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.