The 10 Building Components usually Inspected
What we do, and Why? Christchurch House Inspectors...
The major concerns are Roof, Foundation, Windows, Heating/ Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical. You will be provided a comprehensive written building report that will list any significant defects that reduce the functionality or structural integrity of systems or components or conditions that pose a significant health or safety risk that a home inspector has knowledge of or has observed. The report also describes the condition of systems or components that, if not repaired, will have significant adverse effect on their life expectancy.
No House is Perfect
Even brand new homes can have imperfections. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on your dream home. It does mean that when you feel you’ve found the right house, you need to go one step further and find out what issues are present and what the significant financial, health and safety implications are. Buying a house is one of the biggest investments most people will ever make, so it makes good sense to have it checked out by one of the best inspectors available.
Why have a home inspection performed?
The unknown can be a source of anxiety for any home buyer or seller. A home inspection is for buyers or sellers who want to know more about major financial, health or safety issues that are discovered prior to the transfer of ownership. After deciding that a home is suitable in terms of location, size, interior layout and other lifestyle factors, it is very important to learn about the systems and components that pose a significant financial, health or safety exposure. As a buyer, don’t wait until after you move in to find significant concerns; as a seller, don’t wait for the buyer’s home inspection results and be under a time constraint to address issues you did not realize you had. Hire a well experienced/ trained Home Inspector.
Some questions answered during an inspection?
- Are there signs of structural problems?
- What is the condition of the roof? Are there signs of past or ongoing leaks?
- Is the chimney sound, safe and functional?
- Is the electrical panel properly wired; are there any special safety concerns?
- Do the observed insulation levels appear to be adequate?
- Are there safety concerns with the fireplace?
- What is the general condition of the exterior house envelope?
- What is the general condition of the interior?
- Crawl Space – moisture and/or structural problems?
- Foundation/Sub Floor and Floor Level?
- Is the insulation up to standard regulations?
Our custom inspection reports will identify the systems and components, their observed condition and what, if any, recommended corrective action (maintain, repair, replace, further evaluation) is advised.
How long does it take?
The time to perform a thorough Home Inspection and produce a comprehensive Report will vary according to the size, age and condition of the house. Other influential factors are the accessibility (or lack thereof) of the roof, and/ or crawl space, electrical and the hot water heater. For example, a 15 year old, 150 msg house man take about 3-4 hours to inspect and finish the written report.
It is important that you choose your inspection company carefully. There are government regulated bodies that oversee their qualified building memberships; Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) Licenses Building Practitioners (LBP) New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) New Zealand Institute of Building Inspectors (NZIBI) Membership requires passing strict qualification checks, vetting of client and business relationship references, professional Indemnity & public liability Insurance requirements, continued training and adherence to the strict Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.
If you choose an inspector who is not a member of one of these organizations, you run the risk of getting a less than adequate (or accurate) inspection report.
How much lead time is required to book an inspection?
Depending on the time of year, you should allow yourself at least 5 – 7 business days to be sure of arranging a time that works for everyone involved. Good inspectors are often booked out over a week. Don’t wait till the last minute to schedule your inspection.
The purchase of a home is one of the most exciting and important decisions you’ll make and you can’t afford to get it wrong or gamble on the outcome. So, before you buy your next house, call Dean Norrie at Savvy Houz Inspections to schedule your inspection.
All our House Inspectors are Experienced Builders with LBP Licenses - call today 021 143 2995
New Zealand Insulation Government Funding Programme. Click Here!
Funding for insulationEECA is offering Warmer Kiwi Homes grants for ceiling and underfloor insulation, and ground moisture barriers to make homes warmer, drier and healthier.
Warmer Kiwi HomesWarmer Kiwi Homes is a new four-year Government programme offering grants covering two-thirds of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation, as well as ground moisture barriers. Additional contributions from community organisations will make the cost to homeowners as low as possible in many areas.
Grants covering two thirds of the cost of heating appliances will be available from July 2019 (these grants will be capped). Please note, Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes grants for landlords came to their scheduled end on 30 June 2018.
Am I eligible for a Warmer Kiwi Homes grant?To be eligible for a grant you will need to:
- be the homeowner (owner-occupier) of a home built before 2008 AND
- have a Community Services Card or SuperGold combo card, OR
- own and be living in a home in an area identified as lower-income – contact one of the service providers listed below to find out if your address qualifies OR
- be referred by the Healthy Homes Initiative.
How to apply for a Warmer Kiwi Homes grantContact a service provider to confirm if you are eligible.
Be aware that funding is limited, and projects may not cover all regions or all areas within a region. Please check with the listed service providers to find out if they are operating in your area.
Demand for the programme is very high - please contact service providers in your region, but be aware some providers are booked well in advance.
There may be other payment options to help you pay off the rest of the cost - talk to a service provider to find out more.
Insulation service providers
1: Roof Cladding & Flashings
2: Roof Structure & Insulation
3: Foundation, Sub-floor, insulation & floor levels
ZIP LEVEL PRO-2000
The Zip Level Pro-2000 consists of a Base Unit that stores its hand held Measurement Module, 60m of interconnecting Cord, User Guide and all accessories. Accessories include, a rubber protective Boot for the Measurement Module, a Unipod for measuring without bending and a pair of stakes to secure the Base Unit on a hillside. The fully extended Unipod doubles as a 121.9cm vertical calibration standard for the system.
- Scales Inches, feet, meters and centimeters
- Resolution (Precision) Reads to 0.1”, 1/8”, 0.01’, 2mm; 0.01”, 0.001’, 0.2mm in HP Range Internal Precision is 0.05”; 0.005” in HP Range
- Temperature Range -30°C to +70°C Operating -40°C to +70°C Storage
- Drop Resistance Measurement Module: 1.5m onto concrete Base Unit: 1m onto concrete
- Water Resistance Rain tight; not immersible. Spray lightly to clean.
- 9V Alkaline Battery Life 1 year of typical daily use Auto shut-off after 4 minutes
- Memory Settings and 137 readings store indefinitely with or without battery
- Weight Measurement Module: 0.45kg Total Weight: 5.50kg; 3.65kg PRO-2000B
- Size Measurement Module: 9.5cm H x 12.1cm W x 4.5cm D Base Unit: 40.6cm H x 26.7cm W x 19.1cm D
4: Cladding, joinery & Flashings
6: Plumbing & Drainage
7: Hot Water Heating & Gas
Electrical polarity (positive and negative) is the direction of current flow in an electrical circuit. ... In the context of electricity installations, a polarity test is used to confirm the correct connection of the line and neutral conductors.
Power Point Tester
A handy low-cost unit that tests a power outlet for polarity, earth connection, incorrect wiring and tests earth leakage circuit breakers.
To use the unit, simply plug in and compare the neon lights on the front panel with the diagram on the front of the instrument. The Power Point Tester will also test the wiring on the power point.
To test an earth leakage circuit breaker, first check the wiring as above, then turn the rotary switch slowly through the range of mA settings. The RCD should trip before the maximum setting of 35mA is reached.
Power Point Tester Features
• Low cost for a big result
• Very simple and easy to use
• Rugged and compact design
• Identifies six wiring conditions
• Integral plug fits straight into the socket
• Push button RCD trip test
Compliance and Safety
Safety: Sealed unit, with 3 pin plug. No exposed test leads.
EMC: Meets EN55022, CE, C√
Test ConditionsCorrect, Active/Neutral Reverse Active/Earth Reverse, No Neutral
Live Earth, No Earth No Active
ELCB Test30mA Trip
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35mA
Quiescent Current1.75mAEach unit is supplied complete on a slide blister with instructions.
For More Information on this product: CLICK HERE
9: Internal Moisture Testing
T660 MATERIAL MOISTURE MEASURING DEVICE
The T660 is ideally suited for the quick, non-destructive determination of moisture distribution in near-surface areas to about 4 cm. Based on the T660's integrated material pre-selection function for anhydrite and cementitious screed the measurement results (indicative) can on demand be shown directly in mass % or CM % on the colour display of the T660. The integrated conversion of measured values is a practical tool, in particular for floor layers to quickly check the readiness for covering. In addition to the preliminary check of the building materials' readiness for covering for CM measurements the T660 is also suited for non-destructive wood moisture measurements according to the dielectric measurement method (indicative).
10: Landscaping, Driveway, Paths & Garage
11: Meth testing
Click here to download and read the Standard NZS8510.
If you suspect meth in your property, get a meth test, it’s cheaper than having to clean up contamination.
Standard NZS8510In June 2017, the voluntary standard NZS8510 was released referencing testing and decontamination standards for methamphetamine contaminated property in New Zealand.
- Property includes, but is not limited to, dwellings, garages, sheds, vehicles, boats, caravans, mobile homes, workplaces, hotels, motels and storage facilities.
- However, the limits in the standards are not applicable to personal possessions.
- People may experience adverse health effects from low levels of methamphetamine residue well below the levels referenced in the standard NZS8510.
- Children are at significantly higher risk than adults of experiencing symptoms from being in a property that has any level of methamphetamine residue.
- A property is considered contaminated if any high use individual area in the property has levels of methamphetamine more than 1.5µg/100cm2 following decontamination.
- A high use area is any area in a property that can be easily accessed and is regularly used by adults and children.
- The acceptable level of methamphetamine in limited use areas such as crawl spaces and wall cavities is 3.8µg/100cm2 following decontamination.
- Territorial Authorities and Councils use the levels in standard NZS8510, when it comes to determining whether levels of methamphetamine residues in property are problematic to the point where some degree of clean up and decontamination is required.
- To give legal effect to standard NZS8510, a Territorial Authority exercises powers under the Health Act. This allows the Territorial Authority to order cleansing of a meth-contaminated property and place requisitions onto the Land Information Memorandum (LIM). Auckland Council has advised once contamination is recorded on the LIM, a reference is updated to state that cleansing has occurred, however the record is not removed.
- If you wish to confirm standard NZS8510 applies to a specific property, we recommend you contact your local Council and seek advice from the Environmental Health Officer
- Guidelines around the world adopt a range of acceptable levels – 0.05 to 1.5 µg/100cm²
- Guideline levels should produce no adverse health effects for most people
12: Health & Safety at work ACT 2015 - Worksafe
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is New Zealand's workplace health and safety law. It came into effect on 4 April 2016.
In 2013 the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety reported that New Zealand's work health and safety system was failing.
As a result, New Zealand's work health and safety system underwent its most significant reforms for 20 years resulting in the establishment of WorkSafe New Zealand and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of many small fibres. These fibres are very strong and are highly resistant to heat, fire, chemicals and wear.
Past uses of asbestosIn the past, the special properties of asbestos made it popular for:
- asbestos-cement sheet cladding, roofing and drainage pipes
- backing material for floor tiles and vinyl sheets
- insulation board for thermal protection (eg, around fire places)
- textured ceilings and sprayed-on wall surfaces
- lagging for insulation around pipes, heaters and hot water cylinders
- vehicle brakes and clutches
- spouting and guttering components.
- oven gloves
- ironing board pads
- simmer mats for stoves
- fire blankets.
Kinds of asbestosThe most common types of asbestos fibre you are likely to find are:
- chrysotile (white)
- amosite (brown)
- crocidolite (blue).
It is now illegal to import these three types of asbestos in their raw fibrous states and any manufactured items that contain asbestos.
24: Fire Regulations New Zealand
One of the main goals of the Building Act is that people who use a building can escape from that building if it's on fire.
For this reason, the Act requires that Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) send certain building consent applications to Fire and Emergency New Zealand for comment.
The engineering unit of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand reviews these applications and provides a memorandum back to the BCA before any building consents are granted.
You can find more information about your obligations when building and designing for fire safety in our guide to owner responsibilities.
Building owners in New Zealand are obligated to take a number of fire safety precautions.
For more information, refer to the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006.
Fire fighting and smoke detectionSome form of fire detection and suppression system should be provided in all commercial premises.
We strongly recommended that first aid fire-fighting equipment, namely fire extinguishersand hose reels, be provided in all commercial premises.
Building occupants should be trained in how to operate this equipment correctly. It's important that all fire detection and suppression equipment is well maintained and clearly identified.
Providing an evacuation procedureOwners of buildings listed in schedule 1 of the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006 must follow fire safety precautions and have an evacuation procedure in place.
Tenants of the building are required to follow evacuation procedures in a fire emergency. Owners or tenants of certain buildings (described in paragraphs (d), (e), (j), (m), or (n) of Schedule 1) must have employees trained to assist occupants to evacuate.
In addition to meeting part 1 of the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006, the owners of some buildings that meet certain conditions must have an evacuation scheme approved by Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Owners of these buildings must maintain their approved evacuation scheme by carrying our regular trial evacuations or implementing a training programme. You can find more information in our guide to evacuation schemes or on the online evacuation scheme website.
Maintaining a means of escapeBuilding owners must maintain the means of escape from fire for the building. This means:
- Exits must be kept clear of obstacles at all times.
- Exit doors must not be locked, barred, or blocked.
- Smoke-control and fire-stop doors must not be kept open (unless done so in a way that complies with the building code).
- Stairwells and passageways must not be used for storage or accumulation of waste.
Taking care of appliancesBoth building owners and building occupants must take responsibility for ensuring any electrical equipment or appliances are in good condition. This includes:
- Electrical wiring, equipment, and appliances
- Gas reticulation systems, equipment, and appliances
- Equipment and appliances fuelled by flammable liquids (e.g. kerosene)
- Fires must not be lit in a building other than in a compliant fireplace or in a properly maintained appliance.
- Appliances that give off open flames, or which are fuelled by a flammable liquid or gas, must not be used in a building unless properly constructed, secured and protected.
- Chimneys must not be used for a smithy, furnace, foundry or similar unless the chimney is compliant and properly constructed for that purpose.
- Clear all stock away from escape routes.
- Keep stock well away from any heat source.
- Do not stack stock or rubbish so high that it obstructs equipment such as sprinklers or fire detection systems.
- Locate rubbish bins away from buildings, e.g. at the rear of a car park.
- Clearly label containers for waste and hazardous substances like flammable liquids, paint rags or oily rags.
- Ensure all electrical appliances, leads and power sources are fit for purpose and regularly tested.
For businesses, please view our commercial advice on fire extinguishers.
Using a fire extinguisher
Only use a fire extinguishers when:
· It's safe to do so considering the size and location of the fire (your extinguisher will only last 10-15 seconds once started).
· You're confident you understand how to use the extinguisher correctly.
· Everyone has been evacuated and accounted for at your safe meeting place.
· Fire and Emergency New Zealand has been called.
· You can safely access and retreat from the fire.
Remember, life is more important than property. Don't put yourself or others at risk.
Operating a fire extinguisher
When operating a fire extinguisher, use the 'PTASS' technique:
· Pull the safety pin or remove the clip.
· Test squirt the extinguisher to make sure it is working.
· Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire from a safe distance. Most extinguishers are designed to be operated from about 2 - 3 metres away.
· Squeeze the handles.
· Sweep the extinguisher from side to side while aiming at the base of the fire.
Installing a fire extinguisher
You should mount fire extinguishers on the wall, out of reach of children.
Place fire extinguishers in noticeable places where they can be accessed safely, such as:
· In or near the kitchen – not too close to the stove or cooking surfaces
· In the garage
· In cars, caravans and boats
Types of fire extinguisher
There are many different types of fire extinguishers:
· Wet chemical
· Dry powder
· Carbon dioxide
· Specialised materials for Class D fires
The type of fire extinguisher you need depends on the class of fire you're most likely to experience.
There are 6 classes of fire:
· Class A (Wood paper plastics)
· Class B (Flammable & combustible liquids)
· Class C (Flammable gases)
· Class D (Fires involving combustible metals)
· Class E (Electrically energised equipment)
· Class F (Cooking oils and fats)
Choosing a fire extinguisher
The most likely type of fire to occur in your home is a cooking oil or fat fire in the kitchen. So if you're buying your first fire extinguisher, you should choose one for the kitchen that is capable of extinguishing Class F fires.
A Wet Chemical extinguisher is best for extinguishing cooking oil and fat fires. This type of extinguisher can also be used on most other classes of fire in the home. However, don't use wet chemical extinguishers on fires with a live electrical source.
While an ABE Dry Powder extinguisher is suitable for other types of fire in your home, you should never use it on a cooking oil or fat fire as the pressure from a dry powder extinguisher will cause the fire to spread.
Ideally, you should protect your home against the widest range of fire hazards with both an ABE Dry Powder extinguisher and a Wet Chemical extinguisher.
Working smoke alarms are your only voice. Find out why it's important to make sure you have long-life photoelectric type smoke alarms installed in your home.
Creating an escape plan
In a fire, you'll only have 1 or 2 minutes to escape your house. That's why it's essential to have an escape plan in place and to practice it regularly.