Defects inspections for new residential dwellings and apartments.
Why would you need an inspection on a new build?
Part one of the short answer in general, is that in most cases the certifier, or other authorized person is not focused on the details of fit and finish. Their mandate is to ensure compliance with the Building Code of Australia, so the health, safety and amenity of the occupants is protected.
Part two of the answer is that all licensed subcontractors must deliver their own compliance certificates (form 15, 16, etc.,) for plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, etc., to the certifier at the end of the project, after which a form 21 is issued, indicating that all is well.
That is in a perfect world. Sometimes things get missed, or maybe the apprentice has committed an indiscretion and not told anyone about it. A common defect is when downlights have been drilled through ceiling battens, changing the original structural integrity of the ceiling diaphragm. With poor planning it is not uncommon for A/C units in roof voids to be too large for the truss spacing, with the end result being that some bright spark will keep cutting truss webs out to achieve a fit. This then becomes a major engineering headache to redesign and upgrade the roof framing to become fit for purpose It all boils down to the tradies level of knowledge, experience, expertise and the duty of care factor.
One of the main causes of issues at the end of a project is that everyone seems to be rushing everywhere, and getting nowhere. One of the most common complaints of tradies is that “I don’t get paid enough to go back to fix things up”.
New property defects inspections are called in at the end of the project when the builder has completed all the contractual obligations, the certifier has approved the dwelling as fit for purpose, in accordance with all the statuary requirements, and the property is ready to move in. This stage is called PRACTICAL COMPLETION, as the project is practically completed with only minor defects or omissions acceptable. Generally this will include paint touch ups, or other small items like toilet roll holder missing, or door binding.
Typically the cleaners would have been through, shoes off at the door, and the development is ready for handover.
Defects inspections are very different from pre-purchase inspections and are covered under the Australian Standard 4349.0 – 2007.
The building inspector is looking for defective work, non completion of work, consequential damage and minor defects present at the time of inspection.