There were several major issues with the preparation for a concrete slab pour on a new home that Bestwest Building was inspecting. This was the first stage inspection as part of a Construction Progress Inspection package that we had been engaged for. These issues could have been rectified fairly easily by the concreter while we were on site, however this particular concreter did not want to hear anything we had to say or how the preparation did not meet Australian Standards.
When carrying out an Independent Building Inspection we are on site in an advisory capacity. Unfortunately we do not have the authority to stop the contractors if there are major issues with the concrete preparation, we can only try to reason with them as to why they should not pour the concrete. On the vast majority of concrete slab inspections in Perth the concreters on site are usually accomodating and are willing to make adjustments to ensure the preparation meets the Australian Standards and any applicable engineers details. However this concreter was not willing to make any adjustments and was not approachable.
Our inspector also contacted the site supervisor directly prior to the concrete pour starting to advise him of the issues on site. Unfortunately the supervisor did not telephone the concreter as we suggested and visited the site instead, by which time the concrete had already been poured.
As the concrete pour could not be stopped, we recorded all of the information and the non-compliances just prior to the slab being poured. We highlighted all of the information in our report which was emailed out on the same day as the inspection. As expected the report caused a lot of issues for the builder and the owner was understandably extremely disappointed and worried about the issues.
After some discussions and subsequent review by engineers, the builder had no option other than to rip up the slab and start again. This is an unfortunate reminder as to why it is so important to have Independent Building Inspections carried out by Bestwest Building on your new home from start to finish.
It is critical that the slab is inspected PRIOR to the concrete pour so that the issues mentioned above can hopefully be rectified prior to the pour or at least documented so that the builder can be held accountable if the slab is poured.