Quality Control and Private Inspections for a new build home (Archive)
Under the building code its the customer/owners decision to choose a Building Surveyor (this is different from a Building Inspector). They sign off on various parts of your build. All volume builders Ive come across skirt around this by saying they will be the agent for you and will find one on your behalf which is normally a company they usually work with. The surveyor technically works for you but you likely get little information and interaction with them.
BCR – Building Surveyor and their role in enforcement
Independent Building Inspector
Although the builder would normally have a site supervisor, they may be stretched with up to 15 properties to manage simultaneously. Given this many properties to supervise its not unusual for them to miss critical parts of the build that lead to defects. They may be good supervisors but stretching them so thin can be problematic.
An independent building inspector paid for by yourself can go through various stages of the build to ensure the quality is as expected. They cant force the builder to act on these but if the defects dont conform to building standards it would be hard to argue against it.
The common stages they would inspect are
- Pre-Slab Inspection
- Frame Inspection
- Pre-Lining Inspection
- Lock-Up / Waterproofing
- Practical Completion Inspection (PCI)
- End of Defect Liability Period Inspection – Checks PCI items have been addressed
- Dimensions of the slab
- Vapour/termite barrier in place, (depending on treatment specified)
- Dimensions of internal and external concrete beams
- Levelness of surrounding formwork.
- Correct size, placement, lapping, tying and support of reinforcement
- Correct positioning of plumbing
- Sufficient support of formwork to prevent deflection during pour
- Verify dimensions of rooms, positions of windows, doors etc. are correct
- Check framing is square, plumb, walls straight etc
- Check framing is the correct size and in the right places
- Confirm the bracing and tie down to the slab have been completed to the engineering detail
- Check for excessive bounce in suspended floors
- The plumbing and electrical services are installed in the correct manner and place
- Any issues picked up in the frame inspection have been rectified
- All framing members are still intact, straight and true
- Roof coverings for defects
- Brickwork (if clean) for defects
- Brick ties have been installed correctly
Lock Up / Waterproofing
- The installation of your plaster to ensure correct fixing and adherence to framework.
- Acceptable Setting Standards and Finishing with defects marked onsite for repair.
- Assessment of fixout carpentry for poor installation which can lead to an unacceptable finish.
- Ensure compliance with AS 3740-2010 regarding waterproofing to wet areas
- All finishes and fixtures, both internal and external throughout the home, plaster finish; carpentry and joinery items; door operations etc
- Bathroom items function correctly, taps are secure, plumbing connected and functioning, shower floor flooding to check water tightness
- Kitchen items function correctly. taps are secure, plumbing connected and functioning, check hot water (depending on utility status), benchtops are free of chips, cracks and scratches etc
- Floor coverings for defects, carpet pulls, scratched floors; drummy tiles; missed expansion joints; poor workmanship, etc
- Quality and completeness of paint finish, substandard coverage, chalky paint, poor plaster finish resulting in uneven surfaces etc
- Window glazing and frames to ensure they are scratch and defect free, and operating correctly
- Brickwork for cleanliness to ensure no damage has occurred in the acid & pressure cleaning process.