Frame stage in construction refers to the stage where the wall and roof have been completed. In multiple storey buildings like apartment complexes, the garage and other lower roof areas may still be under construction. At this construction stage, an inspector is invited to carry out a frame stage inspection. The inspection is one of the many inspections recommended during the building phase to ensure a building project is delivered as planned and in adherence to regulatory standards.
Frame Stage Inspection Details
Generally, the construction inspector checks the physical framework of the building to evaluate the standard of workmanship and establish compliance with the best building practices. A frame inspection is highly recommended to ensure that the building’s framing not only meets the structural and architectural design requirements but is also safe and sound. The inspection will give details about any defects, deficiencies, and other matters relating to non-compliance. The inspector will focus on various aspects of the build, including stress grade, ceiling height, tie-down, load transfer connections to roof and floor diaphragm, lintel and lintel support, horizontal wind beams, material compliance, etc. More importantly, they will check if the framing is straight and secure.
Other types of building inspections:
Done before the building is handed over to the owner. During this inspection, the inspector ensures the building was built as planned. Every part of the building, including plumbing, fencing, drainage, pavement, etc., is checked to ensure adherence to the initial plan and the building code.
Conducted before the pouring of concrete. Footings are the lower part of a building and lie directly on the foundation. Inspecting them is crucial as a grave error at this stage may be extremely difficult to correct. The footing inspection checklist Australia includes checking reinforcement dimension and placement, verifying excavation, clearing footing penetrations, etc.
Involves checking the floor slab before the pouring of concrete. Floor slabs gain support from footing and foundation components and are sometimes included in the footing inspection. Serious flaws at this phase can be pretty disastrous to a building.
Lock Up Stage Inspection
Carried out when the project is not performing up to expectation or when the standard of work is questioned. It is not necessary if the building is going as planned, but when things start going wrong, it is recommended to determine the actual state of the project. The inspection provides the inspector with the opportunity to examine the wall, window and door flashings, wall cavities, brick ties, etc., before the internal wall covering is done.
Frame Stage Inspection Checklist
In Australia, all building frames must adhere to two regulatory standards besides the engineering drawing:
- AS 1684 Residential Timber Framed Construction
- NCC Building Code of Australia
Because several new construction frame areas can have a defect, it is crucial to have them all checked holistically. The following are usually examined during the inspection:
- Room sizes and ceiling heights are checked against the relevant building plan.
- Fixing of the frame and alignment to the concrete slab and base brickwork.
- Frames are inspected thoroughly to ensure they are straight, plumb, level, and square, the bracing has been correctly set up, and all sections are adequately fixed together.
- All parts of roof trusses are appropriately installed and braced sufficiently.
- The plumbing waste outlet is placed in the correct location.
- Fascia boards, barge boards, and gutters are suitably aligned and in the proper position.
- No damage or defect on the window and door frames.
- Enough space is provided above the window and door frames to allow for movement.
- The timber or particleboard flooring is level, well fixed, and firm.
- The concrete slab is not damaged.
- Shower bases are checked to ensure they are level and well installed.
- Insulation wrap around the frame is still intact and not torn.
Frame stage inspection is highly essential during the construction phase of a building. As a private developer, it is important to never skimp on framing inspection and subsequently practical completion inspection. Many companies specialise in this kind of inspection that you can trust to deliver quality and reliable service.