How to choose the right building inspector and avoid traps.
How to choose a building inspector. Important Questions you need to ask before employing an inspector, to avoid pitfalls.
Courtesy of Peter Weddell, owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service and Queensland Building Inspection Service, QBIS.
- Speak to the individual that is going to carry out the inspection, not just the receptionist!
- Ask the inspector (that is going to do the inspection) for their full name and license numbers.
- Do a QBCC license search to make sure your inspector is personally and currently licensed and covered by indemnity insurance.
- Is it their personal license number on the report, not an just an employee working for the company.
- Are they personally covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance?
- Do they gain access to the roof exterior with photos for proof of access?
- Do they disclose the report results with the seller and/or agent, BEFORE YOU (the client that is paying for the report)?
- ARE THEY WORKING FOR YOU OR THE AGENT!
- Can you contact them for help/advice, long after the inspection?
- Will they answer your questions on proposed alterations and/or additions to the building?
If an individual claims to do both building and pest inspections. Request proof that they have a building license and have also operated a pest control business and how long.
Builders don’t do termite treatments, Pest Controllers don’t build houses!
Individuals that are not licensed and employed by companies will not be covered by insurance if a claim is made against them. Ask their insurer!
Beware of the following:
- Companies can legally employ UNLICENSED individuals. Providing they carry out their inspections and use the company licenses and insurance!
- Be aware of call center companies that do not hold licenses of any sort and direct you to inspectors they don’t employ and may not carry insurance.
- Check if the company itself is licensed, also their referred inspectors are licensed and have insurance cover.
- Do not use one person or company to carry out building and pest inspections.
- Having a builders license alone does qualify an individual to carry out building inspections legally.
- Building inspectors must also have a completed building Inspection License that carries professional indemnity insurance.
- Having a license does necessarily mean the individual has any background experience or valuable knowledge!
- If the receptionist will not allow you to speak directly with an inspector or cannot nominate who is going to do the inspection. DO NOT USE THAT COMPANY !
- Search the business name registration or ABN through the Australian Business register.
How to choose a building inspector, important Tips:
- Use a qualified builder to carry out your building inspection. Someone that has experience in buildings and their problems.
- Use a qualified pest control firm to carry out your pest inspection. Someone that has experience in Termite detection, treatment and barriers.
Don’t use anyone or single company to do both.
Australian Business register, Company name, ABN or ACN search.
Government Business names search
QBCC: Queensland Building and Construction Commission, license search.
Qld Government QBCC Online License search for builders and inspectors
If available, download their sample report and look for the following.
- Determine percentage of minor problems noted, compared to any substantial items.
- If the inspector spends a great deal of time on minor issues, they usually don’t know what they should be looking for. These inspectors are most likely to miss major expense items.
- Apart from page numbers. Headings, sub-headings and photos must all be individually numbered to allow easy navigation throughout the report. Also to allow for you to question any part of the report and photos.
- Are preventative maintenance suggestions made.
- A report that has few or no photos, will not help you in gaining a better understanding or when renegotiating any major problems.
Look at content of blogs on their web site to help you determine whether they have the experience behind them, or not!
Tips on choosing the right building inspector.
- Employ two totally separate firms, one for building and the other for pest.
- A Builder with QBCC licences and insurance to carry out building inspections.
- A Pest inspector that currently operates a pest control business.
- Never use a Builder to carry out a pest inspection. Otherwise accept the consequences of what they have missed!
- Do a Google search on the individual (not the company) that is carrying out your inspection to check any of their claims! Example: Background of operating a Building or Pest Control business!
Builders don’t do termite treatments. Pest control firms don’t build houses.
Following the above will help you through the minefield of choosing an inspector.
For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service. qbis.com.au