I was asked by the owner of a lowset timber framed house with timber floors to inspect for defects. The owner recently purchased the house in Maryborough while still living in north Queensland and unfortunately when he moved into the house some of his furniture broke through the timber flooring.

He explained that he did not get a pre-purchase pest inspection because the real estate agent assured him that a pest inspection had recently been carried and everything was fine. He did however engage a pre-purchase building inspection to give him a structural report.

Unfortunately it appears the building inspector did not get under the house and inspect the flooring because if he did he would have seen extensive borer damage throughout approximately 80 per cent of the pine flooring. He would have also noticed that several timber stumps had sunk and needed to be replaced and there were temporary timber props under the floor supporting the house.

The inspector also failed to disclose to the buyer that the roof had been cut off and re-nailed back together to allow for the house to be relocated to its current location and that there was damaged and hazardous asbestos in the house.

As a result of these severe oversights and lack of transparency from the inspector, the new owner has spent approximately $30,000.00 rectifying this house with more work still to be done. To make matters worse his relationship with his partner has broken down and she is no longer living with him because of the extensive renovation being carried out on the house. A very upsetting and unfortunate scenario for those involved and something that could have been avoided through proper checks.

The moral of the story? – Be careful when engaging a pre-purchase building inspector.

Ask questions like:

  • Are you a qualified builder?
  • Do you have liability and professional indemnity insurance?
  • Do you get onto the house and inspect the roof?
  • Do you get under the house if it is a timber floor?
  • Do you inspect around the base of timber stumps?
  • Do you report on the presence of asbestos in the home?

Check the history of the building inspector

Check the inspector license number on www.qbsa.qld.gov.au/searchforlicensee See if there has been any action taken against the inspector before you engage him to work for you.

To avoid making mistakes similar or worse than these, contact the help of a building inspector you can trust and who has the knowledge to give you an accurate condition report on your property.

To find out more about our building inspection and other services contact me direct on 1800 466 456.