Total Home Inspections News

20 November 2018

What to expect in a Structural Building Inspection Report

When it comes to Structural Building Reports do not be misled

There appears to be some mis information about actionable items and obligations in relation to Structural Building Reports.

Total Home Inspections has received a handful of questions from Real Estate Agents and Settlement Agents in Perth asking what ‘should’ be in an accurate Structural Building Inspection Report.

Some structural building inspection reports seem to be taking advantage of the lack of understanding in this area. Please do not be misled by inspection reports that state a 30-year old home doesn’t comply with today’s current building codes. Building standards change each year. This type of reporting is not only inaccurate, it causes undue stress for sellers and would portray the home as an unwise investment for the buyer.

For example, if a home was built in 1995 it only needs to comply with the building standard in the year it was built.

If an inspector is to carry out a ‘Premium Building Inspection’ (maintenance list) it needs to be made clear to the buyer that items listed in the report are considered maintenance items only which is typical for a home of similar age. The maintenance list cannot be used against the seller to reduce the price of the home. Electrical and plumbing fixtures do however need to be in working order.

Attention Real Estate and Settlement Agents – setting the record straight

Building Inspectors and inspection reports are required to adhere to Australian Standard AS4349.1.

A structural building inspection report should include sufficient information to make you aware of a property’s condition and any significant structural problems.

Specifically, Section A3 of this Standard states the report should not contain any assessment or opinion regarding;

  • Non-structural elements e.g. roof plumbing and roof covering, general gas, water and sanitary plumbing, electrical wiring, partition walls, cabinetry, windows, doors, trims, fencing, minor structures, non-structural damp issues, ceiling linings, floor coverings, decorative finishes such as plastering, painting, tiling, etc.
  • General maintenance unrelated to structural performance
  • Damp defects such as condensation, rising damp, lateral damp, falling damp

What should a Structural Building Report include?

A standard building inspection report is a visual inspection. The only items required to be reported in a Structural Building Report are faults within the building which have lost their designed structural integrity. This includes;

  • Interior and exterior walls
  • Roof structure
  • Underfloor structure

If you have specific questions about Structural Building Reports contact Total Home Inspections on 0431 330 358.