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Stage Inspections

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Stage Inspections

When building a new home there are normally three stages (or milestone) that the builder works towards – Frame, Lock up & the Final stage. As part of your building contract these stages will be inspected by a building surveyor who is employed by your builder. Unfortunately, some building surveyors do not take the time to inspect the property in its entirety and accept that the builder has completed the stage within the Australian Standards. These assumptions can lead to items whether they are small or large being overlooked. It is always better to have a second independent opinion at each stage of your build.

“Remember the surveyor is working for the builder, not you!

Frame Stage Inspection

The frame of your home is where the exterior wall claddings, internal linings, flooring, roofing, windows and doors are attached.

The framework of any property is the most important stage of the build. If the frame has been built incorrect, this will cause a flow on effect for every other stage and can cause major delays and problems to the property which no home owner wants.

Our independent frame stage inspection will ensure that your home is being built to the Australian Standards and that you are getting what you paid for.

We will conduct a visual inspection on the following items

  • The frame is straight and plumb.
  • Wall timber member spacing’s are adequate with blocking & noggings installed for wall and ceiling linings.
  • Connection of timber members.
  • Roof truss/frame is installed, tied down & braced.
  • Fascia and gutter installation (If installed at time of inspection).
  • Check the engineering to ensure all support beams and lintels are as per plan
  • Window and door openings have appropriate beams installed.
  • Wall frames secured at top/bottom plate
  • Wall frames appropriately braced for movement

Lock Up Stage

Lockup stage is the time in which you are able to effectively ‘lock up’ the house. This is normally when all the windows and exterior doors are on which will allow your house to be properly secured.

This is also the time in which your house is ready for the plasterer to begin. It is important that prior to the plaster going up all the items behind the walls such as plumbing, framing defects noted at “frame stage” have been rectified, insulation (if fitted) is installed correctly etc. Once the plaster is on any structural defects will now be hidden.

At the ‘Lock Up’ Stage Inspection we will conduct a visual inspection on the following items;

  • Check external claddings e.g Brickwork, weatherboards etc have been appropriately fixed to the frame
  • Ensure brickwork does not overhang the slab
  • Check brickwork does not have any damage i.e. chips, cracks etc
  • Weep holes have been installed and placed correctly
  • Electrical and plumbing roughing to ensure appropriate installation has been done without comprimising the framework
  • Framing defects noted at “frame stage” have been rectified
  • Insulation bats have been installed correctly (if fitted at time of inspection)
  • Appropriate installation of doors and windows
  • Roof coverings i.e. colorbond, concrete tiles have been correctly installed
  • Check to ensure specially coated surfaces i.e. colorbond roofs, fascia and gutters, downpipes have not been damaged on installation.
  • Adequate clearance between window frames and brick sill
  • Rubber weather strip has been installed correctly.

Final (Handover) Stage

The final stage is what you have been waiting all those months for. At this stage, everything should be finished and ready for you to move in. This is not always the case, we have found many items that need to be repaired by the builder prior to receiving the certificate of occupancy e.g. Insulation not being installed correctly, substandard paint finishes, inadequate silicone and grout, missing electrical covers etc .

Before you make the final payment to the builder it is recommended that a final inspection is conducted in order to ensure that everything has been completed to industry standards. Once the keys are handed over from the builder it can sometimes be a frustrating and timely experience to have any defects repaired once the excitement of moving into your new home wears off.

We will conduct a visual inspection on the following items

  • Roof Cavity inspection – Insulation, Electrical hazards i.e down light coverings, Man hole access, misplaced tiles
  • Interior Finishes – Paint work, Floor coverings, Cabinet finishes, Smoke alarms, Woodwork, Lighting fixtures, Wet areas, Internal doors and handles
  • Exterior Finishes – Weather proofing, Brick work, Weep holes, Paint, Driveways/paving, Landscaping drainage, Down pipes and gutters, Roof covering

Why should we get stage inspections

Building a new home is the ultimate Australian Dream. Building allows you to create a home that suits your personality and lifestyle. This is why it is important to invest in stage inspections by an unbiased third party to ensure your vision comes to fruition.

Stage inspections can identify issues that may occur throughout the build that can be easily rectified if identified early prior to handover stage. These issues/problems may only be minor but if not attended to may put a dampener on your dream.

Remember once the keys are handed over from the builder it can sometimes be a frustrating and timely experience to have any defects repaired once the excitement of moving into your new home wears off.

How much are stage inspections

The costs of stage inspections are determined by a number of factors which include the dwelling size, the construction type and ofcourse the stage of build you wish to be inspected.

We always recommend our customers to get all three stages inspected and therefore offer a package price for all three however we do also offer individual stage inspection prices.

All Ellis Building Inspections customers are provided with a detailed report (including photos of any defects) conducted to the Australian Standards AS/4349.1.and AS/4349.0. which are provided to you 24hrs after scheduled inspection.


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