The differences between a professional building inspection (such as Detail Building Inspection) and an opinion from someone “in the know” are usually the least obvious faults.
Everyone can find cracking or rising damp but these are often the least of your worries and can be managed relatively easily.
Let’s look at a few starting with the outside.
Paving around the home.
It’s not there for decoration although it certainly helps finish a house off.
It’s there as a defence against water getting under the house and into the foundations.
A house without paving is one inviting damp issues.
Just as dangerous is a house with poor paving.
A sloppy job may actually drain water towards the house rather then away; it all depends on the subtle slope of the paving and professionals do it right first time.
Wrongly installed gutters.
A gutter’s a gutter, right?
Wrong. Amateur inspectors check if there are gutters at all.
Professionals like us at Detailed check if the gutters are correctly installed so the water is moved towards the downpipes and away from the home.
Is there a management and inspection programme in place?
Adelaide is termite-heaven and every home owner should have regular inspections.
It’s a common trap for young players – a verandah without Development Approval.
You would be surprised how often this occurs, especially with homes of DIYers who like to beat the system.
Any freestanding roof structure over 10 square metres (and that includes verandahs) requires development approval. A professional inspection will avoid falling into this trap.
Poorly maintained Roller Doors.
It may surprise you to learn that the heaviest structure within a house is the roller door.
Their sheer size and weight create ongoing structural stresses which can lead to often dangerous malfunctions (imaging one of those falling down) and they must receive regular servicing.
Now let’s move inside and under the roof.
Insulation and downlights.
Downlights create far more heat than conventional globes and they can trigger ignition in insulation. Fire in homes is something that must be avoided at all costs both for the protection of residents and your greatest asset.
Professionals know how to install the downlights properly so that both the lights and insulation co-exist safely and work to their optimum.
And while we’re talking electrics…
No Electrical Safety Switch.
There is legislation in place that requires all new buildings to have safety switches on all circuits but sadly, there is no such requirement on old homes, even when they are out on the market.
If the home doesn’t have them, install them. They are essential safety equipment.
Smoke detectors – location and wiring.
A few things to look out for.
Does the home have them? Are they correctly located around the house? Are they hard-wired? Are they over ten years old?
These are all danger signs and should be attended to. No home owner should flirt with fire.
We’re not talking about that annoying drip from the shower head. That’s a plumber’s bread and butter.
But we are talking leaking pipes inside the wall cavities, particularly in brick veneer homes. A timber framed home and accumulated water are not good together and can result in serious damage.
Here are plenty more things to look out for…the devil is in the detail which is why we recommend you use professionals such as Detailed Home Inspections to check out existing or potential homes,