Interview with a Building Surveyor

January 18, 2017 at 1:15 PM

‘Ask the Experts’ is a new news section where we interview interesting and successful local Franklin people about what they do and how they do it.


Alister (Ali) Stanton has had a long and successful career as a builder.

A year ago he decided on a career change where he could still use his expertise and qualifications as a builder, and purchased the local franchise of What’s Up House Inspections for the Franklin and Waikato area.

We interview Ali to learn the ins and outs of the pre-purchase house inspection process, why property vendors do them, and the benefits.

The number of new houses being built, and existing homes being sold will continue to increase. There are lots of reasons to get a house inspection report done before purchasing a property and if you have not done it before, we hope you will find this information useful.

How did you get started in the house inspection business?

“I’ve been in the building trade since I was 16 – a long time ago now, laughs Ali.  I started Stanton Builders Ltd in 1982 after serving my apprenticeship and working for Hawkins Construction in Auckland working on a variety of building projects.

“The opportunity came where I could utilise my skills and expertise in this business and I met the team at What’s Up House Inspections.  They are amazing people and very professional and so I got started here in my local Franklin area about one year ago.”

Who are your customers and what are they looking for?

“We get contacted by people who are thinking about buying a property.  Mainly it’s residential, but can be rural properties, motels and commercial.  People are looking for peace of mind because buying a house is a huge investment.

“The main benefit is they want to safeguard their purchase so they don’t buy a ‘dud’ or a leaky home. They get a comprehensive professional report from us that factually outlines the condition of the property. It’s all about giving the buyer more information, and more confidence.

“The report gives the purchasers a sense of power in the negotiation part of the sale if we find any defects in the property.  Sometimes these defects, can affect the purchase price,” says Ali.

Can a house ‘fail’ an inspection?

“There is no ‘pass or fail’ of a property. No house is perfect, but we describe it’s physical state and advise on maintenance or what parts might need repair or replacement.

“We actually compare the type of property with others that are of a similar construction and age in the area. That way we get a fair comparison.”

What is the process for getting an inspection done?

“First we collect details of the property for sale, then contact the real estate agent to arrange a time to meet at the address.

“Next I do a physical check of the outside of the property.  I check everything such as exterior cladding, windows and frames, facias, and decks.  We can’t deface anything, but we have ways such as tapping, or our non-invasive moisture detection process to ascertain any rot or water penetration or damage.

“I spend at least 2 hrs at the property, take about 200-300 photographs and do a detailed report on the same day.”

“Inside we inspect every surface of the house looking for defects, water damage or leaks and recording the condition of everything.

“Then we look under the house if it has a foundation space and check for alignment and levels, water damage, condition of piles, condition of bearers, joists and all the hardware that holds it together. We inspect any additions, if any.  It’s very detailed.

“We look in the roof to check for condition and basic structure, presence of rats and vermin which can be a fire and health hazard.  This can especially be a problem in rural areas.

“I spend at least 2 hrs at the property, take about 200-300 photographs and do a detailed report in the same day,” says Ali.

How long does it take and how much?

“In most cases the report is done in the same day and the price starts at $450 plus GST for an average three bedroom house.”

What other information would be good for customers to know about you?

“We follow and exceed the New Zealand Standards NZS 4306:2005 and have public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. I am about to be accredited with our industry body BOINZ Accredited Building Inspectors, which will give customers extra peace of mind.

“If people pay for a verbal pre-purchase inspection from other providers, we want to remind them that there will be no legal recourse should a problem with the house be discovered after the house sale.

“We stand behind our written reports and customers have extra confidence.” says Ali.


To talk to Ali or learn more about the What’s Up House Inspection service, you can call him directly on 021 906 657, Free Phone 0800 80 80 45 or visit the website. 




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