Building inspection

Building inspection

A building inspection will identify potential problems and help the buyer make an informed decision.

How does a building inspection work?

A building inspection is a detailed inspection of the building. The building expert inspects the building and checks the construction, materials, design, and other aspects to identify any problems. For example, the building inspection will often examine electric, sanitary, ventilatory, and heating installations.

What aspects are covered by a building inspection?

A building inspection includes an examination of several aspects, such as:

  • Owner information, such as asbestos, VvE, vermin, technical installations
  • Construction, such as the roof structure and roof boarding
  • Stairs, fences, and railings in the house
  • Condition of any dormer windows, window frames, lead, but also roof windows
  • All sanitary groups, such as bathroom, kitchen, and toilet
  • State and shape of the floors, walls, and ceilings in the house
  • Everything related to the installations (water, gas, electricity, etc.)
  • Fire safety and ventilation in the house
  • Crawl space, floor beams, and foundation
  • Roofs, tiles, roofing, chimneys, and other roof details
  • Gutters, overhangs, and rainwater downpipes
  • Facades, brickwork, wall cladding, and lintels
  • Window frames, painting, glass, and window sills
  • Painting outside the house
  • Building extensions with everything attached to them, such as roof, frame, facade, etc.
  • Outbuildings, shed, garage, outside stairs, garden, and other
  • A cost estimate containing direct costs, long-term costs, and improvement costs

The building inspection is visual and non-destructive. So a roof is not dismantled to inspect the tiles. If the inspector accidentally finds asbestos during the inspection, this will be mentioned in the report. However, the inspection is not an asbestos inventory. Also, any hidden defects that become visible after removing wall finishes, paneling, etc., are not included in this visual building inspection.

Is a building inspection mandatory?

No, a building inspection is not compulsory when you buy a house. However, it is a condition for fulfilling your legal obligation to investigate. Therefore, you can include a building inspection as a resolutive condition in your offer and tie a fee to it. If the inspection reveals higher costs, you can annul the purchase.

When should you carry out a building inspection?

You can plan the inspection before signing the provisional sales agreement. However, time is of the essence when finding someone to carry out the inspection and produce a report. A verbal walk-through inspection is an excellent alternative. After the inspection, you can ask questions and discuss the results.

You can also have the inspection done after signing the purchase agreement. In that case, a verbal walk-through inspection is an obvious choice because you need to know the structural condition of the house within the legal three-day reflection period. Sometimes there is a reason to dissolve the sale or renegotiate.

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