A building and pest inspection are usually carried out separately by different professionals. Some companies do offer a combined inspection, but whether you get a combined package or separate inspections, make sure you only hire experienced and highly qualified professionals. Competent inspectors know what to look for and where when assessing a property. Here’s what you need to know.

Building inspection vs pest inspection

A building inspector makes a visual assessment of the property’s interior and exterior areas, and aims to identify major structural problems, minor damages or defects, safety hazards, and maintenance issues. Especially if the house you’re interested in is an older structure, the expert eyes of a building inspector are even more invaluable.

Part of this visual inspection involves looking for pest-related damages, but verifying the presence of pests and the extent of the damage they have caused is the job of a pest inspector. If the property you are looking at is located in an area that is known to have termite problems, for instance, it is even more important that you hire the services of a pest inspector.

What building and pest inspectors look for

  • Inspection of exterior areas include identifying structural problems, such as cracking, leaks, rising damp, and differential settlement. Areas commonly looked at are the retaining walls, sheds, gutters, grounds around the house, and fences.
  • Inspection of interior areas identify cracks, leaks, dampness, rot, and uneven boards. Areas include all the rooms of the house, as well as roof spaces, sub-floors, plumbing system, and insulation.
  • A pest inspection identifies signs of rodent, termite, wood borer, fungi, or mould infestation, as well as signs of wood decay. The areas include both the property’s interior and exterior, where the inspector will look for cracks, holes, and other spaces big enough for pests to enter. He will also look for droppings, termite tubes, nests, dry rot, and other signs of destruction commonly caused by pests.

What else is included in a building and pest inspection?

Building and pest inspectors will not only identify existing issues and potential problems; they will also offer their expert advice on how to best resolve these issues, as well as give you an estimate of how much the repairs will cost.

The inspectors will also submit to you a written report detailing the problems they were able to identify at the time of their inspection. It is advisable that you make time during the actual inspection and accompany the inspectors so you can ask them any questions you might have and get immediate answers.

When looking for building and pest inspectors, find out which areas will be inspected. You can request for the inspectors to check specific areas and look for specific issues not included in a standard inspection. These special requests may involve a special-purpose property report that will cost extra.

Why hire building and pest inspectors

Hiring building and pest inspectors adds a bit to the overall cost of your planned purchase. But the money you’ll spend will be a lot less than what it could cost you to have repairs done on unexpected damages that the seller could have covered, if you took the opportunity to include such a stipulation in a pre-purchase contract. Paying for the services of building and pest inspectors will make you better informed and in a better position to decide if the property’s asking price is fair.