A building and pest inspection has many benefits. It can save you from potential financial headaches, it can give you the peace of mind knowing that your property is unlikely to have major structural issues, and it can also be a useful negotiating tool to bring the price down should any property issue appear.

What is a building inspection?

A building inspection is about searching for any structural defects in a property. Inspectors will make sure that the property conforms to the Australian building code.         

What is a pest inspection?

As the name implies, a pest inspection will detect any pests such as termites and borers. The pest inspection report will include any treatment needed if any pest infestation is found.

The cost of a building and pest inspection

It’s possible to obtain a building and pest inspection report separately but many companies offer them as a bundle. The inspection costs will depend on many factors including the size of the property, the location, and the type of inspection as well as whether you’re getting them separately or as a bundle.

You may need to conduct more than one building and pest inspection when searching for a property, so make sure to factor this into your house buying budget. A building inspection can take around 2-3 days to complete so it’s ideal to obtain a building and pest inspection report before the exchange of contracts, before you make an offer on the home, or during the cooling-off period.

Who performs building and pest inspection?

Hiring the right person to inspect the property will provide you with an accurate inspection report. A suitable professional that is qualified to do this can be an architect, a licensed builder, or a surveyor.

It’s imperative that they have insurance coverage, specifically professional indemnity. You can check your state or territory’s Fair Trading website to see if the tradie is licensed in your location.

The qualified individual will inspect any major and minor defects in the property, from termite infestation to structural damage. The inspector should check parts of the property including the interior, exterior, roof, and the under-floor space.

The building and pest inspection report will include information such as the scope of the inspection, a summary of the overall condition of the property, and a list of things that need fixing. The information and format provided to you should comply with the Australian Standard (AS 4349.1).

However, a building and pest inspection report will have its limitations. They include not providing information about the cost of repairs. The inspector will not normally check the electrical wiring, plumbing, drainage, appliances, paint, or the swimming pool and its equipment.

If you want the inspector to assess other parts of the property, you may request a ‘special-purpose’ property report.

Buying a home is a large investment. A building and pest inspection report can make sure that you will end up in a structurally-sound home. This lets you avoid any serious flaws that a property may have as well as save you from unpleasant surprises that can cost you money.