Building Inspection Palmerston North







The HABiT can assist you with your pre-purchase house and building inspection. We pride ourselves on our quick,  professional service. Contact us to see how we can help you


Peter Vining

Habit Manawatu Ltd

phone: 0274 432 378

Office: 06 357 2880

Address:  512A Albert Street, Hokowhitu,

Palmerston North



Price Guide



-          Single storey dwelling                    $490.00 (incl GST)

-          Two storey dwelling                       $530.00 (incl GST)

-          Verbal report                                     $300.00 (incl GST)

-          Additional costs may be incurred for dwellings larger than 250 sqm or have extra service rooms, living rooms or outbuildings (sleep-outs).


Plamerston north

Who are HABiT Manawatu?

Peter Vining runs the Manawatu region of HABiT New Zealand which covers Foxton to Waioru for the last 4 years.

My main areas are Palmerston North, Feilding and Ashurst.
I have been a builder for 46 years doing mainly architectural homes and small commercial which I finish up with 4 years ago to take up this inspection business. I also did a bit of alteration work in there as well.Why people should use your services over someone else?

I am reliable and punctual and my knowledge level on building is fairly high. I have a lot of experience and I think offering the service of same day reports is great as a lot of people love that.

What makes your skills and knowledge so important when you are inspecting a home?

Experience is the main thing here and having done an apprenticeship, doing houses the correct way, knowing how to work with tools what to produce, that’s the building game.
I was 17 years old when I started my apprenticeship and did the old 4 years through to certificate.
I have had 30 apprentices in my building career and have been members of the master builders and have been gone on to be members of the certified builders

So you are passed on a lot of knowledge to those 30 guys you trained up?

Well I hope they learnt something from me!

What the difference between an apprenticeship from when you did yours comparing it to an apprenticeship today?

I think the apprentices today get a lot of things pre done for them like pre-nail framing. You have people that specialise in doing the concrete work, other people fit the windows, the catches are already on the aluminium windows so its a lot easier for the modern day apprentice. He is more a co-ordinator than a builder I think.
We did the lot when I was a younger builder.

If you find a problem in a house do you have a team that you work in with?

Having lived in Palmerston North all my life I know most of the people in different trades so I can refer these people to who I think is the best to handle their situation. They are reliable and professional.

Why should people use a HABiT building inspector?

I think what has happened with the leaky house thing has made people more aware of houses that are not built correctly. People are making this big investment and the building institutions are asking for a building inspection so we fit in to do the job. The banks are asking and the real-estate agents are having to make sure that a registered person does the job not just the local builder form down the street.

What is the difference between using just a friend or a professional building inspector?

Well I don’t think a builder from down the streets report can be printed in a land agents documents because they don’t have indemnity insurance and they are not registered to do the job.
There is not a lot of accountability. At HABiT we are fully insured and we carried the gear like moisture meters and any other gear that is required to get through a house or into the roof of a house.

Could you give us an idea of what people should look for when first buying a home?

People should look for a house that is not going to deteriorate on them. A lot of the leaky type houses are not going to sell well down the road and if the client is determined to buy one, they need to know now what their maintenance is and how they are going to maintain their investment.
I advise people on what they should do to maintain their house in the future, verbally or in the written report.

What is the benefit of getting a report done if you are selling a house?

Well its making the person buying it aware of any problems that might show up in the future. They may not be immediate and they may be little things they can handle themselves not having to get a tradesman in. Maintenance on a house is something that a lot of people ignore and its important that they keep the maintenance up.

What is housing like in the Manawatu?

We have new and old.The Manawatu is relatively flat and we don’t have a lot of houses built on the side of a hill where you have pole construction and land slipping to worry about. Most of our houses are on concrete floors but the wooden ones are well position so that no moisture can get under them from rivers or creeks. We have a mixture of homes here from lifestyle blocks to flats,you name it we have got it but not too many on hillsides.
The bulk of houses in the Manawatu are on concrete bases, at least 60% which does make it easier as I don’t have to get under them. You do have to be aware of cracking and the other problems that concrete can throw up like people building them too close to the ground or building the ground up to cover the bottom vent holes. You can get a high moisture reading when these vent holes are covered from the inside walls because there is no air moving around.

What is the best thing about being a building inspector?

It gets me around the neighbour hood and I have seen some interesting things both how places are built, what home handymen have done and sometimes what people are doing with their house. We all live differently and its interesting to see that difference.

Why should I go with a HABiT building inspector over someone else?

Well firstly you will have a competitive price in the area, we give service and we are open to people ringing us to get further information on the reports we give. It is very important especially with the number of people from overseas coming into New Zealand now, they often need more explanation and I am prepared to give them that time.

If you see a problem how do explain them to your clients?

I think that HABiT has a very good, self explanatory report.When you do get a problem its going through that problem with the owner and explaining really simplistically with no fancy words just what the problem is, what it will take to fix it, then we can tell them to get a price to get that thing fixed.
I normally let the client ring me as I like them to read through the report first and if its not self explanatory then come back to me, my phone number is on every page of the report.

5 areas that should be maintained on a house?

Firstly the roof because that is opened to the elements all year and then the spouting, be sure that that is clear and there are no leaks in it.
Then we go to insulation I think that is quite important and where the houses have got wooden floors I recommend underfloor insulation.
Then the electrics are quite important, if anything is loose or the wiring is not looking good call in an electrician.
Then your plumbing from both inside and out, make sure there is nothing leaking, first sign of a leak, call a plumber.