Improving house inspections
BUILDING INSPECTORS who received low marks from the Consumers’ Institute for failing to properly assess homes for prospective buyers need to lift their game by using the Standard for Residential property inspection (NZS 4306:2005), says Grant Thomas, General Manager Marketing at Standards New Zealand.
The voluntary Standard was published in 2005 in response to events in the building industry relating to weather tightness and durability and concerns that many property inspections were not picking up important defects. “The sale or purchase of residential property is an important decision, which should be backed up with accurate knowledge of the property,” says Grant. “This Standard introduces consistency and reliability into the inspection of residential properties, to ensure that as far as possible, significant defects are identified.”
The Standard is useful for:
The Consumers’ Institute describes the performance of building inspectors as ‘poor’, following a recent survey it undertook of 10 inspection companies, and says that house inspectors missed many potential problems.
“The Standard will help building inspectors and building consultants to identify these potential problems,” says Grant. “It provides clear guidelines to property inspectors and gives home owners, vendors and financiers the assurance they need that any significant defects have been identified.”
Standards New Zealand recommend that homeowners insist that a property inspection is carried out according to the residential
property inspection Standard and that the inspector is willing to certify this in writing.
Written property reports should be accompanied by a residential property inspection certificate (NZS 4306:2005 PADS), which certifies that the property inspection has been carried out in accordance with the Standard and includes a summary checklist of the features inspected.
What the Standard Covers
The residential property inspection Standard covers a range of issues concerning pre-purchase property insections and reportin, including:
Dean Norrie, Director/Building Inspector - LBP Qualified Builder, with 20+ years residential building experience, three generations of builder in the family.