Building & Pest Inspections, Pre-sale Reports, New Home Inspections, Unit Inspections

Bookings: 0488 900386



What happens during a Building Inspection?

The inspection looks for major building defects such as Leaking roofs, Structural inadequacies, Leaking showers, damp issues, poor external drainage, water hammer and potential safety hazards. During a building inspection the following areas are fully explored: The Roof exterior – The roof coverings such as tiles, corrugated metal and membranes, valleys, flashings, cappings, penetrations and skylights, gutters and downpipes etc – Essentially we look for evidence the roof is not water tight or adequately plumbed. The Roof interior – The roof framing members and connections are checked for defects, the roof covering (from the inside) is checked for evidence of leaks, sisalation, insulation and electrical installations are assessed for potential safety hazards. The Building exterior – The building elevations are checked for cracks and other defects, windows and doors are assessed, balconies / verandahs deck and other timber structures are checked for structural adequacy, wood rot and other defects. The Building interior – Bedrooms, hallways and living areas and checked for defects including the floors, walls and ceilings, timber trims, windows and doors as well as joinery and cupboards. Wet areas such as Kitchens, Bathrooms and laundries are assessed for a number of things including water operation, evidence of water hammer, age and condition of hot water service, evidence of leaking shower recess / wet areas, defects to sanitary fixture and fittings, toilets are flushed, moisture readings are taken. The grounds – Paths and steps, retaining walls, driveways and external surface drainage are inspected for defects or inadequacies up to 30 meters from the main building. Large trees and other potential problems are assessed including the boundary fences. Up to one Outbuilding is inspected, such as a garage, granny flat or shed.

What is a Pest Inspection?

A Pest Inspection, officially known as a Timber Pest Inspection is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED and looks for four very important things: 1) Subterranean Termites or evidence of termite activity and damage as well as any previous Termite treatment. 2) Timber borers or evidence of timber borers and damage. 3) Wood rot (wood decay fungi) damage and potential safety hazards in timber structures such as rotten timber steps, handrails and balconies. 4) As well as any conditions that may be conducive to Termite attack or wood rot.

Will a Building and Pest Inspection reveal if a house has asbestos?

Our inspectors can notify you of any materials suspected of containing asbestos if requested. This is based on certain indicators such as property age, property type and other visual indicators. Please note however, we don’t carry out 'asbestos inspections' per se, because positive identification of asbestos requires removal of suspected material and laboratory testing. Visit our post to read about the likelihood and typical areas asbestos could be found within a house.

How do I receive the reports?

We send all reports via email to your  nominated email address. If you would also like a copy posted to you in the mail, we send a printed and bound version in colour for $20 per report.

What is your cancellation policy?

We require 24 hours notice prior to the inspection start time for any cancellations otherwise the full amount applies. Notification of cancellation must be made by phoning 1300 556 156. Cancellations for Mondays need to be received by midday on the Friday prior. A $30 administration fee will be applied to your account for cancellations outside of 24 hours. Once access has been confirmed by our office with the agent/vendor/tenant, if access to the property or any parts of the property are not possible upon arrival/commencement/within 24 hours of the pre-arranged inspection appointment time, we reserve the right to charge the full amount for the inspection.

Do you carry out Building and Pest Inspections on Saturdays?

Yes, we carry out building and pest inspections on Saturdays. There are no additional charges for inspections carried out on a Saturday.

I have a new house on a concrete slab. Is my house at risk of termite attack?

Many home owners assume that a concrete slab and external brick walls prevents termites from accessing their home. This is untrue. Termites can gain access over the slab edge and can travel through brick mortar joints and weep holes in external brickwork. They also gain access through cracks in the slab and slab penetrations such as plumbing and electrical wiring. Often homes built on concrete slabs (slab on ground construction) are brick veneer with soft-wood timber wall frames. This timber is located close to ground level and is easily accessed and readily consumed by termites. If the concrete slab edge of the slab is concealed by concrete paths, patios, pavers, garden beds, lawns, foliage, etc then it is possible for termites to gain concealed access into wall frames. They can then cause extensive damage to concealed framing timbers. With a concrete slab home it is imperative that you expose the edge of the slab and ensure that foliage and garden beds do not cover the slab edge. Weep holes (gaps in brickwork designed to drain water from the wall frames) must be kept free of obstructions.  

What is a Timber Pest?

Timber pests include Termites, Wood Decay Fungi (wood rot) and Timber Borers. They are considered pests because they weaken timber structures, such as decks, handrails and roof, wall and floor frames, floor boards etc. These pests can weaken timber structures to the point of collapse, posing serious structural problems and possible safety hazards. The damage they cause can be invisible to the untrained eye, often only manifesting later down the track when renovating or after part of the building fails. It is important to note that all Sydney properties are at risk of termite attack. Termites are the cause of the greatest economic losses of timber in service in Australia. Independent data compiled by State Forestry and the CSIRO shows 1 in every 5 homes is attacked by termites at some stage in its life. More recent data would indicate that this is now as high as 1 in every three properties. Australia’s subterranean termite species (white ants) are the most destructive timber pests in the world. The CSIRO rates Sydney as the second highest risk zone for termite attack in Australia.

What Qualifications do Sydney PrePurchase Building & Pest Inspectors have?

Our building inspectors are accredited building consultants who have carried out specialised inspection training, hold current Builder’s Licenses and have a minimum of fifteen years building industry experience. Our Timber Pest Inspectors have undergone specialised training and accreditation through a rigorous qualification process. Sydney PrePurchase Building and Pest Inspectors’ expertise is based on decades of experience in all facets of the building and timber pest industry. Sydney PrePurchase is fully covered for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance through Pacific International. We comply with the current relevant Australian Standards AS 4349.1 – 2007 & AS 4349.3 – 2010.

Do you require payment prior to sending the report?

It is company policy to receive payment upon ordering your inspection. For cancellation of inspections, we require 24 hours notice, otherwise the full fee applies. You can arrange a solicitor or conveyancer to order the report on your behalf and we will settle the account with them.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept credit card payments from MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club as well as Direct EFT.

Does Sydney PrePurchase offer wholesale rates and credit term accounts for Solicitors, Conveyancers and other Professionals?

Yes, we have wholesale rates and credit term accounts. Please phone us on 1300 556 156 or email

Is it possible to request special attention be given to a specific area (or problem)?

Yes, certainly. Our Inspectors will include information on your area of specific concern at no extra charge

What if I don’t completely understand something in the Report?

We provide full telephone support and are here to help.

Do you include photographs with your reports?

Yes, our building reports contain a photographic summary.

What sort of properties need an Inspection?

All homes and units should be inspected. Freestanding houses, attached semis, terraces, villas, duplexes, townhouses, and all kinds of units or apartments can contain major defects or termite damage. Don’t be fooled by slick new developments or recent renovations. These buildings often contain defects such as leaking showers/baths, structural faults and poor workmanship.

When will I get the Report?

We aim to have the report to you in 24 hours. Reports can also be made available same-day if required.

How long does an Inspection take?

An average 3 bedroom house and property should take between 1-2 hours to inspect.

When Should I get an Inspection?

If the property is going to Auction the Inspection should be carried out as soon as possible, this will give you time to read the report and consider its implications with regard to your bidding strategy and the amount of other interest in the property. If the property is for sale by private treaty, again, it is best to have the inspection done as soon as possible. Traditionally the inspection is carried out once your offer on the property has been accepted, but before exchange of contracts, or after exchange of contracts but during the five day cooling off period. This approach may not provide an opportunity for the buyer to effectively negotiate on price. The Sydney property market moves fast, you need to be prepared.

Do I need a Pest Inspection as well as a Building Inspection?

When you buy a used car you wouldn’t just look under the bonnet. The vehicle needs to be thoroughly checked inside, outside and underneath for a range of mechanical and structural issues. It’s the same when you buy a house or unit. A Timber Pest Inspection, commonly referred to as a 'Pest Inspection' looks for Termite damage as well as Wood Rot (wood Decay Fungi) that can cause structural issues and potential safety hazards. You may not think termites are not a problem in a big city like Sydney. Think again. Up to thirty percent of homes in Sydney have had some form of Termite activity. The CSIRO has rated Sydney as the second highest risk zone in Australia for Termite attack. All homes contain timber elements in their construction and are at HIGH RISK of Termite attack That’s why we strongly recommend customers arrange a Combined Building and Timber Pest Inspection.

Why Should I use Sydney Pre-Purchase?

Our Inspectors are accredited Building Consultants and Licensed Builders. Our Building and Pest Inspectors have undergone a rigorous qualification process and specialised timber pest accreditation. We consistently stay up to date with industry trends and legal requirements through continued professional development. We are fully insured for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity through Pacific International Insurance. We believe our Building and Pest Reports are the best in the industry and our prices are very competitive. We can provide reports within 24hrs of the inspection, or same-day when required. Full telephone support is provided directly from our Inspectors, and we can also arrange for a site consultation to fully explore any issues a property may have. Our expertise is based on decades of experience in all facets of the building and timber pest industry. Sydney PrePurchase is an ethical company who serves our customers as we would like to be served. Our professional staff are friendly, helpful and responsive.

What is included in the Report?

Most of our Building reports are approximately 25 pages and include the following: A description of the property A photographic summary of the major defects A detailed “area by area” description of all the major defects found at the property Recommendations for further investigation A conclusion on the overall condition of the property. This compares the building with a property of a similar type and age. Most of our Timber Pest Reports are 10-15 pages and include the following Were Active termites found? Evidence of Termite activity. Evidence of any previous termite treatment (this is very important). Presence of wood borer damage. Presence of Wood decay fungi (wood rot), especially in external structures where wood rot can pose a potential safety hazard, such as steps, handrails and decks. Conditions that may be conducive to any of the above.