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building certifier vs building inspector

Is There any Difference Between a Building Certifier and a Building Inspector?

Buying a home is an extremely time-consuming, stressful and hectic process. In addition to making sure you get the kind of home in a neighbourhood you like, you also need to make sure that the property title is clear and that that there are no structural faults etc. This makes the entire process confusing and expensive; especially of you are buying your first home.

Most prospective homebuyers are aware that they should get a building inspection done before committing to purchase any property; but many are also confused about the difference between a building certifier and building inspector. Let’s take a closer look at how these differ:


The role of a building and pest inspector

  • This is essentially a visual examination of the home’s current condition relative to other comparable properties of a similar age, condition and design, conducted as per Australian Standards.
  • This is very different from a building certifier’s inspection, in which the compliance to government legislation is verified.
  • It isn’t a warranty, guarantee, valuation, or an insurance policy.
  • A building Inspector doesn’t pass/fail a property and they won’t have anything to say about either the standard of finish and quality of the building work. This means, they won’t comment on whether the structure has been constructed to a satisfactory, recognised standard, itemising inappropriate materials and omissions, untradesmanlike work, incomplete work, non-structural defects and other conditions that can contribute to structural problems.
  • A building Inspector will itemise all the visible defects, rating them on the basis of their severity and recommending a suitable course of action within the suggested timeframe. Their report arms you with the information you require to make a more well-informed property decision.

The role of a building certifiers or surveyor

  • These professionals facilitate approval, inspection as well as the certification of building works.
  • They ensure that building plans and any new work (additions/extensions) complies with the existing acts – the Building Code of Australia and other relevant Australian Standards.
  • A building certifier ensures that the building work complies with all the requirements that have been set out by the different levels of government, whether federal, state or local where compliance is enforceable & mandatory.
  • If their inspection reveals that the work hasn’t been conducted in line with the approval, these professionals can take any necessary action to ensure the building work complies with the legislation.
  • The certifier will assess & approve the plans relating to any new/ altered buildings
  • Provide a certificate of inspection to the builder post the inspection
  • Issue the enforcement notices on building work whenever necessary
  • Inspect all the construction work at the mandatory stages
  • Give the final certification for the building to be occupied
  • A building certifier isn’t responsible for any job site supervision

As you can see, there is a distinct difference between a building inspector and a building certifier. If you are either buying or selling an existing property, you would need to hire the services of a building inspector. These professionals will conduct detailed inspections and provide a comprehensive report listing all their findings. Always look for a credible and experienced professional who has handled a significant number of inspections in the past.

It’s always a good idea to ask to see a sample report to understand what you’ll be getting for the amount you pay. If you want to know more about our services Inspect It First, don’t hesitate to call us at 1300 557 047 or contact us through our contact form.

Thanks for reading,
Inspect It First Team
1300 557 047

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