Our architects assess thousands of established homes every year for home-buyers wanting to know if there are any defects at the property they are hoping to purchase.

The answer is often “Yes”!

Some of them are relatively insignificant…. perhaps some isolated timber rot, rusty gutters or minor settlement cracking. Most homes will exhibit a range of minor faults, particularly if they are older or have been poorly maintained.

Some defects are more important – especially where safety is concerned – and need swift attention to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to the property. Electrical faults are amongst the more serious – as they can cause house fires or electrocution.

‘Home-wiring’ is a key concern. Electrical wiring should only ever be undertaken by a licensed electrical contractor but it’s frightening how often we see examples of wiring that appears to have been done by an amateur home-handyman.

Defective power points and/or dangerously located power points are also a hazard and should be rectified as soon as possible.

Finally, residual current devices (‘safety switches’) should be installed at any home that doesn’t already have them. They are mandatory in new homes, but many older homes still rely on wire fuses which may or may not be in proper working order.

If you’re buying an older home make sure that the electrical switchboard has been upgraded or have it done before you move in, if only for the peace of mind! Our pre-purchase building inspections can identify these.

New or renovated homes may also have indications of poorly located power outlets – e.g. too close to bathroom fittings – and should be corrected.