Is a Building Inspection Worth It?

Is a Building Inspection Worth It

You’ve finally found it – your dream home. After weeks of searching, countless open houses and one too many disappointing auctions, the keys to your perfect property are within reach. But before you sign on the dotted line, there’s one last thing to consider: should you fork out for a building inspection? While the cost might give you pause, a building inspection could save you a small fortune down the track. So is it really worth it? Let’s weigh up the pros and cons.

A building inspection provides valuable insight into your potential new home by identifying any structural or pest issues lurking beneath the surface. But it also comes at a cost, which could be a couple of hundred dollars depending on the size of the property and the extent of the inspection. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your risk appetite. If you’re willing to gamble on the condition of the property, you could skip the inspection. But if you want peace of mind before making the biggest purchase of your life, a building inspection is a smart investment.

What Is a Building Inspection?

A building inspection is an examination of a property’s structural and mechanical aspects by a licenced professional to determine any major defects or issues. Inspectors check everything from the roof to the foundation, including plumbing, electrical systems, and appliances.

Why Get an Inspection?

There are a few good reasons to get a building inspection. First, it can uncover any major structural issues with the property that may cost a lot to repair. Things like termite damage, roof leaks, or foundation cracks are important to know about before purchasing a home or building.

An inspection also provides an objective assessment of the overall condition of the building. As buyers, it’s easy to miss problems when touring a property because you can get caught up in how much you like it. A trained inspector will evaluate the building impartially based on building standards and codes. They can determine if everything is in working order or in need of repair.

Finally, an inspection gives you leverage when negotiating the sale. If the report comes back showing expensive issues that need to be addressed, you can negotiate with the seller to lower the price, get credits at closing to pay for necessary repairs, or terminate the deal altogether.

What Does an Inspection Cover?

A standard building inspection typically covers the roof, attic, walls, foundation, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and cooling equipment, appliances, and more. Inspectors will check for proper ventilation, signs of water damage or pest infestation, code violations, and anything that may compromise the structure or mechanicals of the building. They’ll also test that major systems and appliances are functioning properly.

At the end of the inspection, you’ll receive a detailed report outlining any issues found with the property. While an inspection won’t uncover every little problem, it can give you the information you need to make an informed decision about purchasing a building. For the cost and effort, a building inspection is absolutely worth the investment.

Top 5 Reasons Why a Building Inspection Is Worth the Cost

It Can Save You Money in the Long Run

A building inspection may seem like an extra expense, but it can end up saving you thousands by identifying serious issues before you buy. Things like structural damage, and plumbing or electrical problems are expensive to fix, so spotting them in advance allows you to renegotiate the price or walk away if needed.

It Gives You Peace of Mind

Knowing the true condition of the property will give you confidence in your purchase. An inspection report details the state of all major systems and structures, so you’ll know exactly what needs work and you can budget for any necessary repairs or maintenance. No nasty surprises down the track!

It Allows You to Negotiate From a Place of Knowledge

Armed with the inspection report, you’ll have a much stronger position to negotiate the best possible price. You can demonstrate how much certain repairs or fixes will cost, and use that evidence to ask for a lower offer to account for them.

It Highlights Safety Issues

Building inspections check for any hazards that could put the occupants at risk. Things like faulty wiring, unstable structures, leaking gas fittings or the presence of asbestos are serious safety risks, so it’s important to identify them before proceeding.

It Provides an Independent, Expert Assessment

Building inspectors are licenced professionals with years of experience assessing properties. They provide an impartial analysis of the building’s condition based on industry standards. Their reports carry more weight than a quick check by an untrained eye. For the cost of an inspection, you get peace of mind from a comprehensive, professional verdict on the property.

In summary, while a building inspection adds to the initial outlay, the potential benefits to your budget, safety and peace of mind make it well worth the investment. Think of it as money spent, not money wasted!

What Does a Building Inspection Cover?

A building inspection is a comprehensive review of the property to uncover any potential issues. The inspector will evaluate all aspects of the home, from the roof to the foundation. This helps ensure there are no nasty surprises after you’ve purchased the place.

Structural Integrity

The inspector will check that the home’s structure is sound. This includes inspecting the roof, ceilings, walls, and floors for any signs of damage or instability. They’ll look for issues like wood rot, water damage or termite damage that could compromise the building’s stability.

Plumbing and Electrical

They will test that all plumbing and electrical systems are functioning properly and up to code. This means checking that pipes, water heaters, toilets, lights, power points, wiring, etc. are all in working order and safe. Any repairs needed will be noted in the report.

Heating and Cooling

The inspector will run tests on the home’s air conditioning, heating, and ventilation to ensure they are operating efficiently and safely. They will check things like the condition of the air filters, thermostats, pumps, and ducting.

General Issues

An inspector will also look for any other problems like water leakage, pest infestations, safety hazards, or issues with windows and doors. They may spot minor repairs needed as well as any preventative maintenance required to avoid future issues.

A professional building inspection is extremely thorough and can uncover issues you may miss yourself. For the cost, it provides valuable peace of mind that there are no major problems with the property before you purchase. While an inspection won’t necessarily uncover every little issue, it can highlight any areas of significant concern so you can make an informed choice about whether or not to proceed with the sale. For most buyers, that level of reassurance and insight into the home’s condition is well worth the investment.

When Should You Get a Building Inspection Done?

A building inspection is worth considering at several key points in the property transaction process. The optimal time will depend on your needs and priorities as a buyer.

Before You Purchase

If you’re looking to buy a property, a pre-purchase building inspection is highly recommended. It will uncover any major defects or issues with the home that could end up costing you down the road. You can then use the report to negotiate with the seller to lower the price or get repairs done. This protects you from ending up with an expensive “lemon”.

After You Purchase

Even if you’ve already bought the property, it’s a good idea to get an inspection done shortly after settlement. This post-purchase inspection will identify any problems that you may not have noticed during your initial walk-throughs. You can then make a plan to fix issues before they worsen or cause damage. It also helps ensure you are aware of all responsibilities that come with the property.

Before Major Renovations

If you’re planning an extension, renovation or conversion of the property, an inspection is key. It will detect any structural or wiring issues that need to be addressed before you begin construction. This prevents complications that could arise and additional costs incurred once work has started.

Periodic Maintenance Inspections

For any property, it’s a good rule of thumb to get regular inspections done to monitor its condition. Every 3 to 5 years is typical. These maintenance inspections will spot small issues before they become big problems, as well as check on the status of anything identified in previous reports. They provide peace of mind that your valuable asset is being properly cared for.

In summary, the optimal times for a building inspection are: before you purchase, after purchase but before settlement, before major renovations, and periodically for maintenance and monitoring. An inspection at the right time is worth the investment for both your finances and your safety. Better safe than sorry!

How Much Does a Building Inspection Cost in Australia?

Building inspection fees can vary depending on the size and type of property you want to inspect. In Australia, you can expect to pay between $300 to $1000 for a standard pre-purchase building inspection. For larger properties or those in rural areas, fees may be higher due to the extra time and travel required.

Type of Property

The type of property being inspected impacts the total cost. A basic 3-bedroom house will typically cost $300 to $500. More complex properties like townhouses or units may be $400 to $700. Commercial buildings or rural properties often start around $500 to $1000 or more due to their size and additional requirements.

Inspection Extras

Some inspectors offer additional services for an extra fee, such as a pest inspection ($200-$500), asbestos testing ($200-$500), or a pool safety certificate ($100-$300). If there are any areas of concern in the standard building report, the inspector can do a re-inspection of those items for around $150-$300.

Getting Quotes

The best way to determine the cost for your specific building inspection is to contact a few licenced inspectors in your area and get written quotes. Let them know details about the property like the type, age, size and location. They can then provide an accurate estimate of the total inspection fees. Compare the quotes based on the services offered as well as the inspector’s credentials, experience, and reviews from other clients.

While building inspection fees can seem expensive upfront, they are usually a small fraction of the total property cost. Identifying any major structural issues or safety hazards during the inspection can save you thousands of dollars down the road. For most home buyers, a building inspection is well worth the investment for peace of mind about the condition of your potential new home.


So there you have it, all the ins and outs of building inspections in Oz. While they might seem like an unnecessary expense, the truth is they can save you stacks down the track. Dodgy wiring, leaky pipes, structural issues – no one wants nasty surprises like these after the handover. Get the full lowdown on a property before signing your John Hancock. Paying a few hundred bucks now is nothing compared to the thousands you might fork out later for repairs or legal dramas. Be smart, cover your backside and make sure you really know what you’re getting into. Don’t get caught out with a lemon! Do the due diligence with a building inspection from a qualified professional. Your future self will thank you, trust us.



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