Pre Purchase Building Inspection Checklist

Looking to understand what is involved in a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection? The following provides an overview of our building inspection checklist, it's not an exhaustive list, as many items will be unique to a property, but acts as a minimum list of items to check. Inspections should be done by a qualified person, this checklist is not designed to replace an expert inspection, rather a list of things to consider when reading your inspection report. Should you require an inspection,schedule an inspection online
Before we jump into the detail of what we look for when doing an inspection, let's first align on what a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection is and what it is designed to achieve.

Under the Australian Standard that governs Pre-Purchase Building Inspections (AS 4349.1-2007), the purpose of an inspection is an attempt to understand the condition of the building structure of a property through a visual inspection. The report is required to outline major defects and provide an opinion as the general; condition of the property in relation to its age and the building standards at the time the property was constructed., in order to inform a prospective buyer or other interested party, prior to making a purchase decision. The inspection includes accessible parts of the building and any relevant features on the property within 30m of the building and within the boundaries of the site, or as otherwise agreed in the pre-purchase inspection agreement.

In this context, "relevant features" include car accommodation, detached laundry, abolition facilities, garden sheds, retaining walls more than 700mm high, paths, driveways, steps, fencing, earth embankments, surface water drainage and stormwater run-off.

Note: Inspection of Strata and Company Title residential property will be limited to the nominated residence and does not include common property.

Building Types
The building types that are suitable for this checklist will be residential, these will include:
Freestanding houses
Semi-detached houses
Terrace Style houses
Multi-unit residential buildings

Inspectable Areas:
Areas that are to be inspected will include:
The interior of the building
the Exterior of the building
The roof space
The sub-floor space (if applicable)
The roof exterior
The property withing 30m of the building

Type of Defects
The defects identified should be categorised into 1 or more of the following:

Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Checklist

Building Interior


  • Sagging
  • Defective Lining
  • Lath and plaster key damage
  • Fibrous plaster
  • Scrimming/grouting/strapping
  • Cracking/bubbling/peeling
  • Dampness and damp damage


  • Bulging
  • Nails popping
  • Defective lining
  • Cracking
  • Dampness and damp damage
  • Distortion, verticality
  • Drummy plaster and render

Timber Floors

  • Damage
  • Decay
  • Out of level
  • Dampness and damp damage
  • Floor movement such as spring or bounce

Concrete Floors

  • Cracking
  • Surface Damage
  • Out of level
  • Dampness and damp damage

Timber Windows

  • Putty
  • Broken or cracked glass
  • Sash operation
  • Sash fitting and hardware
  • Water staining
  • Decaying frames and sashes

Metal Framed Windows

  • Glazing Seals
  • Broken or Cracked Glass
  • Sash Operation
  • Sash fittings and hardware
  • Water staining and corrosion

Doors and frames

  • Binding doors
  • Defective door hardware
  • Corroded or damaged frames
  • Damaged doors
  • loose or badly fitting doors
  • Door stops

Bench Tops

  • Lifting or delamination
  • Damage
  • Water damage


  • Water damage
  • Operation of doors and drawers


  • Chips, cracks, leaking, etc. Water supply to be turned on, and taps operated
  • Evidence of wall hammer


  • Drummy
  • Cracked
  • Loose or missing
  • Grouting and sealant

Bathroom & WC

  • Drummy tiles
  • Grout & Sealant
  • Cistern & Pan
  • Leaks and water damage


  • Damage
  • Adequately sealed and properly recessed at the junction with wall
  • Ventilation


  • Visual signs of leakage Screen 
  • Broken glass
  • Water supply to be turned on and the shower operated


  • Damage
  • Daws and drawers


  • Waste trap condition
  • Damage
  • Water supply to be turned on and taps operated 
  • Loose


  • Cracking
  • Frame deterioration
  • Delamination


  • Handrails & Balusters
  • Tread and riser condition
  • Tread height and width
  • Stringer condition
  • Newal posts

All (General)

  • Horizontally or laterally penetrating damp 
  • Damp problems
  • Rising
  • Falling
  • Condensation

Building Exterior

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