Building inspections are a crucial step in the process of both buying and selling a home. Knowing exactly what state a property is in before money changes hands is the easiest way to protect yourself and your investment. 

A pre-purchase building inspection report from a qualified professional can give buyers peace of mind, knowing that they’re making an informed purchase decision. For sellers, a building inspection can identify any defects or structural deficiencies within the building before they start talking to buyers, so they can price and negotiate accurately.

If you are considering buying or selling a property, it’s helpful to know what professional building inspectors will be looking for before you set the plan in motion. With some inspection savvy, you’ll be able to spot fundamental flaws that others may miss, and make informed decisions from the beginning.

To help you, we’ve created this list of the top five faults seen in building inspections.

Common issues seen in building inspections

1. Roof damage

The harsh Australian climate is well known for causing degradation to buildings, and the roof is one of the most commonly affected areas. Even the most durable roofs will degrade due to years of battering from winds, rain and the scorching heat of the sun. Because of this, roof damage is one of the top five issues we see in any building inspection.

If the property’s roof has been poorly maintained, sagging, cracking and leaking issues will certainly turn up in the future if they haven’t already started to show.

2. Poor ventilation

Ventilation inside the building is important, but air flow underneath it can also be crucial in maintaining structural integrity. We know this because many issues we find during building inspections – including toxic mould, wood rot, and water damage – are caused by inadequate ventilation.

Poor ventilation is one of the most common faults we see in building inspections, so ensuring there is adequate ventilation will drastically reduce the chances of these issues appearing down the track.

3. Plumbing issues

Plumbing is one of the first things we think of when it comes to building problems, and there’s a reason why: few things can cause more damage than water being where it shouldn’t be throughout the house. That’s why building inspectors always check the pipes and fixtures, including waste lines, during an inspection.

No homeowner wants to deal with leaky pipes, mouldy walls or water pressure issues. Getting a pre-purchase building inspection report can ensure you won’t have serious plumbing issues down the track.

4. Pest control issues

Termites are a common pest control issue found in building inspections in Australia

Weatherboards degraded by termite infestation.

Pests such as termites and fire ants can be hard to spot with the untrained eye. Regardless, pest control issues are far more common than you might think. Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Reports do not cover pest control issues. To get an official report, you can hire qualified inspectors to conduct a Building and Pest inspection.

In any case, it’s crucial you look for signs of pest infestation yourself before you buy or sell a property.

5. Damaged or missing fixtures

Some building fixtures are permanent, such as light fittings, carpeting, appliances and window treatments. We often find properties with permanent fixtures which are damaged or missing. A building inspection can ensure that any permanent fixtures like these will be there when you move in.


Are you looking to buy or sell property? If you’d like to arrange a pre-purchase building inspection to check for these top five faults and much more, get in touch with Coastal Building Inspections here.