New house construction final inspections and defects reports
Surprisingly some newly built houses have more defects than older homes! That's why having your newly constructed house or addition inspected by us prior to the builder signing off, is good advice.
- Non -compliance with the Building Code Of Australia in the following areas.
- Brickwork - Paths - Driveways - Windows - Doors - Flashings - Damp-proof courses
- Squeaky floors - Poor paintwork - Roof tiling - Wet areas - Tiling - Damp-Courses - gutters-down pipes
- Termite Barrier prevention!
The main advantages of final building inspections are:
- Identify defects before the builder signs off!
- Ensure appropriate action is taken before warranty period expires!
- Provide assistance to negotiate with the builder
The following information has been prepared by the Office of Fair Trading for people who have recently built a new home or completed renovations. While its time to relax and enjoy your property, there are steps you should take to ensure that your new building work remains trouble-free for years to come. Use this checklist to maintain your property post-construction.
Closely inspect the completed project. Identify all items of concern during the maintenance period, which may be referred to in your contract as the defects and liability period'(usually 13 weeks for new homes). Ask your builder for further details as this can vary' from builder to builder. If you identify items of concern, advise the builder in writing and keep a copy. Legally, its the contractors responsibility to make sure the work is fit for its purpose for seven years.
Drying out the house
New building materials contain moisture. They will eventually dry out. Small cracks may appear in brick, timber and plaster-lined areas in the first six months. They are usually not structurally significant and should not affect structural integrity but check with an independent building expert if you have concerns about larger cracks or apparent structural movement.
Most new homes should have a termite barrier built in, either physical or chemical. If not, think about arranging a treatment system prior to moving in. Find out what type of anti-termite protection your home has and list the dates for future checks, inspections and chemical top-up treatments. Read the warranty provided with the termite treatment system. Smoke alarms Every new house must be fitted with smoke alarms. They are usually supplied with back-up batteries that take over during power failures. Batteries should be replaced every six months.
Rather than the external brickwork, it is the timber frame in the typical brick-veneer house that supports the roof structure (except for the garage wall where there is single-skin brickwork). Minor cracking in such brickwork will not affect the structural integrity of the building. Minor cracking of brickwork on reactive clay sites is almost inevitable.
For more information about post-construction read - A handy guide to maintenance for home owners.
BASIX (the Building Sustainability Index)
If you are building a new home in Sydney, you need to know about the BASIX Certificate. This is important information for all development applicants.
The NSW Government is committed to conserving our scarce water resources and reducing the impact of greenhouse gasses on our climate.
On 1 July 2004, the Government introduced BASIX (the Building Sustainability Index) to make sure new homes use less water and energy.
From this date, you need to include a BASIX Certificate with your proposal to build a new house or dual occupancy in any of the local government areas in the Sydney metropolitan area, unless you entered a contract to build before 1 July. Other parts of the state will come under BASIX from 1 July 2005.
For more information, go to the BASIX website at www.basix.nsw.gov.au
For information on design guidelines, maintenance and installation of rainwater tanks, the following sites offer helpful information:
- www.basix.nsw.gov.au (click on the "Explanatory Documents" link and go to "Design Guidelines")