Pre-purchase building and pest inspections are typically two, different types of inspections. You have the option to get them separately; or you can find a company that offers a combined inspection. In any case, here’s what you need to know about what building and pest inspectors look for.

What is the difference?

A building inspection only involves a visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the property – identifying minor defects, major structural issues, maintenance problems, and safety hazards.

A building inspection also identifies visual damage caused by pests, but it does not verify if pests are still present. A separate pest inspection will be needed to make a conclusive determination of any infestation and the actual extent of the damage. This is especially important if the property you are planning to buy is located in an area where pests, such as termites, are a common problem.

What do building and pest inspectors look for?

  • An exterior inspection will look for structural problems in retaining walls, gutters, sheds, and fences. These problems include cracking, rising damp, leaks, and differential/unequal ground settlement.
  • The interior inspection is usually more extensive, checking the walls, floors, ceilings, fixtures, fittings, and finishes of every room for cracks, uneven or springy boards, dampness, and leaks. It also includes the plumbing, insulation and framing issues in roof spaces, and sub-floor damp, rot, or leaks.
  • Pest inspectors look for signs of existing infestations, which include rodents, termites, wood borers, fungi, mould, and wood decay. A licensed inspector will check both the interior and exterior of the property for small cracks, holes, and other spaces where pests could enter; nests, droppings, termite tubes, and dry rot and other tell-tale signs of destruction will also be tracked down.

What else can you expect from a building and pest inspection?

A thorough building and pest inspection, conducted by competent and licensed professionals, will not only identify existing and potential problems, but also provide expert recommendations on how to resolve these issues and an estimate of the repair costs.

The inspector/s will provide a building and pest inspection report that will detail the major issues found at the time of the inspection. It would be best to for you to also be present during the inspection itself so you can immediately get answers and clarifications directly from the inspector/s, should you need any. You should also verify with the inspector/s all the specific areas they will look at. If there are other areas you want included, and specific issues you want them to look for that are not included in a basic inspection, you may need to request a “special-purpose property report.”

Why should you get a pre-purchase building and pest inspection?

The extra cost of a pre-purchase building and pest inspection will save you a lot of money on unexpected repairs that you could have, otherwise, required the seller to cover. With a pre-purchase building and pest inspection, you will be properly forewarned and forearmed.