Queensland Weekender | Ask An Expert with Daniel Klinge

“The building surveyor carries out critical stage inspections”

Building certification in Queensland was privatised in 1997. A private certifier is formally known as a building surveyor – which is not to be confused with a cadastral surveyor, who surveys land.

A building surveyor (certifier) is engaged as the assessment manager to assess and determine building development applications in order to issue a building approval (BA), required before building work commences.

A building surveyor carrier out critical stage inspections during construction to ensure the building work is in accordance with relevant approval and legislative requirements under the Building Act 1975.

At the end of construction, the owner or builder must contact the building surveyor to conduct a final inspection to ensure that the building is suitable for occupation or use. The builder or owner then gives the building surveyor the relevant required certificates and, on the final inspection (Form 21 for pools) or Certificate of Classification (Form 11 for class 2 to 9 buildings) will be issued.

A building must not be occupied or used without a final certificate.

QUESTION: Do I need approval for my deck?

ANSWER: Decks are class 10b structures. According to the Building Regulation 2006, you will need to have approval for your deck if it is more than 1m off the natural ground, more than 10 sqm in area, more than 2.4m in height and longer than 5m along any side.

QUESTION: What are liquidated damaged?

ANSWER: Liquidated damages are a prearranged amount that can be ducted from the contract sum for each day that the project is late in achieving practical completion. The estimate should be determined at the time the contract is signed, not at the completion of the project. It should also be a reasonable estimate of the loss that may be suffered by the other party of the project is delivered late.

QUESTION: I have rising damp. What has caused this and how can I fix it?

ANSWER: Rising damp is found naturally in most masonry structures as the moisture in soil and masonry tries to achieve equilibrium. It can also be found where the temperature spreads from hot to cold and where dampness invades a dry area. Rising damp can be caused by the absence of an effective dampcourse or bridging of the dampcourse, condensation and lack of sub-floor ventilation, causing increased moisture.

The rising ramp remedial workscan includes,

– Checking that the dampcourse has not been bridged by garden beds, paving, timber sleepers etc, against the outside wall. Install a new dampcourse.

– Improve insulation, heating and air circulation and increase ventilation. It could be as simple as installing a ceiling fan or exhaust fan in a bathroom.

– With sub-floor dampness, check all wall vents are unobstructed and sufficient in number.

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