Now the fun really begins because your builder can start digging holes in the ground, laying foundations, and start to build.
As the build moves forward and your new home starts to reach for the sky, there will be several more checks at different stages of the build. A council or private building certifier will inspect the site to make sure your builder is following the approved plans and is compliant with the necessary codes.
“Ultimate responsibility is yours so use that knowledge to empower your process. Communicate with your builder. Stay in touch, visit the site, understand what needs to be achieved and take responsibility for the end product yourself.”
The number of required inspections varies across Australia but generally they include foundation / footing inspections, a frame inspection before the roof and wall cladding are applied, and a final inspection to ensure full compliance and that the new home is safe to live in.
Remember, it is not the building certifier’s responsibility to check the quality of your builder’s work. Their only responsibility is to make sure it complies with the minimum regulations. It is your responsibility to double check with your builder if your building contract or plans set a higher standard than those required.
Plumbing & Electrical
Inspections and permits are also needed for a lot of plumbing and electrical work and again, exactly what is required varies from state to state. Most of the time, local authorities will be responsible for inspecting plumbing and electrical but in some cases, responsibility will lie with the utility companies.
Move on In
Ok, the end is in sight! When your new home has been completed and all the inspectors are happy, you’ll receive a certificate that gives you the go-ahead to move in. Happy days! You can now plan your housewarming party, that doesn’t require any inspections or certification at all!
Please note that this final certificate makes sure that the home complies with regulations and can be occupied. It might not cover all items under your contract, so make sure you check everything when you do your own final inspection at handover.
Your Final, Final, Inspection
The most focussed and intense ‘inspectors’ during this whole process should be you and your builder, because their work, and their reputation is on the line. It’s up to them to make sure that not only does your new home meet all the minimum legal requirements, but that it is of the highest quality and gives you great value for your investment.
Before you take the keys, it’s a great idea to take the time to walk through your new home with your builder and inspect the lot, from top to bottom.
We hope this helps you understand what’s involved, and also how to own the process and take control in ways you feel comfortable.