Home Integrity Building Consultants
Get the Most Out of Your Building Inspection

Get the Most Out of Your Building Inspection

With pre-purchase building inspections in Perth, we understand it can be frustrating or even worrying when your building inspection report comes back with some sort of restrictions and/or limitations. Things like, “no access to roof void area” or “inspection to garage was limited due to stored household items”. Restrictions like this may leave you concerned that the inspector didn’t completed a thorough inspection of the property.

When it comes to older homes with framed timber floors, not having access to the sub-floor area to check for Termite Activity and / or Structural damage can leave uncertainty in the mind of a buyer.

The garage is often a popular spot to store the buyer’s household items when they are “decluttering” their home for home opens. Stored furniture and other household items may restrict the area that the inspector can access to complete a thorough inspection.

As you can imagine, all homes are different, and will have some sort of restriction / limitation for the inspector to work around. But this can be minimised. During the home open or second viewing inspection, take note of any potential restrictions. Ask the agent the following questions so they can check with the seller to ensure you have a building inspection completed with the inspector viewing building elements as unrestricted as possible.

  1. Are there roof void and / or sub-floor areas that need to be accessed?
  2. Is there clear access around the building?
  3. Do the occupier’s household items and/or furniture obstruct access to any areas?
  4. Is the manhole opening to the roof void 400mm x 500mm and accessible from a 1.8m ladder?
  5. Does the roof void and / or the sub-floor area allow for a crawl space of 600mm x 600mm?
  6. Is there access to the sub-floor area? Does any furniture need to be moved? Is the trap sealed?

By the seller preparing the property for inspection based on the above points, the restrictions and limitations can be minimized resulting in a more complete and thorough inspection. If a return visit is required due to an access issue, you, the client, maybe be charge a fee.


Buyers who are proactive and ask the right questions about
accessing all areas get the best results.

For more information on access issues, restrictions and limitations in relation to the Australian Standard 4349.1 Pre-Purchase Building Inspections and how they may affect your inspection please refer to WA’s largest industry association of Building Inspectors, InspectWA. Here you will find a bunch of useful information: 

If you need a Pre-Purchase Building and/or Timber Pest Inspection completed we can take care of everything fast. You can book here or contact us on 0420 803 292 or email [email protected]

 

Strata Reports 10 Year Maintenance Plans

Strata Reports 10 Year Maintenance Plans

Strata Condition Reports and 10 Year Maintenance Plans in Perth, when done properly will greatly assist Council of Owners and Strata Managers to make informed decisions on maintaining their Strata Complex.

Strata Maintenance Reports, Condition Reports, 10 Year Plans, 20 Year Plans, Sinking Funds, Asset Registers and Defect Reports… the choice of which report or reports to commission can be very confusing. Not to mention expensive!

All these reports can be useful, but all contain vastly different information. Two of these reports are now mandatory under the new Strata Titles Regulations 2019 for Strata Complexes with a replacement value of more than $5,000,000. These reports are Condition Reports and 10 Year Plans.

Maintaining a Strata Complex to an acceptable standard to satisfy and benefit all residences and owners can be difficult and very frustrating for Council of Owners and Strata Managers.

Most Strata Complexes have limited or no understanding of the present condition of their Strata Complex and have inadequately planned for future maintenance. Large capital expenditure is also often underestimated.

So What Type of Report Do We Need To Comply with the New Legislation?

In Home Integrity’s experience, Sinking Fund Reports alone are extremely limited on useful information on the condition of the various building elements of the Strata Complex. Most are filled with endless tables and graphs that seek to explain future cash flow hurdles, but practically do truly little to capture and detail actual building related issues with solutions that both Council of Owners and Strata Managers can act upon.

In fact, if you read the fine print that accompanies many Sinking Fund Reports, they sometimes talk about the need to have an additional detailed Condition Report completed by a Builder and/or a Structural Engineer. In many cases most Sinking Fund Reports are not useful or practical for Council of Owners and Strata Managers to act on. This is mainly due to the lack of building experience of the individual actually completing the inspection and the inspection process they follow.

At Home Integrity Strata we believe with the Strata Title Regulations 2019 comes some good news for both Council of Owners and Strata Managers in the form of a Condition Report and 10 Year Plan.

What is Required in a 10 Year Plan?

Section 77 of the Strata Title Regulations 2019 is all about the Requirement of a 10 Year Plan. To produce a 10 Year Plan, a Condition Report must first be complied. Part 3 of the regulations lists 34 covered Items of value that may be included in the plan with respect to the Strata Common property anticipated to require maintenance. These items are:

(a) roofs and gutters
(b) walls (including retaining walls)
(c) floors
(d) ceilings
(e) windows, eaves, flashings, soffits and window sills
(f) downpipes
(g) foundations of buildings
(h) driveways
(i) footpaths
(j) steps
(k) stairs and stair railings
(l) doors and doorways (including fire doors)
(m) lighting
(n) storage or plant rooms
(o) fencing and gates
(p) balconies, railings and balustrades
(q) lifts
(r) ventilation
(s) fire services, fire alarms and fire hoses
(t) air conditioning systems
(u) building and ancillary structures
(v) utility conduits and services
(w) garbage disposal
(x) hot water systems
(y) electrical systems
(z) post boxes
(za) security components
(zb) swimming pools, spas and pumps or filters
(zc) water bores and water tanks
(zd) back flow devices and pumping devices
(ze) car stackers
(zf) roof access safety equipment
(zg) solar and other sustainability infrastructure
(zh) disability access facilities

With a well-documented Condition Report, a clear and easy to understand 10 Year Plan can be generated. Both the Condition report and 10 Year Plan can dramatically change the way current and future maintenance expenditure is managed by Council of Owners and Strata Managers, or put simply “No Surprises”.

Home Integrity Strata have developed packages for Condition Reports and Maintenance Plans to suit any Strata Complex large or small:

  • Older Strata Complexes
  • Newer Strata Complexes
  • Council of Owners who are looking to maintain their complex to a reasonable standard.
  • Council of Owners looking to invest in cost saving / income producing initiatives.

Home Integrity Strata offers 3 unique packages. Silver, Gold and Platinum for Strata Condition Reports and Maintenance Plans.

Home Integrity Strata have the best team of consultants. We have an in-house team of experienced Registered Builders and Structural Engineers who understand building, complex building issues and know how to document these issues in plain English.

We have developed a system to either report on the detail that is essential to the Strata Titles Regulations Covered Items, or expand the scope of the inspection to include over 160 items to drill down to a level of detail the most fastidious Council of Owners would appreciate.

Through our partners at Asset Reports (Quantity Surveyors), Home Integrity Strata are able to forecast the Condition Report items plus other important building elements over a longer 20 years period giving great foresight, plus are able to value engineer work by working with the Council of Owners and Strata Managers on cost saving / income producing initiatives.   

If you would like a quote on your Strata Complex, we can take care of everything fast! Email us on [email protected], or call the office on 08 6118 4942 or mobile 0420 803 292.

Defects Should Not Scare You from Buying a Home

Defects Should Not Scare You from Buying a Home

As Building Inspectors in Perth completing structural inspections every day, we get asked all the time by Home Buyers…

“The seller has to fix all these defects listed on the report, is that right?” 

It’s important to understand there are generally three distinct stages of building inspections in Western Australia during the sales process.

  1. The Structural Building Inspection,
  2. The Timber Pest Inspection
  3. The Pre-Settlement Building Inspection

In addition to this, the Buyer is also entitled to a Final/Pre-Settlement Inspection which is done a few days prior to settlement.

In this blog we are going to shed some light on the first inspection – The Structural Building Inspection.

In Western Australia the most commonly used Annexure when a buyer says “I’d like to have a building inspection carried out please”, is the REIWA Australian Standard Pre-Purchase Structural Inspection Condition. Many Real Estate Agencies have their own annexure which can be different to the REIWA one. But all the Non-REIWA annexures have a similar theme. They are all concerned with structural defects.

Building inspections when broken down into their purest form, are simply recording the condition of building elements at a particular time. Both the REIWA and most other annexures ask the inspector to complete the inspection in accordance with the Australian Standard 4349.1-2007 Pre-Purchase Building Inspections. The Standard is a guide and basically has 4 appendices (A) through to (D) which the report can be written in line with.

(A) Refers to inspections and reports carried out on the structural elements only.

(B) Refers to Strata and common property.

(C) Refers to almost all other building elements and

(D) refers to the building elements that should not form part of the inspection and report.

This all sounds pretty simple right? Or does it? There are many Building Inspection companies offering all types of inspections which include sections A, some parts of C and even D ? Prices can vary dramatically, along with the scope of what they are including or sometimes not including in their inspections, and this is where clarity is needed.

You can pay a building inspector a tonne of money to inspect the entire house from then sub-floor to the very top roof tile, produce a detailed 85 page report only to find contractually, the seller may not be obligated to fix anything. So why is this? Because almost all Building Condition Annexures are of a Structural nature and require the seller to “make good” or compensate for the structural defects only.

We come across defects both structural and non-structural all the time during our inspections. We have found most structural defects occur in the Roof Void and are in relation to the roof or ceiling frame. Most of the time, these defects are easily repaired. While non-structural defects can be in relation to a leaking shower, cracked roof tile or rusted gutter just to name a few.

We have found most home buyers are generally accepting that their second-hand home will come with a few non-structural maintenance items, but if there is an area of concern you would like inspected, the Real Estate agent needs to know about it. They will be able to insert a special condition into the contact. If there is no special condition agreed to, the seller is not contractually obligated to fix it.

Home Integrity offers inspections to satisfy all buyers. From the essential Structural Building and Termite Inspections to the comprehensive Structural Premium, Electrical, Plumbing and Gas in good working order and Swimming Pools and Safety Barriers inspections. Some agents are scared when we get in touch to book in the additional inspections – not because there may be something to hide, but because it means that they have a savvy Buyer on their hands.

Booking any of the additional inspections shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. The team at Home Integrity found it necessary to build these inspections into their offering to ensure Buyers have no surprises when they buy a property and the best way to ensure this is to employ a professional!

So if you would like absolute clarity and the confidence to move, book a report from Home Integrity now!