When is your new house practically completed?

It might come as surprise to you, but practical completion in building contract terms and final completion by customers’ understanding can be two very different things.

When it comes to understanding the meaning of the worlds “completed” and “handover”, the interpretation will depend on what has been specified in your building contract. Your contract may not specify that you  need any floor coverings installed, or site drainage done, or painting done. You can chose to do few jobs yourself, except jobs which are related to safe movement and amenities.(For more details you can read “Domestic Building Contract Act 1995” and go to Consumer Affairs Victoria website.)

Unless you find some serious structural or major building defects which will make it unsafe to move in or will require major rectifications works, you will be obligated to make the final payment. From this point on you will have some contractual period in which you can present in writing your findings of building defects. Sometimes your can have a week to do that, sometimes 3 months. Usually problems escalate if the builder fails to produce quality work after "fixing" mentioned defects.

Taking Legal action against the builder in most cases is not going to change the quality of your house. The builder can be forces to fix some minor defects. But if you walls are out of plumb by 15-20mm, which we have seen many times over, he can’t properly fix the problem at final stage. The only way to avoid serious issues at the completion of the job is to get an independent inspector who will work for you only to inspect your project at the 4 important stages –pre-slab, frame, fix and final. Then, the final stage may present only minor defects to rectify.

Hiring lawyers, going to court or fixing building defects yourself will cost you many times more than the few hundred dollars that an independent inspection costs.

Customer Testimonials

Ilian Selensky, Northcote Ilian Selensky, Northcote:

"We appointed Jack to inspect a townhouse we bought off the plan in Ivanhoe. Prior to that I spend days trying to do defect list myself and save some money. When I realized how many defects there are in my opinion I figured out that I might need some professional to show me what actually is considered defect and what not. What I was truly surprised by, after reading Jack’s report, was that after all that time spend I have only managed to see small surface defects and I have completely missed serious hazardous for the building defects. His report was professionally presented, very well structured and every one of the 73 pictures identifying a defect was addressed to relevant building rule. We end up pulling out of this contract when we realized how badly built this place was and how many potentially expensive faults there were.

We highly recommend Jack if you need experienced building professional for your building inspection"


Mary and James Monaco, Oakleigh Mary and James Monaco, Oakleigh:

We used Building inspections Melbourne at the end of June for pre-purchase inspection for our new house. It was stress-free and pleasant experience from the first phone call to the follow up conversation after the report. The report was send to us the next morning and was easy to understand with a lot of pictures.Thank you guys, great service.


Suzan and Jake Suzan and Jake :

Hi Jack, Just quick thanks for your fantastic work with our stage inspections. It was a great help to have you on our site in the last 5 months. The builder didn’t argue any of the final defects you had in your reports and we are extremely happy with the end result. We are moving in next weekend and we are excited about it.


137B Inspection, Abbotsford 137B Inspection, Abbotsford:

" We are very happy with the services provided by T Cover. Jack is very understandable, professional and extremely helpful. When I phoned Jack, explained my urgent situation, he immediately understood.  Although he was very busy, he gave us an appointment for next day, he also sent us an example report. Jack is very punctual, he came next day as promised and completed his inspections professionally. It was amazing after few hours we received the defects report and our biggest concern has been sorted. We really appreciated and thank him for his efforts in helping us having the report quickly that help us to sort out lots our other related works. We would not hesitate to recommend Jack to anybody and we definitely will call him again if we need inspection in the future.  Thank you very much Jack.  Kind regards, Dave & Lil , Abbotsford- 8.10.15"

Frame Inspection, Alphington Frame Inspection, Alphington:

"We were impressed with Jack's advice and thoroughness; he advised on and picked up a number of important matters which kept our builder focused and gave us peace of mind. To use Jack is not a negative gesture to the builder; we cannot possibly determine defects and omissions ourselves. The old saying is that a person who represents him/herself has a fool for a client; when building a house one should  be represented in inspections and obtain an independent view which can be used to work with one's builder -  it is money well spent; instruct an inspector like Jack - Peter & Anett, Alphington. 20 Sep 2015."