What is a Property Condition Report/Property inspection?
A condition report, commonly referred to as a pre-purchase report, is a non-invasive visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home. This includes the roof, foundations and all elements between. Our condition reports are carried out in strict accordance with the New Zealand Standard NZS4306:2005 Residential Building Inspections.
How long will a Property Inspection take?
A building surveyor will typically be on site for around 1.5hrs for the average size house. During that time, we will examine the homes systems and components, including the roof, ceiling space, basement or subfloor, heating, plumbing and electrical systems, visible insulation and ventilation, the buildings structure and exterior building elements including any visible high risk weathertight items.
Will I be able to attend the Inspection?
Yes, clients are welcome to attend. In attending the client will be able to ask questions and point out any specific concerns they may have. We do recommend giving the building surveyor adequate space to be able concentrate on the task at hand.
What timeframe should we expect for a condition report?
Reports will be received in 24hrs, although typically we aim to have the report released the same day of inspection, this ensures clients are able make informed decisions with in the tight timeframes of the property market.
Who will get a copy of the report?
Only our client will receive a copy of the report. All reports are completely confidential and will not be released to other parties without the clients written consent.
Who can carry out Property Inspections?
This is a worrying subject. Currently within NZ the industry is unregulated, anyone can call them self an “inspector” as such. Many inspectors come from a trade background whether it be carpentry, roofing or exterior plastering. Generally, this creates a good base for a building inspector although without appropriate training in all areas of house design and construction the inspector may not be suitably qualified. Even the most experienced builder or home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional building surveyor who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands of buildings in their career. Building surveyors require a unique skill set and vast knowledge of construction methods and materials. This requires constant education and up-skilling.
What if the Inspection identifies defects, should I buy the house?
NO HOUSE IS PERFECT. If the report reveals problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should walk away. It gives you the opportunity to understand exactly what work the property requires to bring it back to an acceptable standard. You can then account for this within your budget or possibly discuss options with the vendor. Either way you’ll know exactly what you’re in for up front.
Will a condition report confirm the building is not leaking?
A condition report is limited in what weathertight issues it can detect. The NZ standard for pre-purchase inspections NZS4306:2005 excludes comprehensive weathertight investigation due to the need for destructive or invasive investigation. Councils are obliged to identify within LIM reports, properties that have been subject to weathertightness homes tribunal claims although properties that have been involved with weathertightness claims through court or privately do not have to be identified. Property owners are now legally required to apply for a building consent to cover any remediation work, although not all remediation work has been consented and may be at further risk.
What does a Weathertight Investigation involve?
First the building needs to be assessed visually. This enables us to identify any high-risk details, defects and suspected leaks. Moisture readings are taken from timber framing. Once areas of concern have been mapped we can proceed with invasive testing. Where timber decay is suspected, we drill holes in the exterior cladding to take accurate moisture readings. If we need to confirm the construction method or extent of decay, we cut 300x300mm squares in the cladding. We are then able to take timber samples for laboratory analysis. Holes are temporarily sealed and can be repaired by the home owner in due course if required. A detailed report is then provided providing a summary of the investigation findings.
Can I still get a safe and sanitary report for unauthorised works?
Yes, if the work was undertaken prior to the 1st of July 1992.
Does my house need a Council Code of Compliance?
Not if it was built prior to the 1st of July 1992.
My house was built after 1992 and to date has not received a Council Code of Compliance. Can we get a Council Code of Compliance?
Since 1992 there have been several amendments to the NZ Building Code. Should aspects of the building not comply with current code, council may insist these are bought up to current code standards or evidence is provided to confirm they are performing to an acceptable standard.
We have completed additions to our house post Council sign off, will I be able to get a Council Code of Compliance to cover these additions?
This depends largely on what the extent of works are. If the works involve things such as footings or structural elements which are now concealed it is unlikely you will receive a Council Code of Compliance. In this case, we would suggest applying for a Certificate of Acceptance (COA). We can assist you with this.
Is a Meth Test necessary?
This is a subject that has received plenty of negative press. Fact is, methamphetamine is real. It’s being made and used in our communities. Meth has no preference; it’s found in low socioeconomic areas as well as upmarket neighbourhoods. As with any unregulated industry meth testing has its fair share of cowboys. Meth contamination is often invisible or even worse knowingly concealed. Decontamination can run into the thousands and in some cases, warrant a house uninhabitable. With lab based tests starting from $110 it’s a small cost to ensure you are investing in a healthy home. All our tests are carried out in strict accordance with NIOSH 9111 sampling methods.