You would be forgiven for assuming that a pest inspection would be a part of a building inspection, and perhaps the same again in thinking that a pest inspection would cover some aspects of a building inspection.
It may seem odd to you as you investigate the market and discover a mixture of companies offering:
- just building inspections
- just pest inspections
- or some companies (such as ours) that offer both of them.
There are quite a few reasons that companies may not always offer both options. We have gone through some of them below.
From an official standards point of view, the two are seen as being separate.
Each has it’s own set of licensing requirements, training requirements and codes of practice for professionals.
The Australian Standard for Building Inspections 4349.1-2007 outlines how a building inspector is to engage in their profession, and the terms and conditions that may apply.
The Australian Standard for Pest Inspections 4349.3-2010 outlines how a pest inspector is to engage in their profession, and the terms and conditions that may apply.
Each professional must undertake their business in a way that complies with the Australian standards.
The rules and regulations for a building inspector are separate to the rules and regulations for a pest inspector, even though they both come under a similar policy platform.
Building Inspectors and Pest Inspectors are Looking For Different Things
A building inspector is looking for signs of:
- items that compromise the integrity of the structure
- Major safety defects and risks
- Existing damage of the structure
- Conditions that may lead to future damage
A Pest inspector is looking for:
- Active infestation of pests
- Specifically Pests of an Economic Signficance (pests that will cost you money down the track)
This is not to say that a building inspector will not notice an active infestation, or that a pest inspector may not notice significant structural damage or risks. The point of difference however, is that the scope of their profession does not include providing reports on matters outside of their field.
In these situations, the pest inspector would recommend that you bring in a building inspector and vice versa.
There are 2 Different Sets of Insurances Applicable, one for Building Inspectors and one for Pest Inspectors
When you receive your building inspection report or your pest inspection report, these are documents outlining a professional opinion.
This opinion is then available to help you make a large financial decision.
In the event that the inspector makes an error of judgement, their insurance will cover the costs of rectification.
For example, if a building inspector misses a major structural defect, which leads to expensive building work being needed; then this would be covered by their insurance.
A building inspector can not receive insurance to cover them for activities related to pest inspections, just as a pest inspector can not receive insurance to cover them for building inspections.
Just as the standards are seperate, so too are the insruances required.
Building Inspectors and Pest Inspectors Have Two Different Sets of Qualifications
Even though the professional standards come from a similar position to one another, the educatonal background for each type of inspection is considerably different.
We aren't talking about an extra subject tacked onto your building inspector course and voila you can now do pest inspections as well; we are talking about two entirely different courses and frameworks of qualification.
The fact that there are two entirely different sets of qualifications is the main reason you will typically get building inspectors, and pest inspectors. As opposed to building and pest inspectors.
Not everyone has the desire to do two complete courses and gain two complete qualifications in order to be able to offer both reports.
Many companies that offer both reports are infact sub-contracting one of the reports out to another inspector.
This is obviusly not a problem at all, it can however mean that having your combined report from them may actually be a little more expensive than having a combined report from an inspector who actually holds both qualifications!