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Bring the experts in for renovation inspections

Inspecting a property thoroughly, especially one that has been recently renovated, could save you many a headache down the line.

Ray White Whiteman & Associates Director David Whiteman said in most cases faulty renovations could be effortlessly spotted.

“Most renovations can be judged easily by the eye, however it is always important to know that certain improvements are approved by the local authorities, if appropriate,” he said.

“Professional real estate agents are also trained to ask the seller these questions, so full disclosure can be made.

“Hiring a building inspector is a good way to make sure you don’t miss something that might be a problem.”

Mark Hay Realty Group Principal Mark Hay agreed, saying that availing yourself of a building inspector is a prudent move but you must exercise some caution when engaging one.

He said 10 years ago building inspectors and ex-tradespeople would build up a respectable business but, these days, there was also people not qualified to perform proper inspections.

“They do an inspection that’s just not adequate,” Mr Hay said. “You need a qualified expert.”

Mr Hay advised buyers to do their own background checks on building inspectors.

“I would be scrutinising, doing research and asking some hard questions,” he said.

“Ask them how long they have been in the industry and whether they were previously a licensed builder or tradesperson.

“Find out their licence number and all about their previous building experience.”

On the other hand, if you are renovating a property with resale in mind, it is crucial not to cut corners.

Mr Whiteman said doing your homework was key to delivering a top-notch renovation.

“Thoroughly understand the process and products,” he said. “What things cost and, topically in this climate, how long you may wait to get them.

“You get what you pay for, so poor quality trades and products will mean a poor end result.”

Mr Whiteman said having a trade or skills you could employ in a renovation was advantageous.

“But, for the rest of us, it is best to get the professionals,” he said, adding that there are areas where you can save money if you do not have the proper skills.

“Deconstruction or demolition can help save money, as it is relatively unskilled labour and most people can do this themselves to save a dollar.

“But get advice from a professional before you swing that hammer, as you don’t want to remove the wrong stuff.”

Mr Hay said a handy person could easily take on landscaping, painting and preparation of the site, as well as working for the actual builder, cleaning up the site and removing debris and building materials.

“Electrics, plumbing and gas are best left to a licensed tradesperson,” he said.

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