pre-purchase building inspections
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10 Essential Pre-Purchase Building Inspections

The Building Inspections You Didn’t Know You Needed


Found yourself a new property to buy? Great news. Before you get over excited, you need to think about the boring stuff like pre-purchase building inspections. You might yawn at the prospect, but pre-purchase building inspections are a necessity if you want to know exactly what you’re buying into.

Do you know how thorough pre-purchase building inspections can be? Here we outline 10 pre-purchase building inspections you didn’t know you needed.

Allotment inspection

Allotments are part of a property’s land boundaries. An older property you see for sale with the address Lot 5, for example, is an allotment. Such properties are usually rural dwellings and accompanied land. Pre-purchase building inspections on allotments involve a careful examination of:

Pathways, driveways and paving

Due to Brisbane’s weather extremes it is not uncommon to find cracks and breaks in concrete pathways, driveways or paving. Such breaks can be unsightly, but also potentially hazardous.


Fences can be vulnerable and bear the brunt of Brisbane’s harsh weather extremes. As such, a pre-purchase property inspection should ideally cover your fences, too. This will determine the condition and establish whether some, or all of it, needs work.

Surface drainage

A drainage inspection on your property is one of the most important. Why? Poor drainage on your property can lead to a multitude of long term issues. Moisture retention can lead to the erosion of soil, which can then cause problems such as structural movement and damage. It is important to ensure stormwater drains away from your property efficiently; a problem encountered by many Queensland homes.

Free standing structures

Freestanding structures include barbecues, garden sheds, gazebos, cubby houses and retaining walls are included in this inspection. Make sure your pre-purchase building inspection covers the stability of the aforementioned. You don’t want to compromise on your family’s safety.


Allotment pre-purchase building inspections can provide you with guidance as to what’s going on with the trees within and surrounding your property. Tree roots are known to cause problems to structure, and large overhanging branches can be hazardous; an inspection will identify any potential problems.

Chimney inspection

Getting your chimney examined as part of a pre-purchase building inspection is one way to ensure you and your family are safe during winter. During a chimney inspection, a professional will check for missing chimney trays, deterioration, missing capping, weep holes and most importantly cracks. Did you know that cracking chimneys can lead to fire from heat transfer? That’s why it is so important.

Garage inspection

Whether you choose to use your garage for storage, to park your car or as a work-shed, it is imperative to analyse its condition. Part of a full pre-purchase building inspection will incorporate your garage. Your garage will be checked for:

  • an increased amount of cracking and deterioration in the concrete slab;
  • moisture penetration in the concrete slab;
  • damage to internal lining; and
  • the operating mechanics of the garage door.

House exterior

A pre-purchase building inspection will include the exterior of your house, and cover a substantial area. Your property’s exterior can unveil deterioration and unsound structural issues. An external examination will check your property’s cladding, wall alignment, brickwork, mortar erosion, structural movement and the materials used in the construction of your home.

An inspector will look at your property’s damp proof situation and investigate flashings. Red flags such as damp, rot and cracks will be reported and investigated.

House interior

It goes without saying that a pre-purchase property inspection will examine the interior of your home. Much like your exterior inspection, a full building inspection will look for common structural problems inside your home, such as:

  • mold, damp and evidence of water penetration;
  • roof leaks;
  • evidence of pest infestation;
  • cracks in the walls;
  • defective fixings;
  • paint blistering;
  • loose, broken or springy floor boards and carpet wear;
  • door hinges, alignment, and disrepair;
  • cracked glass and decay around windows; and
  • fly screen damage.

Deck, pergola, veranda

The undertaking of an exterior pre-purchase building inspection will examine the condition of your deck or veranda. The importance of doing so lies in the necessity to know how safe your exterior floor space is. Inadequate support could lead to serious consequences. The worst case scenario would be a complete collapse of your deck if it has:

a) not been installed correctly, or
b) deteriorated over time and weathering.

When you buy into a property that has a deck or veranda, an inspection will identify whether your new home is compliant with building practice and will investigate any potential decay.

Roof exterior

Your roof protects your house, and must, therefore, be in tip-top condition. Providing it is safe to do so, a pre-building property inspection will conduct an assessment of your roof exterior. In doing so, all types of roof coverings will be checked, whether tile or sheeting. As well as cracked tiles or rusted roof sheeting, your inspector will look out for loose flashings, inadequate roof pitch, or loose tiles.

An exterior roof inspection will also check your property’s guttering, chimney and TV antenna.

Roof interior

Although such tasks can be tricky to undertake, roof interior examination can and will happen as part of a full pre-purchase building inspection.

The inside of your roof needs to be checked for decay in the battens and rafters, insufficient bracing and ceiling linings.

Pest inspection

Pests, termites in particular, cause significant damage to your property if infestations go undetected. Queensland homes are susceptible to termite infestations due to the climate and favourable conditions. If you share your home with those pesky little white ants, they can, quite literally, eat your home from under you. A pre-purchase building inspection will assess the areas of your property that tend to favour pests, i.e. timber.

If your property does not have termites, that’s great, but an inspection can also establish if your home requires barriers to prevent infestations in the future.


The underfloor of your property is considered the supports of your home; the retaining walls, stumps, and foundation walls. Without adequate support, your home would succumb to subsidence issues.

Pre-purchase building inspections will check for:

  • decay of your stumps;
  • evidence of movement;
  • cracking in walls;
  • deterioration of bearers and joists;
  • damage to concrete slab;
  • moisture penetration;
  • damage to flooring; and
  • the correct installation of ant caps, if applicable.

Pre-purchase building inspections with Action Property Inspections

You can’t afford not to organise an inspection prior to signing on the dotted line. Arrange your full pre-purchase building and pest inspections with an industry professional. Contact us at Action Property Inspections on (07) 3201 2666 today!

Put your mind at ease with pre-purchase building inspections from Action Property Inspections, Brisbane.


About Andrew Mackintosh

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.

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