Although building certifiers are at the heart of any residential or commercial construction project, most people do not comprehend the role of these professionals. As such, they often fail to hire the certifier or assume the certifier will perform roles outside their job description. Below is an extract with some building certifier FAQs to help you learn about the professionals.
Who are Building Certifiers?
Building certifiers are professionals who enforce the building code and regulations that control building development in Australia. The professionals could either be in private practice or local council employees. Their primary responsibility is to assess construction plans and blueprints and inspects sites with ongoing construction work to ensure owners and contractors do not flout construction laws.
When Do You Need A Building Certifier?
The scope of work determines the need for a certifier's services. In most cases, you need the certifier's services when building a structure from the ground up. Refer to the local council regulations to determine whether you need a certifier's services when renovating your property or building small installations such as decks, driveways, patios, sheds, and swimming pools in your home.
What are the Responsibilities of A Building Certifier?
Below are some responsibilities of a building certifier;
- Inspecting the site and reviewing the construction blueprints to establish if they comply with the applicable building laws. For instance, clay soils and flood plains need special foundations.
- Issuing building permits if permitted by the local council.
- Inspecting the building's footings, frame, slab, and complete structure. The certifier issues a compliance certificate after every inspection.
- Stopping construction work if it does not meet the required standard.
- Issuing an occupation certificate that allows people to live or occupy the building.
What Should You Consider When Hiring a Building Certifier?
If you have a contractor, read the engagement contract to establish if they will hire the certifier. If you have to hire a certifier, check your state website to identify certifiers registered to work in your state. Then, ensure that the certifier is permitted to inspect your building class. If they are, inquire about their availability since they need to consult with contractors, engineers, and architects regularly. Then, ask about their terms. For instance, what are the service charges? When should you make payments? Can the certifier terminate services before the structure is finished? Inquire about the certifier's expectations once they give an enforcement order. As a rule, the certifier should not be a party with a vested or conflicting interest in the building under construction.