Buying a home is expensive. The last thing the owner of a new home wants to come across is cracks, damp or roof leaks they missed during viewings. A comprehensive home inspection by a professional could be the difference between loving and regretting your new home.
“Potential home owners should do a full-home inspection before they buy a house. It is much cheaper to spend R2 000 to R5 000 on a full-home inspection than paying attorney fees afterwards,” says Marisia Robus from Gauteng Home Inspections. Gauteng Home Inspections offers various home inspections, including a full-home inspection, a walk-through and a basic-essential inspection.
“In a full-home inspection, everything from the gate, to the roof and the geyser is checked. Cupboards are opened and all the toilets are flushed,” notes Robus. The inspection will include structure, damp, roof, storm water, exterior and interior (for example tiling and leaks) inspection among other things.
Gauteng Home Inspections is also able to verify whether a property is built according to its approved building plans if the plans are made available. During a walk-through inspection, the inspector is not responsible for taking notes or providing a report.
“All the defects and potential problems are pointed out, but it is the purchaser’s responsibility to make notes. They are also required to accompany the inspector on to the roof and in to the ceiling so that various concerns can be pointed out to them,” says Robus.
There is also the basic-essential inspection. It includes a general inspection of the first impressions and appearances of the building, any signs of possible rodents or bird nesting, cracks and damp. The condition of the roof is checked along with storm water drainage.
Gauteng Hone Inspections is the only home inspection company that has an ITC-certified roof inspector, Albert van Wyk. He is one of only 40 ITC-certified roof inspectors in the country.
Gauteng Home Inspections is also available to do only damp, crack or roof inspections, if a full-home inspection isn’t needed.
The company offers snag-list inspections, which is one of the main reasons why Van Wyk, the CEO of Gauteng Home Inspections, wrote The Proud Home Owner.
“When I started my construction company in 1973, I only employed trained artisans, which were not difficult to come by. Nowadays a trained and skilled artisan is very hard to find. The other problem is the supervision on site,” Van Wyk says.
“If you have an unskilled plasterer, but the supervisor on site knows what National Building Regulations and National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) Guidelines require, he can guide the plasterer. In most cases, the site foreman or project manager is just as unskilled. I hope that, with the book, I can help owners to force the construction companies to build their houses according to National Building Regulations and NHBRC Guidelines,” he adds.
Snag reports are conducted on newly built properties. A developer will often give the owner the opportunity to list all defects, which are then fixed before the owner moves into the house. Snags that are picked up by Gauteng Home Inspections are more often construction errors made by the contractor.
“Some contractors want to repair as many of the snags as possible before occupation, then they only have minor items to repair during the three-months snag period. Some defects should be treated with discretion. It is not practical to remove a door frame at this late stage,” she adds.
Gauteng Home Inspections can also assist in briefing the contractor on how to repair issues. Robus says: “We have had cases where the contractor refuses to repair an item pointed out in the snag list. In many these cases, the contractor is totally ignorant and has no clue how to repair the snags.”
Any form of professional inspection can assist in better understanding the condition of a home. In a worst-case scenario situation, Van Wyk is available to assist with construction disputes and court cases.