For any construction project, the services of a building surveyor have become an essential element. A building surveyor helps you ensure that your building is in compliance with all laws and regulations and that it is in the best and safest condition possible.
Unfortunately, many construction project managers often overlook working with a building surveyor at the time of construction. This can prove to be extremely risky and dangerous at times. The absence of professional insight into the safety and construction of the property can lead to various design and planning faults.
Initially, before the amendments to the Building Act were made in Australia, most landowners allowed the builder to select the building surveyor of their choice. However, this brought with it plenty of room for legal problems.
Today, most building surveyors in Australia are employed in the private sector, as compared to them working as public officers who were employed by councils in the past. This has allowed them to be more transparent and creative in their work.
How building surveyors can help you with your project
A building surveyor can help you in all aspects of construction, whether you are searching for someone to overlook and manage general tasks or something that is more niche. With the right building surveyor, you can be confident that your building construction is going in the right direction.
- Carries out building inspections
During the construction process, they will be in charge of making sure that your project is built correctly and safely from start to finish. If you hire a surveyor after the building has been completed, they will inspect the quality of the property and point out any alterations or renovations to be made.
Surveyors carry out inspections themselves or sometimes, they may have inspectors conduct inspections on their behalf. These inspections are carefully carried out to survey every stage of the construction.
- Delivers a survey report after inspection
With thorough inspection and analysis, a building surveyor will deliver a survey report that includes a wide range of observations, comments, suggestions and recommendations regarding your project.
A survey highlights the constraints in a plan format, which is then read by engineers, architects, consultants, as well as other parties involved in the project. Some of these constraints may be related to location, site dimensions and limitation of easements, positions of underground services, topography as well as adjoining buildings. As such, they are an integral member of the core team of the project.
- Makes sure your project complies with the law
In Australia, a building surveyor is in charge of assessing buildings and ensuring that they comply with the Building Code of Australia and the Australian Standards referenced within this code. They are also in charge of making sure that the project is in compliance with all other relevant Building Acts or any other legislation. This includes the specific requirements of the jurisdiction that the building is in.
- Ensures safety and accessibly of the property
Besides signing off every stage of the project, a building surveyor has to inspect and confirm that the building is designed with utmost safety and is easily accessible. Is the foundation stable and strong? How energy-efficient is the building? What about emergency exits? Are there are design flaws that could threaten the safety of the residents?
These are just some of the questions that building surveyors have to answer before they can hand out their certification. This will state that the building is safe for occupancy and that it has been built in compliance with all the laws and regulations concerned.
What to consider before hiring a building surveyor
A good building surveyor should be someone with the required qualifications and ideally, someone who has experience with the local area. Local knowledge and expertise can come in handy when it comes to building surveying. The surveyor may have gained valuable information that could impact your project, such as common problems buildings in the area face, among others.
When looking for a building surveyor, make sure to hire one that has Professional Indemnity Insurance for building surveyors. A Professional Indemnity Insurance is insurance that covers all legal costs and claims for a building surveyor, as well as other professionals, in case they are sued by a third party. This is especially useful is the third party is alleging that they have suffered damages as a result of the services or advice that the professional offered.
If a building surveyor has professional indemnity insurance, it implies that they are careful and cautious and take their job seriously. Instead of blindly promising you that everything will go smoothly, they are aware that unforeseen circumstances can happen no matter how much you plan.
BizCover helps building surveyors as well as other professionals choose the best Professional Indemnity Insurance.
iBuildNew Blog. (2018). Why a Building Surveyor is Essential to your Building Project. [online] Available at: https://www.ibuildnew.com.au/blog/building-new/builders/why-a-building-surveyor-is-essential-to-your-building-project/.
JDB Surveying & Architectural. (2014). The Importance of a Building Survey. [online] Available at: https://jdbsurveys.com/importance-building-surveys/.
www.simonlevy.net. (2019). What Value Is A Building Surveyor To You? [online] Available at: https://www.simonlevy.net/what-value-is-a-building-surveyor-to-you.