It’s been stated so often that it’s turned into a cliché: the home that you raise your family in is typically the single largest investment that anyone will ever make. Nonetheless, an excessive number of people go headfirst into it without taking adequate precautions.
It’s difficult to picture a car buyer purchasing a vehicle without first inspecting the engine or, at the very least, taking a test drive in the vehicle. A buyer who spends eight or nine times as much on a home frequently does exactly that!
Check on the Condition of the Buildings was established with the intention of assisting homebuyers in making well-informed decisions on the purchase of a property by delivering vital information regarding the costs of flaws and necessary repairs.
If, on the other hand, you intend to carry out the pre-purchase building inspection on your own, the following checklist should come in helpful for you.
DIY Home Inspection Checklist
- Check to see what kind of shape the gates and fences are in. Conduct an inspection of the bases of the gate and fence posts.
- Keep an eye out for large trees in the neighbourhood. These have the potential to cause structural subsidence, especially in homes made of brick or veneer.
- In addition to this, it is important to take note of the locations of any shrubs or poisonous trees
- Examine the structural state of the rooms and walls in the sheds and garages, as well as ensure that they are watertight.
- Check for potential fire dangers, power points that are broken or loose, and electrical fittings that have poor wiring.
- Verify the straightness of the walls by inspecting them thoroughly. Sagging weatherboards on a timber home could indicate rotten timber stumps, settled concrete stumps, or sunken brick piers.
- Inspect the weatherboards, doors, veranda, and windows posts to see if any of them are rotting.
- Do a careful inspection to determine the state of the mortar that is between the bricks.
- Make sure there are lots of sub-floor ventilators under the flooring in rooms that are completely enclosed by masonry.
- Check the eaves to see whether they are buckled, poorly fitted, or stained with water.
On the Roof
- Put your ladder up against the guttering, and keep an eye out for a roofline that undulates.
- Check for missing or cracked ridge and valley tiles, as well as broken ones.
- Inspect to see that the condition of the corrugated iron sheets is satisfactory and that they have been nailed down securely.
- Make sure that the guttering in the valley and on the eaves does not have any holes or rust in it. Even relatively minor damage can result in significant water loss.
- Check to see that the chimneys and flues are physically sound and that the flashings that surround them are in good working order.
Under Timber Floors
- In place of stumps, dwarf, or piers walls, you may find bricks or props supporting the floor beneath your feet.
- When purchasing timber stumps, seek stumps that have the most water stain on them.
- Examine the timber in the framing and the floors in general for any signs of decay, borers, or mould.
- Verify that the ground does not have an abnormally high level of moisture.
- Be on the lookout for “shelter tubes” created by termites.
- A professional should inspect the home for borers and termites if there is even the slightest possibility that these pests could be present.
In the Roof Space
- Keep an eye out for drooping roof framework, broken or cracked tiles, leaking ridges, and rusted iron roofing or valleys while you inspect the roof.
- Inspect to see if the electrical wiring is broken or of poor quality. Do not touch!
- Vermin may be present if there is a putrid smell or droppings that look like those left by rats.
- Take note of whether or not insulation has been added to the ceiling.
Even though you won’t be able to see the underside of the concrete flooring, you should still examine the exposed perimeter to make sure the plastic membrane that acts as waterproofing isn’t showing.
Inside Home Inspection
As we go on to the following section of this checklist for an inspection of the property, it is important to perform these specific checks in each individual room of the home.
- Lightly hop around on the ground at regular intervals to check for any looseness in the floor framework, rotten floors, or borer infestations.
- Look to see whether there are any gaps between the skirting and the floor or if the floors themselves are level. It is inevitable that flooring will separate from brick walls and fireplaces if the stumps or piers supporting the structure are sinking.
- Keep an eye out for telltale symptoms of moisture, such as floor tiles that have lifted or buckled, as well as mouldy carpet.
- Because ducted heating systems are millimetres broad, their presence may point to a serious issue with the structure.
- Examine the walls to ensure that they are level and straight.
- Be on the lookout for movement and cracks in general, and be especially vigilant in places that have recently been painted or wallpapered.
- Examine the brick walls very carefully for any indications of wetness.
- You can get a change in tone or a hollow sound by tapping on brick walls that are solid.
- Check for fissures next to chimneys, as well as windows and doorways that aren’t square or that are sticking, and check for fractures in the foundation.
- Tap the wall or tile gently with the screwdriver handle.
- Verify that the ceilings are level and straight, and search for cracks or other indications of movement in the cornices.
- Check the ceiling for water stains or mould, as these could be signs of roof leaks or condensation.
Ventilators and Windows
- Check to see if the window panes are intact and that the window can be opened.
- Examine the windows and walls to look for excessive dampness as well as mould growth.
- Verify to see that the power switches and outlets are operational.
- Use the tester to check each of the power outlets.
- If it is preserved in its original state, the wiring in mostly older homes is perfectly safe to use.
- If you have the slightest suspicion that the electrical system is not in good working order, you should get it inspected by a professional.
- Inspect all of the plumbing fittings to look for leaks or cracks.
- Do a pressure test on both the hot and cold water faucets.
- Check to see if the water adequately drains away from the tubs by only partially filling the bathtub or the laundry tub.
- Check the area around the drains for any signs of moist ground.
- When inspecting the area where the gutters and the ground come together, look for wetness and soft dirt.
Assess the house to determine whether or not it has an optimal room arrangement, orientation in the direction of the sun, vistas, relation to neighbours, and level of traffic noise, and if it does not, determine whether or not it is possible to modify the house at a reasonable cost.
Extensions and Renovations
Verify with the local municipality that the permit of the building was acquired before beginning any major renovations or additions to the home. Building code violations caused by unauthorized renovations may fall under your purview.
Check the Council’s set-back distance requirements, maximum site coverage limits, and construction type restrictions if you intend to build additions to your new home in the future. We recommend consulting an expert.