Federation Homes

We are Sydney’s federation building inspection experts

Besafe Property Inspection are specialists in inspecting buildings that went up during 1890 and 1930. These constructions are called Federation architecture. They’re very special buildings. Homes that not only describe a certain time period but are also a link to an historical, event-changing part of Australia history; the time of the Federation of Australia –1 January 1901, when the Australian colonies collectively became the Commonwealth of Australia.

The term ‘Federation architecture’ was created in 1969 because although the architecture type began before King Edward VII’s reign, it was also very popular for a long time afterwards. Because of the era in which the homes were built, this unfortunately means that the buildings are, obviously, old. Many are on the Register of the National Estate because of their heritage values, although, not all of them.

Federation Building Styles

There are a number of different styles of Federation architecture and each one has its own peculiarities.


  • Federation Academic Classical Free Classical,
  • Filigree
  • Anglo-Dutch
  • Romanesque
  • Gothic
  • Carpenter Gothic
  • Warehouse
  • Queen Anne
  • Free Style
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Bungalow

Because of their age some of the buildings have undergone changes and updates by their various owners, especially during the 1970s. But these often unsympathetic alterations bring in a different set of problems.

Here are just some of the issues that we at Besafe Inspections check for:

  • Soil movement cracks in some suburbs can affect some Federation homes and a check must be kept on this.
  • When the houses were built the materials were most likely sourced from local suppliers. As a result, there are often minor differences with joinery timbers sourced from today’s suppliers.
  • Fibrous plaster ceilings of that age can deteriorate and will need to be replaced.
  • Up until 1914, terracotta roof tiles were sourced by the The Wunderlich Bros from France. They were stronger than tiles that had been previously used but, by today’s standards, are somewhat porous. Still in place today on some homes these tiles are now brittle and very soft. Replacing them means the roof, which was designed for these tiles, will need to be re-strutted to carry modern ones. The design of these older roof struts lack the collar ties that come with modern roofs. Other checks need to be carried out on the possibility of rising damp, electrical wiring, as well as mortar condition.