Peter Ramsay has been in the building and pest industry since 1981. He started out conducting inspections in Rockhampton, before taking part in a family owned building and pest inspection company on the Gold Coast in 1995.
His years in the company has given him invaluable industry experience and knowledge and he is now aiming to educate his clients before and after they purchase a home.
Building defects & maintenance issues
“The biggest issue I find is lack of maintenance by the home owner,” says Peter when asked about his past building inspections.
He believes the younger generation in particular is not educated enough before they purchase a house and therefore do not know how to care for it properly.
“Sadly, a lot of people only care to put money into their house AFTER an issue has occurred,” he says. “By that time you can be sure to put in a lot more money to rectify the problem than you initially would have had to.”
Peter says a lot of the common building issues has to do with moisture such as leaking taps in bathrooms or kitchens. Other common building defects has to do with paint.
“The exterior paint on a house is not only there to look pretty, it’s there to protect the timber from various external forces,” he explains. “Therefore you should look after the paint on your home every 9-10 years, something a lot of people seem to be overlooking nowadays.”
During a building inspection, Peter explains he also warns clients about conditions that are conducive to structural defects, such as sloping blocks, no metal stumps on a house, exposed timber (which can cause termite problems), and drainage issues.
“The drainage is almost always an issue. You have to keep good, clear drainage if you want to protect your house,” Peter says.
Why you should get a pre-purchase inspection
Peter gives one, quite simple answer when asked why a pre-purchase inspection is so important: “…to make sure you don’t buy a dud!”
He also believes a lot of banks nowadays require clients to have an inspection for protection.
“When I come out to see a property my client is looking to buy I ask them all the good questions, to make sure this is the house for them” he says.
His enquiries usually include questions around the neighbourhood they’re looking to move into, their lifestyle and how much money they have saved up to later spend on renovations or regular maintenance of the home.
“I try to empower you as a buyer by educating you,” he says.
“Buying a house should be the most exciting time in someone’s life. I try to make sure my clients are still excited about their purchase while knowing exactly what they’re getting themselves into.”
“I feel I have a lot of responsibility in my work. I always take the time to explain to the client what the report means, ” Peter says.
“Where possible, I prefer if the client is there for the inspection. If they’re unable I make sure to have a 20-30-minute phone conversation to go over the report with them.”
He says he doesn’t want to deter people from buying a house only because there is some work to be done. Instead, Peter prefers to give them a 5-year maintenance plan where they can pick away at the issues as they go along.
Peter also reassures that there are some properties that are basically fault-free.
“Houses which has been professionally renovated usually have a builder go over them with a fine-tooth comb. Professional trades know what we as inspectors are looking for and will (hopefully) rectify any issues found.”
For further help, also read: Questions to Ask Yourself Upon Receiving a Building Report
Termites on the Gold Coast/Northern Rivers
Peter says that you used to be able to refer to certain “hot-spots” on the Gold Coast when you’re talking termites.
“Today, there’s a blanket you can throw all over Queensland. No matter where in Queensland you live you will have to be on the look-out for termites. It’s due to our climate, of course,” he says.
“I have a lot of clients totally unaware of this issue. They come from colder countries like Canada or New Zealand where the problem is non-existent as it’s too cold for termites there.”
Peter explains there is a 3-step response when he finds indication of termites on a property: recommend an invasive inspection, exterminate the termites, and put up termite barriers.
If there is evidence of a termite infestation and no evidence of a termite treatment having been done it is likely that active termites may be present in areas not accessible by the inspector. A further investigation is then essential. This means treatment is necessary even though no live termites were discovered.
To find out more about barriers, read our article on termite treatments.
Book an Inspection
If you are looking to purchase a property on the Gold Coast/Northern Rivers area, call Peter and the team on 07 5514 4777 or book online to save your property from significant structural damage with a professional inspection.