Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hints and Tips for Practical Completion Inspection (PCI)

Final Building Inspections (Pre Handover Inspections)

Final inspections are generally carried out on new homes when construction of the entire home has been completed and all internal fittings, fixtures and finishes have been installed and applied inside the home compliant with the relevant building plans and specifications.

Around the house - thoroughly check:
  • All different types of roofing materials (e.g. Concrete and terracotta roof tiles, Colorbond steel sheets, slate etc.) have been correctly installed and fixed in position.
  • The pointing of all ridge and hip roof tiles is consistent in terms of colour and texture and there are no cracks in the pointing.
  • All fascia boards are correctly aligned and fully fixed in position.
  • All gutters and downpipes and correctly installed and adequately fixed in position.
  • There is adequate fall applied to the gutters around the house and the garage. Water should not pond in gutters.
  • There is no damage to specially coated surfaces (e.g. Colorbond roofs, gutters, fascia boards and downpipes). Note - if there are any deep scratches, dents or perforations in the surface of any of the above Colorbond building materials, the relevant manufacturer's warranty is usually deemed void (i.e. not valid).
  • All brickwork to ensure that it is level, plumb, straight, square and that all articulation joints, flashings and weepholes have been correctly placed and installed. We check that the colour of the bricks and mortar has not changed due to excessive cleaning with acid and washing with water under very high pressure. We check that the high pressure cleaning process has not blown out sections of the mortar from between the bricks. We check that all surplus mortar and stains have been fully removed from the face of the brickwork. The mortar is checked for strength.
  • All articulation joints in external brick walls have been fully sealed to prevent the ingress of moisture and rainwater in to the house.
  • All brickwork is properly placed on the concrete slab and that it does not overhang the slab.
  • There are no cracked, chipped or broken bricks.
  • There are no cracks in, chips out of or scratches in rendered surfaces or wall cladding.
  • There is adequate clearance between windows and abutting brick sills.
  • All different types of external wall cladding and lining (e.g. Hebel panels, cement sheet panels and timber weatherboards etc.) have been correctly fitted and fixed in position.
  • The gaps between all window and door frames and the abutting brickwork is not excessive.
  • There is no damage to window frames, door frames, door handles or locks and the glass fitted to doors and windows has not been scratched, chipped or cracked.
  • There are adequate draught and weather seals fitted around all external facing doors and windows.
  • There are no obvious entry points for birds that can nest in roof spaces above warm and hot downlights and start fires.
Inside the house - thoroughly check:
  • Ceilings have been correctly installed and that joints in the plasterboard are not highlighted and very obvious after they have been painted.
  • All sections of cornice have been installed level and straight.
  • All sections of the internal walls are plumb, straight and square.
  • Skirting boards have been installed level and straight.
  • All joins in architraves and skirting boards are cut straight and finished flush.
  • All relevant surfaces have been adequately prepared (i.e., filled and sanded smooth) and all tool marks and ridges on the surface of plasterboard throughout the house have been removed prior to painting.
  • The paint finish applied to all relevant surfaces is consistent in terms of both colour and texture. There are no paint run marks, paint splashed on to surfaces it should not be on and there are clean straight lines between two surfaces that are painted different colours (e.g. interface between walls and cornice / ceilings).
  • Adequacy of clearances around all doors and drawers.
  • The operation of all door handles, door locks and window locks.
  • There is no sticking or jamming of doors or windows.
  • All cupboards, vanity units and bench tops are correctly installed.
  • The interface between all basins, baths, kitchen sinks and laundry troughs and bench tops are fully and properly sealed.
  • Tiling is properly installed - level, plumb, straight and square. Grout lines are correct width and consistently the same width. All tile junctions are fully sealed with flexible silicone sealant. Tiles have not been over-cut to accommodate tap fittings, water spouts and shower roses etc.
  • Proper installation of baths and shower bases.
  • Correct installation of carpets.
  • Water pressure from all taps and shower roses.
  • Plumbing is thoroughly checked to make sure it does not leak.
  • Power points are tested.
  • The drainage flow rates out of shower bases, baths, basins, laundry troughs, kitchen sinks and toilet pans are thoroughly checked.
  • The operation of all appliances are tested if they are installed at the time of the inspection.
  • There is no damage to plasterboard (i.e. ceilings, cornice and walls), tiles, architraves, skirting boards, window frames, door frames, doors, drawers, cupboards, vanity units, bench tops, basins, baths, kitchen sinks, laundry troughs, tap fittings, water spouts, wall mirrors, window winders and locks, door locks, carpets and other floor surfaces (e.g. polished concrete) and appliances.
Inside the roof space
  • There is no damage to the roof line (e.g. cracked roof tiles or holes in corrugated Colorbond steel roofs).
  • Insulation has been properly and fully installed throughout the roof space.
  • Sarking has been correctly installed and is not torn.
  • There must be adequate clear spaces around warm / hot recessed light fittings in the roof space. There is a real risk of a fire starting in the roof space if insulation is placed over the top of warm / hot recessed light fittings.
  • The platform for the heating unit has been properly installed and access to the heating unit is adequate and a light has been provided.
  • The roof tiles have been adequately fixed to the roof battens.

Practical Completion Inspection – 12 Hints
Here are some hints for your PCI Inspection
  1. Don’t go too fast. There is no need to rush, you have spent a lot of money and it’s your chance to get things fixed so take your time.
  2. Look at things from a different angle. It’s easy to miss things below eye level, when you are standing. In each room sit on the floor (or a camp stool) and have a good look around at that level. Sit on the toilets and shut the door.
  3. Take your shoes off and walk round in stocking feet then you can feel any problems with the floor.
  4. Fill the basins, sinks, and bath to the overflow level and then check for leaks.
  5. Run the showers and check they drain.
  6. Flush the toilets, check they are securely fixed to floor and don’t leak
  7. Make sure privacy locks on toilets and bathrooms work
  8. Test all the power points and light switches. Make sure that where you have several switches on one panel the layout of switches is logical
  9. Make sure all the lights and power points have been fitted
  10. If you have any sensor lights make sure the delay and sensitivity is correctly set. We had one in a wardrobe in our current house that went out if you stayed still for 5 seconds.
  11. Check for rough edges on the edges of paintwork from paint drying in lumps/drips particularly window sills. Those rough edges can catch your curtain fabrics and pull threads.
  12. Making sure ALL of your concerns are noted down on paper, legibly and not skipped over. There may be some things where your SS will just say “Oh, that always gets done before handover”. Make sure it is written in the PCI list anyway. Unless it’s in the list, it may not get done at all.


  1. A house is a great investment. This is why, making sure that everything about its construction is done accordingly, is the best way to go at it. Making a list of the things you needed to look into (just like what you did here), will assure you that you are going to have a sturdy house. Good going, and thank you for sharing these pointers with us!
    Kemberly @ Patriot Roofing

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  3. Don't forget to check the roof frame for compliance !

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