4 Questions To Ask Your Building Surveyor

Posted on: 2 June 2022

Building surveyors are licenced and accredited professionals who inspect buildings under construction and homes under renovation to ensure they abide by the building code, construction regulations and land ordinances. Below is an extract with some questions to ask a building surveyor during your first consultation. 

1. "What Are The Applicable Regulations?"

There is a wide range of laws and regulations that you must comply with when designing, building and renovating your home or commercial building. The surveyor is best qualified to inform you about these laws and enforce compliance as you build and design the structure. For instance, subdivision regulations could determine the plot size if you plan to create a subdivision before putting up the structure. When designing the house, the building code stipulates the building height, foundation, roof, orientation and the design of features such as balconies, gates and fences. If you plan to renovate or improve your home, you must comply with demolition and strata regulations. Finally, the surveyor will inform you about the permits needed when building the property. This information protects you from prosecution or expensive improvements during construction or after inhabiting the building. 

2. "Is it Possible To Improve The Building's Safety?"

The building surveyor can give insights into how you can improve the safety of the building. For instance, suppose the area is susceptible to flooding; the surveyor could recommend using piers, installing sump pumps, valves on the sewer pipes and a stormwater drainage system. If the area is prone to wildfires, the surveyor could ask you to install cladding to protect the structure. Finally, commercial buildings could integrate ventilation systems, sprinklers, emergency exits and fire extinguishers to protect occupants during a fire and prevent fire damage. 

3. "What Happens After Hiring Your Services?"

Unknown to most homeowners, a surveyor's services are compulsory when building a structure in Australia. The professional examines the construction blueprints to ensure your building meets the set regulations. Once you commence construction, the surveyor certifies the construction work at the different stages. 

After hiring the surveyor, they need to work closely with your architect, engineers and contractor at the site. The surveyor's primary role is to ensure compliance. Therefore, you cannot ask them to perform odd jobs such as supervising employees at the site.  

4. "How Much Do You Charge?"

Most surveyors have an affordable rate. Nonetheless, inquire about their charges before engaging their services. Ask for a discount and examine the terms of engagement before signing the building survey contract.