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Top 5 Expensive Fixes a Home Inspection Can Uncover

A top-notch home inspector can help protect your family from severe threats to your real estate value caused by new construction or the lack of repairs. It’s not worth risking your dream home investment, so check out the top five expensive fixes inspectors uncover for your next home inspection.

Home inspectors go through a lifetime of training, experiencing all there is to know about home construction and remedial solutions. If you think your house is going to be trouble-free, you might not want our inspector poking around. There will be surprises in your home that are impossible to spot on your own if you don’t know what to look for. And when a problem develops, you can end up spending thousands — or even tens of thousands — of dollars fixing something that is already broken.

So, the money you spend on a good home inspector could pay off quickly. Here are just five expensive fixes that an inspector will spot for you before the problem gets out of hand:


1. Roof
Roof repair can be costly, especially if there is a need to replace the whole roof. Often you can save yourself a load of stress and inconvenience by knowing before you purchase what you may be up for.

You can then deal with it as a preventative measure rather than when a leak worsens, or catastrophe strikes and your roof fails.

There are some common roof issues you can check for each roof type to help extend the life of your roof and resolve issues quicker when spotted early.

For flat (skillion) metal roofing it’s rust that can be your biggest enemy. A building inspection can help identify if a rusted roof can be saved with treatment of it’s a total replacement. A rust treatment can cost a few thousand and replacement over $30,000.

Concrete tiled roofs often suffer from surface deterioration causing the tile to become porous.  The remedy is simple enough and that is to resurface (paint) the roof tiles. This can cost $2,000-$3,000 and your building inspection can assist with understanding if this is an urgent matter, or you have some time before it is required.

Terracotta tiled roofs can fret over time, especially when the tile clay begins to break down. This process is not reversible, and eventually, the entire roof will require replacing. If it’s noticed early enough, it could last up to 5 to 10 years or until a replacement is needed. The building inspector should be able to give you an indication of when the roof will require replacing. The cost can be upward of $40,000.


2. Foundation
There are many types of foundation cracks that can occur, signalling some type of damage, but repair work will vary based on the type of foundation material, as well as the size, shape, direction, and location of the crack. These include wall shrinkage cracks, wall settling cracks, and floor shrinkage and settlement cracks. During a building inspection, cracks are categorized as:

  • Appearance cracking, therefore, requires no action other than cosmetic;
  • Serviceability cracking: requires monitoring for changes in size/direction and may affect the use of the area; or
  • Structural cracking, which requires further evaluation, usually be an engineer and is likely to be a costly repair. Structural repairs can cost tens of thousands.

Having a building inspector look at the property before purchasing can clarify your exposure to future expenses.


3. Deck, Veranda or Balcony
A deck, veranda or balcony are commonly constructed with timber, and timber structures require regular maintenance to ensure longevity and safety for users. Before purchasing a home, a building consultant should be engaged to inspect the property, most importantly, the timber structures of the home.

The common issues found by building inspectors are related to poorly maintained timber structures. Timber decay and termite damage are the main issues, and if server can lead to structure failure. Occasionally, we hear in the news that a deck collapsed, injuring and even killing the residents. The cost of not having the building inspection could be catastrophic.


4. Full Brick Construction
Touted as the best construction method, full brick or double brick can come with some hidden issues, and the biggest of all is rising damp. If a purchaser is not aware or neglects to have a building inspection, the remediation of rising damp is costly. Rising damp is moisture found at the base of full brick wall construction and is detected with a moisture metre. The dampness is caused by a capillary reaction of water rising from the soil into the brickwork and can travel 1.2 metres up a masonry wall.

The prevention of rising damp is to install a damp proof material into a mortar course below the floor level.

In older homes, they may not have installed a damp course at all or, if installed, used a damp course material that breaks down over time.

Rising damp could be at the base of all the ground floor walls to the whole home and to stop the dampness means installing a new damp course—a very costly and messy task.


5. Shower
The visual nature with its shiny tiles and glass is misleadingly deceptive, causing many buyers to overlook one of the most annoying defects a home can have, a leaking shower. This is where the waterproofing membrane under the tiles has failed, causing water to leak into the surrounding wall and floor areas of the home. To put it in perspective, the Building Act categorises a waterproofing failure as a major defect. The reasoning behind this is because a water leak, if left, can cause structural failure that leads to a loss of amenity and could cause injury or worse.

The other issue with a shower leak is that the water can attract termites compounding the problems when it comes to remediation.

Repairing a leaking shower can cost upwards of $1200.00 and where tiles can not be matched the whole bathroom may require updating.


We have provided you with 5 common examples of what defects lead to higher repair costs in the future. A home inspection can get you pretty close to an idea of what it would cost to fix up your home completely. Home inspections are a great way of understanding the issues to enable a quick decision.

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