Building & Pest Inspections
A BPI Adelaide pre-pruchase Building Inspection will assist you to make an informed decision in relation to the overall condition of your home in comparison to a property of similar age and construction.
Our inspection is carried out in in accordance with Australian Standard 4349.1- 2007 and will detail all major defects, problems or potential problems and safety hazards to the property and will provide recommendations about remedial action you should take to bring the property to an acceptable standard.
The inspection will cover all areas of the property which provide reasonable access including:
– The interior
– The subfloor
– The roof void
– The roof exterior
– The exterior
– The site
A BPI Adelaide Building Inspection Report lets you make your purchase decision with the best professional advice and detailed knowledge of the condition of the building structure.
To book a time for a pre-purchase inspection on a property, please call 1800 609 065
Is your house or the house you are purchasing affected by termites?
CSIRO statistics reveal termites attack 1 in every 5 Australian homes.
They cause serious damage to homes costing home owners thousands of dollars in repairs and resulting in the loss of re-sale value to homes that have a history of termite damage.
A pest inspection will determine the presence of wood-destroying insects, such as termites, borers and wood decaying fungi.
We use Thermal Camera Technology to help detect these insects in addition to the Australian Standard 4349.3- 2010 and AS 3660 Inspection guidelines.
A BPI Adelaide Timber Pest Report will not only detect and identify the pests but will provide a maintenance plan so you can prevent future attack and ensure that your investment is secure.
Tools use within the Timber Pest Inspection
Probe/Tapping Device – The probe is used to tap the architraves, skirtings, window reveals and frames, door jams and other timbers for termite damage.
Moisture Meter – Termites live in a high moisture environment so a moisture meter can pick up termite activity.
Thermal Image Camera – A Thermal camera is used to scan the walls for “hot” or “cold” spots. The camera measures the surface temperature of materials and displays that temperature on the screen as variations of black (cold) and white (hot) we can also use colour rather than black & white. Termite nests, for instance, will usually be hotter than a surface and may show up as a “white” or “hot spot”, while wet areas, such as a roof or shower leak may show up as “black” or “cold” spots.
We use the camera as part of our inspections as an added service. The Thermal Scan is not part of the Australian Standard but it is a worthwhile extra for peace of mind.
Asbestos is a generic term applied to some mineral silicates of the serpentine and amphibole groups, whose characteristic feature is to crystallise in fibrous form. There are many members of the family – common among these are blue asbestos (crocidolite), white (chrysotile) and brown or grey asbestos (amosite). Other forms of asbestos include anthophyllite which was used mainly in Finland. However tremolite, said to be part of the amphibole asbestos group, was used in some commercial talcs in small quantities and is also a contaminant of other asbestos types, e.g. chrysotile (white asbestos). The three most common types of asbestos that were mainly used in a wide range of products are:
– Chrysotile (white asbestos)
– Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
– Amosite (brown or grey asbestos)
Until the late 1960s, the Australian industry used both serpentine (75%) and amphibole (25%) asbestos. Subsequently, the use of chrysotile increased to approximately 95% whilst blue and grey asbestos declined to 5%. Asbestos is one of the most useful and versatile minerals known to man mainly because of its unique properties, flexibility, tensile strength, insulation (from heat and electricity) and chemical inertness.
It is the only natural mineral that can be spun and woven like cotton or wool into useful fibres and fabrics. The importation of Asbestos will cease at the end of 2003 however, there will be limited exceptions for the approved use of asbestos products in highly specialized industries.
Sources of Asbestos
Large deposits of asbestos were discovered in the Ural Mountains in the Soviet, in the Alps of Northern Italy, Canada, USA, South Africa and Rhodesia. In Australia, large deposits of crocidolite were found in the North of Western Australia at Wittenoom Gorge and some deposits of white asbestos were mined in Northern New South Wales (Barraba and Baryulgil).
Uses of Asbestos
More than 3000 asbestos products and their uses have been identified. Most Australian homes contain asbestos products in one form or another. Companies like James Hardie, Colonial Sugar Refinery Limited (CSR) and Wunderlich, manufactured most of the asbestos products that have been used in thousands of commercial and private buildings in Australia.
Some other uses of asbestos include fencing, asbestos pipes, thermal insulation, fire proofing, as an additive in paints and sealants, in textiles such as felts and theatre curtains, in gaskets, and in friction products like brake linings, and clutches.
During the peak building years, i.e. 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, asbestos found its way into most public buildings, for example hospitals, schools, libraries, office blocks and factories. Workplaces such as ships’ engine rooms and power stations were heavily insulated with sprayed limpet asbestos.
History of Asbestos
Asbestos (from the Greek ‘amiantus’, meaning unquenchable) has been known and used for approximately 4500 years. Many centuries before Christ, Finnish peasants mixed it in pottery and sealed cracks in their log huts with it. The ancient Greeks used it to make wicks for their lamps. The ancient Romans wove asbestos fibres into fabrics to make towels, nets and even head coverings for women.
In medieval times Emperor Charlemagne reportedly used an asbestos tablecloth to convince some Barbarian guests that he had supernatural powers – by throwing it into a fire and pulling it out unsinged!
Some enterprising medieval merchants even sold asbestos crosses, citing their resistance to fire as evidence that they were made from wood of ‘the true cross’.
Asbestos remained little more than a curiosity until the advent of the Industrial Age in the 1800s when industry realised its potential uses. Before long, asbestos supported a flourishing global industry, even though in the early 1900s doctors in Europe knew that asbestos workers were dying from respiratory ailments. (In about 1900 Dr Montague Murray reported on pulmonary fibrosis (asbestosis) in workers employed in the asbestos industry.)
By 1918 overseas insurance companies had already begun to refuse life insurance policies for workers occupationally exposed to asbestos, apparently noting their unusually short life spans. By the 1930s there was a substantial amount of scientific knowledge accumulated concerning asbestos-related diseases. However, this did not deter Industry from mining and manufacturing numerous products containing various types of asbestos for domestic and industrial uses.
Asbestos In The Community
Just after the turn of the century, the first wave of asbestos diseases and deaths occurred in the asbestos mining industry. The second wave attacked workers in the asbestos manufacturing industry. The third wave affected former building and construction workers and continues to do so. Now, due to decaying asbestos products the fourth wave of asbestos diseases, more subtle and insidious, is stalking a wide range of Australians at work, at school and in the home. The consequence of the fifth wave is still yet to come (workers from asbestos removal industry and consequence of uncontrolled-unsafe removal of asbestos cement products).
Asbestos was often sprayed onto ceilings and walls for a variety of purposes, i.e. decorative, etc. It was also used as a form of insulation around the pipes behind radiators or wood-burning stoves. Asbestos was also used in Vinyl floor tiles and their backings, roofing, eaves, shingles, some plaster and paint. Many routine repairs, renovation and maintenance activities – even putting in a new heating system – can disrupt asbestos, releasing millions of fibres into your home, school or office.
Asbestos cement products such as roofs and cladding contain as much as 11% to 20% of chrysotile and 5% to 10% amphibole asbestos (crocidolite or amosite). As a result of the continuing exposure to meteorologic influences such as rain, sunshine, wind and frost, as well as to industrial atmospheric pollutants, the surface of asbestos cement products corrodes and weathers.
Thus, cement particles and asbestos fibres are released from the surface and disperse in air and rainwater. Residential housing and schools were often clad with fibro cement sheeting (commonly known as fibro) and roofed with corrugated asbestos cement products.
Children who regularly play the whole day in the vicinity of such buildings are possibly already subjected to a level of exposure to asbestos, which should not be ignored. There has been concern for many years that young persons may be more susceptible to damage by hazardous asbestos fibres. The concern about exposure at an early age is particularly relevant in the case of carcinogens as critical organs may be susceptible to cell damage when they are still growing. Fortunately there is no evidence to date that asbestos has such an effect.
However, if children are exposed to asbestos at an early age, their long life expectancy increases the probability that they may live long enough to develop long latent period cancers such as asbestos-induced lung cancer and mesothelioma. As one eminent doctor commented at the turn of the 20th century in England, when asked if all girls exposed to asbestos in a yarn spinning factory would develop asbestosis, he replied, “Yes, if they live long enough”.
The problem of chronic exposure of children to small quantities of airborne asbestos fibres was high on the agenda at the Third Wave conference (in New York). One paper at the conference told of asbestos fibres being found at autopsy in the lung tissue of a full-term stillborn infant that had never drawn an independent breath.
If you suspect that there are asbestos products present in your home or at work, ring or contact the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia toll free on 1800 646 690, or (08) 9344 4077, or contact the Department of Occupational Safety & Health in your State (Worksafe).
Home remodelling may be a health hazard
You’ve been trying to sell your place for months. But given the situation of the real estate market you’ve decided to renovate instead. You can’t wait to remove that ugly kitchen lino, those stained ceiling tiles, and that old asbestos roof. Finally, you are going to install a heating system that works. Then your neighbour mentions asbestos and the possible health risk.
The last thing you want to hear is that your kitchen floor could give you cancer. But if your home was built before the eighties, there is a good chance that asbestos is present in your home.
During the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s asbestos was extremely popular within the building industry because of its attributes to resist heat, flexibility, and adhesiveness. Architects used to recommend asbestos in building specifications. For example, asbestos was used to make vinyl tiles and the adhesive backing on lino flooring. Hot water pipes were often covered with asbestos lagging. Millboard with asbestos was put behind stoves and radiators for insulation. Some builders mixed the magic mineral into paint, plaster and Spackle, or used it to decorate walls and ceilings for the “textured look”. More than a million dwellings were constructed from asbestos cement sheeting in Australia between 1945 and 1980. Some of those dwellings have been demolished or had the asbestos roof or cladding removed.
The Asbestos Diseases Society suggests caution. Seek professional advice before dealing with any asbestos product.
What Does This Mean for Your Renovation? Don’t scrape, cut, rip up or sand down your lino or vinyl floor until inspected by a recommended professional. The same goes for ceilings. Also seek advice before commencing removal of asbestos building material. Before you steam down wallpaper or tear down a wall make sure asbestos was not mixed into your paint, plaster or spackle or used as insulation inside the wall.
Never use an ordinary household vacuum cleaner to vacuum dust generated through the repair or removal of asbestos cement products, as the vacuum cleaner will turn into a fibre spraying plant.
Before renovating or demolishing, it is essential to identify asbestos-containing products. It is usually difficult for a layperson to tell which products contain asbestos and which do not. Potentially any type of board building material over 20 years old could contain asbestos. The only way to be sure is to have the material identified and removed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor.
Asbestos & Mould Inspections
Mould Inspections Adelaide
What is mould?
Mould is part of a group of very common organisms called fungi that also include mushrooms and yeast. It is present virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Mould may grow indoors in wet or moist areas lacking adequate ventilation, including walls/ wallpaper, ceilings, bathroom tiles, carpets (especially those with jute backing), insulation material and wood. If moisture accumulates in a building mould growth will often occur. Many different types of mould exist and all have the potential to cause health problems.
What are possible health problems from contact with mould?
In order to reproduce, mould produces tiny particles called spores. Spores are carried in the air and may cause health problems if inhaled by people who are sensitive or allergic to them. These include a running or blocked nose, irritation of the eyes and skin and sometimes wheezing. Occasionally, people may have more severe reactions. Very rarely, people may develop a mould infection, usually in the lungs. It is important to note that most people will not experience any health problems from coming in contact with mould. For people with asthma, inhaling mould spores may cause an asthma attack. If you or your family members suffer health problems after coming into contact with mould, contact your doctor. In the case of a life threatening emergency, phone 000.
Who is at greatest risk of health problems from contact with mould?
People with asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions may be more sensitive to mould. People with weakened immune systems (such as people with HIV infection, cancer patients taking chemotherapy or people who have received an organ transplant) and with chronic lung diseases (such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and emphysema) are more at risk of mould infection particularly in their lungs.
How can I prevent mould from growing in my home?
Although mould can be found almost anywhere, it needs moisture and nutrients to grow. The key to preventing mould growth is reducing dampness in the home.
This can be done by:
– Maintaining proper ventilation
– Turn on exhaust fans, particularly when bathing, showering, cooking, doing laundry and drying clothes.
– Open windows when weather permits, to improve cross ventilation.
– Limit the use of humidifiers.
– Limit the number of fish tanks and indoor plants.
– Limit use of unflued gas heaters.
Controlling moisture/ dampness
– Repair all water leaks and plumbing problems e.g. burst water pipes, leaking roof or blocked rain gutters.
– If water enters your home, completely clean and dry water-damaged carpets and building materials.
– Discard material that cannot be cleaned and dried completely.
Rising and lateral damp
-Rising damp is ground moisture rising up a brick or stone wall. Poor sub-floor ventilation or moisture in the sub-floor area will worsen the problem. This can be fixed by installing a new dampcourse or waterproof barrier in the wall. Ensure the weep holes and air vents at the base of your home are uncovered. If you have rising or lateral damp an experienced building consultant can check the ‘damp course’ and recommend ways to fix the problem.
What can I to do if I have mould in my home?
It is good to remove mould as soon as it appears. This may take some effort. Remember that mould is likely to return unless you also take steps to treat the cause of the problem (see above). If you rent your home and have taken measures to ensure the building is properly ventilated and mould is still growing, you should raise the issue with the owner or real estate agent. Tenants seeking further advice may wish to contact the NSW Fair Trading Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Services on 13 32 20. Public housing tenants should call the Housing Contact Centre on 1300 468 746.
How can I remove mould from my home?
– For the routine clean-up of mouldy surfaces, use mild detergent or vinegar diluted in water solution (4 parts vinegar to 1 part water).
– If the mould is not readily removed and the item cannot be discarded, use diluted bleach solution (250mls of bleach in 4 litres of water) to clean the surface. When using bleach, protective equipment is recommended: PVC or nitrate rubber gloves; safety glasses; and safety shoes. Make sure the area is well-ventilated while you are cleaning with bleach.
– Ensure the surface is dried completely once cleaned.
– Absorbent materials, such as carpet may need to be professionally cleaned or replaced if they are contaminated with mould.
Should I get tests for mould in my home?
Since most mould is visible, it is generally not necessary to test for mould in the home. However, some mould contamination may be present in cavities or the ceiling. If you think you have mould in your home but cannot find the source of the problem, you should contact BPI so that the mould can be identified and a course of action formulated.
Staged and Handover Inspections
Building Handover Inspections
Building a new home or renovating or extending an old one are exciting undertakings for most , however can be very stressful for seasoned builders let alone novices. The saying that the “ mice will play when the cats away “ rings true with Building Supervisors and Tradies.
Our experience shows that most building supervisors cannot properly supervise most projects as they usually have undertaken too much work to properly supervise every project properly. Some tradies take advantage of this fact and take shortcuts or simply perform tasks below an acceptable tradesman like standard. BPI Adelaide can help you with our standard 5 Step Staged Building Inspection which will provide guidance about defects during the construction stage or any failures to comply with building laws as the project proceeds. It is much easier, cheaper, and faster to fix problems before the house is complete rather than after.
At BPI Adelaide we are there to support you throughout your entire house building process, not just to inspect and list off the small decorative defects at the end! At each step along the way, your inspector is there to assess the quality of work undertaken.
You can select all 5 building stage inspections or simply choose the ones you’re most worried about!
Base Stage – immediately before slab pour and includes slab pour.
Frame Stage – when the frame is complete but before internal wall linings
Lock-Up Stage – when external windows and doors are installed and the roof is on and also includes waterproofing compliance.
Pre-Painting Stage – when construction is complete including cabinetry, but before painting
Handover or Practical Completion is a very detailed inspection conducted once the builder is satisfied that the construction process is complete and after a final clean has been undertaken.
Property Depreciation Schedules
Our schedules include a full money back guarantee, if you do not receive (2 x times) the price of the report in deductions over the first full year of ownership then the schedule is free.
Property Tax Depreciation Reports Adelaide
Tax Depreciation Company service assists clients in optimising the financial return from their investment properties. By keeping up to date with the Act and all ATO associated rulings, determinations and cases, we are able to help clients receive the maximum benefits of their Tax Depreciation entitlements.
We compile a comprehensive list of all the property allowances claimable under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) prepared by a professional tax agent recognised by the ATO as qualified to provide such information.
1. What is a Tax Depreciation Schedule?
A comprehensive list of all the property allowances claimable under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) prepared by a professional body recognised by the ATO as qualified to provide such information.
2. What is it used for?
The allowances are summarised in a yearly cash flow showing the amounts allowable as deductions in your annual tax return resulting in significant tax savings for each year of ownership of the property.
3. Who should obtain one?
Any investor who has purchased or constructed a building to produce assessable income such as rent.
4. What allowances are available?
The following allowances, where eligible, are summarised in a yearly cash flow showing the amounts allowable as deductions in your annual tax return resulting in significant tax savings for each year of ownership of the property.
4.1 Depreciating assets
Depreciating assets are claimable under Division 40 of the ITAA 1997. These include items such as carpets, blinds, ovens, cooktops and hot water units and are written off over a number of years based upon their effective life determined in Tax Ruling TR 2010/2. These are calculated from the settlement date of the property.
4.2 Capital works deductions
Capital works deductions are claimable under Division 43 of the ITAA 1997. These are based upon the historical construction cost of the property and vary depending on the commencement date of construction and type of building.
Residential properties can be written off at 2.5% per annum for buildings constructed after 15 September 1987. If construction started between 19 July 1985 and 15 September 1987 then it can be written off at 4% per annum.
If the building qualifies as short term traveller accommodation such as a hotel it can be written off at 4% per annum if building construction commenced after 26 February 1992. If construction commenced between 22 August 1979 and 26 February 1992 it can be written off at either 2.5% or 4% per annum depending on the actual commencement date.
4.3 Structural improvements
Structural improvements such as fencing, paths and other hard landscaping can be written off at 2.5% per annum if construction started after 27 February 1992.
5. But my residential property is over 20 years old!
Although the capital works deduction is not claimable for buildings constructed prior to 18 July 1985 the depreciating assets such as carpets, oven, etc. are claimable from settlement irrespective of the building’s age.
In addition any renovations carried out after 15 September 1985 will qualify for the capital works deduction.
6. I have recently carried out renovations
If the renovations were carried out after purchase then a separate report will be required. Alternatively the receipts can be handed over to your accountant for them to claim separately.
7. I had my property constructed by a builder
In this case the actual construction cost will be analysed and the schedule will take effect from completion of the building.
8. Is the cost of the land claimable?
No, this is non-eligible expenditure and will be excluded from the schedule.
9. How much will the schedule cost?
The standard fee is $550.00 valid until 30 June 2013 for a normal residential house and is fully tax deductible. If you have acquired a furniture package then an additional fee of $100.00 will be payable due to the extra work involved.
However this fee is insignificant compared to the additional benefits obtained.
Properties in a remote location will be subject to a travel allowance. Please call to discuss.
10. What will my allowances add up to?
This depends on a number of factors including the age of the building, the purchase price paid and the extent and quality of the building and its components. As every property is different, it is impossible to give an accurate indication without knowing this information.
11. But what if my allowances add up to less than the fee?
In this highly unlikely scenario TDC guarantees that no investor will be charged a fee if the first 2 years allowances amount to less than the fee.
12. How long does the schedule last for?
The fee is a one-off payment for a 40 year schedule which is far longer than most investors will hold their property.
13. When do I have to have the schedules updated?
Only when significant alterations or additions are made to the property. Your accountant will be able to look after most items of additional future expenditure such as new blinds, carpets, etc.
14. Why can’t my accountant prepare the schedules?
Only appropriately qualified persons such as quantity surveyors and registered builders who have tax agent status are allowed by the ATO to estimate construction costs in order to calculate the building allowances claimable. The ATO does not allow real estate agents or accountants to perform this task unless they are otherwise qualified.
If the value of depreciating assets is not included in the sales contract then the ATO requires an independent valuation to be carried out by a suitably qualified person.
15. What happens when I sell the property?
The ATO requires that the selling price is apportioned between the depreciating assets and the property. The cost base is reduced by the amount of the capital works deductions you claimed or were entitled to claim. Even if you don’t claim the allowances available to you then the ATO may take these into account when calculating capital gains tax.
A separate balancing adjustment is made on the depreciating assets which represents the difference between the asset’s termination value and its adjustable value at the time of the sale.
The Tax Depreciation Schedule prepared for the purchase of the property will greatly assist in determining the tax liabilities at the time of sale.
16. I haven’t previously claimed any depreciation
The ATO allows you to request an amendment to your tax return within 4 years. You can therefore backdate your tax claim to take account of your depreciation allowances accordingly.
Project Management Services
Building Handover Inspections
BPI Adelaide has over 30 years of Project Management Experience in delivering small to very large residential, commercial and industrial projects for many happy clients in South Australia.
We streamline the project management of your project using our proven systems and extensive experience. Our end to end delivery process deals with some of the following key areas:
– Develop the Project Plan, outlining your goals and KPI’s for the project;
– Establish “governance” and procedures around your project;
– Manage people and stakeholders;
– Manage the project budget;
– Manage scheduling and programming for the fastest possible delivery;
– Engage and Co-ordinate your team of consultants;
– Oversee the preparation of Development Application documents;
– Represent your interests in contractual preparation and dealings;
– Engage your contractor;
– Systematically inspect the works and control defects;
– Deal with day to day issues with the builder and administer the contract;
– Oversees the quality completion of your building;
– Deliver your project while you get on with your business.