Practical Completion Inspection

The Practical Completion Inspection (PCI) is probably the most important inspection, your chance to identify any faults and get them fixed before handover.

It’s a lot simpler to get them fixed before you move in!

If you have employed an architect or project manager for the whole project, or you get an inspector for the PCI only they should run the whole exercise.

If not it will be up to you.


The normal procedure is to meet with the site supervisor and go around the house noting any defect.

The site supervisor, will then normally put a red sticky paper dot on any problems and record the defects. You then counter sign the defect list.

The builder should attend to all defects in about 10 working days so handover can occur.


To make sure you are prepared here is what you should have for the inspection:

      • A copy of the contract and the drawings so you can tick things off.
      • Checklists (For only $4 you can buy the anewhouse PCI Guide complete with checklists of hundreds of items.)
      • A couple of light bulbs to check light fittings.
      • A lead lamp so you can check power sockets.
      • A cloth so you can make clean dust off the kitchen counters and vanities counters to inspect for scratches and chips.
      • Some boots so you can walk round the outside if its muddy.
      • A torch, tape measure and spirit level
      • A packet of dots in case the Site Supervisor’s supply runs out.
      • A camera

Also make sure the supervisor will have a ladder, or bring your own.

What you won’t be able to check

Most builders don’t fit Appliances and the Hot Water Service until handover to prevent theft.

Remember to check these on Handover Day.

Also it won’t be clean!

More information at PCI – 12 Hints

For similar posts see Getting it Right


Why not buy the PCI Guide for more advice and extensive checklists….only $4


Practical Completion Inspection – 12 Hints

Here are some hints for your PCI Inspection

  1. Take your time. There is no need to rush, you have spent a lot of money and it’s your chance to get things fixed.
  2. Look at things from a different angle. It’s easy to miss things below eye level, when you are standing. In each room sit on the floor (or a camp stool) and have a good look around at that level. Sit on the toilets and shut the door.
  3. Take your shoes off and walk round in stocking feet then you can feel any problems with the floor.
  4. Turn on the Taps. Fill the basins, sinks, and bath to the overflow level and then check for leaks.
  5. Run the showers and check they drain.
  6. Flush the toilets, check they are securely fixed to floor and don’t leak
  7. Check locks Make sure privacy locks on toilets and bathrooms work
  8. Check switches and power points Test power points. Make sure that where you have several lightswitches on one panel the layout of switches is logical
  9. Check you have the electric points you selected. Make sure all the lights and power points have been fitted
  10. Sensor check If you have any sensor lights make sure the delay and sensitivity is correctly set. We had one in a wardrobe in our current house that went out if you stayed still for 5 seconds.
  11. Check for rough edges Such as on the edges of paintwork from paint drying in lumps/drips particularly window sills. Those rough edges can catch your curtain fabrics and pull threads.
  12. Record everything Making sure ALL of your concerns are noted down on paper, legibly and not skipped over. There may be some things where your SS will just say “Oh, that always gets done before handover”. Make sure it is written in the PCI list anyway. Unless it’s in the list, it may not get done at all.


Why not buy the PCI Guide for much more advice and extensive checklists….only $4