Why I need a registered builder for an inspection?

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Melbourne, then investing in a pre-purchase or pre-sale property inspection is essential. A quality building or property inspection will help you identify any building defects, essential repairs, building code violations, ongoing maintenance costs and other potential issues before you buy.

While a building may look great on the surface, it takes an experienced eye to see behind the facade and determine the actual structural integrity of the property. Some hastily applied plaster and a new coat of paint could be hiding serious structural concerns.

A property inspection could save you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and maintenance costs down the road and can also help to strengthen your negotiating position.

When it comes to choosing a building inspector, it’s important to make sure you choose a registered builder.

What is a register builder?

In Victoria, a registered builder is licensed by the Victorian Building Authority to:

  • Perform domestic building work that costs more than $10,000
  • Carry out re-blocking, re-stumping, demolition work or removal of a home
  • Provide more than one type of building work (such as plastering and painting) that costs more than $10,000

A registered builder must be a qualified trades person or have a higher education qualification in building and construction. They need a minimum of three years’ experience working with a registered builder to get experience in all aspects of building work, in particular in the area of registration they are seeking. They also require experience as a project supervisor or site foreman and must have completed a Certificate IV in Building and Construction. They must then submit an application with the Victorian Building Authority, complete a test and sit an interview.

Why choose a registered builder?

There is no specific regulation requiring a registered builder to carry out a pre-purchase building inspection.That said, you should always look for a registered builder for any building inspection for a number of reasons.

A registered builder has extensive documented experience across all areas of construction and a thorough knowledge of Australian Building Standards and Codes. They will be able to tell you whether your property currently meets all applicable Building Standards and Codes, as well as outlining what repairs are required to bring the property up to code. Essentially, a registered builder is bringing hands-on building and construction experience to your property inspection.

Because of their extensive experience across a range of trades and building work, they will also be able provide cost and time estimates for any necessary repair works they discover.

Registered builders will also be able to assess the quality of any repair or renovation work to determine whether it meets building standards or has been done on the cheap or to cover up a more serious issue.

It’s also worth noting that prices for pre-purchase building inspections are pretty standard (usually between $400 and $600), and this cost shouldn’t change much whether you hire a registered builder or not. That means there’s not cost benefit to not hiring a registered builder.

Fully understanding the condition of any property before buying is essential to ensure you get the best price and you understand what repair and maintenance costs you’re looking at down the road. To find a registered builder you can trust, visit the Victorian Building Authority website today.