If you intend to buy or construct a property in Australia, you will probably hear your contractor or conveyancer talking about a building survey or approval. Many people underestimate the benefits of building approvals. However, they are a critical aspect of your property purchase or construction. So, what are building approvals? Read the extract below to learn more about building surveys.
What Are Building Approvals?
Simply put, a building survey or approval is an assessment of the construction works. The primary purpose of any building approval is to ensure that the property is safe to live in. Usually, local councils have construction laws, otherwise known as the building code, that sets the standards that builders and contractors should meet as they put up structures. The building approval surveyor examines whether the building meets this standard.
Building approvals can be a one-off activity or a continuous process. When purchasing property, the assessment is conducted in a day or two. When building a property, the building approval occurs after the completion of critical construction phases such as the foundation, slabs and framing.
What Are The Benefits Of Building Approvals?
When buying property, a building approval will ensure that you get value for your money. For instance, it will establish whether the property has a sinking foundation, weak pillars, warped slabs or salt damping. Besides, the approval could protect you from prosecution. If you purchase a building that disregards the building code, the local council could fine you or compel you to renovate the property to meet the required standard.
When building a property, building approvals keep the builder and contractor on their toes since the surveyor ensures that they follow the blueprints and the building code. If not, the surveyor has the power to halt construction works until the builder makes the required adjustments. After completion of the project, the surveyor awards a certificate of occupation. The certificate is a guarantee that the construction works meet the required standard.
Who Conducts A Building Approval?
In Australia, building surveys are conducted by building surveyors (also known as certifiers). Below are a few tips to help you as you hire a building surveyor:
- The building surveyor should have the required accreditation to inspect the class of building that you intend to buy or construct.
- The surveyor should not have a conflict of interest. Otherwise, they could give a biased report.
- Since building surveying is a continuous process (especially when building a house), inquire about the surveyor's availability.
- The surveyor should have excellent communication skills. Remember, they will regularly interact with other staff at the site.
Building approvals are a quality control measure that ensures the property you buy or build meets the required standard. As a rule, observe the recommended tips when hiring a building surveyor.