What to Expect in Your Building Inspection Report

What to Expect in Your Building Inspection Report


Inclined by the changes in the economic and legal conditions over recent years, property inspection reports have changed to accommodate increased consumer expectations, and to provide more extensive information and protection to both inspectors and their clients.

Building and pest inspections can help safeguard property buyers against investing in fault-ridden properties, as the reports reveal any hidden problems a property may have.

Without a property inspection, you may not learn of unexpected repair costs or miss key information important for insurance purposes. During the purchase process emotions can mislead a buyer into believing everything about the property is in great condition. Therefore, it is so important that you work with a qualified and professional building inspector to ensure you receive a quality report that you can understand.

In this blog we explore:
  • What is detailed in an inspection report
  • The summary
  • Areas to be inspected
  • Additional information in an inspection report
  • Purpose of a pre purchase inspection report
  • The importance of understanding your inspection report
  • Questions to ask when choosing a building inspector
  • Why choose SURE Building and Pest for your building inspection
What is Detailed in an Inspection Report

Generally speaking, and depending on the type of inspection, reports should as a minimum describe the home construction type, it’s crucial components and Major Structural and Termite defects, especially the ones where failure can result in dangerous or expensive to correct conditions.

Defects should be adequately described, and the report should include recommendations with reference to applicable trades. Many liability issues and problems with the inspection process are due to misunderstandings about what was to be included in the report or about what the report says.

Reports should also disclaim portions of the home not inspected. Depending on the type of inspection, a visual, more intricate or invasive inspection may be completed.
  • For a visual inspection, the parts of the home hidden behind floors, walls and ceilings coverings should be disclaimed in your report, unless these aspects have been previously agreed upon, or are stipulated in your prior agreement.
  • On the other hand, if you have requested a more intricate report, such as a comprehensive, our inspectors will use state-or-the-art technology that enables us to identify potential termite activity without having to leave holes or marks on the property.In some cases lack of access and technology won’t provide conclusive solutions, in these circumstances an invasive inspection may be required to identify potential problems.
With every building inspection, standard terms and conditions are followed, which are designed to identify both the requirements of a home inspection and the limitations of an inspection.

The Summary

The first thing you’ll see in your report is a summary of everything that was found at the time of inspection. Starting with the most critical defects as well as giving you a brief understanding of areas that were inspected, and any other findings that may require your attention.

All inspection reports should include a summary listing major defects to ensure important issues aren’t missed by the reader.

Areas to be Inspected.

As mentioned, the areas to be inspected will be outlined in the terms and conditions. At SURE Building & Pest, one of our most popular inspections is our comprehensive inspection. This type of inspection combines a structural inspection and termite pest inspection with additional maintenance items, non-structural items and potential structural/termite risks, where we inspect the following:
  • Smoke detectors, hot water system, air conditioning
  • Boundary fencing, retaining walls
  • Surface water drainage
  • Vanity basins, baths, toilets, sinks and taps
  • Kitchen, laundry & bathroom cabinets and benchtops
  • Stairs, roofing, facia, gutters, downpipes, eaves, barges
  • Conductive conditions for termites
  • Structural risks
And many more… Head to our comprehensive inspection page for more details.

Additional Information in an Inspection Report

The report should also include the following information:
  • your name
  • the address of the property to be inspected
  • reason for the inspection
  • the date of inspection
  • the scope of the inspection
  • a list of any area or item that wasn’t inspected, the reasons why it wasn’t inspected and if necessary, a recommendation for further investigation
  • a summary of the overall condition of the property
  • a list of any significant problems that need fixing
  • if necessary, a recommendation that a further inspection or assessment be carried out by a suitably accredited specialist, e.g. pest inspector, electricity supply authority, water supply authority, structural engineer, geotechnical engineer, surveyor, or solicitor.
Purpose of a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection

During a pre purchase building inspection, the Building Inspector inspect the property and site for defects per the agreed scope and inspection type and issue an inspection report. The report will may contain a list of necessary major structural or termite corrections that may require remedial work prior to settlement.
If your pre purchase inspection is successful, this means that your home or commercial property does:
  • Meet standards to ensure your safety
  • Ensure that the structure was built to the structural specifications typical for the properties age
  • Provide proof to finance institutions and insurance agencies that the home meets the minimum structural and safety requirements.
A successful building inspection does not guarantee:
  • The quality of workmanship throughout
  • If future defects will occur
  • Serviceability of areas obstructed by furniture, storage, covers, etc
  • Certification of RCDs and Smoke Alarms
  • Specialist items such as pool systems
  • Other non structural items and maintenance
The Importance of Understanding Your Inspection Report

A thorough building report will list everything that could be wrong with the property — from minor repairs and maintenance to major defects. Don’t be afraid to go back and ask what things mean. Many inspectors have websites which include sample Inspection Reports for prospective clients to view. Take the time to look at them. Check out our sample inspection report here.
Recommendations may be for specific actions to be taken or for further evaluation, but they should address problems in such a way that the reader of the report understands how to proceed.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Building Inspector

In the early years of the home inspection industry, home inspection reports consisted of a simple inspection checklist, or a one to two page narrative report. Descriptions are often abbreviated and might consist of only two or three words. Because of the lack of detailed information, inspection checklist reports leave several things open to interpretation, causing buyers, sellers, agents, contractors, attorneys, and judges to potentially interpret information differently, depending on their motives.

Before booking a building and pest inspector, ask them questions to make sure you’re getting the most out of your inspection checklist report.

Things like:
  • What areas of the property does the inspection cover?
  • What does the report include?
  • What experience and qualifications do they have in residential home inspections?
  • Are inspections the main purpose for their business or is it work on the side?
  • Will you be able to attend the onsite inspection?
  • How long will the inspection take and how long will it take to get the report back?
Why Choose SURE Building and Pest for Your Building Inspection

At SURE Building & Pest we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality property inspection services to Perth homeowners.

Qualified Professionals
Purchasing a property is a significant investment. At SURE Building & Pest, we are experienced qualified professionals, who conduct detailed and thorough inspections daily, giving you the peace of mind, you deserve.

12 Months of Free Advice

You may find yourself in a situation where you have questions about the report months after the inspection. At SURE we provide 12 months free advice after the report has been delivered.

Digital Reporting System

We use a digital reporting system which enables inspectors to deliver prompt and detailed reports, received within 24 hours of the inspection. These reports capture all the valuable information and real issues impacting your property to ensure you have all the relevant information required to make the right decision.

The digital aspect of the reports also enables them to be delivered within tight pre-purchase timelines. We aim to make the process of completing your build or your pre-purchase process easier.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, to have realistic expectations about what information will be included in your home inspection report you should read the terms and conditions, understand the scope of the inspection, check your specific contract requirements and view a sample inspection report.

Whilst most investors and new homeowners understand how important it is to get a professional building inspection on their potential property, many find reading and interpreting the report difficult.

When ordering your building inspection report, make sure you give yourself enough time to ask any additional questions you may have regarding the property itself and the inspection report. You should get the vendor’s permission to have the property inspected as early in the sale negotiations as possible. This will provide you the condition of the property helping you determine budget and decide if the property is worth buying. There may be little point in spending money on other purchasing costs, such as conveyancing, until you know the condition of the property.