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How to identify asbestos fibro cladding and roof sheeting
What is a Overflow Relief Gully (ORG)
What are the Staircase Construction Regulations
Termite or 'white ant' treatment and prevention

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DEFINITIONS - Building & Pest Inspections

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The following definitions but not limited to could apply to our inspection reports and website:          


This relates to as new condition or material that is like the condition when it is built and installed e.g. most definitions unless the dwelling is less than 2 years old will not be nominated as Good.    

GOOD TO FAIR                                                                                                                  

The frequency and/or magnitude of defects are consistent with the inspector's expectations when compared to similar buildings of approximately the same age which have been reasonably well maintained. General maintenance will be required to help maintain the condition.        


The frequency and/or magnitude of defects are lower than the inspector's expectations when compared to similar buildings of approximately the same age that have been reasonably well maintained. If marked fair this will indicate that the item nominated will

require repairs and/or maintenance in the near future and you should consult appropriate Tradesman or builder for quote before purchase of property       

FAIR TO POOR                                                                                                       

The frequency and/or magnitude of defects are lower than the inspector's expectations when compared to similar buildings of approximately the same age that have been reasonably well maintained. If marked Fair to Poor work requires immediate attention and repairs, you should consult appropriate Tradesman or builder for quote before making purchase of property.             


The frequency and/or magnitude of defects are lower than the inspector's expectations when compared to similar buildings of approximately the same age that have been reasonably well maintained. If marked Fair to Poor work requires immediate attention and repairs, you should consult appropriate Tradesman or builder for quote before making purchase of property.                               


Australian Building Codes Board.                                                                         


Building Code of Australia.                                                                          


Australian Standard.                                                                                                

Access hole (cover)                                                                                                          

An opening in flooring or ceiling or other part of a structure (such as service hatch, removable panel) to allow for entry to carry out an inspection, maintenance or repair. 

Accessible area                                                                                                     

An area of the site where sufficient safe and reasonable access is available to allow inspection within the scope of the inspection. Roof interior 400mm x 500mm Crawl space: 600mm x 600mm Accessible from a 3.6m ladder.               

Roof Exterior Accessible from a 3.6m ladder Area Access hole 600mm x 600mm Crawl space Height 600mm                    

Associated works                                                                                                 

Any area or item, other than the building proper, that is specified in the inspection agreement.


Possible presents of life timber pests at the time of the inspection.      

Ag Line

Agricultural Line, a below ground drainage system.

Ant Cap

Metal barrier placed on piers or along masonry walls to aid in termite detection.


Mouldings surrounding windows and doors.         


Asbestos is known for its strength and resistance to chemicals and heat. These properties resulted in asbestos becoming a component of thousands of different products. Mining, milling and processing of asbestos into manufactured products creates asbestos dust that contains asbestos fibres.

  > How to identify asbestos fibro cladding


Vertical members used to support under handrail on stairs or landings.


A sub floor timber that supports joists.


The person or other entity for whom the inspection is being carried out.          


Inspector, person, partnership or company qualified and experienced to undertake property inspections. 


A mixture of aggregate, sand, cement and water to form artificial stone.


A moulding secured between the ceiling and wall junction.


The fabric of the element has ruptured or is otherwise broken.

Damp Proof Course (DPC)

Damp Proof Course, A continuous layer to prevent moisture rising.


Fault or deviation from the intended condition of a material, assembly or component.           

Defects Liability Period (DLP)

A defects liability period is usually a 12 month period post building works or a fit out that is in effect a warranty on the building fabric and installed services (including testing, essential safety measures inspections and maintenance) for essential safety measures. The project manager normally holds a retention sum of many under the terms of the building contract for this period and only releases the sum if all defects have been rectified


Distortion, Warping, Twisting of an element or elements has been distorted or moved from the intended shape or location.


The overhang of a roof to the perimeter of the dwelling.


A Horizontal member fixed to the ends of the rafters.


An impervious material used to prevent moisture penetration, on the roof.


The structure used to transfer load from the dwelling above to the foundation below.


The earth in which the footings are placed.

Fungal Decay                                                                                                         

Loss of strength due to destruction of cellulose and or lignin by wood decay fungi.    


The vertical triangle end of a roof.


Or Tread, The horizontal distance from riser to riser, in stair construction.

Hanging Beam

A beam used to support one or multiple ceiling joists.


The diagonal sloping edge on a roof, between the exterior wall and ridge.


The absence of live timber pests at the time of the inspection.                                      


Material used to control thermal and or acoustic situations.

Installations & omissions                                                                                               

The element or component is subject to improper or ineffective installation, inappropriate use, or missing components. 


Close and careful scrutiny of an item carried out either without dismantling or with partial dismantling as required, supplemented by means such as measurement, in order to arrive at a reliable conclusion as to the condition of an item.


Person or organization responsible for carrying out the inspection.      


A horizontal member supporting the flooring or ceiling lining.


Insulation wrapped around hot water pipes.


A horizontal member spanning an opening and supporting a load.


Any factor that prevents full achievement of the purpose of the inspection.      

Major defect                                                                                                            

A defect of sufficient magnitude where rectification has to be carried out in order to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of utility or further deterioration of the property.           

Minor defect                                                                                                            

A defect other than a major defect. Minor faults and imperfections including minor blemishes, corrosion, cracking, weathering, general deterioration, unevenness, and physical damage to materials and finishes, etc. are omitted.         

Material deterioration                                                                                           

An element or component is subject to deterioration of material/s (corrosion, decay).           

Moisture Conditions                                                                                                         

Presence of moisture can change continuously and can have a very significant effect on the structural assembly and the intended purposes of the buildings.


A type of fungus that does not structurally damage wood but can cause health issues.          


A cement based compound to adhere masonry bricks together.

Newell Post

The support post at both ends of a handrail.


An element or component does not operate as intended.

Overflow Relief Gully (ORG)

An Overflow Relief Gully (ORG) is a fitting located outside your home that releases sewage in the case of a sewer blockage

Also see Overflow Relief Gully (ORG)


Allotment and improvements, e.g. buildings, patios, decking, retaining walls and fences.     

Purpose of inspection                                                                                         

The inspection requirement as identified by the client. As noted in section 1 of this document.


A wall protruding above the roof.


A method to conceal curtain rods or sliding door tracks to windows or doors.


The vertical mortar joint between bricks.


Used to support the bearers of a dwelling.


The type of finish applied to masonry joints, roofing or brickwork.

Roof space                                                                                                             

Space between the roof covering and the ceiling immediately below the roof covering.        


The sloping member of the roof supporting the roofing material.


A cement mixture applied and finished over masonry walls.


The horizontal member at the top of the roof.


The vertical member under each step, in stair construction.

Scope of inspection


The type and extent of inspection undertaken in response to the stated purpose of  the inspection.


Staircase used in habitable rooms or used externally must comply with the Building Code of Australia Part & Part All areas not specified in Building Code of Australia should be referenced in the Australian Standard AS1657 Section 4. also see Staircase Construction Regulations


Moulding between the floor and wall junction.


Or Eaves, The underside lining between external wall and fascia.

Significant item                                                                                                      

An item that is to be reported in accordance with the scope of the inspection, which may be a feature that is present or a feature that is absent.                      

Subfloor space                                                                                                      

Space between the underside of a suspended floor and the ground.                           

Structural Damage

Damage to the load-bearing portion of a home that affects the use of the buildings for its intended purposes.

Structural defect                                                                            

The loosening, twisting, warping, cracking, distortion, or breaking of any piece, or of any fastening or joint, in a structural assembly.      

Structural element                                                                                                            

Physical distinguishable part of the structural assembly, e.g. wall, columns, beam, connection etc.


Allotment of land on which a building stands or is to be erected within 30.0m of the structure and within the property boundaries.

Termite / White ant

Termites are sometimes referred to as ‘white ants’ because of their appearance - this information may assist in detecting and treating these pests.

  Termite or 'white ant' infestations , Prevention  & Termite pest management and control


The sill or step at an external door.


A structural manufactured member to support the roof and ceiling loads.                    

Under Pinning

A method of supporting footings, that may be damaged or taking extra load.


The metal material between two sloping surfaces on a roof.

Water penetration

Moisture is present in unintended or unexpected location/s.

Weep Holes

Drainage holes in masonry wall to allow water from behind to escape.