Learning More About the Construction Industry

How to Read Your Building Inspection Report

If you are considering purchasing a property, then you will understand the value of getting a building inspection report. The report, which is typically obtained in the five-day cooling-off period, is intended to indicate whether there are any problems with the property that might affect your decision to proceed with the purchase. While you will be aware that the report is intended to help you, it can only do that if you can understand it.

What can the building inspection report tell you?

To understand the report, you must first grasp what information the report is trying to convey. AS4349.1-2007 is the Australian standard which governs the production of a building inspection report. The standard requires that any relevant defects in the property must be located, identified and categorised. The categories used in the report could include the following:

Each of these types of defects could be marked as a minor defect, a major defect or a safety hazard, although these determinations are always going to be open to the interpretation of the person making the report. It can be helpful to ask for clarification if you are not sure about any point the report raises. In particular, the report will highlight the materials used in the construction of the building along with the weather and damp proofing techniques.  

It should cover building construction technology, structure, weather and damp-proofing. The report should also look at how the building fits into the surrounding topography and how that could affect drainage issues in the future.

What else could your building inspection report cover?

In addition to examining the fabric of your building, it can also be helpful to have that combined with a full pest report. A pest report can help you be aware of potential infestation problems that you could be facing, but it is essential that you ensure that at least the building information is compiled by someone with relevant building knowledge. In some cases, combined pest and building inspection reports are undertaken by pest inspectors, and these people often lack the specialised knowledge needed to provide you with a detailed building report. It is vital that you ask the inspector about their qualifications before asking them to produce your report.

If you have any questions about the nature of your building inspection report or the information contained in it, you should speak to a qualified building inspector without delay.