As many first-time builders will tell you … you don’t know what you don’t know. You are placing a lot of trust in your builder to get things right. As a client, engaging a Building Inspector is one way of finding peace of mind during your build. However, for your build to proceed smoothly, it’s always best to work with your builder on any issues that may be identified rather than making them a point of conflict.
When it comes to the major stages of your build, for example brickwork or roof cover, you may get peace of mind having an expert come and inspect these works. There are many building inspectors providing their services in the Perth area. They do charge for their services and this is a cost that you, as their client, need to bear should you choose to engage their services. So, what do you need to look for in a quality Building Inspector?
Firstly, you need to find a Building Inspector that is worth their salt and is going to give you factual and useful information. When you pay for your building inspector’s report, you don’t want to get caught out paying for pages and pages of disclaimers that cover them for if they miss anything or are incorrect in their assessment. Word of mouth referrals is generally the best way to find an inspector that is going to do the right thing by you.
Secondly, you need to find someone who has had both hands on as well as technical experience. Buildings are required to comply with certain codes and standards but these aren’t necessarily straight forward. As well as the ‘written’ standard that many inspectors refer to, there may also be deemed to satisfy or alternative solutions that are also acceptable. Standards are also constantly being reviewed and amended; so your inspector needs to make sure that they are up to date with the latest versions. It often takes a building inspector that has had practical experience on the ground, say as a supervisor or trade, to be able to look at the whole picture and come to a recommendation from there.
A building project is a major undertaking with lots of moving parts and different people involved. There will sometimes be defects that you pick up on-site during the build and it’s great if you can let your Supervisor know about these. However, be prepared that they may not be rectified straight away. Often, it’s better for your building schedule if these items are attended to later down the track; either when that particular trade returns for the next stage of their works, or at practical completion when these items can be attended to by one trade at the same time. If builders were to stop work every time a minor issue was identified, this would have a financial impact of both the builder (as it delays progress on site) and yourself in terms of the holding costs and rent you may be paying while you wait for these items to be fixed.