Brooks Reach Building adventure

Come with us now on a tale of the mighty house building.

Organising a private site inspector for your build

When building a home there is SO much to think and agonise about. It’s not just the colours and bench top but also the layout of each room, where power points should go, lighting, heating/cooling and of course how the home will look on the outside!

As our build slowly progresses it’ll soon be time to engage an Independent Inspector (or Private Inspector as we like to call him.. a PI!!) Is it important to have a PI? Yes. Though you want to trust your builder and assume everything is up to code, a lot of the time it’s not. From my research I’ve found that generally there are issues with EVERY build, though the severity of these issues varies greatly. Hiring a private inspector is a small price to pay upfront and could save you from major issues years later. I’ve heard it described this way “You pay for inspections when buying a car or an existing property, why would you not have an inspection during your build?!” If you browse the Homeone forum for terms like ‘Independent Inspector’ or ‘Private Certifier’ you’ll see further discussions about the benefits of hiring a PI.

I started my research by reading through many many many posts on Homeone and even posted about it in the Brooks Reach thread but wasn’t having a whole lot of luck. So, I hit the phonebook *gasp* well ok so I browsed the phonebook online and a bunch of other building directories. This is the list I came up with for businesses in/serving the Illawarra:

  1. Jim’s building Inspections  www.jimsbuildinginspections.com.au/new_constructions-renovations-and-extensions-inspections
  2. Hnk Ryan www.hnkryan.com/report.html
  3. Houspect www.houspect.com.au/construction … ?state=nsw
  4. Safe House www.safehouseconsultants.net/index.html
  5. Restwell Property Inspections www.restwellpropertyinspections. … bout.shtml
  6. IBC www.illawarracertifiers.com.au/services.html

Hubby and I began contacting them and sending through a copy of our plans. The general quotes and information we received are below.

Jim’s Building Inspections:

  • frame – 330
  • preplaster – 330
  • final – 440

Ben who looks after the South Coast area for Jim’s recommended we only need the final two

Total: $770 (of 2)
Total: $1100 (of 3)

“An independent building inspection can be very beneficial in picking up poor or inadequate workmanship and items missed or defects. Although I would suggest that only 2 & 3 need doing as the frames can be seen at the pre plaster inspection.”

HnK Ryan:

Preplaster/Lockup – 595
Completion – 595
Total: $1190

They said they’d need the address, the site supervisors phone number and our contact number if we were happy to proceed. Once they have access they will call for our Credit Card details.

Houspect:
frame – 350
lockup – 350
prehandover- 795
10% discount if all 3
Total: $1345.5 (with discount)

Pre-handover stage – $795 (this is a very detailed inspection of all final finishes and takes more time than earlier inspections, and can be used for defects and Builders Warranty claims).

These rates are GST inclusive and include inspector travel time, inspection time on site, photos and report compilation.

“We would be pleased to offer you a 10% discount if you choose to purchase all 3 stages with payment upfront of $1,345.50. If you choose to have us inspect all 3 stages of your build, we can have the same inspector look after all the stages of your project. This will assist with communication and the inspector’s understanding of how your build is progressing.
Houspect uses fully licensed builders with a minimum of 15 years experience to do all of our inspection work.
Houspect Inspection services cover construction standards and conformance related to Australian Building Code standards and actual on-site construction and workmanship.

Please note Individual inspections are booked at the completion of each construction stage, and paid before we can issue the report to you as per our standard terms and conditions. In terms of the timeframes for the inspections, we ask for at least 2 weeks notice as this will provide us enough time to speak to your builder and coordinate the inspection, and to schedule our inspector. We also need your builder or site manager to provide us with access to the site for each inspection.”

Safe House:
Frame – 300
final – 600
Total: $900

“Depending on the supervisor and the quality of the construction the first inspection at frame stage I would budget for $300 (Frame can be done before plastering after the brick work is my understanding), and the final report before the handover period I would Budget for $600. It may be less if few defects . High cost of final is due to the detail required stating what is the defect, how it should have been done and the recommended fixing method.”

We did not hear back from the other companies at the time of writing this post.

We have decided to go with HnK Ryan; They were first to respond, quotes were true to their website, they had an actual website and many people on Homeone recommend them. The special bonus? You get a discount if you’re a Homeone member… So it’s actually cheaper for us than the above quoted price.

I hope you’ve found this information useful. It’s important that you go with someone you feel comfortable with. Ask to see sample reports and how many building inspections they’ve done in the local area. Though it is a small amount to pay in comparison to the total house, you still want to ensure it’s worthwhile.

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