You’ve watched your house turn into a home over the past 6 – 9 months and you’re so close to moving in.
Whilst everything should be completed to your expectations, now isn’t the time to be complacent.
A lot of people carry out their hand over inspections themselves, however more and more people are choosing to engage the services of an independent professional company. Independent reports (pre- or post-handover) are very helpful as a reference and can significantly reduce conflict over what is a defect and what meets code.
Whilst generally people are able to see that finishes are correct and all appliances are working, a professional inspector will (with reference to The Guide to Standards & Tolerances) also check things like your roof (where accessible), insulation, external walls, windows, doors and many other components both externally and internally.
Here is a general guide for internal areas of what to look for during your hand over inspection:
- Check all power points and switches are level, take a small night light with you to plug into each point to ensure they are working correctly
- Turn on all hot and cold taps and flush all toilets
- Open / close / lock and unlock all windows
- Test your air con unit for heating and cooling
- Go over walls and cornices carefully, look for finish quality and any areas not painted properly, make note of the area and reference with your Site Supervisor to inspect
- Ensure all doors are working, all handles open and close and all locks are working
- Check blinds / shutters and curtains that they are opening and closing correctly (provided this is something your builder was involved in)
- Check all windows for scratches. It’s not uncommon for windows to be scratched during a build
- Ensure there is no chips or cracks in benchtops / vanities and that they are neatly sealed against walls where required.
- Run your shower for a few minutes and turn off to ensure the water is draining away. Depending on tile choice (size) the draining away will vary in effectiveness but it still should drain.
Whilst this list gives you are general guide, you can see that there is a lot of things that need to be checked, so for peace of mind it may be a good idea to engage the services of a professional. You can still be present at the inspection, but a third pair of eyes who doesn’t have an emotional attachment to your home and didn’t want to move in yesterday(!) will find things that would usually go unnoticed.
Your building contract will state how long you have to report any issues or defects, which is usually 13 weeks. Your builder will come back during this time to rectify any issues you have.
For clarity of your builder obligations refer to your contract and also refer to the Fair-Trading NSW website.