People choose to build new homes rather than buy for a number of reasons. It can work out much cheaper than buying, and you have more control over how your home will look. New builds, however, can cause untold headaches.
There are additional responsibilities with new builds that you wouldn’t encounter when buying. Unless you are a qualified builder, knowing how to avoid common pitfalls is next to impossible. Construction is carried out in stages, so it makes sense to also have staged construction inspections.
Independent Inspections vs Staged Construction Inspections
If you have an independent inspection when construction is complete, it can result in much more rectification work than necessary. Staged construction inspections during construction process will identify any problems at the most crucial stages of the construction process.
This type of inspection concentrates on ensuring that building work meets both the Australian standards and Victorian Building Regulations, and that the work is of high quality. Inspections at key stages of construction ensure that defective work is identified at the earliest opportunity.
Once the slab has cured the work is inspected to ensure that dimensions are correct, plumbing is correctly positioned, surfaces are level and undamaged, and that the quality of work meets recommended standards. All defects will be included in your report.
It should be noted that minor cracks in slab work may not necessarily impact on the overall build. The inspector will carefully scrutinise any cracks and make recommendations accordingly.
Framing for the roof and walls is essential for both the look and function of your new home. The frame is like the skeleton of the body to which everything else is connected, and must be strong and straight. Inspecting the frame work is important because it ensures that walls, windows and doors are correctly situated and dimensions are as per the plans. The bracing and fixings that stabilise the frame structurally need to be inspected and defects identified. Holding-down straps, noggins, double studs, floor sheeting and trusses are key components of the building fabric, so very important that they’re centred and straight. It’s vital this work be assessed and any defects identified by the inspector before any walls go up.
This is the stage where external cladding or brickwork and the roofing is completed. Your construction inspector will ensure that plumbing and electrical cabling ‘rough-ins’ are installed to the correct locations without damage to the framing, brick work and external cladding. Roofing material, gutters, flashings and caulking are checked to determine if they’re secured firmly and undamaged and that roof lines are straight. Your inspector will check all work meets Australian Standards and Tolerances – that joints, weep holes, window sills and lintels, sarking and insulation are as required, itemising all defects, breakages, incomplete or unsatisfactory work, as this is a critical stage in your build.
It is known as the lock-up stage because roof, windows, and doors have been installed, meaning that the main structures of the building are complete and much more protected against theft. Your home is now secure and your builder can safely begin the fit-out process of adding plasterboard linings, fittings and fixtures.
At this stage, all wet areas are prepared for waterproofing prior to tiling. Plaster is fitted and taped, with joints smoothed ready for painting. Doors, architraves, steps, stairs, benches, splash-backs, shelves and cabinetry are also installed in preparation for painting and finishing.
Final plumbing and electrical work including heating and cooling systems are installed and connected. In fact, all last-stage finishing work is required to be completed and will be checked to determine whether it conforms to plan in readiness for the Final Handover stage.
Pre-Handover Inspection for Final Handover
Now that all work is complete, it is time for your Pre-Handover Inspection. Your inspector will inspect the finished product and ensure that all work is up to the standard and the quality you paid for.
Work must conform to the most recent plans, ensuring that your new home is exactly what you envisioned. Once this stage of the inspection is complete and you have received your report, you can confidently accept the handover and move into your new home.
Houspect can provide you with staged construction inspections for all of your projects. We only employ the most professional, qualified builders as inspectors. Our inspector will scrutinise every stage of the project to ensure that Australian Building Standards are being met, and that the quality of workmanship is also of the highest standard.