The Biggest Mistakes Any Builder Could Easily Make

We all make mistakes, just some mistakes are bigger than others. Don't let your builder's mistakes become your costly problem.

We all make mistakes.

Commencing with design and administration through to construction, mistakes are not uncommon.

The building process is a complicated affair that passes through many phases. The responsibility of the design and build may change hands five times depending on how large the building company is.

Building errors fall into 3 main categories:

  • Major defects rendering the building unsafe.
  • Workmanship which is non-compliant with The Building Codes of Australia or Australian Standards.
  • Minor defects of cosmetic value.

A thorough inspection by an Independent Perth Building Inspector at various stages of the build is normally the best assurance that any major or non-compliant defects are discovered before being hidden by the building fabric. These types of defects can be hidden but normally expose themselves after the warranty periods have expired. Defects of this nature can cost a home buyer thousands of dollars to repair.

Minor defects are normally picked up during the practical completion inspection and are less costly to repair and can fall into the category of the majority of items.

We at ABEL Building Inspections Perth thought it would be worthwhile having a look at some common issues in new buildings.

There are 7 main inspection hold points on 2 storey houses.

  • Ground floor slab.
  • Brickwork completed ground floor. (Plate Height)
  • Suspended slab.
  • Brickwork completed first floor.(Plate Height)
  • Roof frame and cover (prior to ceilings)
  • Lock up.
  • Practical completion.

Most of the serious or non-compliant defects will be discovered during hold point 1-5 providing an inspection is done by our professional inspectors at ABEL Building Inspections Perth. Cosmetic defects will be more visible during an inspection made at hold points 6 and 7 stages.

See a list of common issues usually found during recent inspections by ABEL Building Inspections of Perth.

  • Ground Floor Slabs - Common issues found during hold point 1 normally relate to slabs being the wrong size, missing footings, parging of slab edge not done prior to brickwork commencing and plumbing pre-lays being incorrect leading to floors having to be cut at a later date.
  • Ground and First Floor Plate Height. - Common areas of error are door frames not winding, window frames not square, wall ties missing or over spaced, face brickwork perps not aligning, bed joints not level, finishing bricks to window sills not being used, roof tie-down straps not centered correctly, and weep holes and flashings installed incorrectly.
  • Suspended Slabs - Common issues found relate to canisters for lighting in-correctly positioned, wet area set downs incorrect, plumbing pre-lays incorrect, stair risers and treads not equal, capillary grooves to external balconies not installed, and shelf angles incorrect.
  • Roof Frame and Cover Prior To Slab - Common issues relate to timber framework, roof covering, gutters and flashings etc. Under purlins incorrectly positioned, hangers incorrectly positioned, birdsmouth cuts not being done, strutting inadequate, hanging straps missing, roof tie down straps missing or not secured correctly, Brackets to gutters not evenly spaced or missing, downpipes not spaced correctly, downpipes too far away from valleys. Roof cover not mechanically fixed correctly, flattened valley flashings and cut tiles not secured.
  • Lock Up - Common areas of fault are ceilings not being flushed correctly, cornices untidy at the miters, manholes wrongly positioned, back blocking of ceiling not being done, plaster sets not smooth or square especially in the corners and at junctions with windows and doors. Doors not being uniformly fitted, binding against the frame, edges of doors not sanded, shelving with inadequate support, roof tile scribes either ill fitted or not fitted.
  • Practical Completion - This is when the majority of minor items can be detected. The main areas of concern are normally related to poor painting, tiling and cabinetry works. Tops and bottoms of doors not painted as per standards, preparation prior to painting incorrectly done, gapping and filling not done prior to painting, tiles being lipped or not mitred,set out points for tiling wrong, cabinets poorly fitted and screw holes apparent, doors and drawers ill adjusted. Light fittings not evenly spaced as per shown on the plans, insulation missing or incorrectly placed and paving not correctly edged or set out.

ABEL Building Inspections Perth will make sure the majority of defects are photographed and reported on allowing you the homeowner the ability to confront your builder with confidence to make sure any issues found will be dealt with in a timely manner.

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