About Building Inspections – Why Are They Needed? When Do They Occur?

man doing a Building Inspection

About Building Inspections – Why Are They Needed? When Do They Occur?

There’s something special about building a new home, seeing the slab go down, the frame go up, the roof on, windows in, it’s an exciting experience watching your dream vision come to life week by week. When building, all construction is carried out in phases and involves various contractors working on different aspects of the build. The end result should be a high-quality, well-finished home that you can enjoy for many years to come. As experienced Canberra home builders, Elliott Hardie designs and builds bespoke homes for families in the ACT and surrounding NSW locations. Here we will look at building inspections and how they can give you the confidence that your new home will be built to code.

What is the Purpose of Inspections?

Construction stage inspections assess the building works and ultimately ensure that proper building practices are adhered to throughout each phase of construction. These inspections evaluate important aspects of the build in several key areas to check that the work has been carried out in accordance with the Building Act 1993 (Act), the Building Regulations 2018 (Regulations) and the building permit.

What Are the Main Inspection Stages?

For construction of a new home, the typical stages of inspection are:


This inspection checks the footings in preparation for the pouring of concrete. Footings rest directly on the foundation material and once poured are almost impossible to access so it is imperative that footing preparations are fully compliant with engineering plans and specifications. The following will be checked at this inspection:

  • Steel reinforcement – dimension, placement, and support
  • Steel reinforcement clearances to exposed slab edge, boxing, vapor barrier and service pipe penetrations
  • Steel reinforcement is secured and tied at lap and splices
  • Termite protection barrier installation, where needed
  • Vapor barrier rips, tears, and completeness
  • Boxing and step-downs



During this inspection, the concrete slab is evaluated to ensure that it has been poured to the correct dimensions as per the plans, has no cracks and is of the correct quality. Drainage locations will also be checked to ensure they are in accordance with plans and installed correctly.


Carried out upon the completion of the frame, this inspection is vital for ensuring that the building frame structure is sound and meets design and engineering requirements. It will focus on structural material compliance, stress grades, wind braces, lintel and lintel supports, point loads, floor levels, ceiling heights and more.

Lock-Up (Prior to Plastering)

This inspection is carried out upon the completion of fascia boards, roof (including guttering, and flashings), external wall cladding including brickwork, external windows, and doors, plumbing and electrical rough-in. The inspector will assess the quality of the workmanship both outside and inside prior to the insulation and wall and ceiling linings being installed. Inspections at this stage pick up any alterations and modifications that have been made to the structure of the new home since the frame was originally inspected.

Before Hand Over

The last stage of the inspection process, this involves a detailed evaluation of the completed building works including all external works such as roof and guttering, walls, windows, and doors as well as internal aspects such as plastering, painting, floor coverings, fixtures, and fittings – all are assessed for quality of installation and finish. Under the Domestic Building Contract Act, before builders can demand a completion payment, they must ensure that all work has been completed by them and all contracted work has been completed in accordance with all relevant standards so an inspection at this stage is vital.

Why Should I Arrange Building Inspections?

Once building works have been completed and the home has been handed over, any previously undetected defects can come to light and can result in time consuming and expensive repairs. Building a new home is a considerable investment, so you want to be sure it has been built right. To give you peace of mind and ensure your dream home meets the necessary Australian building regulations, it is a wise move to arrange building inspections throughout the building process. You can arrange an inspection at any stage throughout construction – some homeowners prefer to have inspections completed at all stages of the build, while others only arrange an inspection if they a have concerns about workmanship quality or just prior to making the final payment.

Work with the Leading Canberra Builders

Home really is where the heart is, if you want to build your dream home it’s important to work with a builder who understands that your home should be customised to suit your needs and lifestyle. If you are looking to build in Canberra, ACT or NSW, Elliott Hardie is your leading choice for award- winning and architecturally inspiring custom family homes. Stop searching for ‘build new house Canberra’ or ‘best home builders Canberra region and beyond’ – give us a call today on (02) 6170 2438 or enquire online now.