Cottage Inspections can vary from a two bedroom wood structure built on bedrock to a Custom Home with all the conveniences. In summer months I inspect a lot of properties in the Honey Harbour region which many of which are located on an island and only accessible by boat. Realtor typically supplies boat ride for this cottages.
Cottage Inspection – Protect Your Investment
Protect your investment in recreation properties by having a Building Code Qualified inspector provide your Cottage Inspection. We offer the experience, training and latest equipment to ensure your property does not have any hidden surprises. We have over 18 years of experience in cottage and chalet inspections and we even do “boat access” inspections. (you supply boat) Our inspection includes Free Thermal Scan which will find heat loss, hidden moisture problems, over-heating of wiring and mould. With over 30 years of combined construction and inspection experience and over 8,000 residential home inspections we offer a 100% Money-Back guarantee if not completely satisfied.
Feel free to call and ask us about problems with your cottage or chalet at no charge. We provide assistance to many home owners who call in with problems, some even call us to explain their home inspection report that our competitors provide, we are always happy to help. We have written many articles on the different systems of cottages, homes and commercial buidings and we welcome you to browse through and look for items of interest.
Visit our Home Owners Tips and Advice site and benefit from our expertise and training.
We are available 7 days a week for Cottage inspections and even work weekends. We actually prefer to inspect cottage properties on weekends as it allows us to visit new areas and enjoy the local parks and scenery. No matter what your location our services are probably available to you, we are just a phone call away. Call Roger at 705-795-8255 or Toll Free at 1-888-818-8608
What We Bring to Your Cottage or Chalet Inspection
3 Ladders – 20 ft, 14 ft and Step Ladder ( we only bring one ladder when travelling by boat )
Thermal Imaging Camera – Infrared Camera
2 Levels – 6 ft and 4 ft ( no levels used on boat inspections )
Complete tool set – wrenches, screwdrivers, pry bars, shovels
Combustible Gas Detector
LED Snake and Colour Monitor (accessing holes and other areas without damage)
Electric circuit checker and measuring device
Certified Building Code Inspector – Certified by Ontario Building Officials Association
When Only the Best Will Do ! Call Roger at 1-888-818-8608 or 705-795-8255
Cottage Inspections – Structural Concerns
Most smaller cottages are supported by piers and columns situated on top of bedrock. As long as water and frost heaving are not an issue this is an adequate support. Many cottages are prone to movement due to water being trapped where supports are located, allowing freezing action to move your cottage supports in the winter months…not a good situation if you happen to have drywall or other materials that will crack and become a visual eye sore.
Newer and larger cottages will normally have their piers or foundations sunk down below the “Frost line” which is normally below 4 feet. This prevents the “frost heaving” effects of supports that are located on pads or similar support. Cottages that are supported in heated spaces are required to have a footing installed for supports. The unheated crawlspace footing is required to extend below frost line. Frost heaving or movement of support piers or posts will be dependent on the amount of moisture in the soil. The more moisture content there is, the greater chance of movement there is.
Many people have turned their single season cottage into a year round home or cottage. This is definitely a way to recoup the costs involved with maintaining a cottage and can allow you full use of your second home. Insulation and vapour barriers are two items that are very important to your buildings health.
Older cottages were not built with any concern for a building envelope and this is now going to be a major concern with adding insulation etc. After deciding what type of insulation you want to install, you have to determine how you are going to ensure that your insulation will not become wet and moldy from moisture passing through it. This is where your vapour barrier comes into play, minimum code requirement is 6 mm of poly on the warm side of your wall in cold climates. This barrier prevents warm moist air from passing through your insulation where it will meet the cold air and turn to moisture, this is call the “dew point” and this is exactly what your vapour barrier is designed to prevent. In a perfectly built house all exterior surfaces, except for windows and doors, are sealed tight by 6 mm poly and even your electrical boxes are wrapped and sealed to prevent moisture from entering your wall cavity.
Cottage Inspection – Insulation
There is no preferred insulation although personally I prefer blown in cellulose, this is mainly because rodents tend to avoid this type of insulation due to the chemical fire retardent used to create it. Usually 9 out of 10 homes with fiberglass blown in have signs of rodent activity in their attic. Mice can walk right up your exteiror brick wall and will typically enter your attic through gaps in the soffit.
Electronic devices are available to keep un-wanted intruders from your attic. ( I have seen pictures of mouse nests beside these devices )
Vermiculite insulation was probably added to more cottage attics than any other type of insulation for small additions and renovations. There is multiple lawsuits that have been previously settled based on asbestos being found in the vermiculite insulation. Asbestos was mainly found in vermiculite produced in the Libby Mine in Montana and was sold under the Trade Name Zonolite. Visit Barrie Home Inspector site for complete information. Many homes, chalets and cottages have vermiculite insulation underneath fiberglass batts or blown in insulation so it is important to check prior to purchasing…many people have been shocked that their inspector failed to identify this potential health hazard.
Cottage Inspection – Electrical
Many insurance companies will not insure a cottage, chalet or home that does not have a 100 amp service panel installed. Older cottages and homes may have had a lot of “handy man” additions made to the service and sometimes this additions are downright dangerous…for example the latest venture that I uncovered was a 60 amp service with a 100 amp sub-panel fed directly off the 60 amp bus bars. When in doubt have the ESA inspect your electrical installation and if there were recent renovations to property you are purchasing were the proper permits taken out….this can save you future grief and worries.
Cottage Inspection – Ventilation
Many people have their own ideas how an attic should be insulated and some do not even understand the basics of proper ventilation. Your attic, if properly designed, insulated and ventilated should be the same temperature as the outside air. Proper ventilation allows any warm humid air that escapes through your ceiling insulation and vapour barrier to be removed by combined air intakes and exhaust vents. By code 25% of ventilation must come from the bottom of your roof and 25% from the top, most people just use the soffit and top and are not concerned with adding ventilation in between, unless your have a multi-tiered roof. Turbines, ridge vents, gable vents and passive roof vents can all be used to ventilate the top of your roof. I personally like the passive or ridge vent systems. You require 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of roof which is divided by bottom and top, so not a big requirement. Turbine vents even pull more air out of your attic but personally I find that they allow too much snow and rain into the attic. During most of my attic inspections there is always a little pile of snow or wet spot on the insulation underneath the turbine vents, even in my own home. There is not enough to cause any damage and I personally have never seen a ceiling stain or sign of moisture that was attributed to turbines, but it is my personal preference to use passive vents, they are quiet and don’t let in moisture.
Many cottages and chalets have a wood stove installed as a heat source. Your insurance company will most likely require a Certified WETT Inspection prior to insuring your property. We have been providing WETT Inspections to Simcoe County area for over 20 years.
Barrie Home Inspections has inspected Cottages and Chalets from Newmarket to Six Mile Lake, Muskoka and the Kawarthas.
Certified Building Code Official
Certified Master Inspector
WETT Certified Inspector