Inspections on New Constructions
Building a new home is one of the largest financial and emotional investments that you will ever make. So, it’s crucial to make sure that it’s done properly to save yourself money and heartache down the road.
Whether you’re working with your own builders and architects or you’ve bought off the plan, it’s imperative that you work with an independent building inspector to ensure that each stage of construction meets all applicable Australian standards, quality requirements and contractual obligations.
New doesn’t mean perfect. Builders and contractors can make mistakes and they can cut corners. At each stage of construction, it’s crucial to ensure than any faults, damage, questionable workmanship or potential problems are identified and fixed.
At Focal Point Building Inspections, we offer comprehensive staged new home building inspections across Melbourne. Find out more about our inspection stages below.
It’s vital to ensure that each stage of construction has been satisfactorily completed before moving on to the next. This allows for time to identify and rectify issues at the relevant building stage rather than down the road when it will become more difficult, time consuming and expensive. At each stage of construction, we will carry out a comprehensive inspection and provide a detailed written report, including photographs, that documents all findings.
The slab inspection is vital as the entire load of the property will eventually rest on the slab. Any problems with the slab will affect the rest of the house, and can be extremely difficult and expensive to rectify down the road.
The slab inspection is carried out after the preliminary work and formwork (including the boxing, reinforcement, void formers and vapour layer) has been done, but before the concrete has been poured.
In general, the slab inspection should make sure that all elements of the slab meet the design specifications and drawings, BCA guidelines and the applicable Australian Standards (AS 2870-2011Residential slabs and footings).
Some of the factors this stage of inspection checks for are:
- Steel reinforcement meets design specs (including correct dimensions, placement, clearance, support and fixings)
- Trenches meet design specs
- Stumps and columns meet design specs
- Termite protection is properly installed
- Formwork is level and square and boxing is correct dimensions
- Service pipe penetrations are properly sealed
- Vapour barrier is correctly installed and free from tears and punctures
The frame inspection is carried out after the frame has been completed but typically before the roof is fitted, the external walls are constructed and any plastering has taken place.
The frame (and any other completed work) is checked against building plans and specifications, BCA guidelines and the applicable Australian Standards (AS 1684.2-2010 Residential timber-framed construction).
At the frame stage, we check:
- Frame is level, plumb, straight and properly braced
- Room dimensions and alignment are correct
- Frame is aligned and correctly fixed to the slab
- No damage to door and window frames
- Roof trusses are properly installed and braced
- Concrete slab is not damaged or cracked
The frame inspection will also look for any other defects that may have appeared, regardless of whether they are part of the frame or not.
Pre-plaster inspections are typically carried out before the plasterboard, walls and cornices have been fixed to the frame. It’s the last chance to inspect the frame, wiring, plumbing and insulation before they are obscured by the walls.
The frame usually suffers some damage or undergoes alterations during the installation of plumbing and wiring. This stage of inspection should be used to re-inspect the frame to ensure that nothing has compromised its integrity and that it still meets design specs and Australian Standards.
The pre-plaster inspection checks:
- For any damage to the frame that may have occurred since the frame inspection stage
- That defects identified at the frame inspection stage have been rectified
- That wiring and plumbing has not been damaged
- That insulation is correctly installed
The lock-up inspection is typically carried out once the external walls have been constructed or fitted to the frame, the roof is fixed, flooring is laid and doors and windows are fixed.
This stage of inspection is extensive and checks for a range of factors across the walls, roof, plumbing, ventilation, brickwork, tiling, wiring and more.
At this stage, we check that:
- External walls and roofing are properly fixed
- Fascia boards, bargeboards and gutters are aligned and fixed
- There’s no damage to coated surfaces (e.g. roofing, gutters, downpipes, bargeboards)
- Brickwork is undamaged, level, plumb and aligned and articulation joints, flashings and weep holes are correctly placed
- Mortar is strength tested and checked for excessive build-up
- Doors and windows are aligned and properly working
- Ceilings, internal walls and cornices are plumb, level and square
- Flooring is properly fixed
- Shower bases are correctly installed
- Ventilation ducting is properly installed
The fixing inspection is carried out when all internal cladding, skirting, doors, built-in shelves, troughs, sinks, cupboards and cabinets have been installed.
This is generally the final stage for identifying defects and outstanding works that needed to be addressed before handover.
Some important factors to inspect at this stage include:
- Waterproof membranes in wet areas
- Plastering for defects prior to painting
- Roof to ensure no points where water can get in
- All internal cladding, skirting, doors, built-in shelves, troughs, sinks, cupboards and cabinets
This is the final inspection before the newly built property is handed over. It’s carried out once all internal fittings, fixtures and finishes have been installed. This inspection ensures that the builders and contractors have completed all contracted work in accordance with the BCA, Australian Standards and good building practices.
Any defects or omissions identified at this inspection stage should be rectified prior to handover or the builder receiving payment.
The final handover inspection includes any and all aspects of the building, inside and out. We provide a comprehensive written report, including photographs. The report will outline each defect, including the reasons for why it’s defective and recommendations for what the builder needs to do to rectify the issue.
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Focal Point. An industry leader. 0417 584 594
Shaun conducted our pre-settlement inspection on our apartment that we purchased off the plan. Shaun had a good knowledge of our builders and had seen their work previously. He worked with us and the company to ensure everything was finalised as per the plans. His attention to detail was fantastic resulting in ensure elements such as light switch panels were level, painting marks were fixed etc. He was also useful in ensuring we understood how elements in our apartment were constructed e.g. floating tiles on balcony. Overall we were really happy with the outcome and would definitely use Shaun again.
– Amy, Camberwell
Focal Point were very easy to deal with,quick to respond and provided a great service.Shawn provided a very detailed report of the building condition and was happy to answer all of my
questions – there were quite a few as this is the first time I’ve purchased a property. Would happily recommend him to others needing a building inspection.
Focal point was excellent and very quick to get the job done.They coordinated with the agent to get the inspection done on our pre purchase house. Report was detailed and well structured and easy to understand. Pick up on almost everything we did not notice when we inspected the house. He also spends the time explaining every item he has documented in his report I would highly recommend Focal point (Shaun) if you need a building inspection done.