Building inspections question

We are currently building a small investment property (from new) and about to have our first inspection.

The builder said that we need to come over and look at each room and identify any problems before final handover.

Friends have suggested we get a building inspector to go through it.

Which we would do anyway....

The question is, can I use any qualified painter to provide me with advice on the quality of the painting (if it is to building standards) or should the building inspector do that.  My understanding is that the building inspector primarily looks at the structural integrity etc of things and not "visible brush strokes on the doors" or "sand/dust specks on the painted doors" for example.  

Electrician to check that the wiring is done to spec. 


Has anyone had any experiences or offer any advice with this.


Yeah we have handed over big bucks to get this completed, but I don't want to be so pedantic that I am picking up things with my microscope and magnifying glass if you know what I mean.




Posts: 1164

Date Joined: 10/06/09

a building inspector will

Fri, 2017-09-22 17:25

a building inspector will inspect and report on any thing that concerns you

make a list mark with coloured sticky tags number them put on your list this can take a few hours

as for quality of work if its a house build say from zorzi or some high spec builder

the draftperson archictect will specify the standard in the contract or on the plans ect

on a project home they seem top have the fit for purpose mindset

so you get what you pay for this however doesent mean you should put up with substandard work

in regards to painting the prb and when i did my rego they  prefer glossed doors to be layed off with a brush same with ceilings so yes you may have some brush marks this is perfectly acceptable

you about to do a pci prctical inspection inspection

dont feel pressured to sighn off if there are many items to be rectifyed as from experiance most the project builders

seem to take a long time to make these repairs happen



getting the bottom line final answer from a bunch of blokes that use false names and put smiley faces at the end of paragraphs is not the best place in the world to get the information you seek.

Posts: 579

Date Joined: 02/01/11

 Yes, the painting was done

Fri, 2017-09-22 19:40

 Yes, the painting was done using spray gun not brushes.  The contract does not stipulate how it's painted.  So that is the problem.  Only to minimum building standards.  The building standards don't stipulate it must be brush painted, or two coats over the ceiling, etc. 

We have been lucky up until last week to walk in whilst builders were there and we have noticed some stuff which from a distance you notice but up close not and vice versa.  Will it be unreasonable of me to "magnifying glass" my pci, because the standoff will be ........  I notice those brush marks ....supervisor says that's perfectly acceptable.  Then who is right....the one handing over 500k or the one receiving the 500k?  (For example).  


Do building inspectors go in unsupervised or do they go in with the building supervisor or me.

Posts: 621

Date Joined: 25/05/12

 I don't know about painting

Sat, 2017-09-23 06:33

 I don't know about painting but the for inspection of plasterboard defects for instance is 

Standard level 4 finish is 1m away from the wall looking with natural light - no defects it's accepted

I am sure painting would be similar, you can look up the standard online somewhere on how a painted wall is expected to look and the way to inspection it 


duncan61's picture

Posts: 320

Date Joined: 21/11/14

punch list

Fri, 2017-09-22 17:45

 Its called a punch list.All you need to do is comment on any obvious problems.I am a plumbing contractor and the way all work is done by Plumbers and Electricians is we sign documentation to declare that all work is done correctly.You will receive a copy of this at handover.To bring a building inspector and any other trades to double check is insulting and a waste of everyones time and energy assuming you could find people to do it.Its a building not a second hand car.You have the right to be fussy and get what you paid for however I would suggest being reasonable.


just do it.

Posts: 579

Date Joined: 02/01/11

 All good points Duncan,

Fri, 2017-09-22 19:30

 All good points Duncan, however if for example the plan states cold water connected and crimped to the shed, and the plumber crimps it 4m from the shed. Do I lay over and let him scratch my belly or do I "Fk" him and demand what was paid for or more like what he charged for.  Because I would bet he charged for it to go to the shed and not 4m short.  And I'm sure the builder would have signed off on that.

So if the outdoor tap is very loose because the goose drilled a hole too wide, do I lay over or do I get it fixed.  Am I being unreasonable?  Because I would bet the building supervisor would say that is to spec....but is he telling the truth?

if it's not my profession then how would I know they have done a reasonable job and to what is written.

 It's business not warm and fuzzy.



Alan James's picture

Posts: 1839

Date Joined: 30/06/09

Practical Completion Inspection (PCI)

Fri, 2017-09-22 20:06

I suggest you google the above and inform yourself if you are not already familiar with the process.  As duncan61 has said within the construction industry it can also be referred to as a 'punch list'.  This inspection is important and in the event you have no great knowledge of the construction industry or acceptable standards of workmanship I would recommed you engage the services of a third party inspection company.  The google exercise will have ads from companies that can provide you with the expertise you seek.




Vinesh87's picture

Posts: 2750

Date Joined: 02/04/11

100% get a inspector.

Fri, 2017-09-22 20:20

100% get a inspector. builders are getting too dodgy these days. even if your not gonna get it inspected tell them you are at the start. I think its about 1400 for 4 inspections!

Posts: 4860

Date Joined: 17/06/10

Building inspector, building standards

Fri, 2017-09-22 20:27

The thing is are you ready to accept the building inspectors judgement, by that I mean if he says that the object/thing he is inspecting is compliant with the specifications of the contract, are you ready to accept his judgement.
The houses I have had built for me the contract usually stated that such and such will be constructed in accordance with Australian Standard blah blah blah.

That is the minimum standard that the whatever must be built to if you get a building inspector he should be able to show you the specification for the painting of the ceiling doors etc. and he will have the tools to demonstrate (if required ) that is exactly so. Or you take his word.

Tim's picture

Posts: 2261

Date Joined: 26/09/06


Fri, 2017-09-22 20:28

If you get a building inspector just check their qualifications and find out why they think they are the expert.

Building inspectors dont require any training and anyone can start a business and start inspecting homes.

There are some good ones out there though


duncan61's picture

Posts: 320

Date Joined: 21/11/14

good response

Fri, 2017-09-22 21:17

 Good response Micheal that is exactly what the punch list is for.You point it out and an order will be generated that will include tap to be in correct position and fixed correctly then that has to be done before hand over.You have been requested to do a walk through before final so these things can and will be addressed so you can take possession of the property on time its the inference that trades people are trying to scam you I found insulting but thats my problem.Last week I did the walk through on a renovation because the builder had become frustrated with the client over a parapet wall that was not flashed correctly which I made good myself to resolve the issue which is done.We have just had enough rain to test it and the rain is now going in the gutter not the block next door.You asked for advice and I feel I am helping.You dont ever have to accept substandard work and have the right to complain.The builder will not get the final payment till you take the keys and its the bulk of the profit so the builder needs to rectify any problems pronto.I dont recall scratching anyones belly sounds like fun but.LOL


just do it.

Posts: 579

Date Joined: 02/01/11

Thanks heaps for all the

Fri, 2017-09-22 22:15

Thanks heaps for all the feedback, during this time I have been reading over the contract and much of the specifics is generic. 

Can I have multiple punch list visits ? because what if I am blind sighted the first time as it looks all nice and pretty, but on the second visit I find somehting not quite right (to my liking). 


I am finding difficult to fathom that I have to accept that am the one paying all the dollars and the one being shafted, for being pedantic.


Accepting the inpectors decision is why they get paid.  However, its difficult to find the specifics to these items.  For example what are the building standards with respect to the thickness of the float and plaster on the internal walls.  The contract only states to building standards.  Does the building standard say (for example 10mm float, 3mm plaster)

Looks like more money spent on inspector to get it right.


Will speak to MBA on Tuesday for an appt.


duncan61's picture

Posts: 320

Date Joined: 21/11/14

 I am aware your position on

Fri, 2017-09-22 22:45

 I am aware your position on render thickness is an example however it is only put on the wall to make it smooth for painting and looks.If it is too thin it is hard to work flat and if it is too thick it will peel off.Drying time has to be consistent as well.This is a good example of going over the top,There is no set size however in my experience of cutting it off the wall to fit fixtures it is normally between 5-6 mill for the render and the set would be less than a mill as it absorbs into the render a few mill.How can you tell by looking at it?If it looks good and stays stuck to the wall its good.Its a thin line between being difficult and being reasonable.Our last client was difficult because it was her first time doing a renovation of this size and she lost faith.As a contractor our only defence is to not complete the project and send all your crew to other projects untill its resolved.This is why a detailed punch list is created so all details are systematicly addressed and everyone wins.Hope this helps


just do it.

Posts: 621

Date Joined: 25/05/12

 If its a project home I

Sat, 2017-09-23 06:10

 If its a project home I guarantee you will have more defects in 6months to a year after your may get cracking in walls and internal and externals of the cornices from movement, cupboard doors, tap fittings, electrical fittings may start coming loose  ect ect.

Most these things will be minor to repair so I wouldn't worry too much..

if it's an investment property your tenants will probably do more damage still.

Depending on the builders attitude I would just get an inspection done to pick up any major problems and expect to fix the minor problems myself as it's hard to get someone back to fix minor issues and they will generally(not everyone)do a half assed job at that. 


Posts: 4860

Date Joined: 17/06/10

I think duncan61 is right on the money

Sat, 2017-09-23 16:54

May I suggest you read his advice again and think careful about what he is telling you, you are getting a bit wound up (I don't mean any disrespect) and you will end up with an ulcer if not careful.

After a death, or a divorce, getting a house built is one of the most stressful things in your life.

What gyprock101 has said is so very true, after 6 months or so you will see all sorts of things becoming apparent with the building that is why you get a 12 month (I think it is 12 months) warranty period where you write down all those things that become apparent and advise the builder of them before the 12 month period is up and they come out and fix them up .
All to easy

duncan61's picture

Posts: 320

Date Joined: 21/11/14


Sat, 2017-09-23 18:46

 All major construction projects have a 12 month clause and the builder and major contractors will have 5-10% of there money held till the maintenance period expires.It works great because you allow for it in your quote and you know that some time later you will receive a lump sum payment and all your accounts are normally cleared and its a nice sweetener.Have some faith in the tradesmen that have built your house the dodgy ones do not last long.Your main concern will be the tenants that live there.In 5 years time you will no longer have a new house and it will need new carpets and painting


just do it.