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Ongoing Property Maintenance

Ongoing Property Maintenance

Care for your home – Ongoing Property Maintenance.

Buying a home can be a very exciting time for families. Understanding the condition of the home you are buying by having a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection completed by an experienced Registered Builder is the best place to start.

Although not a requirement of the Australian Standard for Pre-Purchase Residential Building Inspections, your Pre-Purchase Building Report may list some Minor Defects that are common to most properties. These may include:

  • Appearance cracking to internal and external walls
  • Appearance cracking to ceiling cornice
  • Minor blemishes
  • Corrosion (rust)
  • Weathering
  • General Deterioration
  • Unevenness
  • And physical damage to materials and finishes such as de-silvering of mirrors.

Ordinarily, these items would be rectified as part of normal ongoing property maintenance.

 

Types of Property Maintenance

Ongoing property maintenance is repair or preventative works completed as required to maintain aesthetics and serviceability. For example, repairs to glazing putty on timber windows, treating surface rust to steel lintels and oiling a timber deck for protection against the elements.

There are other types of maintenance: Scheduled and Seasonal.

Scheduled property maintenance may include replacing smoke alarm batteries, pushing the “test” button on the RCD or an annual Termite Inspection.

While Seasonal property maintenance could include things like checking the roof exterior for cracked roof tiles and clearing gutters and downpipes before winter sets in.

To maintain a home, it is essential all forms of maintenance – ongoing, scheduled, and seasonal are carried out as required.

 

Building Maintenance Report

If you need a hand to establish an appropriate maintenance regime for your property, the Home Integrity Building Maintenance Report is perfect.

The Building Maintenance Report includes an inspection of an extensive list of both structural and non-structural building elements to your home and around the property.

The report also includes a budget estimate and prioritisation of when items should be actioned.

I liked Jeremy’s attention to detail. He not only picked up the critical items but went to a lot of effort to identify areas where I could do simple maintenance to avoid major issues in the future. The team was very helpful to me and backed the report up by answering all the questions I had on the items they identified. They also organised all the access requirements with the agent for me. Christopher, Maylands

If you would like a Building Maintenance Report, we can take care of everything fast. Contact the office on (08) 8374 8130 or email [email protected].

 

Residential Buildings and the REIWA Building Annexure

Residential Buildings and the REIWA Building Annexure

Residential Buildings and the REIWA Building Annexure

Most sale contracts include a building inspection condition that requires a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection to be completed by a qualified Building Inspector, followed by a report. The report helps buyers get a clear understanding of the condition of the property they are buying. 

The most widely used building inspection condition is the REIWA Australian Standard Pre-Purchase Inspection for Major Structural Defects.

The focus of the annexure is on Major Structural Defects to the residential building. The Annexure defines many relevant terms used throughout the annexure however it is silent on what constitutes or makes up the “Residential Building” component of a property. And this is where some confusion can start for some people.

Residential Building Definition and InspectWA

Is the Workshop, Alfresco or Patio part of the residential building? Does the retaining wall next to the house form part of the residential building?  

These are all relevant factors buyers will need to consider when completing the Building Inspection Annexure. Section 1 or the REIWA annexure allows a buyer to insert other areas beyond the residential building for the seller to action should a Major Structural Defect be identified. 

Understanding what forms part of the “residential building” and other areas that could be included in Section 1 beyond the “residential building” can be very helpful for a buyer when completing the condition.  

Residential Building is a building or structure within the boundaries, under the main roof (including post initial construction). Includes Verandas constructed at the same time as the main dwelling. Alfresco under main roof. Attached and/or standalone structures containing habitable rooms. Retaining walls directly associated with the foundations of the Residential Building. 

Thankfully, the peak industry body representing Building Inspectors InspectWA, have released a position paper for buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals to refer to that firstly defines what a “residential building” is and secondly other areas beyond the “residential building”.  

 

Home Integrity InspectWA founding member

The team at Home Integrity are members of InspectWA and understand the term “residential building”, what’s included and what areas lie beyond. If you have any questions, we would be happy help. 

If you need a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection on a home, you are buying we can take care of everything fast.  Email us on [email protected], or call the team on (08) 8375 8130.  

Is a Leaking Shower a Structural Defect?

Is a Leaking Shower a Structural Defect?

Apartment Inspections Perth

Leaking shower recesses are a common defect found when conducting a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection in Perth. So it makes sense to ensure an inspection of the shower recess walls are not only included in the scope of your building inspection, but also written into your Offer and Acceptance so action can be taken by the seller to make repairs.

How to Tell if the Shower Might be Leaking?

Damage from a leaking shower may present visually in rooms adjacent to the shower recess in one or several ways: water staining, bubbling paint, flaking / soft plaster, water damaged skirting and/or floor treatments.

Common causes of shower recess leaks are cracked wall or floor tiles, deteriorated or missing grout, breaches/failure in the waterproofing system or occasionally from the tap sets or plumbing pipes.

Specialized moisture detection equipment is helpful in identifying high moisture content to walls adjacent shower recesses that have been recently patched over or are yet to present as visual damage.

Water Leaks are More Common in Older Homes

More commonly discovered in older homes, and occasionally in newly built homes, a leaking shower recess may develop into a health hazard for occupants, and if left unattended cause thousands of dollars in damage to surrounding finishes and building elements.

Repairing a leaking shower recess largely depends on the source and severity of the leak. Most leaking showers can be repaired by re-grouting / sealing the shower recess for less than $1000.

But if a more invasive repair to plumbing pipes is required involving the removal of tiles, repairs can run into the thousands of dollars.

The Standard REIWA Building Inspection Annexure will not cover buyers for issues like a leaking shower recess. Section 9.4 of the REIWA annexure excludes non-structural damp related defects as the Annexure only obligates the seller to attend to Major Structural Defects.

Protect Yourself from Costly Repairs when You Move In

The best way to ensure you are not left with costly repair works associated with a leaking shower recess is first to ensure your offer includes a condition that allows for proper due diligence of the property and obligates the seller to remedy issues found. 

Secondly include an assessment of the shower recesses of the home into the scope of the Building Inspection.  

I am so glad I chose Home Integrity to complete my structural inspection. They provided a detailed report including photos of the problem areas. The seller couldn’t dispute the findings and I was able to use this report to ensure everything was fixed before the final inspection. Peta, Connolly

Both the Structural Plus and Structural Premium Inspections from Home Integrity include an assessment of the shower recesses to bathroom wet areas utilising specialised testing equipment. 

If you would like a Structural Plus or a Structural Premium Inspection, we can take care of everything fast.  

Email us on [email protected], or call the team on (08) 8375 8130 or book instantly here 

Roof access issues

Roof access issues

Why most Building Inspections include Limitations and Access Restrictions

Having a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection completed in Perth Western Australia in accordance with Australian Standard 4349.1, by a WA Registered Builder gives home buyers confidence, knowing they have made an informed decision.

Most of the time, the Building Inspector can complete the scope of the inspection as required to the agreed areas without encountering any limitations to everyone’s satisfaction.

However, due to the limited physical space and inherent nature of roof void and sub-floor areas, these areas can be subject to some form of limitation or access issue.

Almost all Roof Voids and Sub-Floor areas will present with limitations or access restrictions. Known access restrictions are typical to most residential homes and are listed in the inspection agreement. It is a requirement of AS 4349.1 that any limitations discovered during the inspection are also recorded in the report.

When an access issue is identified to either the sub-floor and/or roof void area the inspector will report the access issue as either “No Access” or “Restricted Access” and list the reason why there are restriction(s).

Access Restrictions and Limitations

Typical reasons for access restrictions/limitations to Roof Void areas:

  1. Access point not usable
  2. Airconditioning (concealing)
  3. Airconditioning (Physical Prevention)
  4. Foil Insulation
  5. Insulation
  6. Pitch
  7. Roof frame (including Steel Truss)
  8. Sarking
  9. Stored Goods (concealing)
  10. Stored Goods (Physical Prevention)
  11. Structure unsafe for entry

Typical reasons for access restrictions/limitations to Sub-Floor areas:

  1. Ducting
  2. Enclosed Foundation Area
  3. Height
  4. Insulation to Underside of Flooring
  5. Locked
  6. Plumbing
  7. Stored Goods

Has the area been inspected?

If No Access is listed on your report, then the area was not inspected due to one or more of the above reasons. The Inspector may recommend access is gained and an additional inspection is required.

If Restricted Access is listed on your report, it is important to understand that it does not necessarily mean there is or isn’t an issue with that area. What it does translate to is that the inspector has made a reasonable visual assessment of that area within the limitations identified.

With Restricted Access situations, if the inspector identifies a reason to remove the limitation and complete additional inspection(s), the inspector will make a recommendation in the report suggesting an additional inspection is required.

If an additional inspection is required there will be an additional charge for a new report.

If you need a pre-purchase building inspection, we can take care of everything fast. You can either book online here, email us at [email protected], or call our admin team on 08 8375 8130.  

 

Apartment vs Structural Inspections

Apartment vs Structural Inspections

Apartment Inspections Perth

When buying an Apartment or Unit in a Strata Complex in Perth Western Australia it is essential to have an Apartment Inspection completed by an experienced WA Registered Builder. Whether the Apartment is brand new or older, a detailed report will give you clarity on the condition of the Apartment you are buying. 

If you are new to Apartment living, it is important to understand what makes up a Strata Scheme and the difference between Lot Property and Common Property.  

Lot property is the “air space” within your apartment between the wall and floor finishes and ceiling. Included in your Lot Property may also be some exclusive use areas like a car bay and storeroom. 

However, strata common property does not only exist in areas like driveways, lobbies, walkways etc. There is just as much, if not more common property in exclusive use areas in Apartments.  

While it does depend on the Strata Plan, many walls inside an Apartment form part of the structure and belong to the “common property” of the Strata Complex. 

Understanding what your Lot comprises of and what is Common Property is the first step to appreciating why an inspection limited to the structure falls short of completing adequate property due diligence when buying an apartment.  

It is helpful for buyers of Apartments to understand the condition of the Strata Complex’s structure and common areas which is partly why on 1st May 2019 the new Strata Titles Regulations 2019 came into effect. 

Part of the reforms included the requirement for designated schemes to have a 10-Year Plan in place. 

The 10-Year plan covers the common property of the scheme that may require repair, replacement or renewal and includes a recommendation for the funding of the estimated costs. 

A buyer purchasing a strata property has the right to request a copy of the 10-year plan.  

The 10-Year plan gives buyers and owners visibility over the planned maintenance of the structure and common area.  

So, what does all this mean for someone buying into a Strata Complex?

Well firstly ensure your offer includes a condition that allows for proper due diligence of the property and request a copy of the 10-Year plan if applicable.

Then, engage a Building Inspector experienced in Apartment Inspections to check and report on all building elements, fixtures and fittings that belong to the individual Lot. 

Home Integrity has developed an inspection specifically for buyers of Apartments. 

Our Apartment inspections are extensive and are not limited to the structural components/adequacy. We can check over 150 items in an average 2-bedroom apartment.  

They not only include the condition and operation of appliances, but also, fixtures and fittings (plumbing, cabinetry, and tiling) as well as external parking and stores.  

Our team of inspectors are all registered builders who know how apartments are built and what areas are prone to significant issues.

If you need an Apartment Inspection, we can take care of everything fast. You can either book online here, email us at [email protected], or call our admin team on 08 8375 8130.