If a building inspector claims to be popular with real estate agents, or a real estate agent is strongly recommending a particular building inspector to the exclusion of any other inspector, your suspicion may be warranted.

A real estate agent’s primary objective is to sell their vendor’s property at the highest possible price under the most favourable contract conditions.

A building inspector’s primary objective is to provide you, the purchaser, with an independent report detailing the condition of the property prior to the expiration of the contractual cooling off period, or prior to bidding at auction, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you want to proceed with the purchase, and how much you are prepared to pay.

The relationship between real estate agent and building inspector can easily go awry because the building inspection report may jeopardise the sale and/or purchase price of the property.

Unfortunately, cooperative relationships exist between certain “building inspectors” and real estate agents in SA where the “inspector” enjoys a good feed of referral business from the agent because they are willing to provide “favourable” building inspection reports. SBI believes this scenario is quite rare, however.

Then again, many real estate agents are generally dubious of building inspectors because they have had legitimately bad experiences with untrustworthy building inspectors.

Unfortunately, the building inspection industry is South Australia is completely unregulated and anyone can call themselves a building inspector! We’ve heard many horror stories firsthand from both agents and clients about deficient building inspections.

On the other hand, your suspicion may be justified if you find an apparently reputable building inspector through your own independent research and the agent strongly warns you against using them. Sometimes this may be reasonable as the agent may be warning you against a legitimately dodgy building inspector who has somehow slipped through the cracks, however, this may also be because the inspector you have selected is “too thorough” (if there is such a thing!). On occasion, we have been told by our clients that certain agents have advised them against using us, but this only confirms that we are doing our job properly and ethically!

An ethical and qualified building inspector will provide an objective, impartial property inspection report regardless of the personal or financial circumstances of the purchaser and vendor.

When we are engaged to conduct an inspection and we make contact with the agent to schedule the inspection, we have at times met with resistance from the agent when we advise a standard building inspection will take between 1.5 to 2 hours. When the agent responds by suggesting the inspection should take no more than half an hour, we know that they have dealt with – and may even endorse – illegitimate inspectors.

These days most astute buyers will organise a pre-purchase building inspection before committing to a property. Having dealt with hundreds of real estate agents, we can safely say that most are reasonable people who gracefully accept that there may be issues raised in a building inspection report that their client may need to rectify for the sale to proceed. However, some agents (and vendors) can be less gracious and the building inspector, as the bearer of bad news, is an easy target for their wrath and blacklisting.

In our experience, through honest reporting and respectful and effective communication, there is no reason the agent, client and building inspector cannot work together to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome: the successful sale of a property by an informed buyer at the right price.

At the end of the day, real estate agents can and do recommend building inspectors. We at SBI believe that there is not necessarily a conflict of interest when agents refer inspectors as most agents do so with noble intentions, legitimately recommending inspectors that they believe are of high quality and integrity. When agents refer dodgy inspectors with less-than noble motivations, a conflict of interest then arises.
Ultimately, you as the purchaser are responsible for investigating the credibility of a building inspector.

How do I choose a good building inspector when the industry is so unregulated and there are so many dodgy “inspectors” out there?

Easy. Use the following guide … or phone us on 0438 416 461 for a quick chat!

1. Do they hold any building qualifications and what is their building industry experience? Ideally you want to see a Building Work Contractors Licence (Building) and, even better, an unrestricted Building Works Supervisor’s Licence. Run licence numbers through the Consumer and Business Services website to ensure that they are legitimate. Some building inspectors who hold BLD licenses may be purposefully misleading you to believe that they are licensed supervisors, yet are only licensed for a specific trade like landscaping or tiling. At Summerton Building & Inspection we are proud to hold the appropriate licences.

2. Google the inspector. How many Google Reviews do they have? Read what other people have said about them. At Summerton Building & Inspection we proudly enjoy a 5-star Google customer review rating with over 83 independent reviews!

3. Are they insured? All building inspectors should hold current professional indemnity and public liability insurance policies. What credible insurance company would insure a truck driver to conduct building inspections?

4. Don’t fall into the trap of price shopping. Most, if not all, budget “inspections” will be done by someone who is unqualified.
In this scenario, you may as well do the inspection yourself.

For more information on selecting a qualified building inspector, please read our Blogs “Anyone Can Call Themselves A Building Inspector!!!” and “How Do I Select the Correct Building Inspector?

If you are looking for a qualified building inspections please visit www.summertonbuildinginspections.com.au for more details. Also don’t forget to follow us on Google + for building inspections Adelaide news.

Would you trust a tiler, a plumber, a landscaper, a drywall installer, or even a truck driver or hairdresser to conduct a professional building inspection on your new property?  Many people unknowingly do – don’t be one of them!

DO NOT assume that because you see a BLD licence, your building inspector is in fact licensed and qualified.

Considering that the building inspection industry is currently unregulated in South Australia with no licensing requirements whatsoever, and there are unfortunately many unqualified “building inspectors” offering lower cost “building inspections”, buyers requiring pre-purchase-inspections prior to the expiry of the contractual cooling-off period or auction certainly run the gauntlet.

One way that building inspectors claim credibility is by advertising that they have a “builder’s licence” by displaying their BLD number on the homepage of their website, on their business cards or on their work vehicles.

A person must be licensed as a Building Contractor to perform any kind of building work for others in South Australia, thus there is a BLD number for almost every different building trade out there.

The ideal BLD license for building inspectors to hold is an unrestricted BUILDING WORK SUPERVISORS LICENSE which enables them to supervise an entire build and to sign off on the requisite compliances (Regulation 74 / Part A Statement of Compliance etc).

These licenses demonstrate a wide-ranging expertise of building practices and reflect a balanced knowledge requisite in any reputable, qualified building inspector’s repertoire.

Many Adelaide “building inspectors” who promote their BLD numbers, however, are purposefully misleading you, the buyer, by implying that they are licensed builders or building work supervisors when they are in fact nothing of the sort. Some are licensed tilers, plumbers, and even landscapers.

Sure, these licenses grant the holder the claim of expertise in their particular fields, but when viewed in the context of a comprehensive pre-purchase building inspection where every building element must be expertly analysed, do these hobbled licenses really lend any feasible trustworthiness?

Clearly the answer is NO!

Admittedly a BUILDING WORK SUPERVISORS LICENSE is not the be-all and end-all in regards to building inspector qualifications. A rich and diverse building industry experience through various disciplines along with a strong mentorship from other senior inspectors can certainly place an up-and-coming building inspector in very good stead. The purpose of this article is merely to highlight the deceptive nature of certain building inspectors who market their BLD licenses as a form of overarching accreditation even though their license may only be applicable to plumbing etc.

In any case, the unregulated nature of the building inspection industry certainly poses a pending liability for the unknowing consumer. Buying a home is often the most significant financial decision most people will make in their lives, thus it is of the upmost importance for buyers to thoroughly investigate the credentials of prospective building inspectors prior to engaging them.  Please click here to read my detailed blog “How do I select the correct building inspector?”.

Before you decide on a building inspector, first verify their BLD “Building License” number by visiting the Consumer and Business Services license check webpage – https://secure.cbs.sa.gov.au/OccLicPubReg/index.php

If you are looking for professional building inspectors please visit www.summertonbuildinginspections.com.au for more information. Also don’t forget to follow us on Google + : building inspectors in Adelaide

Property settlement is the legal transfer of property ownership from vendor to purchaser.  The settlement process is handled by either a conveyancer or a solicitor. Settlement periods range from 30 to 90 days and are nominated by the vendor.

When settlement is effected, ownership of the property passes to the purchaser, and the purchaser pays the balance of the agreed purchase price to the vendor. The vendor must hand over the property in the same condition as it was when it was sold and the contract was signed so the purchaser has the right to arrange another inspection during the week prior to settlement. The purchaser’s bank will expect building and contents insurance to have been arranged prior to settlement, which will take effect from the date the contract is signed.

During the period leading up to settlement the conveyancer should provide the purchaser with a plan of the land as well as a copy of the Certificate of Title.  It is the purchaser’s responsibility to ensure the boundary measurements correlate with those on the Certificate of Title.

If there is any doubt, a Surveyor should be engaged by the purchaser before settlement takes place. The purchaser’s conveyancer will provide a list of documents required for settlement.  The purchaser should ensure these documents are available and correct to avoid costly delays in settling. The purchaser is responsible for paying land transfer duty (stamp duty) at settlement.  The Title to the property will not be released to the purchaser until the duty is paid.

Once settlement is effected, both parties will be contacted by their respective conveyancers / solicitors and the handover of keys will be actioned.

Just remember, a pre-purchase building inspection should be conducted before or immediately after an offer is accepted prior to the expiry of the cooling-off period in order to ensure that there are no major defects that could result in an undesirable loss of utility or significant outgoing costs post-purchase. Pre-purchase building inspections are also of vital importance in identifying any potential safety hazards that may exist with the property. More detail at here.

Contact SBI for a quote or to schedule a booking.

Find a conveyancer at www.aicsa.com.au

For more details about our building inspections services please visit www.summertonbuildinginspections.com.au.

Also don’t forget to follow our Google Plus updates about our building inspections company.

During the property acquisition process, astute buyers will generally organise a pre-purchase building inspection prior to the expiry of the cooling period.  These inspections are paramount when purchasing a property to ensure that there are no major defects that could result in an undesirable loss of utility or significant outgoing costs post-purchase. Pre-purchase building inspections are also of vital importance in identifying any potential safety hazards that may exist with the property.

But what of pest inspections?

Considering that Adelaide is geographically designated as a high risk area for white ant infestation generally, it is certainly in many cases critically important to organise a timber pest inspection prior to the expiry of the cooling off period. There are many great Adelaide pest inspection companies who hold the specific accreditations to be able to legally and effectually perform these types of inspections as per the AS4349.3 Australian Standard.

Are combined building and pest inspections legitimate?

A growing number of pest inspection companies are now also offering “combined” pre-purchase building and pest inspections. Though the pest inspection industry is regulated in South Australia with specific accreditation requirements, the building inspection industry is largely unregulated.  Unbelievably there are no licensing requirements for building inspectors – in fact there are no legal requirements for building inspectors to hold any formal building qualifications at all!

Therefore, these “combined” building and pest inspections should be treated with healthy skepticism and careful scrutiny. Be very dubious of a combined building and pest inspection offered by a single inspector. Admittedly there are a small number of qualified inspectors able to provide a credible combined building and pest inspection service who will take the additional time required to adequately perform both types of inspections. However, the building inspection industry is marred by a number of rogue, negligent, and dangerously underqualified “building / building and pest inspectors” who incompetently perform combined building and pest inspections. Some of these cowboys have even been reported completing “combined” inspections within a quarter of an hour! Sadly, they often manage to get away with it undetected due to the unregulated nature of the industry.

This is clearly a serious consumer protections issue that the general public must be made aware of. Purchasing a home is generally one of the riskiest and substantial investments anyone will make in their lives, so being able to rely on the building inspector that you have engaged is absolutely requisite to the process.

How long should a typical building inspection take?

A thorough pre-purchase building inspection of a typical single-storey home situated on a standard-sized allotment should take at least one and a half (1.5) hours.

How long should a typical pest inspection take?

A thorough pest inspection for the same sized property generally takes a little less time at around one (1) hour.

“Combined” considerations to bear in mind

The bottom line is this: if your “combined” inspector is a licensed builder and/or building work supervisor with rich building industry experience who holds requisite pest inspection accreditations, professional indemnity and public liability insurance policies relevant to both types of inspections, and who is also ideally a member of the Association of Building Consultants (ABC), then odds are your inspector will be credible and will provide an effective “combined” inspection service. Just ensure that you communicate with the inspector prior to the inspection being conducted that you expect them to take the additional time required to adequately perform the “combined” inspection.

That being said, in my opinion as Managing Director and sole building inspector for Summerton Building and Inspection, though there are a small number of credible Adelaide inspection companies able to provide an effective combined inspection service, the two types of inspections should generally be conducted by two separate and specifically qualified inspectors who provide two separate reports. This way you can know as a consumer that you have got your money’s worth and can rest assured in the knowledge that both inspections have been carried out thoroughly and as per the AS4349 series of Australian Standards.

Following is a set of questions that should be asked of an inspection company that will help protect you and your precious property asset prior to their being engaged to perform a combined inspection service:

  1.  Will there be two inspectors – one for each type of inspection?
  2.  What will the duration of the individual inspections or combined inspection likely to be?
  3.  What building qualifications does the building inspector hold?
  4.  Does the building inspector/s hold current professional indemnity and public liability insurance policies?
  5.  Is the inspector a member of the Association of Building Consultants (ABC)
  6.  What is the inspector’s policy regarding adherence to Australian Standard AS4349.1 and AS4349.3?

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope that it will assist you in selecting the right building inspectors during your property acquisition process.

Please click this link for more information on SBI pre-purchase building inspections.

Kind regards, Travis Summerton

Managing Director; Summerton Building and Inspection Pty Ltd- www.summertonbuildinginspections.com.au

Don’t forget to follow us on Google + to find out more about our combined building and pest inspections service.


When building a home or investment property through a licensed builder, you are heavily reliant on the building supervisor in regards to build quality and compliance. It is the role of the building supervisor to ensure that your home or investment property is being constructed accurately as per your plans and specifications, as well as to monitor the standard of work being conducted by the labourers. The building supervisor must make certain that the correct materials are being used and building quality / compliance is being achieved throughout the construction process as per the relevant codes and Australian standards.

The construction process is a complicated one with many moving parts and there are many opportunities for mistakes to occur undetected, and unfortunately with many building companies the building supervisors are often unlicensed and are given too many homes to supervise adequately, thus quality is often compromised. Many of the larger building companies will not even assign a site supervisor to a home until it is at the framing stage, thus the entire footings construction is left in the hands of the footing contractors. Though engineering companies who design the footings state in their agreements with the builders that they must  first inspect the trenches and trench fit-out prior to the concrete pour, in my experience this often does not occur and many major defects can and do go undetected, leaving a jeopardised footing system that will potentially fail in the future.

By utilising SBI progress inspections at critical stages of the building process, you are not only gaining an objective expert opinion that will increase your chance of achieving quality, but you are also keeping the builder in check by ensuring that the home / investment property is being built accurately and compliantly according to the plans, specifications, engineering, council requirements, and the relevant Building Codes and Australian Standards.

Our expert inspector will conduct thorough staged progress inspections of your property to ensure that quality is being achieved and to make certain that the dwelling is being constructed in accordance with the NCC / BCA and the relevant Australian Standards / manufacturers specifications. SBI will provide you same-day with a comprehensive written report replete with coloured images via e-mail capturing all of the major and minor defects observed. Our expert inspector will also contact you by phone following the completion of the inspection to discuss the findings and provide you with specific advice, or if you would prefer, will meet you onsite for a face-to-face chat post-inspection.

Progress building inspections should take place at the following construction stages:

Don’t forget to check out our building inspections services at www.summertonbuildinginspections.com.au

Also follow us on Google + : Read more about Staged Progress Inspections here.