Progress building inspections are an essential part of the building process. These inspections ensure that the construction of your home is being done safely, to the required standard, and can help identify potential issues before they become major problems.
So, what are the types of progress building inspections and what occurs at each milestone?
What is a slab inspection?
A slab inspection occurs once your slab has been laid on your new home. It reviews the slab integrity and checks everything matches the floor plans and engineers’ drawings. Things like slab levels, dimensions and thickness are checked along with plumbing and electrical pre-lay.
The importance of this inspection can sometimes be overlooked, but imagine finding out at bathroom fitting time that your waste pipe is in the wrong spot!
What is a plate height inspection?
A plate height inspection is conducted once brickwork is completed on the relevant levels slab. You can have a plate inspection for the ground floor, first floor, third floor and so on. It’s a visual inspection of workmanship and checks room measurements and opening placements against construction drawings.
There is a large list of items checked at this point but briefly, your inspector will check that walls, windows and door frames are in the right spot and make sure rooms are the correct size. They also check for holding straps and tie-down points which are important for the next step of construction; the roof frame.
What is a roof frame inspection?
A roof frame inspection occurs when the roof timbers or frame has been installed. It checks that the roof frame is installed as per plan and is to code, with no sagging or distortion, and the correct bracing materials have been used.
Inspectors see some doozies at roof frame inspections. If you follow Home Integrity Building Consultants on Instagram you’ve probably seen a few of them.
Among other things, this inspection checks the correct hold-down straps and tie-down points have been installed and fixed to the roof frame. This is important as you don’t want your roof lifting in bad winds.
What is a suspended slab inspection?
A suspended slab inspection occurs for additional levels. It follows similar principles to a slab inspection but includes structural beam locations and air conditioning penetrations. So, if you’re building a two-storey home, you require a suspended slab inspection for the second floor.
What is a handover or practical completion inspection?
Practical Completion (PC) occurs once the home reaches its intended use, i.e. habitation. This is also the milestone linked to the final payment and key handover.
A Practical Completion Inspection (PCI), or Handover Inspection, occurs just before the actual handover. It is your last chance to ensure everything is up to standard before the builder “hands over” the project.
A PCI is an extensive inspection of the completed project. It covers all areas of the home including the interior, exterior, roof void and completed roof cover. All electrical and plumbing will be checked, as will cabinetry, tiling, doors/finish carpentry, painting and all other finishes/workmanship. It also goes as far as to inspect the final clean for paint splatter, blocked drains etc.
A comprehensive list of areas needing attendance are itemised in a report and handed to you and the builder.
The builder can fix or return comments before you make your final payment. Your building inspector should be a registered builder and therefore able to advocate for you if there’s a dispute on any defects.
Building a home can be a stressful process, especially for first-home builders who may not be familiar with the construction process. Progress building inspections can provide peace of mind by ensuring that the construction of your home is being done safely and to the required standard. This can help you feel more confident in the construction process and reduce the stress and anxiety that can come with building a home.
If you’re building in Perth, Western Australia, be sure to include progress building inspections in your construction plan.
Home Integrity Inspectors are all registered builders who know how to communicate issues with your builder without getting them offside. They will help them pick up defects early and rectify them before it’s too far into the build. With inspections starting at $445 it really is worth it.
About the Contributor/Author: