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Due Diligence when Buying a Property

Whenever you are buying a new property, there is a possibility that you could get caught up in the excitement and simply make an offer. Before you do that, however, you need to ensure that you have professional building inspections conducted.

By skipping this simple step, you could be letting yourself in for a world of heartache down the road. Here’s all you need to know about building inspections.

Choosing the Right Company

Of course, a building inspection is really only as good as the building inspector who conducts it. Make sure to choose a reputable company with properly experienced inspectors who have access to up to date technology.

It is a good idea to get referrals from friends or to check online for potential candidates. Take a good look at the company’s website – a good service provider will explain exactly what they will do and what they will look for.

When to Get the Inspectors in

You are generally allowed a cooling off period after you make an offer to purchase a property. This is the ideal period in which to get the inspectors to visit the property. Alternatively, you could make an offer subject to a satisfactory building inspection being conducted.

Should a problem be found, you will then be able to back out of the deal legally.

The seller may also have had a building inspection conducted before putting the property on the market. Nevertheless, you will have to decide whether or not you can trust the strength of that document. You should consider having your own inspection conducted in spite of this, especially if you have any doubts.

Analyse the Report Thoroughly

The inspection is usually conducted quite quickly and you will be issued with a thorough report within a day or so.

The report will cover several aspects from the soundness of the property as a whole right down to areas of concern. They will check for structural defects, moisture, lack of ventilation, termite infestations and shoddy workmanship.

No property will be completely perfect but the inspector will be able to give you an idea of not only how serious the problems are but also how extensive repairs would have to be.

With this information in hand, you will be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not the property is good value for money and whether you are taking over someone else’s problems.

Information about Water Tanks

Water tanks, or rainwater tanks, are great ways to conserve water. Thanks to the growing popularity of conserving as many natural resources as possible, more people are using water tanks than ever. Whether you’re building a new home and want it to have a water tank, or if you’d like to add a water tank to an existing house, certain rules and regulations apply. Learn more about them below.

Water Tanks and New Homes

Rules and regulations exist about water tanks in Queensland primarily to ensure that neighbours are kept happy. When building a new home, it is important to produce clearly defined plans regarding the water tank that you plan to include. Building inspectors will include such structures during their inspections, so it pays to have them built right the first time. The Queensland Development Code has regulations about how water tanks are built and where they are located.

Water Tanks and Existing Homes

Adding a water tank to an existing home isn’t terribly difficult. In fact, building approval may be not be required at all. If the following criteria are met, you shouldn’t need approval. Of course, you can always double-check with a pest inspection firm in Brisbane to make sure.

You shouldn’t need approval for your existing home’s new water tank if:

  • it is less than 2.4 metres tall, including stand
  • it is located at least 450 millimetres away from all property boundaries
  • if submerged, it doesn’t extend more than one metre into the ground
  • the sides of the tank measure five metres long or less
  • if attached to a building, it’s at least 900 millimetres away from any other building on the property

If your tank goes against any of these points, you will have to submit a building application and have it appraised by a building certifier. An architect or draftsman will need to produce detailed, scaled plans that will have to be passed along to the certifier in order to proceed.

It is also important to note that special considerations must be made for tanks that are taller than 2.4 metres and/or whose footprints are greater than ten metres squared. In that case, you need to check with the Council to find out whether or not you need to submit a building application.

Water tanks are great ways to help conserve and protect the environment. By making sure that your tank meets all of your neighbourhood and city’s local regulations, you can enjoy it as long as you’d like. Better still, you can avoid inadvertently upsetting your neighbours. Ultimately, your rainwater tank should serve you very well and help you do your own small part to save the planet and conserve its resources.

Know the Facts Before Building a Shed

Sheds can come in handy in a number of ways. Most people use sheds to store tools and other outdoor items. That way, their yards aren’t littered with unsightly things. A shed can help you stay a lot more organised and can keep your property looking neat and tidy. If you’ve been thinking about building a shed, though, you should familiarise yourself with some basics about building approvals and planning approvals first.

When buying a new home, your Brisbane building inspection should ensure that any sheds that are on the property are up to code. Indeed, it is well worth your while to have Brisbane building inspectors look your shed over, to ensure that it’s not at odds with local ordinances – and that it’s structurally sound. While an inspector can double-check everything for you, it never hurts to have a basic understanding about what the law has to say. Below, you’ll find basic information about building approvals and planning approvals.

Building Approvals

You don’t always need a building approval in order to build a shed. If your shed meets the following criteria, you should be good to go:

– It is no more than 5 metres in length
– It has an area that’s no greater than 10 square metres
– It is no more than 2.4 metres high, with an average mean height of no more than 2.1 metres

Keep in mind that all of the preceding points must be met in order to proceed without a building approval.

You may be wondering what a building approval entails. Basically, it is used to confirm that a shed is structurally sound. If a building approval is needed, a building certifier will examine your shed and assess its structural integrity based on the Building Code of Australia.

Planning Approvals

There are a few more gray areas involved when it comes to planning approvals. For the most part, a planning approval is conducted by the city council and is based on the City Plan. It is used to ensure that a structure fits in well with the locality and that it doesn’t offend or bother your neighbours.

Several things can affect whether or not you will need a planning approval:

– If your property is or isn’t included in a Demolition Control Precinct, or DCP
– The precise location of your property
– If your property is or isn’t exempt from City Plan regulations
– If your property is on a small lot

Since you’d probably like to stay on a positive note with your neighbours, it’s smart to make sure that your shed won’t run afoul of any local codes or ordinances. Better still, let your neighbours know about your planned shed and see what they think.

Steel Vs Timber Framed Homes

The construction of a building, whether for residential or commercial use, requires careful planning and execution and the right choice of materials. For making frames in the structure, the options that are available include mainly timber and steel. To choose timber or steel frames for construction, you need to know about the pros and cons of these materials. Brisbane building inspection identifies significant problems or defects related to the use of these materials to make sure that the structure is protected from damages such as rusting, decay and pest damage.

When choosing between the frames of steel or timber for home structure, there are several considerations taken into account. These concerns involve many factors including the location of the home, exposure to certain environmental and climatic conditions, and the budget.

Steel structure is ideal for places where there is high level of humidity. Steel frames can withstand moisture and are more durable than the timber frames. These are also a cheaper option as compared to timber frames. Unlike timber, steel does not expand and contract when exposed to different amounts of moisture in the air. A steel frame has no possibility of deformation, reduction, splitting or twisting due to moisture. Steel structure is completely free of chemicals.

Timber structure is by far the easiest material to build houses in Australia. It can be used near the coast. The costs and limitations of classic timber frames and building materials restrict attractive designs for new homes.

When building a new house, an addition to the structure, the completion of extensive renovation, or simply to find out more about how a home is constructed, some basic knowledge about the construction procedure and materials used is necessary. Construction inspections are especially important for potential home buyers. A pre purchase inspection of a property makes a visual assessment of the current state of the property and notes any defects in construction that require immediate correction. The building inspector must be approved by the building control authority. These authorities sustain building inspection standards. Brisbane building inspectors are responsible to the authority issuing the license for the quality of services.

The Best Tip when Choosing a House

Home building and pest inspections involve having a professional come in to evaluate the structural stability of the home and highlight any possible problem areas. They will also check for signs of pest infestations.

They are very thorough and will check the roofing, electrical systems, ventilation systems, structural safety and all aspects of the interior and exterior of the building.

Before Signing on the Dotted Line

If you are buying a home, a pre-purchase inspection is vital to ensure that you don’t end up with nasty surprises after you move in. Structural problems, amongst others, can be quite costly to fix and quite difficult to detect if you don’t know what to look for.

That’s where the experts come in – For reliable pest inspection and also building inspections, there really is only one choice – Brisbane Building and Pest Inspection Services.

Someone Unbiased

What you need is someone who is completely independent of both the buyer and seller who can give you an honest evaluation of the house. They have no vested interest in the sale going through and so will be able to give you their honest opinion.

Brisbane Building and Pest Inspection Services have built their business on honesty and combine their wealth of experience with the latest in building inspection technology to ensure that your potential purchase is thoroughly vetted.

Prevent your Dream Home Becoming a Nightmare

Unfortunately, there are some dishonest people out there – ready to slap on a couple of coats of paint to disguise cracks in the wall, etc. Other home owners unwittingly sell structurally damaged homes because they also don’t know where to look for signs of damage.

To avoid being roped into a purchase by either someone dishonest or someone who just doesn’t know any better, you need to have a building and pest inspection conducted before you agree to the selling price. This is the only way to make sure that your new home is structurally sound and pest free.

What if They Find Something?

You will receive a comprehensive report from the inspector detailing any problems that they may find. They will also usually give advice on what repairs should be effected. They will also give advice of problem areas in terms of pests.

They will also give you a rough idea of the cost of repairs, allowing you to decide whether or not the purchase price is a good deal or not. You may even decide that there is too much work to do and so decline to make an offer.

If, however, you are still willing to look into buying the house, you can always make a lower offer that takes into account the necessary repairs. At the end of the day, building inspections will actually save you time and money.

Understanding the Law About Retaining Walls

Any time you have to significantly alter the level of the ground around your home, a retaining wall must be constructed. Otherwise, the ground and soil can become unstable and serious erosion can occur. Building inspections can make sure that your property is in good shape, and that its retaining walls obey all of the local ordinances. However, it helps to have an idea about such rules and regulations yourself; learn more about them below.

Who’s Responsibility Is It?

Unfortunately, retaining walls aren’t always needed on just a single property. From time to time, the situation requires that a retaining wall be built between two different properties. In such a scenario, who is responsible for having it built? This must be decided between the two parties; if an agreement can’t be reached, then the courts may need to get involved. Ideally, though, you’ll be able to work something out with your neighbour.

If a retaining wall is needed on the boundary of a property, it can sometimes be built just on one side of the boundary line. In fact, this is the ideal solution – the neighbour who actually requires the retaining wall should have it built on their side of the line. Occasionally, two neighbours may decide to go in on a retaining wall together. In that case, the most fair way to handle it is by having the retaining wall straddle both properties. In terms of costs, the neighbours should try to split them as equitably as possible.

What About Council Approval?

If your retaining wall will provide a difference in level of less than one metre, then you won’t need to seek Council approval. However, if the difference in levels exceeds that amount, then you’re going to need to get approval. Make sure that you know ahead of time what sort of level you’ll require. Otherwise, you’ll have to interrupt your work and seek Council approval in the middle of the project; if you fail to get approved, all of that work will have been for nothing.

Types of Retaining Walls

You have several options when it comes to retaining walls. Concrete sleepers and vertical steel configurations are the most popular choices, since they are inexpensive and easy to build. Soil batter can be performed in cases where very little alterations need to be made to the level of the soil. If you’d like an especially attractive look, you might consider dry stone, moss rock or modular block retaining walls. These are vastly preferable to wood, since termites can make home in it. You should still have a pest inspection company in to check your home for termites from time to time, though, to be safe.

Check Before you Buy

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you are likely to make. As a result, you want to do everything that you can to make sure that it doesn’t turn into a huge nightmare.

Pre Purchase Building Inspections

Get Brisbane Building and Pest Inspection Services in to help you make a properly informed decision. Their expert teams combine the best in modern technology and a great deal of expertise in order to thoroughly check out any property – commercial or residential.

They know where pests hide and will quickly get to the heart of problems that may not be visible to the naked eye.

Termite Damage

Termite damage is a pretty insidious problem, especially here in Australia. The main concern is that the problem only becomes evident to the layman when it is pretty far advanced.

Termites like to hide in dark places within the actual structure of your home. They are not easy to spot at all and leave very few tell-tale signs.

Advanced termite damage can be difficult and costly to repair. Generally speaking, this involves repairing the very structure of your home. A termite infestation that is advanced can be very difficult to eradicate.

Finding Termites

That’s where Brisbane Building and Pest Inspection Services come in – they have a range of equipment that allows them to almost literally see through walls into the structure of the home. Thermal scanning and Termatrac are just two of the non-invasive options used by their teams to ensure maximum termite detection.

The advantage of non-invasive methods as opposed to traditional methods of termite detection is that the termites are not disturbed in any way – traditional methods are noisy and so tend to send termites scuttling, leaving you to have to seek out their new hiding places.

A Thorough Report

You will be issued with a thorough report detailing any problems or potential problem areas discovered. The report will give suggestions on what repairs, if any, need to be done and this will put you in a better position to decide whether or not you are getting a good deal.

If the report is clear, you can continue with the purchase of the property with your mind eased. If it is not, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to take on the necessary repairs and, if so, by what amount to reduce your offer in order to compensate for the cost of those repairs.

Check Before you Dig

For any type of excavation or filling, you may require a permit. You can probably do without a permit if the excavation is at a depth of one metre or less. In a wet area, the rule is 100 mm of top dressing or less before you need to obtain a permit or planning application, depending on what your project entails. Its always best to check with your local council though as the laws regarding excavation and filling can be different.

If you are planning on doing any filling or excavations on your property then you need to be aware that you may need a to submit a planning application, especially if the land is on property that codes apply. These codes are Waterway Code, Wetland Code and Acid Sulphate Soil Code. Definitions for these can be found on the Brisbane City Councils website. There are a few things that need to be looked at when excavating or filling a site. Whether or not the land is subject to flooding and what it can mean for the environment if it does flood. If the site is a waterway, or the type of soil on the property. A Brisbane building inspection professional can come out and check to see if your property meets the code requirements and can assess whether or not you will need a permit for the project. If you are engaging in a large project then its always good to consult with a building inspection professional to make sure you are within legal boundaries with your plans.

Engaging the services of Brisbane building inspectors is a good starting point when undertaking any major back filling or excavation projects. They are qualified to advise you in all aspects of excavation and filling. When you hire backhoe operators and other such persons for your project, you need to make sure you are hiring qualified and licensed operators. Brisbane building inspectors will be able to point you in the right direction as to who to hire. Whether installing a pond, a dam or building a foundation, its always wise to consult professional help and make sure your projects meets council approval. There is nothing worse then getting halfway into a project, only to find that you can’t go any further because of not having proper permits. So check with your local council before proceeding with any excavations or filling projects. It will save you time and money if you do.

Make Sure Your Deck is Up to Code

Any time you build a new structure or feature on your property, it is imperative to make sure that it doesn’t violate any local laws, rules or ordinances. Otherwise, you could end up with a major headache on your hands – especially when the time comes to sell your home. Brisbane building inspections take close looks at fences, decks and other structures to make sure that they are of sound quality – and that they adhere to the law. Learn more about installing a deck the right way below.

Understand the Local Laws

One of the first things that you should do before building a deck is to obtain approval from the local council. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need to get a Building Approval and a Planning Approval. Either way, you shouldn’t spend a penny on supplies before obtaining that approval. This requirement is in place in order to make sure that your planned deck will be safe, and that it will mesh well with the rest of the neighbourhood.

Several criteria are inspected when it comes to obtaining a building approval. The primary goal of a building approval is to ensure that a structure will be safe. As such, it will be inspected very thoroughly. Your plans must show that your deck won’t exceed the size limitations that are in place; those limitations vary by area, though, so you’ll need to check with your local council for more details.

Planning approvals are used to ensure that a deck will fit in well with the rest of the neighbourhood and city. Most cities have regulations in place concerning the way various structures look. This is done in order to achieve an appealing and cohesive look. After all, if every neighbour used a jumble of different deck styles, a neighbourhood will look unorganized and unappealing. Planning approvals are an important part of the deck building process, so make sure that receive one. Down the line, when you go to sell, your pest inspection in Brisbane will go off without a hitch.

Get Everything in Order

Once you have received the proper approvals, you can move forward with confidence that your deck will not pose any problems for you in the future. After all, your deck should be an asset to your house; when designed properly, it should actually increase the value of your house. If your deck violates local ordinances, it will actually be a liability and could end up costing you an exorbitant amount of money. It’s perfectly possible to find a deck that you love that will be approved when inspection time rolls around; just take your time and plan ahead, and everything should go off without a hitch!

Planning Permissions in Brisbane

When you are planning a home improvement of some type, you often just look to the future benefits derived from it. Imagine if the council came in at a future date and told you to take down your new extension because you didn’t get the proper planning permission.

It is not just extensions that may need approval from the council; most external structures are subject to council approval as well. The following guide will help make sure that you enjoy safe building inspections and that your structures are legal.


New single dwelling buildings can usually be built without planning permission as long as certain rules are followed. Multi-unit dwellings, restorations, raising and renovations usually do require planning permissions.

If you plan to demolish or move the house, you will need to check with the council first that the area is not protected.


For carports, garages, decks and sheds, you may need planning approval and you will have to adhere to building codes.

If you are installing or replacing pontoons or jetties, you will need council approval.

Satellite dish installation may also require planning approval.

Fences, Swimming Pools and Landscaping

Top of the list here for possibly needing council approval is a retaining wall. Retaining walls need to adhere to strict building codes.

Fencing is just as important – you will need to adhere to the rules and also ensure that you don’t encroach on your neighbours’ properties.


Extensive plumbing projects, plumbing projects in new extensions or in new dwellings are subject to council approval. An application takes, in general, approximately three weeks and different fees are levied, depending on the type of application.

In general, when considering any new extensions or structures, it is advisable to consult the Brisbane Council website or contact their offices in order to determine whether you need planning permission or not before you get started.

Brisbane Building and Pest Inspections can come in to help you check that everything is up to code and safe and secure for your family. They will not only advise on the latest building regulations but will use the latest in technology to ensure that your home is structurally sound as well.

The inspectors from Brisbane Building and Pest Inspections will issue you with a comprehensive report about possible problem areas with advice on what needs to be done to rectify the situation.

Whether you have structural difficulties or a pest problem, it is no match for this team.