Navigating the Building Handover Inspection process…

Your new home is almost complete and you really want to make sure you achieve the best quality outcome with a smooth, thorough and efficient handover process. A home reaches practical completion or is ready for handover when all the building work has been done and you are able to move in, i.e it is reasonably suitable for habitation. Some minor defects and minor omissions are acceptable.” This is what you can expect:

Prior to handover…

The builder should notify you 2 to 3 weeks prior to advise you of the PCI (Practical Inspection Inspection) and the final Handover date.  It is at this time you can engage a professional building inspector.  Once a request is complete and emailed to your inspector, access can be organised with the builder to inspect your property at handover. A two part inspection process is advisable. This includes the initial inspection (PCI) and then a follow up inspection (HANDOVER) to check the status of each item that was noted on the initial report.

At the initial building inspection (PCI)…

The handover report is prepared based on a visual inspection covering both the internal and external areas of the home providing a detailed list of any defects and compliance issues that are noted during the inspection. Our inspectors check for building compliance following the strict guidelines set by the Building Code of Australia and the relevant Australian Standards.

An inspection is conducted and the report is prepared onsite. Email copies are sent to all parties that same day.  A hard copy of the report is also printed and left onsite for the builder and trades to access immediately to complete any rectification works as soon as possible.  This takes approximately 7-10 working days.

At the follow up inspection (HANDOVER)…

A copy of the initial report is used to check what defects have been rectified and that any outstanding works have been completed.  If any items are left outstanding or new problems are identified, they can be followed up for rectification during the maintenance period stated in your build contract and the builder will need to be advised in writing. This is normally 12 months but check your contract.

“The builder is liable to fix all defects that do not comply with the QBCC Standards & Tolerances Guide & relevant standards/installation guides within the maintenance period.  This includes defects identified by a professional inspector or the client at any time within the maintenance period.”

Paying of final payment to the builder…

For contracts to build a new home or to renovate, alter, extend or repair a home, final payment is made at practical completion. This is when:

  • all contracted work is completed in accordance with all relevant laws, legal requirements and with the plans and specifications
  • any minor defects or minor omissions are recorded on a signed defects document
  • the house is reasonably suitable for habitation (where the contract requires this).

Some contracts (including the New Home Construction Contract) require the contractor to provide all certificates of inspection (including the ‘final’ certificate) before they receive final payment.

QBCC’s complaints process provides information about what to do if the contractor fails to correct these defects.