Melbourne’s Trusted Building Consultants
Specialist consultants for all stages of building construction.
Melbourne Building Inspections
BSS Group is an award-winning building and engineering consultancy firm, renowned for providing independent advice to owners, developers and builders on construction matters.
Our Melbourne-based team comprises building consultants, engineers and architects, and our team’s unique combination of knowledge and expertise ensures we stand apart from the crowd.
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New Home Inspections
We offer high quality, independent home inspection and reporting services, carried out by the most proficient building consultants in the trade. With matchless experience, we are in the strongest position to report on every aspect of a property’s quality. We work with owners, builders and developers to provide ultimate peace of mind throughout the entire construction process and beyond. Our people work to support the effective resolution of any concerns that may arise, and to achieve the best outcomes for all parties.
If you’re undertaking any major building work, you’ll want to safeguard yourself with a dilapidation report. Our highly skilled and experienced team will conduct exhaustive inspections within the area surrounding the construction zone, to accurately document the current condition of all adjacent buildings. This will protect you against any unfair claims that may be made against you in the future by neighbouring property owners.
In the event of a dispute between owner and builder, BSS Group provides independent, expert advice, based on a wealth of experience handling what can be highly complex situations. We’ll offer practical guidance as well as cost estimates associated with rectifying any defects in the build, to support a satisfactory agreement.
Our advisory services cover the entire range of building problems, from dampness to cracking, drainage and much more. Our team comprises experienced building consultants and civil engineers who know exactly what to look for during their meticulous inspections. After identifying the root cause of any issue, we’ll follow up with advice on the most effective means of rectifying the problem.
What do we look for during an inspection?
In a general sense, we’re looking for building compliance and quality of workmanship. We conduct inspections to provide a range of different reports depending on the specifics of the property, but these can broadly be divided into new and old buildings.
- Compliance with regulations
- Standard of workmanship – brickwork, carpentry, paint, plaster, insulation and energy efficiency
- Contract documentation
- Assessment of builder’s liability / warranty claims
- Site drainage issues
- Building movement
- Maintenance issues
We Solve Them
Our job is to look at each situation objectively, identify the most appropriate and effective resolution, and develop a strategy to reach it.
No matter what the circumstances, you can count on us to remain level-headed, and to provide trustworthy and honest counsel through your building or construction project.
Our focus is on solutions rather than problems, and our advice is never inflammatory.
What distinguishes us from our competitors is our pragmatic approach.
While other inspectors have a more one-dimensional attitude and often rush into expensive and painful litigation, BSS Group has the right experience, skills and personnel to find common ground that resolves the issues.
Whatever issue you come to us for help in resolving, first we listen. We’ll take onboard your concerns, before making the right observations to properly inform our assessments. Based on these insights, we’ll provide relevant, practical and sensible advice.
What’s more, we don’t just leave you with a report and say, ‘job done!’. We’ll provide assistance throughout every stage, until a satisfactory conclusion is reached. And if specialist support is required that BSS Group is not equipped to provide in-house, we’ll refer you to a trusted external party, so you can be confident you’re always in the safest hands.
BSS Group is an award-winning building consultancy firm, renowned for providing independent advice to owners, developers and builders on construction matters.
Full Service Solutions
Our Melbourne-based team offers a full-service solution to anybody building or developing a property without enlisting the services of an architect. Comprising building consultants, engineers and architects, our team’s unique combination of knowledge and expertise ensures we stand apart from the crowd.
Any party involved in a construction project can encounter problems relating to the standard of building works, as well as time and cost overruns. BSS Group’s quality inspection and reporting services are here to ensure everybody does their job effectively, to enable the highest quality outcomes, and to reduce additional costs, delays and disputes going forward.
Custom Designed Strategies
Our job is to look at each situation objectively, identify the most appropriate and effective resolution, and develop a strategy to reach it. No matter what the circumstances, you can count on us to remain level-headed, and to provide trustworthy and honest counsel. Our focus is on solutions rather than problems, and our advice is never inflammatory.
What distinguishes us from our competitors is our pragmatic approach. While other inspectors have a more one-dimensional attitude and often rush into expensive and painful litigation, BSS Group has the right experience, skills and personnel to find compromises that satisfy all parties.
Our Services Include:
- New home inspections – Working with builders, developers and owners to ensure minimum acceptable standards throughout the build and ultimate peace of mind.
- Building problems – Offering independent, authoritative advice to owners on issues, identifying the most appropriate solutions and investigating whether a claim can be made.
- Building disputes – Detailed reporting on building quality to help settle disputes quickly and effectively.
- Dilapidation reports – Protection against third party damage claims relating to your building works.
Our Team Strives to:
- Listen and respond to client needs
- Provide a range of approachable, low-cost building consulting services
- Offer a range of fixed fee, time critical services
- Provide truly independent professional advice
- Gather a range of tried and tested Trade and Professional service providers for client referral.
If you’re an owner, developer or builder seeking quality independent advice on construction matters, call BSS Group on 03 9377 3000
If I’m not happy with the quality of work, can I withhold progress or stage payments to the builder?
An owner is legally bound to make stage payments, which refers to any payment made in respect of a milestone or on any other date specified in the building contract. At each payment stage, owners should ensure the work is in conformity with the contract and completed satisfactorily.
If the stage coincides with an inspection required under the building permit by the Relevant Building Surveyor (RBS), it is important to check the work has been passed by them. In addition to the RBS inspections, BSS recommends you engage an independent building consultant to inspect and check for defects, as well as overall building quality. It is critical that your selected building consultant is reputable and suitably qualified, such as a Registered Building Practitioner.
Once the stage is complete, owners should not withhold any stage payments, even if defects are present. Instead, you should advise the builder of any concerns or defects in writing, as soon as you become aware of them. If the builder does not address your issues in a timely manner, you should obtain an independent building inspection and seek legal advice. Alternatively, you can report the matter to the state government body, Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria.
Rather than waiting until you have concerns, we recommend you organise several independent building inspections throughout the course of the construction, regardless of whether any defects are evident or not. In our experience as independent building consultants, we are likely to identify defects that are not obvious to you.
In relation to stage payments, the final stage is a little different. Please refer to Section 42(a) below:
Section 42 of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (the Act) states:
“When work is to be considered to have been completed a builder must not demand final payment under a major domestic building contract until:
(a) the work carried out under the contract has been completed in accordance with the plans and specifications set out in the contract; and
(b) the building owner is given either —
(i) a copy of the occupancy permit under the Building Act 1993, if the building permit for the work carried out under the contract requires the issue of an occupancy permit; or
(ii) in any other case, a copy of the certificate of final inspection.”
While we are not solicitors, our understanding of Section 42(a) is that if defects are present, the builder is not entitled to payment. It is also important to keep in mind that completion is not achieved until the Occupancy Permit (for new a home) or Certificate of Final Inspection (for alterations) has been issued by the RBS.
The builder might argue that defects will be rectified after the three-month maintenance period. If this is the case, we suggest that you respond by stating that the maintenance period should only be used to identify defects that come to light after you have moved in. Any known defects should be rectified before handover.
Of course, in practice you might be prepared to accept the builder addressing minor defects down the track, if you are anxious to take possession of your new house. However, always keep in mind that once you have made the final payment, you have lost the leverage you once had.
If defects are identified during the final inspection and the builder is not intending to address them, they will be in breach of contract because of the implied warranties contained in the Act. These warranties should appear in the building contract, and are described under Section 8 of the Act. They have also been summarised below:
The builder warrants that the work will:
- be carried out in a proper and workmanlike manner, and comply with the plans and specifications
- comply with all the legal requirements
- be carried out with reasonable care and skill
In addition to the above, the builder warrants that all materials are fit-for-purpose and, unless specified otherwise, should be new.
Comprehensive & Detailed
“Reports delivered by BSS are thorough, comprehensive and detailed. BSS engage the client directly and facilitate a suitable time to carry out the report allowing for a professional and quality service.”