What’s the difference between pest inspections and building inspections?

One of the most important but often overlooked parts of purchasing a property is inspection, both for building and for pest, and BuildingPro founder Andrew Mackie-Smith believes that every property investor must know how to determine whether the asset that they are looking into pass the Australian standards for a good property.

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Many property investors usually mistake pest and building inspections as being one and the same, but they usually entail different processes. According to Andrew, building inspections are done to find major defects and safety hazards in the property.

“It's essentially not there to comment on minor defects, so [even] if you've got a broken towel rail in the bathroom that may be included in the report, [it] doesn't need to be [there]. It's essentially about more structural issues,” he explained.

Meanwhile, pest inspections are for finding timber-destroying organisms like termites, fungal decay, and borers.

“You also look for what termite protection might be in place and the risks that could be conducive [to] timber pest activities,” Andrew said, “In a nutshell, those two inspections are done in accordance with Australian standards and there's a separate standard for each one that all inspectors should be working towards.”


As the head of a building consultant services company, he has spent 15 years doing both building and pest inspections for a wide variety of properties across the country. His advice for property investors: Don’t hesitate on having both inspections done on your investment properties, even if it’s done only by a single person.

“I sometimes hear the odd ‘four eyes [are] better than two,’ but I think if you know what you're doing a single person can easily do both once they have the necessary experience,” he said.

Andrew concluded: “I would think it's worthwhile trying to find an inspector who has the requisite qualifications and experienceand especially insurance, that's always important, too—just in case you've had a bad day.”

Tune in to Andrew Mackie-Smith’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the science behind pest and building inspections, as well as the top 10 things every investor should check to ensure their new property is the real deal.


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