Top 5 Red Flags to Look for in a Builders Report

A builders report is an essential document when purchasing a property, providing a detailed assessment of its condition. This report can help you avoid costly surprises and ensure that your investment is sound. However, it’s crucial to know what to look for in a builders report to identify potential issues. Here are the top five red flags to watch out for in a builders report.

1. Foundation Problems

What to Look For: Cracks in the foundation, uneven floors, or doors and windows that stick or don’t close properly can indicate foundation issues. The report may also mention signs of settling or shifting.

Why It’s a Red Flag: Foundation problems can be incredibly costly to repair and can compromise the structural integrity of the entire property. If the report highlights significant foundation issues, it’s essential to get a detailed assessment from a structural engineer to understand the extent of the damage and the potential repair costs.

2. Water Damage and Dampness

What to Look For: Signs of water damage include stains on walls and ceilings, mold growth, damp odors, and visible leaks. The report might also note areas with high moisture levels, particularly in basements and crawl spaces.

Why It’s a Red Flag: Water damage can lead to serious structural problems, mold growth, and health issues. It’s often a sign of underlying issues such as poor drainage, roof leaks, or plumbing problems. Addressing these problems can be expensive and may require extensive repairs.

3. Roofing Issues

What to Look For: The report should highlight any issues with the roof, such as missing or damaged shingles, sagging, leaks, or poor drainage. It may also mention the age of the roof and any areas that require immediate attention.

Why It’s a Red Flag: A damaged or aging roof can lead to water infiltration, energy inefficiency, and further structural damage. Roof repairs or replacements can be costly, so it’s important to understand the condition of the roof before making a purchase decision.

4. Electrical Problems

What to Look For: Issues with the electrical system may include outdated wiring, insufficient outlets, overloaded circuits, or non-compliance with current electrical codes. The report might also highlight exposed wiring or evidence of DIY electrical work.

Why It’s a Red Flag: Electrical problems pose significant safety hazards, including the risk of fire. Upgrading an outdated or unsafe electrical system can be expensive and disruptive. Ensuring the property’s electrical system is up to code is crucial for your safety and peace of mind.

5. Pest Infestations

What to Look For: The report may indicate signs of pest infestations, such as termite damage, rodent droppings, or insect nests. It might also note areas of the property that are vulnerable to pests due to poor maintenance or structural issues.

Why It’s a Red Flag: Pests can cause extensive damage to the property’s structure, insulation, and wiring. Addressing a pest infestation can be costly and may require ongoing treatment and repairs. Ensuring the property is free from pests is essential for maintaining its value and integrity.


When reviewing a builders report, it’s crucial to be vigilant and look for red flags that could indicate serious issues. Foundation problems, water damage, roofing issues, electrical problems, and pest infestations are some of the most common and concerning red flags to watch out for. By identifying these issues early, you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the purchase, negotiate repairs, or reconsider your investment. A thorough understanding of the builders report will help you avoid costly surprises and ensure that your new home is a safe and sound investment.