Questions I’m frequently asked about building inspections2021-12-07T01:10:57+10:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Who decides if the building inspection has passed or failed?2021-12-07T14:33:20+10:00

You! No building inspector has the right to give a pass or failure. Their role is to identify problems and if necessary, guide and compare the results with other buildings of its age and type also to put things in perspective.

Are new home builder warranties transferable?2021-12-17T11:41:32+10:00

Not necessarily! Check with the Queensland Building & Construction Commission (QBCC) ph 139 333, regarding the property location to see if there are any warranties that would be transferable to you.

Owner built houses should I be concerned?2021-12-17T11:43:12+10:00

Yes! Owner built houses do not come with a 6-year warranty through a builder or the QBCC. Although they may be cheaper to purchase initially when you decide to sell it is more often than not at a reduced price.

Who do I ask for an extension of my building inspection?2021-12-17T11:56:07+10:00

Contact your legal representative, they will make a request for an extension from the seller’s legal party. Do not ask an agent, they will most likely tell you what suits them and may not pass on the request.

Does a building inspector check wiring and plumbing?2021-12-17T12:15:14+10:00

Although a building inspector is not qualified to comment on these areas that require an expert opinion, they may make comments from a builders point of view only and/or make recommendations that further advice from an expert is required.

My building inspector has identified major problems, where do I go for quotes?2021-12-17T12:16:44+10:00

Do a search on the problem. If possible, obtain at least 3 quotes. Request their guarantee period and limitations, also read the fine print. If obtaining guesstimates only, always ask for worst-case scenario costing then you are less likely to be out of pocket.

Can building inspectors do certification of structures?2021-12-17T12:18:06+10:00

No! Not unless they have the required QBCC qualifications and are covered by insurance.

The termite damage has been treated; would this be acceptable if I bought the house?2021-12-17T12:20:57+10:00

Treatment against termites does not rejuvenate the timber. Same as water does not fix a house after it has been burnt down. Don’t be conned by treatment!

The pest inspector told me termites don’t like hardwood frames, would this be a safe bet?2021-12-17T12:23:14+10:00

Definitely not! Termites will destroy any type of timber, be it treated hardwood or softwood, even Cypress pine!

The pest inspector found termite evidence, but they are not active, is this OK?2021-12-17T12:30:02+10:00

It doesn’t matter if the termites are active or not… What matters is the damage that has been caused while the termites were active.

Commonly asked questions on completion of a building inspection?2021-12-17T12:32:10+10:00
  • Is it structurally sound? There can be many more costly faults than the structure to be concerned about.
  • Is there anything that would stop me from buying? Only you can make this decision after having read the report.
  • How much to have replaced? Quotes from tradespeople would be required, not guesstimates.
Can unlicensed people do building and/or pest inspections?2021-12-17T11:39:23+10:00

Unlicensed building and/or pest inspectors can legally operate under a company and their QBCC licence without having any experience, qualifications also insurance. Do a license search through the QBCC and make sure your building or pest inspector personally carries indemnity insurance, not just the company! 

QBCC License search

Will movement of a retaining wall affect my house?2021-12-17T11:38:16+10:00

No. So long as your house has been built correctly with its own independent footings for support, or if the retaining wall has been purposely built to support any part of the house. There is, however, a chance of the retaining wall collapsing onto your house, depending upon how close to your house the wall is.


Paving around the house has moved considerably, will this affect the house?2021-12-17T11:35:29+10:00

Definitely not!

When the footings have been dug out and laid, loose soil is placed to fill the void and often the paving is then laid over the soil without it being compacted. This is a common occurrence and usually nothing for concern.

Does my home insurance policy cover movement of my building?2021-12-07T14:33:19+10:00

Not necessarily. Only if the movement is caused by other problems that are specified in your insurance policy. If in doubt, check with your insurer.

When should I be concerned about movement of paving?2021-12-07T14:33:19+10:00

When it moves to such a degree that it presents a safety hazard or if any plumbing pipes within it become damaged from the movement of the paving. Plumbing must always have appropriate clearance to allow for the movement of paving.

What qualifications does a building inspector need?2021-12-07T14:33:19+10:00
  • Hold a current QBCC domestic builders license or open license if carrying out commercial building inspections.
  • Have at least 5 years as a builder.
  • Carry current indemnity insurance.
  • Have a completed residential building inspection license.

I strongly urge you to perform a QBCC license search when choosing a building inspector.

Can I use a friend, relative or builder to carry out my building inspection?2021-12-07T14:33:19+10:00

Not unless they are an experienced and qualified building inspector and carry insurance or are willing to personally accept responsibility for any of their oversights. Before hiring a building inspector, I recommend asking about their insurance policy.

When should I pay for a building inspection, before or after?2021-12-07T14:33:18+10:00

Never pay upfront for any building inspection or pest control firm before they carry out the inspection. If they have achieved what they said they would and have confidence and detail in their report, they should not have a problem with this.

What do scope and limitations mean in a building inspection report?2021-12-07T14:33:18+10:00

These are set requirements of insurers to make buyers aware of what the building inspector can and cannot cover in their building inspection report also outlining limitations of the report. Scope and limitations are available to clients upon request.

Should I use a home builder to do a commercial building inspection?2021-12-07T14:33:18+10:00

Not a good idea! Homebuilders are not experienced in identifying faults related to commercial buildings. Their insurer may also not cover them in case of a claim of negligence or omissions. Employ experts in the particular field to carry out inspections and make sure they have insurance!

Can I do my own building inspection?2021-12-07T14:33:18+10:00

Most definitely! To a limited degree only. Take your time and look for items that you may believe to be costly to have repaired or replaced before engaging a qualified building and pest control firm.

How much does a building inspection in Brisbane cost?2021-12-07T14:33:17+10:00

The fee varies considerably between different inspectors and companies. It usually depends on the detail and time taken to produce the report. Size, access, number of problems also structures to be inspected make a big difference in the fee charged. Tailored reports cost more than generic reports as they take more time.

Is the building and pest inspection industry corrupt?2021-12-17T11:32:36+10:00

You better believe it. It is so easy to understand and here are the reasons why. Where do you think the majority of building and/or pest inspectors receive recommendations and their source of income from? real estate agents! If they receive 50-200 or more referrals from the agents and one from you, where do you think their loyalty is and who their best friend is? and it’s not you!

What if illegal plumbing has been identified during an inspection or search should I be worried?2021-12-17T12:33:15+10:00

Yes. Council authorities may consider illegal plumbing to be a health risk and do treat it seriously. Council may request you have the plumbing rectified by a qualified contractor or have it removed completely.

Plumbing in Queensland, what an owner can and cannot do

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