What a Pre-Purchase Property Inspection Entails

Buying a home comes with a lot of excitement that could turn into a nightmare when everything in the property starts to fall apart. This is why you should have an inspection carried out to inform you the condition of the house. Also referred to as a building survey or a house inspection, it identifies notable defects, property deterioration, maintenance issues likely to occur in the future or poor structural work. Once you determine the issues, you can pull out of the deal, negotiate on the price or have repairs done beforehand.

What Do You Need From The Inspection?

An inspection involves an examination of the roof, exterior walls, wall linings, doors and windows, heating system, ceilings, insulation and so much more. The process is visual with only the areas that are safe and reasonable to access being inspected. An inspector can move furniture around but will not remove any wall linings during the examination. Due to this, not all defects can be reported by the inspector. However, you can request for a special purpose inspection which covers underground parts of the survey, concealed plumbing, gas fittings and electrical installations. You can also ask the inspector to see if any unauthorised building work was done and get a review of the sewerage plans as well. Moreover, if you have any concerns on the weather tightness of the house, it is recommendable to get an inspector who is specialised in that area.

Choose the Right Inspector

When choosing a building inspector, you should consider a few things. Verify if the person is qualified and a member of a professional body has up to date indemnity insurance and is experienced in building inspection. Find out if there is any exclusion during the contract signing and how long the inspection will take. It is also good to have an inspector who is independent of both the buyer and the seller. Finally, also determine if the report will be tick box, full narrative or a few comments. The inspector should explain the report to you as well.

The Report

Once you get the report, it is important to do your own assessment as well based on the information in the report. Look at the defects and decide if you can live with them or you can be able to have them fixed. The price of an inspection depends on the size of the structure and any special requests. However, keep in mind that the report does not guarantee that all defects have been found or that the house meets all the conditions of the Building Act.

Why You May Need Indemnity Insurance during a Building Inspection

 If you have located a home and you are keen to own it, a pre- purchase property inspection is required. This is invaluable as it helps determine if you will proceed with the purchase given the condition of the property. You will also get to save lots of money as well when defects are identified. Having a pre-purchase property inspection is vital to ensuring both your happiness and safety in your new home and should not be taken lightly.

 

Choosing a building inspector requires a lot of research so as to get someone who is not only qualified but is accredited as well. One of the crucial aspects that you should consider is whether the building inspector has indemnity insurance. Many people who have hired a building inspector realise the importance of having adequate insurance right before the signing of the contract. An inspection is done visually and is non-invasive thus might not pick up on the problems that are well hidden. It generally looks for any notable defects, deterioration, significant maintenance issues and the physical particulars of the building.

What Me Worry?

The indemnity insurance the inspector has will protect you in case the inspection misses something in the report. This could range from failure to report any evidence of timber pests and defects, poor assessment to any damages to the building during a visit. This insurance enables a prospective buyer to hold the inspector to what he claims and protects against financial loss due to professional negligence.

Better to be Safe Than Sorry

It is important to make sure that the building insurance cover is up to date and determine what damages and legal costs are covered as well. Moreover, you should ask if there is any exclusion as some inspectors are not fully insured and do not cover all the relevant costs.  Policies list certain conditions to be met, and you should carefully research if the inspection covers them. For one, time of the inspection should be within 12 months from when the policy was taken, the building is listed as a residential dwelling and will continue as such, and there should be no impending enforcement actions to be taken.

 

However, this does not thoroughly protect you thus you need to show up during the inspection. This not only helps you see areas that have been covered during the inspection but enables you to ask questions and understand more of the report. An inspection only takes a short time but is a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Don’t Let the Termites Invade your Peace of Mind

Many homeowners can attest to having a termite infestation in their home. Termites can get into the structure of your home or the furniture causing serious problems if not detected early. A termite inspection can find a colony and save you lots of money in the long run. While it might not be easy to notice an invasion, termites tend to leave various indications of their presence. You can either choose to have a professional inspector carry out the inspection or do it yourself.

Your search should start in parts of your home that are damp or adjacent to a damp area. The basement is a likely place as termites thrive in wet soil and, therefore, unlikely to be in dry soil.

Mud Tunnels

Presence of mud tunnels is an indication of these insects being around. If they cannot find something to eat, they build mud tunnels to take them to a source of wood. The foundation is a good place to look for mud tunnels, which are about the width of a small stick.

You also have to check for any mud substances on wood surfaces. These insects burrow into the wood and close it up with mud. Moreover, traces of sawdust near a wood structure will indicate they are eating into the wood. Apart from that, you should also tap into the wood to determine if it’s hollow.

Wood Damage

Wood damage is not easy to detect as the termites do not leave visible marks on the outside. At first glance, the wood may look fine if there are no signs of damage or decaying. However, darkening or blistering indicates severe damage that crumbles when poked with a screwdriver. Presence of bubble on painted wood should also indicate a termite infestation as well.

There are many treatments available to control and eradicate a termite invasion. While one can do it yourself, it is recommendable to get a professional who is trained to carry out the inspection and recommend various control options. Methods could include monitoring stations, fumigation tents, sprays, foams and so much more depending on the species and other situation factors. The treatment should successfully eradicate the whole colony to prevent further damage.

Whether it’s a dry wood termite, wood boring bees or wasps, carpenter ants or damp wood termites, these insects cause extensive damage and need to be detected early enough. A yearly termite inspection should be carried out and preventive measures put into place. Only then you can enjoy living in your home peacefully.

Save Your Home from Ruin with a Thorough Termite Inspection

You probably started hearing some chewing sounds on your wall or found a winged termite in your basement. This is usually the first sign of a termite problem and needs to be addressed before it escalates. Termites are highly destructive creatures that cause a lot of damage to homes and buildings every year. You can choose to do a termite inspection yourself or get a professional termite company to do it for you.

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Termites are underground creatures so they won’t be seen out in the open. They infest various access points of your home such as wood supports, door casings, basement window frames, sills, etc. A termite infestation eats the soft portion of the wood while leaving the hard part, thus if the wood sounds hollow when you tap, you do have a termite problem.

 External Termite Inspection

Termite inspection for both interior and exterior places should be thorough and carried out on an annual basis. Start by inspecting the base of the foundation around your building. You should be looking for mud tubes as termites use them to cover themselves and to move around. Good areas to focus on is where your fence might be touching your house, wood mulch in your garden, firewood close your home and any other wood touching your home such as door frames. Insulating the wood about 6 inches from the soil with a concrete footing should do the trick.

 Internal Termite Inspection

For an inside termite inspection, one needs to be armed with a powerful flashlight, helmet, screwdriver and gloves. Look in the sheet rock for any dirt filled holes and damaged window frames or baseboards. Check the piping and wiring in the bathroom, laundry kitchen and utility areas for any MD tubes. In the attic, use your screwdriver to probe and tap around the plumbing and chimneys. Termites are very crafty pests and build in hidden places.

Crawl spaces are tight spaces and are probably best inspected out by a professional exterminator. However, you can still do the inspection by starting around the foundation wall. Make sure to look at every floor joist, sub-floor, sill and headers for any mud tunnels and termite tubes.

 Termite Prevention

It is important to eliminate anything that might attract termite swarms to your home. Get rid of any wood to soil contact by eliminating firewood and mulch that is close to your home as this removes their food source. Termites are drawn to wet soil so repair any leaky faucets and pipes to ensure there is no moisture available for them to thrive. Pre-treat any new building by using termite resistant materials such as Termimesh or treated dry wall. Moreover, remove access areas such as bushes near you home and seal any cracks and holes in your constructions. There are many termite bait stakes DIY kits available for purchase, but the best thing to do is to set up regular appointments with a certified professional. This provides you with effective preventive methods and various treatment options for an active infestation.

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Ensure Safety of Properties with Building Inspections

buildings-24782_640Building inspection is a major part of the overall process of purchasing a new property, both commercial and residential. The reason for this is that such inspections ensure the safety of the building that you are buying. During a building inspection, the inspector will do a detailed analysis of the property in question. All the salient features of the property will be checked. If there are any defects noticed, they will have to be promptly taken care of. Such a check will finally lead to the certification of the property as fit enough for inhabitation or to do business.

Commercial/Residential

The first thing that you have to confirm regarding the property is whether it is a commercial or residential one. The hiring of the building inspector will depend on this. Inspectors are usually hired from official departments, but there are also some private authorities that provide inspection services. Whatever is the case, you will have to double check the credentials and reliability of the inspecting authority. Sometimes the real estate agents themselves will refer some inspectors to you. The safest thing to do here is to say no to all such references and hire an inspector yourself. This can avoid biased inspections from being done. The inspection of the property should be done in a completely impartial manner.

Land/ Soil Checks

During the inspection, there are various elements that need to be thoroughly checked. One of them is the land on which the building stands. This land check would include analysis of the soil, presence of nearby water bodies, other properties in the locality, roads that lead to the property, climatic changes and their effect on the land, and the flora and fauna on the land. Then the inspection should go through all aspects of the building. This should include the foundation, the structure of the walls, the materials used for the construction, the doors, windows, and ventilation, and the ceiling. Any defect found should be well recorded and taken care of before the purchase of the property.

Peace of Mind

It can be clearly seen how such an inspection can be highly beneficial for the buyer. It can help you come to know everything about the property and the surrounding. Most of the disputes related to property sales arise because of improper inspections. If the inspection is done correctly and the seller is ready to make necessary changes to the property, then there would never be unnecessary problems. Issues like leakages, cracks in the walls, and mold in the rooms can also be easily avoided. You can peacefully carry on with the property purchase process with the backing of a reliable and impartial building inspection.

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