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Building a new home should be one of the most exciting times of your life!  It is also likely your largest investment and this can be daunting – and a little scary at the same time. A thorough Practical Completion Inspection is crucial to remove any fears you may have at the end of construction.

After your design and specification are done and your colours/selections are complete you are well on your way! But now your home is at the Practical Completion stage. How do you know it has been built to the appropriate standards and tolerances? If you have already undertaken staged building inspections, you will have a better understanding of the process and potential pitfalls that can sour your experience, but you will also be more prepared for Practical Completion and the final inspection.

If you haven’t undertaken staged inspections, it’s not too late.  A Practical Completion Inspection is critical to ensure your dream home is finished to the level and  standard you expected.

Brand New First Home Owner home.
It may be at practical completion, but is it really ready to hand over?

The Importance of Maintaining the Relationship with Your Builder at Practical Completion

The relationship between a builder and a homeowner is a complex one lasting over 12 months, has had highs and lows, and is rarely perfect.

All homes can have errors and defects that are not picked up until Practical Completion. Worse still, if they are not picked until after your handover, where do you stand?

It primarily depends on whether it is a defect or not. However, what if there was damage that wasn’t picked up or it just hadn’t been cleaned to a professional standard at handover? In this case, your options are limited – how can you prove that the window wasn’t dented or the door wasn’t scratched when you were moving in. These are the questions that will be asked by your builder and if it wasn’t noted at a practical completion inspection, your chances of having these issued remedied will be limited.

Following are a few examples of typical issues found during a Practical Completion Inspection. Whilst some are defects that would have to be fixed regardless, I think we would all prefer to move into our new home with minimal work or chasing up to be done.These photos are all from a brand-new home inspected by Home Integrity.

Remember, your builder’s aim is certainly not to build you a sub-standard home. Building is a complex process and having someone on your side at the practical completion stage to capture relevant issues is a comforting thought.

Top and bottom of doors not painted – would you have thought to check these?

Handle missing  –  if not captured now, who really lost it?

The kitchen sink waste is leaking.

Poor silicone under freestanding/feature bath.

Poor tiling finish and didn’t your contract specify mitred corners?

Ducting to exhaust fans complete? I don’t think so!

Level of cleaning is below par.


This dented window frame is hard Your problem if not found and listed at Practical Completion Inspection.

What to expect from a Practical Completion Inspection Report

The best option to ensure your new home is finished to the correct standard, tolerance and most importantly, to your contract specifications and overall compliance, is to undertake a professional Practical Completion Inspection.

Your Building Inspector will attend site, undertake an extensive number of measurements and checks and report on any defects along with the general condition and standard of the build. 

A typical Practical Completion Inspection will cover all areas of the home including interior, exterior, roof void and complete roof cover areas. All electrical and plumbing will be checked, as will cabinetry, tiling, doors/finish carpentry, painting and all other finishes/workmanship. Even down to the level of cleanliness. As an example, even a simple paint splatter shouldn’t have to be cleaned up by you prior to moving in.

This extensive list can be presented to builder as a record and part of the practical completion/handover process, to document the final step in your journey.

In this bathroom the fall of the drain in the shower was not compliant. 
Over time, this would have led to damage to surrounding elements and possibly flooding. This is not a simple fix with all tiling to be removed, re-waterproofed and re-screeded. Tiles would have to relaid before replacing shower screen. This would have major impact when you are living in the new home – Certainly better to capture defects like this early!

How to get Home Integrity to do your Practical Completion Inspection

At Home Integrity, our Practical Completion Inspections are thorough and easy to read. We work with you as new homeowners to minimise your concerns and stress, and liaise with the builders to ensure all details are dealt with quickly and efficiently. 

If you are in the process of building a new home and would like to know how Home Integrity can ensure you receive the best product possible, please click here or phone Anne on 6118 4942 or 0420 803 292.