Real estate lore often features tales of unwary city inspectors making surprise inspections in condos and co-ops without prior notification, often at great inconvenience to tenants and residents alike. Yet such inspections are vitally important for building safety and efficiency.
Building inspectors Melbourne ensure that construction projects adhere to local codes and requirements as outlined in zoning ordinances, while also identifying violations in order to inform contractors, architects, engineers, property owners, etc. about them.
The Inspection Process
Inspections involve conducting detailed assessments on materials, equipment and systems to ensure they comply with standards. Inspections may involve formal evaluations or informal examination exercises conducted periodically as part of preventive maintenance or hazard control programs.
Home buyers could, for instance, include an inspection as part of their contract contingency period in order to reopen negotiations if major defects such as termite damage or plumbing issues surface in the house.
At work, multiple inspection teams may be in place to evaluate all areas. These could include engineers, maintenance personnel, occupational hygienists, health and safety professionals or supervisors. Teams can be assigned to specific areas or use a rotation schedule; inspections must be thorough and methodical – no quick once-over light approach as this may miss hazards; clearly describe and record findings in notes so they can easily be referenced later.
The First Inspection
Building inspection is typically thought of in terms of its first phase: when an inspector examines a structure to ensure compliance with local codes and regulations prior to sale or rental.
Building inspectors assess more than just walls when inspecting structures; they also inspect outdoor handrails, parking lots, landscaping features and handrails to fully evaluate exterior health of a structure. Roofers or construction experts may often be brought in for consultation in order to fully evaluate exterior health of a structure.
Benchmarking (which involves calculations and observations rather than testing), property registration documents, facade condition assessment and sprinkler/standpipe status assessments could all be needed depending on your building requirements. Some inspections, like Local Law 11 which requires that buildings taller than six stories be inspected every five years must also be undertaken voluntarily but in either case should be completed in an effective time frame.
The Second Inspection
Inspectors often need time to fully inspect a property, from inspecting foundations to checking caulking and paint coverage on walls and inspecting grounds for sloped ground away from structures. Inspectors also make sure wiring complies with regulations as well as testing outlets to assess functionality.
Inspectors should be willing to adjust their schedule if you request a second inspection at an inconvenient time for you, though doing so could alter their plans for the rest of the day. It’s important to keep this in mind as this decision could have lasting implications on both of their schedules.
Some inspectors, like InterNACHI founder Nick Gromicko, advise against informing their client that another buyer has interest in purchasing the property; doing so could give too much information away and give an advantage to one party over the other. It could also reveal personal information that violates ethical codes but that decision lies solely with you – whether or not to divulge this information is up to you!
The Third Inspection
There are plenty of horror stories abounding about city inspectors launching unannounced inspections without notice on property owners, yet these inspections are necessary in order to ensure buildings comply with codes and protect tenants and workers alike.
Building inspectors scrutinize a wide variety of documents during an inspection process, such as appraisals, building plans, citations, certificates of occupancy and fire safety records. They also examine specialized equipment like elevators, backflow valves, petroleum bulk storage units property registration documents and facade condition.
Large homes take longer to inspect than smaller ones, particularly with additional structures like in-law suites and pools adding time. An older house also takes more time than its younger counterpart to fully examine all its major systems – an average single family house inspection takes approximately three hours on average to complete.