How to choose a building inspector:
Important Questions you need to ask.
- Ask to speak to the individual that is going to carry out the inspection, not just the receptionist!
- Request their license numbers and check with the QBCC if they are 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?
- Are photos taken for you to gain a better understanding and degree of the problems?
- Do they gain access to the roof exterior with photos for proof of access?
- Do they physically access the roof interior (past the access hole)?
- Are the report results disclosed with the seller and/or agent, BEFORE YOU (the client that is paying for the report)?
- ARE THEY WORKING FOR YOU OR THE AGENT!
- Are preventative comments included in the report?
- Are comparisons made to other similar building problems? This allows you to gain a better understanding as to the seriousness of the problems.
- Are they available 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 of them actually operating a building and pest business, also for how long?
- Do they look at retaining walls on the property (where possible) also comment on potential surface drainage issues?
QBCC: Queensland Building and Construction Commission, license search.
Beware of the following:
- Companies can legally employ UNLICENSED individuals. Providing they carry out their inspections under supervision of a licensed person, also 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.
- 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.
Australian Business register, Company name, ABN or ACN search.
Tips, worth knowing:
If available, download their sample report.
- Look for percentage of substantial content in their report.
- Determine percentage of minor problems noted. Compare the percentages.
- 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.
- Look for preventative maintenance suggestions.
- A report that has few or no photos, will not help you in gaining a better understanding and perspective of problems.
Look at content of blogs on their web site to help you determine whether they have the experience behind them, or not!
Employ two separate firms.
- Builder that has the required QBCC licences and insurance to carry out building inspections.
- Pest inspector that currently operates a pest control business.
Builders don’t do termite treatments. Pest control firms don’t build houses. Never use a Builder to carry out a termite/pest inspection!