Early detection of problems during the construction process through
regular inspections will ensure the builder can address identified issues early
on, preventing unnecessary expenditure and potential loss to reputation and
This is especially true for buildings being constructed from the bottom
up; regular inspections can help identify and resolve problems early on, making
the construction process much cheaper and practical than having an inspection
done on a completed building and discovering faults that may be difficult or
impossible to rectify.
Inspections for new buildings
Inspections should be performed at five stages of construction of the
new building to ensure quality and precision. These include the foundation
stage, frame stage, waterproofing stage, pre-painting stage and handover stage.
1. Foundation stage
An inspection is advised on the foundations and footings before the slab
is poured as certain soils and clays will be more reactive and may require extensive
engineering to ensure the integrity of the building.
At this stage, the inspector will be looking for appropriate safety
signage around the building site; assessing the orientation of the building in
relation to the access road, the position of the external wall location in
relation to the footings, and the inclusion of reinforcement starter bars tied
to the slab mesh; as well as checking for termite control and the location of
the electrical metre box.
2. Frame stage
An inspection on completion of the frame will confirm the integrity of
the foundation of the building, since it may not be possible to see if the
right bolts or connections have been used once the gyprock has been added to
At this stage, the inspector will be looking for straight framing and
plumb connections; assessing structural steel members such as columns, beams,
and lintels to be properly supporting the structure; and checking whether window
and door openings are in place as required by the plans. A visual check will
also be performed to confirm the installation of a perimeter termite barrier.
3. Waterproofing stage
Waterproofing is an important component of a building’s longevity; when
not waterproofed properly, especially around the kitchen and bathroom areas,
the building will eventually suffer the consequences of water damage, which can
even impact its foundations.
At this stage, the inspector will be checking that roofing is installed
and completed to standards and manufacturer specifications; roof plumbing is
appropriate; and damp proofing is in place. The inspection will additionally ensure
there are appropriate weep holes to the perimeter and window openings, and that
brickwork is straight and plumb with sound mortar.
4. Pre-painting stage
This inspection takes place on completion of construction including
carpentry works to ensure that the workmanship is acceptable before issues are glossed
over with paint.
During this inspection the inspector will check that window openings to
shower areas are appropriately sealed; doors are fitted properly and function
correctly; and skirting is fitted to the appropriate standards of operation. The
inspection will also check for structural adequacy in outdoor areas including
any pergolas, decks, or patios, and ensure that the carport or garage is operable.
5. Handover inspection
Recommended to be carried out when the ground levels have been completed,
this detailed inspection will ensure all-round satisfaction with the finalised
version of the building. An inspection at this stage will ensure all issues are
detected early and remedied at a relatively low cost than dealing with them
when the issue has become more pronounced.
Inspections for existing buildings
A full inspection at the time of buying or selling an existing building
benefits both the seller and the buyer to avoid any unexpected surprises that
might affect the price or value of the property. Such building inspections
should be carried out by properly qualified organisations that have the
expertise to detect issues and also submit an inspection report compliant with
the Australian Standard (AS 4349.1). This will not only ensure peace of mind for
the individual but will also serve as a reference document for the building’s
During these inspections, the qualified consultant will look at the
interior and exterior of the building, as well as the roof space, the
underfloor space, and the roof exterior. The building must be prepared for
inspection prior to the arrival of the consultant.
There needs to be easy access to the sub-floor areas of a building. This
means that they should be unlocked and clear of obstacles, and the space should
be uncluttered so as to allow ease of movement for the consultant.
Furniture throughout the
When preparing the building for inspection, ideally the space must only
have minimal furniture so that the consultant can inspect the area with an
unobstructed view of everything they may want to see including the floors.
Internal roof space
It is important that the consultant is able to access any internal roof
spaces. If such spaces are used for storage, it is advised that the space is
cleared out so as not to obstruct the consultant’s movements during inspection.
The consultant must be provided access to the external roof. In the
event the roof is unsafe to access, the report will be adversely affected.
Projex Group distributes Wolfin, Cosmofin and Koster waterproofing
systems in Australia and New Zealand.