Building Inspection Types

House and Home Inspections ACT Types Available


In Canberra there are four parts to the Pre-Sale ACT Vendor Inspection, which is required prior to marketing your property in A.C.T. These are a ACT legal prerequisites for anyone wishing to list their home for sale in the ACT, other than a unit. Townhouses requite this package but home units do not.

  • A Building Inspection searching for significant defects.
  • A Compliance Report for the ACT government identifying structures on the property.
  • A Termite (Timber Pest) Inspection Report, for termites and other timber pests.
  • An Energy Efficiency Report stating the energy efficiency star rating of the home. Usually most building inspection services in ACT bundle these four reports into one single report package, and email it as a PDF file.



1. The Pre-Inspection Building Inspection:

Vendor/Pre-Sale Inspection AS4349.1

This includes structural issues as stated in the Structural Inspection below, as well as appliances, light switches, plumbing, fixtures etc. (Some inspection companies do not cover fixtures, fittings, electrical and plumbing, but we cover them.) Your report will include a comprehensive safety checklist, including significant maintenance issues. Please note that our inspectors are conducting visual inspections and basic testing only, and are not licensed electricians or plumbers. It is still recommended that clients double check fixtures, and appliances themselves at the final handover meeting as a precaution.

Structural Inspection – AS4349.1-2007 Appendix A

A Structural Inspection is carried out as per AS4349.1 – 2007 Appendix A. Here all accessible structural items in the home are visually inspected for significant defects. This includes inspecting the roof cavity, all internal and external walls, the top of the roof from the gutter line, the ceiling condition, wet area waterproof membranes where possible, retaining walls if applicable, any moisture problems and many other structural issues that can occur. A more invasive type inspection or damp testing might be recommended based on the visual inspection findings.

2. Timber Pest Report: AS3000.2-2000

A Pre-Purchase Termite/Timber Pest Inspection is a specialised inspection that is carried out by a licensed pest control technician. This is a visual review of the entire home including the roof cavity, to locate the presence of any structurally harmful pests or fungi. This inspection is visual only and will not include cutting any manholes or floor traps or lifting roof tiles.

3. Energy Efficiency Report:

This report takes into consideration what the home building materials are made from, the orientation of the home, and so on. This data is then used in a computer model to generate an energy efficiency rating. It is compiled by a licensed operator.

4. The ACT Compliance Report:

This report is generated after the inspector is sent the home plans by the ACT government authorities. The inspector compares what has been officially allowed to be constructed on your property, to what is actually there.

5. The ACTPLA Home and Property plans:

We will send away for these plans to be sent to us from ACTPLA. This costs money and is included in your price. This is a detailed set of copies of plans and approvals the home has received since it was first built. You will need to sign the approval form we send you so we can obtain these.



This includes the Pre-Purchase Inspection and the Structural Inspection as below.

Pre-Purchase Inspection AS4349.1 Download a Sample Pre-Purchase Report

The pre-purchase inspection by itself is usually requested under the following circumstances:

1: The purchaser is buying the home in New South Wales, so does not have legislation requiring the Vendor Inspection Reports as above. In this case the purchaser wants to ensure his investment is safe, by engaging the building inspector to prepare the report.
2: The purchaser is buying a unit, and not a house or townhouse in ACT.  Units are not covered by the above vendor legislation.
3: A purchaser in ACT wants an independent inspection, which is not uncommon.

To get the best value a Pre-Purchase inspection is ideal.

Structural Inspection AS4349.1-2007 Appendix A

A Structural Inspection is per AS4349.1 – 2007 Appendix A. Accessible structural items in the home are visually inspected, for significant defects. This includes the roof cavity, internal and external walls, the top of the roof to the gutter line, ceilings, wet areas waterproofing, retaining walls, moisture problems and other structural issues. A more invasive inspection or damp testing can be recommended upon what is found with a visual inspection, but it is not usual.


In building a new home, or buying off the plan a townhouse, you may wish to have an inspection for the various stages of construction.  When you pay a builder, you pay so that the next building stage is ready to proceed. In ACT the builder gets his work certified by accredited certifiers. This inspection can be used in nearby New South Wales as well.

Plate Height Inspection

A Plate Height Inspection is conducted shortly after the walls and wall frames are built. This is to highlight any serious errors or defects, thereby  allowing the builder to remedy them.  But to be truthful, this really just keeps the builder honest and he has the work done ready. It is a kind of insurance mostly. Problems arising from cracked walls, crooked window frames, bent lintels, twisted door frames, out of square bathroom walls and many more common potential errors are much easier to fix early, and if you try to fix them at the end it really is too late. We get many clients who have problems early, but they get built into the property. It becomes a fight then to correct them later.

Practical Completion Inspection Report

A Practical Completion Inspection (PCI) Report will assist you with a detailed list of work that requires correction or completion under your contract. Builders will often only fix the items that you bring to their attention and without a building inspector to assist you, this can lead to major problems. Often we get called in when there has developed a mistrust between builder and owner. We are good at resolving these disputes too. Issues such as crooked plastering around windows, cracks in ceilings and cornices, rough plaster, poor painting of doors and other surfaces, affect the presentation of your home and lower its resale value. If you think the certifier, or your bank, will help you with the quality of your building, that is not their role. So do not get caught like many others have. Book your inspections and tell the builder you are getting an inspector. We cannot stress how important this inspection is to new homeowners.

A Practical Completion Inspection Report helps you attain peace of mind and takes control of your handover process. This is an essential inspection and is highly recommended to new home builders. 

Pre-Handover (Final Handover) Inspection

This is a return inspection, after the items on the PCI above have been addressed by the builder. During this inspection these items along with any additional construction damage which occurred since the PCI will be included on your report. In some instances – depending on the builder – several Final Handover Inspections are needed so the home is correctly finished. This is needed where builders have improperly handled the PCI report list of items.

Special Purpose Inspection/Dispute Resolution

This specialized inspection is usually required when disagreements exist between owner and builder, and a professional independent opinion is required for a resolution. This report will contain many photos and can be used as applicable evidence where these complaints are taken further to a Building Dispute Tribunal.

The desired result of this inspection is the agreement between owner and builder, and the outcome of the meeting is formally documented in the report. Dispute resolution meetings generally work out well.