement after trawling several real estate websites for days, weeks, even months. Never mind the many sleepless nights.

A property purchase comes with a deluge of information, some of which will overwhelm you to no end, especially if you’re a first-time property buyer. That’s why you need a pre-purchase building inspection report — to protect the property you’re just about to buy.

Do you know what’s covered in most building reports? We’ll soon tell you.

But first:

Building Inspections AucklandWhy Do You Need A Building Inspection?

It’s a significant risk to take when you don’t have one. That’s why. Irrespective of whether you’re buying a house or brick and mortar apartment units in the small of Auckland, the fact is, a pre-purchase inspection is important.

Look around, many properties on sale have structural defects and other undetected problems. An exhaustive building inspection, from a certified building inspector, can help uncover them, one by one so you can make a better more informed decision on your purchase.

If you fail to organise a building inspection and your property succumbs to structural failure (because it will eventually), you’ll foot the cost of all repairs. And boy, is it expensive!

What Will You Find In A Pre-Purchase House Inspection Report?

A building inspection report evaluates the overall condition of the property you want to buy and even assesses it visually for any noticeable structural defects that may affect its overall value.

For example, a building inspector inspects a building’s structural soundness — from the roof to external walls, doors, windows, internal walls and floors, then advises on key maintenance issues.

A property inspection checklist from an inspector can list issues such as:

  • Presence of rust
  • Evidence of pests (not equivalent to a detailed pest inspection)
  • Dampness/rot, and water damage
  • Visible structural damage and cracks
  • Uneven floors and subfloors

Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will hand you a detailed pre-purchase building inspection report with a variety of items to look into, including:

  1. Structural Observation

Structural inspection focuses mainly on the structural condition of the window frames, doors, interior and exterior walls, roof frames, and roofing in general. Balconies, staircases, and porch areas aren’t left out either — the same for cabinetry, fences, outbuildings, etc. The results of these evaluations are then listed in a property inspection Auckland report.

  1. Plumbing and drainage

The plumbing systems of a property you want to buy might have undetected issues, but the trained eye of a building inspector can pick them up very quickly. But how can a building inspector, without certification, inspect a property’s plumbing and drainage systems?

Inspectors are only allowed to give observations of the plumbing damages but not repair them. That work is specifically left for a certified plumber.

Some of the plumbing areas to be inspected include exterior drainage and gutters, and other aspects of interior plumbing. The main objective of establishing thorough inspections is to make sure you’ve eliminated any unpleasant surprises – once you’ve assumed full ownership of the building.

  1. Electrical systems and smoke alarms

Electrical systems are also inspected to ensure they’re in line with the country’s electrical standards. For example, the power box is assessed and tested to ensure it provides the correct number of minimum RCD’s (residual current devices) at any given moment.

The pre-purchase inspection report will also reference the state of the smoke alarms in the said property. An inspector will focus on their main setup, and he’ll most probably ask a few questions – Do the smoke alarms use battery power, or they’re just hardwired? Do they perform as expected and in the right specifications? And are they well-positioned in the building?

These questions are essential to creating thorough building reports that detail everything electrical systems, including alarms in the property you wish to buy.

Often, it’s recommended that each time a property is sold, a certified electrician should oversee the installations, testing, and confirmation of the electric circuitry. The work of the building inspector is to ensure everything electrical in the building meets these standards.

  1. Building defects

Structural defects (of any form or nature) pose an imminent danger to the owner and other occupants of the property. As such, the house inspection Auckland report will have to detail all the defects and structural problems, of any kind, in the property.

Property InspectionsWhat a Pre-purchase House Inspection Report Won’t Cover

It’s a fact: a building inspection report will save you costly repairs and other expensive structural amendments. However, there are other things building reports won’t cover.

Case in point:

  • Borer inspection

Borer may seem tiny a problem, but an infestation can incur expensive damages to a property in a short time, not to mention sleepless nights.

Although borer inspection is requisite, it’s unfortunately not covered in the house inspection checklist. So, it’s up to you to find a separate inspector, experienced in the given area, to assess damages caused in the building after a borer infestation and any other concerns you may have.

  • Purchasing decisions

The power to make a purchasing decision of a property you fancy lies solely on you and you alone. So a building inspection report won’t offer any advice concerning making private decisions.

What it can do best, however, is to provide relevant information, at the right time, to guide you on making the right decisions yourself, and that’s it. In other words, building reports will leave you to give a building or property a pass or fail grade.

Building InspectorFinal Thoughts Of What a Building Report Covers (And What It Doesn’t)

You may be tempted to skip a pre-purchase inspection in the name of saving money, but a little bit of money spent now can save heartache later. Have you thought about the structural defects and problems that’d go unnoticed if you don’t get yourself a building inspection?

Buying a property is a big step and perhaps the most substantial investment that’ll probably happen only a few times in your lifetime. Therefore, it’s imperative in making an informed decision and by getting building reports is one way that guarantees you get value for money — never mind the satisfaction of knowing what exactly you’re buying.

If you have a building in Auckland, New Zealand, it’s time to organise a building inspection (and make it a top priority). Remember, a building inspection report is precise, detailed, and thorough saving you time and money.

Asbestos Testing Auckland

What Happens During a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection

So, you’re thinking about buying a property, but you’re not sure whether it’s worth buying at all. Well, booking a building inspection will help shine a light on the property’s shortcomings — saving you thousands of dollars, whilst giving you peace of mind.

But let’s be honest: A pre-purchase inspection is a mind-numbing aspect of buying a property, and many would-be homebuyers would rather skip it. However, think of it as a real-estate equivalent to a test drive — because it is.

Forgoing an inspection, therefore, in the name of saving a few hundred dollars, can be costly and  bring about unwanted surprises in the future.

But you may be wondering: How does a building inspection work? What happens during an inspection?

Before we go there:

When Does an Inspection Happen During a Property Sale?

Building Inspector AucklandA building inspection can happen in two ways: when you’re buying a property (buyer’s inspection) or selling a property (seller’s inspection). The former occurs when you, as the buyer, make an offer on the property or before you close a sale, subject to a builder’s report.

A seller’s inspection, on the other hand, occurs before your building is listed for sale. A seller can opt to have their building inspected as they prepare to put it on sale. That gives them more time to repair any structural defects on the property in advance – hastening the closing process immensely.

What if specific issues come up after a pre-purchase house inspection? Can I (the buyer) renegotiate the offer or request for structural repairs? Of course, you can.

What Happens During a Property Inspection?

A pre-purchase building inspection can take a few hours depending on the size of your property. But a building report can take at least four days to complete — and for a good reason.

A building inspector takes hours on end to access all the interior and exterior of your property and, while at it, records any structural defects and hazardous issues that surround the entire property — or anything that might pose a danger to the occupants of the building once they move in.

Put simply; a building inspector looks out for safety issues in the property.

Want to ask the inspector a few questions? Go ahead! Inspectors will always answer your questions. So, it’s best, as the buyer, to be present during a building inspection to help you see first-hand where the building’s problems are. 

It also helps to be present as a property seller to know what building inspectors look at, and when it’s time to find an expert repair service to fix any structural defects in your property.

Remember, inspectors have a long and thorough house inspection checklist of things to look for in a property. And they often concentrate first on the health and safety concerns, and then major property defects come second in their list.

Here’s what a building inspector looks for in a property:

  • Water damage
  • Structural defects and other problematic issues
  • An old and damaged roof
  • Damaged electrical and alarm systems
  • Plumbing problems
  • Insects and pest infestation
  • HVAC system failure issues

Side note: Home inspectors don’t create building reports based on cosmetic issues unless they pose a danger to your safety in the long run. For example, they won’t report the peeling of wallpaper, but they’ll report water stains on the wall.

How to Prepare For a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection

Building Inspections AucklandAn inspector looks at literally everything (wrong) in a property. Often, they go through a detailed property inspection checklist. So make sure to prepare for the inspection well to avoid tainting the building inspection report.

When your building is on the hot seat of the property inspection, what do you do?

No building is perfect — always remember that. Even a reasonably clean house inspection Auckland report will test your nerves and patience. It might even sting a bit. But don’t worry.

Here are things to quickly double-check before a building inspector walks in:

  • Keep Receipts

Ever had routine maintenance checks done in your property before? You know, water heater repairs, HVAC filters changed, furnace repairs, chimney sweeps, etc. If so, did you keep the receipts? You better have receipts to show the inspector and the buyer. And make sure to keep the receipts organized and ready for their easy perusal.

  • Clear out the clutter

Check all the crawl spaces, including the garage, attic, and basement for clutter.  Remember, building inspectors will crawl in there at some point.

So you don’t want them to find clutter while checking for damages and moisture levels. Unless, of course, you want them to mark the spaces “can’t be inspected,” – which will prolong the inspection process eventually.

  • Create access

Make sure the inspector has uninterrupted access to your entire property, including the water heater systems, furnace, electrical panels, etc.

  • Lock up the pets

Make sure to lock up your pets before the inspector walks in for his or her safety. You don’t want to scare the building inspector away now, do you?

  • Ensure the light bulbs are working

Bulbs that fail to light up can indicate that your property’s electrical system isn’t correctly working. Of course, this can taint the overall inspection report.

  • Run water

Before the inspection.  Make sure to run water in every bath and sink to check for minor clogs, which might give the inspector the opinion your plumbing system isn’t working properly — only to have them enter the issue in the report.

  • Replace the HVAC filters

Dirty air filters are a big red flag, as it means the air quality in the entire building is compromised. You can bet your bottom dollar the inspector would hesitate to enter “replace filters” as an issue in the building report.

  • Address any bug issues

If you have a bug, borer infestation in your property, it’s time to address this issue by spraying or seeking the professional services of an exterminator. If an inspector spots any sign of borer damage then expect them to indicate you have an infestation in the building report.

  • Trim the trees

Low-hanging tree branches raise the possibility of roof damage. Trees hanging too close to the roof or branches touching the roof means the roof can be a point of access for rodents. Be aware rodents can potentially access chimneys and other openings. You don’t want an inspector to include this as a potential risk to your property, so trim the trees.

Final Thoughts On Pre-Purchase Building Inspections

It’s easy to see why property inspections are often looked upon by many home buyers as well as sellers. It’s a time-consuming, nerve-racking process — and it gets even worse when it’s your property in the hot seat.

But the good news is: no building is perfect. So, no need to worry, especially if you’re a seller that has taken all the necessary steps, as highlighted in the post, to ready yourself and your building. 

Building Inspections AucklandThere’s a lot that happens in a pre-purchase building inspection, which takes considerable time. But make sure you’re not only present during the inspection, but also understand what inspectors look for in a property.

Lastly, don’t forget to prepare for an inspection to avoid unnecessary adverse reports.