Distinguishing Building Certifiers from Building Inspectors

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Whether it's the development of a new building or renovating an old one, each of these undertakings can be quite a daunting, especially when you consider all the codes and standards outlined in the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

Most first-time developers get confused by all the players and professionals involved. Quite often, the confusion revolves around distinguishing two principal contractors, namely, building inspectors and building certifiers.

To make it easier for builders to differentiate the two professionals, below is an in-depth elaboration of each contractor's role.

•    Building inspection

Like the title implies, building inspection involves inspecting a property for structural failures and defects as well as the quality of finish applied. The review is fundamentally carried out via visual assessment, and thus the results are entirely dependent on the inspector's emphasis to detail and thoroughness. The inspection typically takes place before a building goes gets purchased, after a renovation or as soon as construction gets completed.

Hence, as a trained, certified and insured contractor, a building inspector provides inspection services that include even the hidden aspects that often get overlooked.

•    Responsibilities of a building inspector

A building inspector is charged with visually inspecting and determining the current condition of property in comparison to other buildings of relatively the same design, structure and age. Note that the inspection is not connected to the warranty, insurance or valuation of the property.

The primary responsibility of a building inspector is to approve or reject a property after checking if the completed building is satisfactory according to the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The inspection report includes any inappropriate materials used as well as non-structural defects that can cause issues in the future.

The report typically points out any errors and their potential severity, thus enabling the inspector to inform you on the next course of action.

•    Building certification

Like the title suggests, building certification deals with certifying construction works after the blueprints get confirmed that they meet the specified requirements entailed in the Building Code of Australia (BCA). However, for a building construction to get certified, its design, planning, and setup must comply with various authorities at different levels of local, federal and state governments.

Certification mainly checks for two things: the drainage/plumbing materials and products and the building materials. For both, the materials should comply with specified requirements in the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

•    Role of a building certifier

The main function of a building certifier is to approve and certify construction work after ensuring that the materials and products to get used adhere to all the building codes and standards applied in Australia.

The building certifier will also check if the development plans and any additional extensions are in adherence with building regulations, the Australian Building Act and any other legislation that relates to building control.

Like a building inspector, a certifier also gets charged with ensuring that construction work meets the standards set forth by the different levels of government starting from local to federal to state. In that connection, a certifier has the authority to deny the certification of building works if construction falls short of the recognized standards.