Over the years, when you do inspections, you learn things training never covers. One of those things is knowing when to tell the handiwork of a good renovation team and the signs that you’re looking at a disaster in disguise. Let me tell you, the last place I had to inspect had all the signs of great work.
Now, you’re probably asking a few questions. One of these would be “How can you tell who did what?”
The answer is that I can’t answer that. It’s more of an instinctive thing than any solid science. You just get hunches and gut feelings, like “This was done by guys from ASReno.”
Incidentally, yes, that is an actual company. Yes, they do good work. You can see more here. Please consider it, because they make my job so much easier.
Anyway, let’s move on.
This last inspection I did was for a bathroom renovation. The owner wanted to make sure everything was right and within all the usual building codes and limits. She also wanted to ensure nothing was going to fall apart in the next ten years or so.
Now, when inspecting a bathroom, there are some key points you want to hit.
First, there’s the vanity basin. You’ll want to spot things like cracks, chipping, and scratches. These are hotspots for mould. I usually check how long it takes the hot water to get to the basin because it tells me if the pressure is good or bad. Cold tap water is good for checking out leaks.
For this one, everything was in working order.
Next is the bath. For a bath, you still need to look at cracks. Perimeter checks are necessary because you want to see if the walls and hob and sealant are all good. You want to look for any gaps, which could lead to water getting out. Checking the pressure using hot water is also a good move.
The pressure was a little low for the hot water, but the owner mentioned that was a problem that’s been going on in other homes in the area. I let it slide, but made a note of it.
If you’re looking at a shower instead, you still need to check the water. Yes, this is a recurring thing in a bathroom inspection. A shower also means checking the screen or door for cracks or damage, and seeing if the open-close mechanism is in working order.
The shower, oddly, had no pressure problems. I did tell her she might want to consider replacing the glass since it had hairline cracks.
The fourth area of interest is the toilet. I check for running water and poke around the cistern. If the latter isn’t connected to the pan properly, that means I dig into the plumbing to find possible leaks.
This one wasn’t a problem. The owner seemed surprised by that but didn’t say anything when I asked.
Finally, I poked around the vanity cabinet. The condition of the panels and doors are paramount because these are what get the most odds of moisture damage. Opening and closing them is standard, just to see if they work. Finally, the bench top should be free of damage.
Apart from a crack that the owner said was from someone dropping something heavy and sharp, I didn’t find anything wrong.
After a few questions, I figured out that most of the signs of damage were deliberately left untouched by her request. She didn’t explain. By the end of it, I knew who did the renovation work. They do a good job, those guys.
She was surprised when I was right.