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Top tips for building inspections

Published: 11 January 2016

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Hold off the champagne until you’ve got all your green lights from building inspectors.

The hard work is done, the project is completed and your budget is all gone – time to celebrate, right? You might want to hold off the champagne until you’ve got all your green lights from building inspectors.

Almost 40 per cent of all building inspections fail, which is a staggering statistic and extremely frustrating for the property owner after all the hard work that’s been done.

To avoid failing building inspections, here are the five reasons most residential building inspections fail:

1. Work not ready to inspect: Self-explanatory – don’t book an inspection until the work is 100 per cent checked and completed.

2. No plans on site: The building inspector will need to view and assess all work plans before approving any work. Make sure these are ready and accessible.

3. Work doesn’t meet the building consent: Before any work commences, building consent must be granted. This consent will be reviewed against the final work to check everything has been met.

4. No LBP details on site: The building inspector will need to see LBP (licensed building professional) qualifications on site before signing off any consented work. Check your builder is LBP registered before getting any work done.

5. Work not completed: Are the smoke alarms installed within 3 metres of each bedroom? Does the shower leak? Have all the weatherboards been painted? These are just some of the reasons building inspections fail and a reminder to tick all the boxes as the work progresses.

Ian McCormick, Auckland Council Building Control general manager, says failure rates have been increasing over the past two years as Auckland struggles to cope with a building boom and skilled workers are in short supply.

“There’s a lot of building happening around Auckland and we don’t have enough skilled professionals to service the demand. As a result, some builders are skimping on quality, and the good builders are so busy they are bringing in less experienced workers to help out.”

“We’re seeing more and more failed inspections. These can often lead to work being redone and can add expense. The last thing you want to do is make alterations to meet the requirements once your work is done.”

It also pays to check if building or resource consent is required before any work is done.

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