Pre-Purchase Reports – Structural or Comprehensive?

building inspections perth

Pre-Purchase Reports – Structural or Comprehensive?

So you’ve purchased a home and are considering which type of building inspection to have completed on the home. Most building inspection businesses offer two or three different types of inspections, and it is important you understand exactly what you’ll be getting for your money. The below article explains the types of building
inspections offered by Cap-It-All Building Inspections Perth, how much information you will receive and will give you a better understanding of which inspection is right for you.


Structural Building Inspection

A more cost-effective inspection, this is the preferred inspection for most real estate agents as it provides basic information relating to any defects affecting the structural integrity of the main dwelling. You can expect the
following to be reported on during this inspection:

  • Foundation instability
  • Significant fretting or spalling of masonry and concrete structural elements
  • Rusting of primary structural elements
  • Cracking to primary structural elements
  • Fungal decay caused by wood decay fungi
  • Structural defects identified to the roof framework
  • Safety hazards relating to balconies and stairs
  • Attachments to the main property
  • General safety hazards

It is important to remember that all building inspectors have a duty to warn you of any defects that may affect your health or safety. During a structural building inspection specialist equipment such as moisture meters,
thermal imaging cameras and termite detection devices may be used at the discretion of the inspector, but this information will not be included as standard. As mentioned above, real estate agents (who act in the best
interest of the seller) prefer this type of inspection as it is straight forward, and only provides you with the
information to make an immediate decision on whether the home you are purchasing is structurally sound, and you are happy to proceed with the purchase. Generally our inspectors will take 45mins – 1.5 hours undertaking this inspection, and the report will take our administrators 1-2 hours to generate with reports typically being 25+ pages.


Comprehensive Building Inspection

A comprehensive building inspection provides a lot more information, for a little more money. This inspection would suit buyers who want as much information about their new home as possible, especially if you would like an idea of what areas of the property will require maintenance in the short, medium and long term to avoid
defects arising in the future. You can expect the following to be reported on during this inspection:

  • General adequacy of drainage
  • Presence of RCDs and smoke alarms
  • All visual defects relating to masonry, concrete and paving
  • All visual defects related to rust and corrosion
  • Cracking to all areas of the property including major and minor cracking
  • Fungal decay caused by wood decay fungi and other timber pest activity
  • Conditions that may be conducive to termite attack
  • Room-by-room assessment of the interior of the property
  • Confirmation of the operation of doors, windows, taps and exhaust fans
  • Structural defects identified to the roof framework
  • Defects related to the roof exterior including water-tightness
  • Additional structures including sheds and outbuildings
  • Boundary walls and fencing
  • All health and safety hazards such as defects which can cause possible electrocution, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, asbestos and mould (all of these hazards are found regularly by our inspectors)

Inspectors are more likely to utilise specialist equipment such as moisture meters, thermal imaging cameras and termite detection during this inspection so you can be provided with as much information as possible.
A Comprehensive Building Inspection will provide you with a report which can be used for years to come, not just during the process of buying the property. You will be able to refer back to this report with a strong understanding of works you should be undertaking in your home in order to maintain it properly and prevent costly repairs.
Generally our inspectors will take 2.5-5 hours undertaking this inspection (dependent upon the size and age of the home), and the report can take our administrators up to 4 hours to generate with reports generally being 50+ pages. The price difference between this inspection and the structural building inspection is not large, however it takes our inspectors a lot longer to complete the inspection. Cap-It-All’s inspectors much prefer undertaking comprehensive building inspections as it gives them a chance to showcase their expertise to their clients, and maximise value by providing a plethora of information that the inspector can then take the time to explain.

It may be best to describe the Structural Building Inspection as an inspection which will give you the information you need NOW when you’re buying the property, whereas the Comprehensive Building Inspection is a long term solution which provides you with the information you require now, along with a wealth of information relating to your new property which you can use for years to come.

All of Cap-It-All Building Inspections’ reports are followed up via phone call from the inspector themselves, so you have the opportunity to discuss all identified defects with the inspector, and we can advise you on
rectification matters including urgency, recommend trusted trades, and advise you on the potential consequences of not rectifying defects noted.

Cap-It-All Building Inspections pride ourselves on being proactive in our approach and going above and beyond for all of our clients. Should you require a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection or would like any further information on the inspections we offer do not hesitate to get in touch with us via telephone on (08) 9405 8710 or email at

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