Buyer beware, Part 2: Inspecting plumbing in a renovated property

Part 1 of this series, we provided some top tips for inspecting the bathroom, kitchen and laundry in a property before you buy. But what do you need to look for if the home has been renovated?

Renovations always look good on the surface, but could hide problems, such as structural defects, non-completed floor sections and faulty fixtures installations. Make sure you know what to look out for when inspecting a renovated property!

If the home has had a bathroom or kitchen renovation, get a drainage diagram from Reece or Sydney Water and do your best to interpret it.

Example of a Sydney Water drainage diagram to locate key structures

Here are the possible scenarios:

  • If the drainage diagram shows fixtures remain in the same spot, the worst case scenario is that you have a new bathroom/kitchen on top of old pipes = bad
  • If the drainage diagram has not been updated at the time of the renovation and the fixtures on the diagram are in a different spot to those in bathroom/kitchen, it means it’s unlikely the pipes were updated and likely that the plumbing changes were never approved by Sydney Water = a very bad sign
  • If the drainage diagram was updated at the time of the renovation with the fixtures and fittings moved both in the bathroom/kitchen and the diagram (and they match) = good sign

Home inspections are an opportunity to ask questions, so it is a good idea to come prepared with an idea of what you’re looking out for. Make notes during the inspection and take these into consideration when negotiating the market price or your budget at auction.

What do you look for during a home inspection?