Other Services

Building Surveying Services (BOP) Ltd Building Inspectors

We can offer a range of building inspection services to our valued clients. Please read on to find out more.

Residential Property Inspections

What Is A Pre-Purchase Report?

Pre-purchase or pre-sale inspections are not a “pass or fail” condition as with inspections for Code Compliance Certificate. We simply describe the condition of the dwelling and indicate items needing immediate repair or near future work. We might also make recommendations. No inspection is an insurance or warranty for the future and it does not eliminate any future risks.
A pre-purchase Report from Building Surveying Services (BOP) Ltd is a detailed report that always  includes a council file search as well as covering all aspects of the structural integrity of the dwelling.

Not all problems are apparent to the naked or inexperienced eye – and even a builder’s report won’t necessarily cover every aspect of a dwelling’s condition. Our inspection is a comprehensive investigation. The report assesses a building’s health, safety and protection – including areas needing immediate attention and those requiring attention in the medium term. The report also scopes the entire property – outbuildings, fences, retaining walls, driveways, paths and other structural additions.

Contents of Pre-Purchase Report

Our pre-purchase inspections give you a detailed report, including a council file search. The report includes details such as:
  • General conditions of dwelling
  • Site conditions
  • Sub-floor construction
  • Roof
  • Roof cavity
  • Water pressure
  • Plumbing and electrical
  • Non-invasive moisture checks to interior, exterior to monolithic cladding
  • General weather-tightness
  • Drainage
  • Walls, paths, driveway
  • Hot water testing
  • Plumbing and/or wiring
  • Guttering and down pipes
  • Insulation
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry
                                                                          IMPORTANT!  
Our Inspections ALWAYS include a thoroughly conducted Council file search, which identifies any variations between the Council records and the actual lay-out of the property. Variations, which may be unauthorised building works are not identified in a LIM report and can potentially be very expensive to rectify. It is therefore absolutely necessary that any variations are identified and attended to prior to finalising your purchase or marketing your property.  
Should unauthorised building work have been carried out, which is an offence under s.40 of the Building Act 2004, Building Surveying Services is suitably qualified to prepare a Certificate of Acceptance (CoA) application report for Council's consideration.  

Cladding Assessment

With increasing interest shown on the type of exterior cladding on buildings, it is important to have an inspection done that will not only determine its condition and moisture levels but also to gauge the performance of the cladding in question. All cladding – particularly monolithic cladding with its plaster finish – is subject to structural issues if not erected according to manufacturers’ specifications and Building Code requirements.
Cladding done on exterior wall

Moisture Issues

Moisture in a building structure can originate from several different sources, including:
  • External leaks, such as floods, leaking fire hydrants
  • Internal leaks, such as freshwater piping, waste water piping
  • Condensation, which is humidity in the air falling out as liquid water due to condensation on cold surfaces
  • Building moisture, which is any moisture in the building material prior to erecting the building structure
  • Water remaining from fire-fighting
All BSS inspectors use a Wagner 210 Handheld non-invasive moisture meter and have done since the company was first formed. This meter leaves no marks on the surfaces that are tested and uses an electromagnetic signal that penetrates up to 30mm through a given material. This is up to 6mm further than most other similar meters that are available on the market. This meter is used on the interior and for monolithic dwellings on the exterior and will give an accurate indication of potential moisture related issues. The meter can be used during dry and wet conditions with direct rainfall not affecting the readings.

This type of meter is not operator sensitive - however, it may react with butyl, metal and concrete. Therefore, a complete knowledge of the mechanics and overall operation of the meter is required. All BSS inspectors have been involved within the building industry all their lives and have a complete and thorough understanding of buildings and how they are constructed. This is very useful so that the meter can be used in the correct and more ‘at risk’ locations. Further insurance testing may need to be carried out depending on the condition of the premises.

Commercial

Building Surveying Services (BOP) Ltd has completed a limited number of pre-purchase assessments of commercial buildings in the past. Recently the demand for these reports by sensible purchasers and owners wanting to provide confirmation that their buildings are sound has increased.

Roger Bruce, who joined our team in late April 2014, has been responsible for pre-purchase commercial building reports. Roger has 23 years of experience in the building control industry having worked for Tauranga City Council both as an employee completing building inspections and later managing the Council’s building consent processing and inspection functions. Between 1997 and 2011 Roger was the Operations Manager for Bay Building Certifiers Ltd and Bay Inspections who were the Council’s sole contractor performing those functions. Roger has revised the report format to reflect the impact that some sections of the Building Act, 2004 (The Act) has on commercial buildings as opposed to single dwellings.

Report Content

In addition to the normal careful assessment of visible building elements that our company has provided in the past, the reports take into account the building’s current use and the use that the Council’s building records attribute to it. Unless a building is deemed to be dangerous, earthquake-prone or not sanitary, as described in Sections 121-123 of the Building Act, 2004, territorial authorities cannot ask building owners to upgrade buildings or meet current Building Code requirements unless a building consent is sought for an alteration to an existing building or a notification for a change of use pursuant to Sections 112 and 115 respectively.

Alterations

In the case of an alteration the building needs to continue to comply with the Building Code or bylaw provisions that existed at the time of construction or prior alteration at least to the same extent as before the proposed alteration and comply, as nearly as is reasonably practicable with the provisions of the building code that relate to:
  • Means of escape from fire
  • Access and facilities for persons with disabilities

Identifying Potential Problems

We have been asked to help a number of clients recently who have bought commercial and industrial buildings without undertaking due diligence only to find that there is a significant amount of unconsented work. While there are some exemptions from the requirement to obtain a consent set out in Schedule 1 of the Building Act, 2004, most of the work that we have been asked to review would normally require consent.

The process involved in legitimising this work is usually complex and costs can be significant. Applications for Building Consents or Certificates of Acceptance are required and all of the documents normally required for new building work need to be provided. Often some demolition and removal of linings are required so that the compliance of the underlying structure can be verified and rectifying any deficiencies can be difficult and costly.

The addition of more floor area such as on a mezzanine floor attracts development impact levies and often more car parking provisions are required. Buyers may be happy to accept a price that reflects a floor area of X where in fact the legitimate floor area is X – Y.

Change of Use

If a building owner wishes to change the use of a building that owner must notify the territorial authority which must give written notice that it is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that the building in its new use will comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable with every provision of the building code that relates to:
  • Means of escape from fire
  • The protection of other property
  • The provision of adequate sanitary facilities for the new use
  • Structural performance
  • Fire rating performance
  • Access and facilities for persons with disabilities
In our commercial building reports we measure this building against current building code requirements for the fire and access provisions so that a potential building owner is aware of the potential building code ramifications should an alteration or change of use be considered in the future. Where we believe that, despite not meeting the current building code requirements, the building remains safe and sanitary in its present condition we clearly state the reasons for tendering that view.

Other Services

Other Services

Building Surveying Services (BOP) Ltd also provides:
  • Pre-sale inspections
  • Land information reports
  • Safe and Sanitary reports
  • Certificate of Acceptance reports
  • CCC application reports for old consents
  • Insurance valuation reports
  • Full building surveys
  • Cladding inspection reports
  • Weather tightness inspections
  • Commercial inspections
  • Maintenance schedules
  • Quality controls on new dwellings
  • Building compliance inspections
  • Mould inspection report
  • Drug testing
  • Dispute resolutions
  • Fire reports

Unauthorised Works

The matter of unauthorised work relating to pre-1992 is covered in the Building Act 1991. Section 8 of the Act prevent the Council from taking action or from requiring any upgrading of any building work that had taken place prior to the implementation of the Act on the 1st of July 1992. This exception is for all work, which can be considered satisfactory and performing well. As a rule, the works do not have to meet the requirements of the current Building Code, nor do they have to meet the requirements of the building bylaws under which they were built at the time. It needs to be established that the works are not unsafe and/or unsanitary in terms of section 121 and 123 of the Building Act 2004.

A Certificate of Acceptance (COA) is applicable for work undertaken without a building consent at any time since 1 January 1993 when building consents first became mandatory. A COA will give the purchaser an assurance that the territorial authority is aware of the unauthorised works and has satisfied itself that the works comply with the Building Code to at least the extent identified in the certificate.
Interior of the house being surveyed by expert

House Relocation

This service provides an assessment of the state of any dwelling, relocation arrangements and information about the site it is being relocated to. As part of any Building Surveying Services report, we visit both sites, take photographs and make recommendations that could pre-empt any unforeseen issues that might arise during relocation.

P Testing

Building Surveying Services (BOP) Ltd offers the MMC Presumptive Forensic Narcotic Tests to test for the presence of controlled substances in powders, tablets, liquids, resins and on surfaces. The MMC Presumptive Forensic Narcotic Tests are very accurate and sensitive. The tests only require monograms of the substance for accurate results.

Advantages of the MMC Presumptive Forensic Narcotic Tests are:
  • Very sensitive
  • Able to detect the presence of drugs in a sample at levels of <5 ppm (part per million)
  • Quick results (visual in 1-2 minutes). 
  • Specificity MMC FNT tests vs GC-GC/MS: Negative: 99.38%, Positive: 97.45%. 
  • No hazardous chemicals 
  • User-friendly. 
  • As reliable and accurate as laboratory screening
  • No cross contamination as each test is supplied with a separate dropper of buffer solution (stick attached to cap)
  • The MMC presumptive forensic narcotic tests are CE approved
Our P testing is the perfect Meth Solution for your property. Building Surveying Services (BOP) Ltd suggests that for any positive screening results you should seek professional advice.
Call us today at Building Surveying Services if you need professional building inspectors. Call us today on 07 576 4026.
Share by: