The only ones I have had any dealings with are not good ones but seem to make their money by scaring the dickins out of potential buyers by making it sound like the house is about to fall over and the termites are ready to attack .
No matter who you use, make a point of speaking to the person and don't just read the report.
I think they are so careful to ensure they can't be accused of missing anything that they highlight any slight imperfection, or use the "possibility of e.g. termites" when there is no evidence at all, but they are then covered if they miss anything.
Our last report on a property had us reconsidering the purchase until hubby rang the inspector. Oh, inspector said, it's a great property, a few little things but overall in very good condition. That was NOT the impression we got from the report, which was a huge list of (admittedly minor) blemishes.
I have recently got a building and pest inspection carried out on a Brissie property a couple of weeks ago now, and was also taken aback from some of the comments mentioned in the report.
I witnessed the inspection and also asked any comments / queries I had, and the guys gave me a bit of a summary as well at the end of the inspection, which was good. All up gave me the conclusion that the property was in good nick.
However, when I received there paperwork (report) the next day, I was a bit surprised finding that both the building and pest report concluded that they are both highly conducive to timber pest attack and structural damage. Based on this assessment, I had to ring them back to figure out if they mixed up the paperwork with another property, as there written report was somewhat different to the oral report given to me on the day.
The inspectors are only 'protecting themselves' by putting these disclaimers in there. After ringing up and clarifying the reports, the inspector said that the reports come across quite 'pessimistic'. The reasoning for the 'high risk' was due to several reasons, but was added to the fact of the folllowing:
1. some areas of the ceiling were visually obstructed with insulation bats, so could not see entire truss
2. some areas of the roof cavity could not be accessed, due to the roof pitch and configuration
3. the furniture inside the house was not moved (obviously), so could not be investigated.
4. Any clothes / boxes, etc, was not moved to check behind / under
5. Carpet was laid, so couldn't see under this.
1. As there was no previous termite barrier or treament / management system in place, it was considered highly conducive to termite attack (even though there were no sign of termites on the property, and there were no mature trees on site).
In the end, you pay good money for this service, and would like to get some assurance 'in writing' that it is OK. Unfortunately, in this day and age, I guess we will always see such disclaimers in these types of assessment reports.
BTW, as Urban cowboy has mentioned these guys, I used Qld Building & Pest. I have since this first inspection a couple of weeks ago, used them again last week. (and would use them again) I think the most important thing to do is to try and be there during the inspection, so you can be breifed during the inspection.
Hi Fudge. What you have written is exactly what happened to a house Mum sold recently. She doesn't like building inspectors much because having sold houses, she saw this happen all too often, and contracts often crashed due simply to the wording used by inspectors.
She always insisted on the purchaser being present for the end of the inspection because while the inspector might say "this is a good, solid house and there are no issues I can see to put you off buying it" their subsequent written report often make it sound like the building should be condemned.
I know they are covering themselves, but it has gone too far, and is causing contract crashes, price reductions which are not necessary, but sometimes because vendors need the money, and unnecessary angst for both buyer and seller, and agents .
It is a shame they cannot just write on the report that it is a good house, but I understand why they cannot.
In the case of the house my Mum sold, the chap missed live termites in a tree stump in the back yard . Our own trusted pestman found them and treated them. But the building/pest man, of course , told the purchasers that the house needed a $4K barrier treatment to protect it from future IMMINENT termite attack. Our guy quoted $1.5K for the same treatment.
You pay professionals to give professional advice within there area of expertise. You expect the verbal spiel to be similar to a written report.
I found it invaluable however to be there on the two different properties I had ordered the Building and Pest inspection on.
If I wasn't there at the inspection, and asking pest and building / renovating questions of what I thought / What I wanted to do, I too, quite possibly would have done what you suggest is happening, and the contract may have been broken due to the report coming up quite harsh.
One thing I have learned recently, is that I will go to every Building and Pest Inspection I get done (provided it is within a 100klms or so.)