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Smoke Alarm Laws



Selling, Buying or Renting? Then the Smoke Alarm Laws apply to you.

Recent inspections revealed a number of homes for sale did not meet the Smoke Alarm Laws. Some of these homes had been recent rentals, or occupied for over 10 years, and although the installed alarms were hardwired they were found to be out-with the 10 year manufactured date. In one home (a recent rental now up for sale) the fitted alarms were out of date and were no longer connected to the mains supply. Without a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection these faults may have gone un-detected and put the future occupier’s lives at risk.

Smoke alarm laws (The Building Regulations 2012) require owners (those selling or making properties available for rent or hire) must ensure that the smoke alarm(s):

  1. are in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) applicable the time of installation of the alarms (the BCA specifies the minimum standards and location that smoke alarms must comply with); and
  2. are not more than 10 years old at the time of transfer of ownership or making the dwelling available for rent or hire; and
  3. are in working order; and
  4. are permanently connected to consumer mains power.

Are there penalties for non-compliance?

Yes, local governments have the power under the Building Act 2011 and the Regulations to either issue an infringement notice or prosecute an owner who fails to have compliant smoke alarms installed prior to selling, transferring ownership, renting or hiring the dwelling.

Further information can be found http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/smoke-alarm-laws

Exhaust fan and other ventilation to your Home

Exhaust fan and other ventilation to your Home.

Proper ventilation of your home is a priority in maintaining your own health and well as the long term maintenance of the building. Properties that are not well ventilated readily promote moulds and mildew that not only affect your health but also affect the building itself.

Some ventilation is as simple as opening a window. If windows are fitted with security screens or vent locks they can be left open at all times to provide fresh air and promote the removal of moisture, caused by simply living, from the building. This moisture is from breathing, showering and washing, cooking, clothes washing and drying etc.

We regularly are asked to inspect and report on properties where tenants have complained of mildew and mould growth. Inspection reveals improper ventilation as the cause. Keeping a house fully closed in winter months is not always necessary as many days the outside temperature is above the internal so a change of air is not detrimental to keeping the home warm. Running exhaust fans for an extended time would also remove the potential for mould growth.


Other ventilation is targeted to specific areas of the home.


Toilets and bathrooms with a toilet should be vented with a short glazed window with permanent mesh vent to the top and an Air Lock vent directly outside the door. The airlock vent needs to connected to a flue pipe out through the roof; where the toilet does not have an external wall for the permanent vent window an exhaust fan connected to the flue pipe is required. Obviously having a flued fan along with the permanent vent in the toilet is even better.


Bathrooms and Laundries

Bathrooms and laundries need to have at least a static vent of sufficient proportions to remove any airborne moisture from the room; an exhaust fan is better. Exhaust fans should be kept running after the use of the room to ensure all moisture is removed.


Proper ventilation of the kitchen is essential to remove cooking odours and moisture from the building. Current regulations do not insist on venting from kitchen fans and range hoods; although the local authority may make it a condition of building approval at time of issuing the building license to the builder. It is sensible to properly vent the kitchen to the exterior otherwise oils and fats from cooking collect in the roof space impregnating insulation which would create a fire hazard and harbour cockroaches and attract other vermin.



Roof Coverings

This week we had another inspection on a house that has been re-roofed:

Changing from galvanised iron to Zincalume, the “upgrade” is a whole transmutation from a simple roof structure to one that involves elementary structural forces on the entire building. The inspected home is a timber framed weatherboard cottage built in the early 1920’s that had a corrugated iron roof nailed to a sparse hardwood timber frame. While the roof has provided adequate cover for over 90 years the change of covering and method of fixing has altered the nature of the building to such an extent that it has become structurally unsound.

The original galvanised roof sheeting has been replaced with the current Zincalume roof but no work to the roof frame has been carried out to compensate for the change in characteristics of performance under storm conditions. The original roof would have been nailed to the framing whereby individual sheets could loosen and relieve variance in air pressure between the internal and external areas of the roof covering. The current roof is now screwed together making one cohesive sheet. No tie down restraint strapping between the roof and wall structures has been implemented to comply with the requirements [when completely renewing roof coverings the roof framing needs to be brought up-to current Austrsilian Standards and Buiding Codes] for securing this type of structure. The roof frame is well below the required specification for sheet roofing with rafters being over span and over spacing. Battens for securing the roof sheeting are also spaced too far apart and are not correctly secured to the rafters. The roof frame structure and its fixing methods although suitable at time of the building construction (1920’s) no longer met the Australian Standard’s and Building Codes applicable at the time of the roof being re-covered. When having roofs recovered [sheet metal] it is essential that the roof frame structure, [and any additional framing and restraint strapping required], is installed and secured ensuring that the finished structure and installation meets the Standards and Codes applicable at the time of the works.

While it will, no doubt, be argued that the cottage has stood for all its life without failure the building has been so fundamentally altered that there is now a real risk of total collapse if cyclonic force winds are applied.

The original hardwood frame was constructed with green sawn timber that has dried and shrunk, the drying and movement has caused nails to loosen, and stud framing housed into notched wall plates (top and bottom members of the wall frame) are now also loose. All that is holding the wall frame together is the weatherboard outer cladding and internal wall boarding – both very aged.

If you have any concerns about the condition of your property then speak to a Housecalls team member; [email protected] or 0418 902 240

Deemed to Satisfy

The term “deemed to satisfy” is often used by builder’s site supervisors to excuse poor workmanship or other faults within a building; this is a total misuse of the term and is purely used to blur the issue.

Deemed to satisfy provisions are in place so a new or different method or design feature can be used in lieu of the building code provisions whereby the end result is at least as good as the intent of the code. The use of this provision is designed to provide advancement of ideas and methods to make the building industry more efficient or improve the quality of workmanship and/or the end product.

To use the deemed to satisfy provision the method or deviation from the code the plan must be resubmitted to the local authority for approval as a variation to the approved plans.

“Deemed to Satisfy” is not an excuse for anything that is below reasonable expectations, normal code requirements or manufacturer’s specification.

Comprehensive Home Inspections Checklist

home inspection checklist

Sometimes, there are things that you just got to do on your own even when it comes to home inspection. To be sure that the house you want to buy is really your “dream house”, you need to hire a home inspector. This person can help you find out if the house of your dreams is really a safe and nice place to live in. He should be going through a home inspections checklist in order to determine so.

You have to always remember that a family home is the biggest investment that you can ever make but it can become your gravest mistake if you go into it without any sufficient care of inspecting the property before moving in.

However, as what was said, there are times when you need to do things yourself. If you are the type of person who wants to do it the DIY or “do-it-yourself” way, here is a basic yet comprehensive home inspections checklist for you to read and learn. If you encounter difficulties in any aspect of home inspection, you can always try to find a professional home inspector.

This checklist consists of areas to be inspected in, out, and around the house.

The Garden

• Try to see the condition of the gates and fences of the garden. Can the gates be secured easily and can’t be opened conveniently from the outside? Are the fence posts still in their tip-top shape?
• Large trees can cause obstruction and even danger to the property and your family. There might be large trees with branches intertwining with electrical wires or some of its branches are already brittle and are about to fall off.
• There might be some poisonous trees and shrubs all over the place. Try to check carefully if there are. They really are very dangerous.

Exterior of the house

• Is the structure of the house still in good condition? Look for some possible leaks when rain comes. Try to check the roof gutter if it is filled with dirt, grime or leaves from trees.
• Electricity is man’s friend but it can be its worst enemy, too. Try to look for badly-wired electrical fittings and broken power points. Are the light/electrical switches and wall sockets around the house still in good condition? There might be some electrical connections that are loose. Have them checked out intensively by a professional electrician if you are in doubt.

Check the outside walls of the house.

• Try to check for rotten weatherboards. Check the windows, doors and door frames if they are still okay or not. A door that is difficult to open or close can be very dangerous in times of natural calamities like earthquakes.

Check out the floors, too.

• If the floor is made of timber, try to look for stumps with the heaviest water stain.
• Check for some termite infestations. If you see some, have them checked by an exterminator. There might be some termite “shelter tubes” on the floor.

Have a good look at the heater.

• Heaters keep everybody warm. But, it can be unsafe, too, especially if it’s not working properly and it has some loose parts. Try to check the heater if it gives off sounds like gurgling, popping or snapping. If it does, then, go and get help from a professional or you can do the flushing of sediment yourself. Flushing with 3 to 4 gallons prolongs the heater’s life span.

Look out for those cracks in the foundation.

• The foundation of a house should be solid rock. If there are hairline cracks, it is nothing to worry about. But, if the cracks are both vertical and horizontal and they are already big, it’s time to call in a professional.

After you have finished with this home inspection checklist, it is time for you to decide whether to call in a professional for a specific problem if there are any. Yes, you can do the checking of the house for some problems but a professional home inspector can do more. If you think that there are some things that need to be done by an expert, don’t hesitate to call one.

Why Property Inspection is a Necessity

Why Property Inspections in Perth is Necessary


For some people, buying a house is as easy as A-B-C.  Even you might think about this if you are planning to buy a home.

You just need to have the sufficient money to buy a house, look for one by yourself or with the help of a real estate agent and when you have found your dream home; you pay for it and finally move in with your family.

You need a lot of things to remember before you take out that money from your pocket.

You have to make sure that the house you will be buying is what you really want, if it is still in good condition and if the price is just right with the property that you want to purchase.

One of these things is to hire a qualified building inspector.

In Australia, particularly in the area of Perth, it is highly recommended to hire such kind of professional.

A property inspection expert or a professional building inspector (Registered Builder) will be the one to do all the assessment to assure you that you will be settling down in a house that is still conducive for residency.

This is actually just an option.  But, it is an option that you shouldn’t overlook.

But, why is inspecting a property before buying a necessity or important?  Here are some of the reasons:

  • The exterior walls of the house in mind might be damaged or has significant cracking.  In addition there are some things that you can’t see with your naked eye that a professional building inspector can spot even a few hundred yards away. Property inspections to homes in Perth is highly recommended since there were some complaints from home owners that the houses they have purchased in Perth have damaged parts including exterior walls and roof installations which have been proven to be dangerous.
  • The foundation of the house can’t be seen by people like you.  But, a building inspector can. He may not be able to examine the foundation directly, but, he has a system on how to determine if the groundwork of that certain property is tough or not. They will be able to spot some issues which may include cracks in it.
  • Another reason why you need to hire a professional building inspector is to see to it that the garage door (if any) of that certain house is still working efficiently or not. A garage door can prove to be dangerous if it won’t open or is poorly mounted. For example, it’s the middle of the night and you got an emergency situation in your hands.  Building inspectors can also check out the carport for proper construction. This is to ensure that there no structural issues with the construction, such as rusting supports or poorly fixed roof materials that maybe dislodged during inclement weather conditions.
  • The roof is one of the most important parts of the house and it should be carefully inspected by a professional building inspector before you decide to buy and move in. Water might get through your house when there is heavy downpour of rain if there are loose or missing tiles on the roof. The roof framing also needs inspecting to ensure it has been constructed to meet building codes in force at the time of construction or when new additions and works altering the roof components have been carried out.
  • It is always said that if there are any problems with the electrical system of your house, you need to call a professional electrician. Just the same, to ensure that the house wherein you’re planning to move in has safe electrical system, you also need to hire a professional building inspector.  Remember, just like when you are talking about your health, prevention is better than cure. The building inspector is the “prevention” and the electrician is the “cure”.  Although the electrician can also be your “prevention”. But why hire two before moving in when you can hire just one, right?
  • Most homeowners’ concern is the plumbing system of the house.  Before you move in and got caught in the middle of the night with a flooded home because of a faulty plumbing system, hire a professional building inspector to see to it that your pipes and drainage are all in good condition. The inspector also has the ability to identify the location of the property’s water shutoff valve.

There are still a lot more reasons why you need to hire a property inspection specialist and these reasons include inspecting the appliances especially those that can be found in the kitchen.

That is, if the house you are about to purchase is fully furnished. The inspector can inspect the laundry room and what about the fire safety of the house?  That is the most important thing that home inspectors should look into.

Yes, there are many reasons why you should hire such professional but there is only one reason why you need to directly get assistance in hiring one from Housecalls.net.au and that’s because they are the leading property inspector in Perth.

Read our “10 Tips to Choosing an Inspector” and be even better prepared.

3 Killer Tips for Home Showing


We are reputed Building inspectors in Perth, this is the reason why we believe we could have a couple of tips four you when it comes to Home Showing.

You’d very much like to sell your home? However, you dread the process of preparing it to show to prospective buyers. You’re not alone; many others feel the same way about getting their home ready for showing. You can start by listing down all the known problems in your house that must be addressed. First impressions can make or break a transaction and for a prospective buyer, whether his or her first impression is good or bad will depend a lot on how your exterior looks. In this case, you need to pay more attention to making your home exterior as appealing as possible. There are many tips on home showing but here are three good ones to remember.

Make sure the walkways in your property are looking good and are not littered with trash. All you have to do is sweep them so there is nothing on them like leaves or trash, etc. Get rid of any accumulation of dirt too. Do your walkways look good? You want to make them look as good as possible. Just spray them with water to clean them or if there are noticeable stains, scrub them off with a stiff broom. You can create a positive effect on buyers by adding potted flowers or some decorative element on your walkways. If you go the extra mile to make sure your home looks great, you’re a lot more likely to sell your home.

Don’t be surprised, but buyers notice every little details like the dust or crack on a window. Failing to replace any cracked or broken windows is not acceptable in this situation. Your windows may be acceptable to you in terms of how clean they are, but give them a good polish right before a buyer comes to your home. If buyers see that your windows are in disrepair or that you couldn’t even take the time to clean the blinds or change the curtains to cleaner ones, they’re going to think you’re not a very responsible homeowner. If they believe that, they’ll start wondering what else could be wrong.

First impressions have made and killed business transactions and many other things millions of times. Here are just a few quick things to consider when you want to create a better first impression when showing your home. Next to your front yard or driveway, your front porch is what can give prospective buyers a good (or bad) feeling about your home, so make sure that it’s presentable and welcoming. Get a can of paint and give your front door a new coat if you have to. If your front door doesn’t need painting, get a bucket of water and soap and scrub it clean at least. Place a few potted flowers strategically around your front porch to give it a welcoming, homey look. Home showing does not have to be the nightmare some people make it out to be. The key is organization, and if you approach the process methodically, you will do well. You can also lessen your stress by staying within the budget you’ve created for selling the home. Even if you have plenty of money, don’t overlook the little details because they are an important part of the equation

What You Do Not Know About Real Estate

With the newest real estate property crash, now could be a great time to find a home. Houses have lost loads of value during the past few years effecting buying a property in case you are in the unfortunate position to a wise investment. This document will offer you some ideas for your new home.

“When you begin searching for new housing, always make certain to visit other similar houses in the area to look for competitive prices. If a property is very expensive in comparison with similar houses in similar neighborhoods, in an identical community, use that information to negotiate at a lower cost, or take your business elsewhere as we say.”

For the right property purchase, buyers must not let themselves be pressured into a quick purchase. There is no such thing as an urgent need to acquire a residence. Cautious analysis, wise planning and discriminating conclusion-making are vital to securing a favorable offer. You have too much to lose in this position.

Home Inspections on Wikipedia

If you want to be confident that what you see is what you get from your up coming home investment, then property inspections are a necessity. Even though some of these inspections are highly-priced, the price of fixing major issues not covered in gains contract will likely be higher. Plus, any issues found in inspections would either be the responsibility of the vendor to fix prior to closing a deal or will be reflected within the closing price, making these inspections a really worthwhile investment.

If you are thinking to buy real estate properties, it can be significant to do your analysis on any companies with whom you will be conducting business with. There are many corporations who prey on very first time house prospective buyers by making use of predatory lending strategies. See with the Better Business Bureau before doing any business providing the company you’re dealing with is a good one. It will prevent future problems.

If you want to take a look at a house without the person you will be moving in, bring a camera with you. You need to make sure that the other person (your spouse, partner or whoever) shares the same intentions regarding the house you are about to move in.

Choose the best time to view a house. While most people hold off until the ‘open house event’, generally during the week ends, in reality you may request to have a house house visit anytime you want. Choose a weekday when the sellers aren’t there. The Realtor will be delighted to introduce you the house, this means that you won’t be pressured by any potential competitors. If you choose to name your price on the house, you can be rest assured that you’re the only one.

As discussed above, the real estate market is still at a low level compared to the next coming years. Buying housing today, if you’re in the fortunate position to do so can possibly be a great investment geared toward the future. We hope that this text has provided you with some ideas that will assist you decide whether purchasing a house is the right move or not for you.

About The Company
Housecalls is independently owned and operated by a licensed builder. We are based in Perth where all our inspectors have 40 plus years’ practical experience in the residential construction industry, coupled with our local knowledge we are able to specialise, and pride ourselves, in giving our clients the best in property reporting services for the Perth Metro area.
Contact Info
9/45 Tidewater Way,
Ascot WA 6104

0418 902 240

[email protected]