HABiT - Nelson

Lewis Pass to Farewell Spit

building inspectors Nelson

Office:   (0800) 470-470
Mobile:  (027) 8830500
Overseas Callers only:  +64 3545 8979

Email:  nelson@thehabit.co.nz

The Home & Building Inspection Team Nelson is part of a national franchise group covering most areas throughout New Zealand. We pride ourselves on providing a quality service and product guaranteeing to get your report back to you within 24hrs of visiting the site.

Our building reports are for home owners and sellers. Our reports are easy to understand and talk to you in your language and are based on NZ Standards NZ4306. Our reports are also non-invasive visual reports and provide you with plenty of photos so you can see and tell exactly what we’re talking about.

Home sellers after the leaky building crisis are now more aware of what the potential problems could be if they don’t get a home looked at professionally. The home buying process for a long time and still is today an emotional decision for a lot of people. Pragmatism seems to go out the window when you see a home that you can see you and your family in for the next 8-10 years, it becomes an emotional decision and not worrying if the plumbing or electrics at this stage often becomes a trap, which can easily come back and bite you, turning your dream into a nightmare. We hear these stories often in our industry, but the good news is that more and more people, with the help of banks and solicitors helpful advise, are becoming more aware of how much of a cost-saving tool a building report can be.

Home sellers are now more than ever having property reports carried out before they put their property in the market. It’s becoming more popular for a couple of reasons:

  1. Sellers can find out what needs to be done before the property goes on the market so they have the opportunity to fix up what potential buyers may see as a hindrance to buying the property and if not a hindrance, will usually take off the things that need to be fixed up off the asking price and for the inconvenience of having to get these things done will normally put their own “I’ll do it myself” margin on for it.
  2. Sellers can get the best possible price if they’re presenting a property for sale, when competing against other houses on the market, that does not require any major fixes other than just standard maintenance.

The population in Nelson is 46, 200 and is a beautiful place to live. A lot of people move to Nelson for the lifestyle and weather. Here’s a good resource all about Nelson if you’d like to learn more.

Our prices*

 1-3 bedroom, single storey home
$ 580 incl gst
4+ bedroom, single storey home
$ 630 incl gst
Double storey
$ 680 incl gst

* Prices are subject to change outside the greater Nelson area

* Additional costs may occur if dwelling is larger than 250m2, and where extra service and living rooms are present

Payment to be made in full, prior to release of report

Cancellation Fee

within 24 hours of inspection
$ 200.00  (incl GST)

METH Testing

Meth Testing is now available.  A basic positive/negative answer, on the spot results.

Cost start at $140 (incl gst) for the first two rooms, then $90 (incl gst) for every two rooms thereafter when a building inspection is carried out.

If only a meth test is required a minimum of four rooms is required to be tested.

When booking online, please mention in our "notes" section your request for METH testing - we will quote accordingly.

New real estate clause causes concern for home owners

New rules requiring real estate agents to alert buyers and sellers to potential defects in a property are causing anxiety for home owners and agents, uncertain of exactly what this means.

The recent changes to the real estate agents Code of Conduct require agents who become aware of possible defects in a property they are selling, to warn the seller and the buyer and advise them to seek independent advice from a suitably qualified expert.

If a seller tells an agent about a defect and asks them not to disclose it to a buyer, the agent must immediately stop working for them.

The issue of what constitutes a “potential defect” is making Nelson agents, home owners and buyers anxious. They are uncertain of their liabilities if they don’t spot a defect, and are concerned the new rules will lead to confusion and protracted delays while potential issues are investigated and resolved.

Local Nelson builder Tony Walker, who with father Ross has just launched the building inspection franchise HABiT in Nelson, says the new clause doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.

“It’s about ensuring agents, sellers and buyers all get the right advice from an expert who can help them find solutions,” says Walker. “I know that some real estate agents are concerned they don’t have the experience to pick up defects. And sellers sometimes want to cover them up because they don’t understand how simple they may be to fix.”

Walker, a registered master builder and licenced building practitioner, says the best solution all round is to proactively assess a home for problems before it goes on the market, identify any issues and find solutions that can be achieved quickly and cost effectively.

Tony and Ross Walker have more than 75 years of building experience between them, accruing a swag of gold, silver and bronze Master Builders awards for their work on residential and commercial buildings. Their resume includes large high end homes designed by leading architects, as well as large and small alteration and additions in the Wellington and Nelson regions.

They believe their launch of HABiT in Nelson couldn’t have come at a better time.

“More and more people want the reassurance of a building inspection from a highly trained and experienced professional to ensure there are no hiccups in the home buying or selling process,” says Tony.

“Our point of difference is that we are focused on solutions, not on problems. We want to help the agent, the seller and the buyer to identify possible problems and work with them to find a way through to a successful conclusion.”

Why should people use your services?

We are solution based; we come from a practical background being builders and we have competitive pricing amongst the rest. I have been self employed in the past and had up to 20 staff at one stage. This is definitely a nice change from running staff and just being myself.

Originally from Wellington, I jumped over the ditch about 6 years ago to Nelson. Coming up 12 months with Home and building inspection Team Nelson and it has been a nice change.

We have competitive pricing and the automated software we use helps us immensely. With our inspections we take up to two hours on site and then between 30mins and 1 to write up a report. We spend more time looking at the house not writing. With the automated system you don’t actually miss anything as you have a checklist so your memory is always jogged in each room as what to look for.We take photos in a lot of the areas as well. I have heard some of the others don’t get into the tight spaces You have to get into tight spaces to inspect and be used to walking on roofs etc.

What makes your skills and knowledge so important when inspecting a home?

I think just having a building background and understanding and knowledge of how things have been put together and constructed. I have a background in renovations and alterations in previous years. Doing that type of work gives you a great insight into what to look for e.g. dampness and rot and looking in the right areas. Domestic houses are my background and have spent many years projecting managing and running jobs.

What is it that you actually look for when doing a house inspection?

The key things are moisture in the roof spaces and wet areas in the bathroom and cracks and moisture around windows. A lot of it depends on the cladding of the house and also the era of the house. With the 80’s there were lots of products that failed and were not as good as they are now. A lot of particle board was put in and there was also asbestos around too. Having a knowledge of the different eras helps.

What type of houses are there in Nelson?

We get a lot of Stucco house in Nelson, more than I saw in Wellington. The houses are quite different in weather tightness with respect to coming from Wellington where you are used to horizontal rain and an earthquake zone where as in Nelson some of the houses wouldn’t stand 5 minutes in Wellington conditions. So you have to take into account the conditions of your own area as well. A lot of the flashing systems that were in place in Wellington aren’t seen or needed here.

Are they up with the Council code?

Yes of course they are up with the regulations at the time we get alot of those questions. A lot of builders go and say well they don’t meet the codes but they obviously met the codes at the time of construction which is what we are looking at and the time of the renovation.

You have been building for how many years?

About 25 years and my father for a few more than that 45-50 years he’s been at it so combined there is a lot of knowledge base there. My father lives an hour and a half away but he looks over all my reports so I have another experienced eye looking over them, checking up and looking for things I have missed.

What is your current team? Do you have a network i.e. plumbers,electricians?

Previously I had a building company so I know a lot of sub trades that I have used and can refer on to customers. In Nelson there are a lot of buyers from outside the region who don’t have that sort of support or local knowledge base so they appreciate the knowledge and rapport I have with the specialised fields. I have some idea after being through a few houses as to what to look for and what doesn’t look right or is out of place. Looking out for old/new fuses and looking out for the black rubber. You see Ducks quest a lot as it has been used frequently in Nelson. It is a black pipe used in the 80’s which is now a faulty product.The name is written on it. An insurance company may not insure your property if this piping is present. Home owners may not know it is there as you wont see it unless you are in the ceiling or floor space. Bits can be replaced but it is best to replace the whole lot.Its good to get it look at if you have concerns it may be in your house especially if you are paying for water usage as the pipes can burst at anytime.

Which areas in Nelson do you cover?

My territory is Lewis Pass to Farewell Spit. I cover Atawai, Richmond, Golden Bay, Tanated Lakes Motueka and Tahunanui lot of work in Nelson, Richmond and Motueka.

Why do people need to use a building inspector?

Well its like buying a car - you get an AA report. I don’t know anything about cars so I get an aa report so that I know it is going to be safe and sound. House inspections are pretty much the same. Piece of mind and satisfaction that you have someone who has expertise in the field. You get a written report that is easy to read and a lot of those reports get forwarded on to lawyers etc and come quite handy in the negotiation process when it comes to the remedial work that is needed as it is all highlighted. The banks are also getting into looking for reports. With conveying lawyers, banks and insurance companies the reports are becoming very popular. In Nelson even the real estate agents are noting the growth in building inspections in general, some even go as far as telling their clients they should get one before they purchase a property.

Do you do any other type of inspections?

New homes for private purchase but not building companies. I do bigger homes, home stays and bed and breakfasts. Recently I did 2 rest homes in Greymouth so any type of domestic building used for living. I have even had a request for an inspection at a property which has 10 flats which was built in the early 1900’s so it goes from the early 1900’s right up to new homes and I have also done a little bit on some commercial buildings. A little bit of everything really.

What people need to look out for when beginning the buying process?

I think the biggest thing on people’s minds is it a leaky house and people see plaster systems and plasters houses and classify it as a leaky house but that’s not necessarily true. If it has big soffits it okay you are well covered. What makes a leaky house is where parapets have the wrong flashings on top. Plaster houses with soffits are okay and there are some great painting systems to repair remedial cracks. You will want to know whether it is monolithic cladding or whether is it on a cavity system so it just depends. A lot of people are concerned about the cladding of a house. The houses I find around here are all okay, they just need to be well maintained and looked after, like a car If you look after it you will get a lot more usage.In 12 months I have only come across 2 that I would have been weary of that were leaky houses and so that is 2 out of 250 inspection to date. Monolithic cladded houses can potentially be leaky homes but we are lucky we don’t have the weather conditions in Nelson like some other parts of the country.

Do you do see many P houses?

I do try and add them into my tests rather than just going and doing them. I do have the capability to be doing them which is through meth solutions in Auckland. We go out and we do the sample swabs, send them to the lab and we get the results quite promptly. They have a website, www.methsolutions.co.nz and there are a few others in the area that do them as well. It is becoming quite a common thing you probably seen a bit in the news lately. They only need a small area so can be pretty hard to spot.

Top five areas that people can or should be looking out for when maintaining a house?

  1. I would be having a look at the roof and making sure it has a good coat of paint on it with a good pitch so that the water is falling away easily.
  2. Check the spouting to make sure its not blocked and not running over into the soffits or eves.
  3. If the house is clad with timber I would be looking for rot around the windowsill areas and all corners on weather board houses.
  4. Plaster houses check for remedial cracking as it is quite common around the window areas above and below the window areas. If you’ve got one wall with crazy cracking on it there might be more going on so get that checked.
  5. Just checking all doors and windows inside to make sure that they don’t need easing and are all working freely and there has been no movement or subsidence.

Any advice for a new home buyer?

Get a building inspection of courses it just make sense now.If you don’t have experience in the building game and your not sure in terms of what you are spending, its peace of mind. With the price of a building inspection its well worth getting one. The other point with HABiT is that we are fully insured with indemnity insurance. You hear agents talking about inspectors not being insured but we are fully insured with indemnity insurance which is peace of mind for a lot of people.

What are the main concerns potential buyers or sellers have when it comes to getting a builders report?

They are most worried about the cladding and with a lack of knowledge base that is the biggest concern. Once they have an inspector from Habit around they will get peace of mind on cladding and how most problems can easily be fixed. Leaks are another concern, sometimes we see the odd shower leaking or plumbing issues underneath the house which the client has been unaware of . You find some vendors that want reports done who have this monolithic cladding and are unsure of it and want some advice in the right areas. I say keep it well maintained and looked after.

Great things about living in Nelson or about the housing Nelson?

The weather is great in Nelson put it that way. Its a great atmosphere in Nelson, I’m really enjoying it and you do get a variety of houses here. You never know where you are going next when you out and about and we have lovely countryside as well. Number one for sunshine days in New Zealand.

Best thing about being a building inspector?

It’s a different mind set to being on the tools after many years and it nice to be in a service that is actually helping others and using my knowledge base, that I really enjoy. I enjoy people and I have people skills as well so I am really enjoying getting out and about and making people comfortable with what that are buying or what they are selling. We were always told that when we finished our building apprenticeship it was our licence to start learning. So I have had a lot of years learning and I think as a builder your building eye never turns off.You are always going to someones house for a cup of coffee or something and you are always looking at things, you never stop looking.

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