Building certification is all about ensuring that a structure is built in accordance with the relevant building codes and regulations. This helps to ensure that both commercial and residential buildings are safe for occupation.

As a first-time homebuyer, you likely have a number of questions about building certification. This article provides answers to three common questions that first-time homebuyers often have about building certification.

Who Is a Qualified Certifier?

In a large number of jurisdictions, building certification is done by officials of the local council or by a private certifier. Therefore, you can choose to have your building inspected by either of the two.

The choice of whether to opt for building certification by your local council or by a private certifier is largely a matter of personal preference. However, you can be sure that private building certifiers are just as competent as certifiers who work as employees of local councils. In some jurisdictions, local councils even subcontract the provision of certification services to private building certifiers.

Why Is Building Certification Necessary?

As earlier stated, certification of buildings is primarily done to ensure that the buildings are safe for occupancy.

From a homebuyer's perspective, however, there is another reason why building certification is necessary. In the event that you purchase a home without proper certification, it is highly likely that your local council will require you to undertake corrective measures in order to ensure compliance with local building codes and regulations.

Corrective measures often include the demolition and reconstruction of sections of the building that are not in compliance with local building codes. This can be quite expensive considering that you will have paid huge sums of money in order to purchase the home.

You need building certification beforehand in order to give you an idea of the kind of renovation work that will be required for the building.

For How Long Is a Building Certificate Valid?

Building certification has to be done periodically in order to ensure that buildings remain safe for occupation even as the years go by. The duration of validity for a building certificate often differs from one local council to the next. For example, some city councils issue building certificates that are valid for multiple years from the date the certificate was issued.

Thus, if you are buying a house from a seller who already has building certification, be sure to check its validity in order to avoid future problems.

Contact local certifiers to learn more.