If you’re building a new home – keep in mind that you need a number of inspections at different stages of build to ensure that you’re happy with the way the house is being built.
Foundation Stage Inspection: immediately before the slab is poured.
Why: Foundations and footings vary according to the dwelling design and the characteristics of the sub-soils. A slab foundation may typically have a number of features engineered to deal with natural movement in the ground. If your ground has more reactive soil or clay your foundations will require more extensive engineering. Various forms of strengthening beams, screw piles, concrete or timber piles and waffle pod may be added to provide a more stable foundation.
Once the slab has been poured you cannot see the engineering, and you can’t carry out the inspection too early as the foundation may change closer to the concrete pour.
Frame Stage Inspection: when the frame is complete but before internal wall linings.
Why: Standard fixings and anchors to the slab need to be checked prior to adding the gyprock to the walls. Once the gyprock is up you can no longer see if the right bolts and connections have been used. The Roof Truss and wall bracings are also checked at this point to determine whether they are correct for the slab that has been poured for your house.
Lockup/Waterproofing Stage Inspection: is conducted when external windows and doors are installed, the roof is on, and flashing and waterproofing are complete, but before tiling of showers, bathrooms or installation of shower trays.
Why: The importance of waterproofing is reflected in the consequences of not waterproofing. Water which enters or escapes from buildings can have immediate and long term undesired consequences including damage to building contents and long term structural damage if the problem is not successfully dealt with quickly.
Fixing/Pre-painting Stage Inspection: when construction is complete including carpentry prior to painting.
Why: To ensure the correct materials and workmanship have been used and appropriately sealed before they are covered over with paint.
Handover Inspection: is a very detailed inspection when the finished ground levels have been established.
Why: Builders are increasingly challenged to deliver quality construction with rising building costs in a competitive new home market. Even respected builders can have variations in quality. Most builders are concerned that errors and poor workmanship with the cost of associated re-work may destroy their reputation.
Building disputes are often due to misunderstandings. What you think you'll be getting for your money may be different from what your builder plans to deliver for the agreed price. That's why it's essential that you have a good working relationship with your builder. Resolving these mismatches before work starts will avoid a lot of grief later.
Book any of these building inspections online today or ask for a package deal to handle each stage