Uncovering structural defects in your home. Why you need a pre purchase building inspection in Perth

Updated: Dec 7, 2019

How likely is it that your Perth home contains a number of minor defects? Based on our observations over the years, minor defects are commonly found in most properties and may include minor corrosion, cracking, weathering, general deterioration, unevenness, and physical damage to materials and finishes, such fences and down pipes. However, when purchasing a home, it is critical that structural defects or major defects are clearly identified.

But first, let's clear up what is a structural defect?

A structural defect is defined in AS4349 as a "fault or deviation from the intended structural performance of a building element." In the context pre purchase building inspections and the reporting requirements, structural defects have to be rectified to avoid the development of unsafe conditions, and thus any defect that is a safety hazard has to be reported as a major defect. Here we have some examples of structural defects encountered during a roof inspection:

Roof struts are needed in the roof frame to transfer the loads to walls or beam. In this case the strut does not have any fixings at the ridge beam connection.

Steel straps are used in most roofs to tie-down various roof members. In this example, the nail has completely missed the rafter.

This is another example where the fixings that should have connected the rafter to the underpurlin are inadequate.

Another example of poor construction.

Roof batten not connected to rafter.

Example of valley rafter connection which is inadequate.

Example of collar ties which are inadequate.

Another example of a ridge strut which does not have fixings at the top.

The number of minor defects for a roof such as this is very concerning. If a wind event was to occur that would approach the ultimate design capacity, it is likely that this roof would not withstand the loading placing a safety risk to people and property. There are too many inadequate connections and this could be classified as a major structural defect.

If you have any questions regarding this article or queries regarding a structural engineering project, pre purchase building inspection services in Perth or the South West, get in touch with us to discuss your specific requirements and to obtain a quote.

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