PCI: Practical Completion

One of the biggest milestones in building is what’s called “Practical Completion” (PCI). This means the build is basically finished, and all that’s usually left is a few minor fixes.

At this stage, we undertake what’s commonly called a Practical Completion Inspection (PCI for short), although our builder calls it “Pre-handover Walkthrough”. The end result is the same: We walk through the house with the Site Supervisor and point out defects.

So after a few false starts, our PCI took place on the 26th November. Two days prior to this, we took a “practice” walkthrough with Ken, our architect from Solar Dwellings. This was great as we knew we were pretty fussy, so it was good to get a second opinion on what was reasonable for us point out during the actual PCI. 

So on PCI day, I went in armed with my trusty clipboard and big list. The supervisor left it up to us to decide where to start. We basically worked from front to back, both inside and out. The only thing we didn’t get to inspect was the roof cavity, as we didn’t have a ladder, but Ken said he’d come back and inspect that this week.

We were quite thorough. We pointed out defects, discussed them with the supervisor, and then he put sticky red dots to indicate where it was and noted them down on his checklist. He also helped us to find them in some cases! Items we found useful were:

  • Hairdryer to test power points with
  • Cloth to wipe things with so I could see if something was a scratch or just a dirt
  • Small level, for checking fittings were straight (used only to confirm something that looked crooked)
  • Light globes 

All up, it took us about 2 hours, and we ended up with a certificate like this:

Practical Completion PCI Certificate

PCI Certificate – details redacted

We ended up with a one-page list of things to be fixed. Granted, there were multiple columns, but still, a decent result I think.

Some of the things that hadn’t been done yet included:

  • The window in the ensuite shower had been damaged and needed to be replaced. Damaged as in someone had taken a chunk out of it.
  • Flyscreens and breezelocks hadn’t yet been fitted, and the sliding stackers and bifolds didn’t close properly.
  • Silicone in wet areas hadn’t been done.
  • Some of the cabinetry hadn’t been finished – mirror doors in ensuite were missing, and handles hadn’t been installed on the lift doors in the kitchen.
  • Splashback at bar hadn’t been installed.
  • Strip light in the kitchen wasn’t working.
  • Gas hadn’t been commissioned.

The rest was basically stuff that needed fixing, such as the bath not draining properly. Probably the worst area was the laundry window, it had quite a few dots over it:

Laundry window with red dots from PCI practical completion

So what next?

We basically wait for all this stuff to be done and fixed. Hopefully before we get the keys!

We’ve already booked some trades in to get a few things done before we move in, and they start tomorrow!

  • Driveway
  • Floorboard sanding and polishing
  • Skirting boards installation
  • Painting
  • Security system
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  1. I like this a lot, Trixee. Sounds like you are on the right path to do handover properly.

  2. Congratulations on having your PCI!
    Its good that they are letting you have access for your trades to start before handover.

  3. Lauren - Treechanged

    Thanks for the tips! Didn’t even think of some of those things. Congratulations on nearly having the keys.

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