Home Inspection Questions & Answers

The Top Home Inspection Questions & Answers from Industry Leading Experts.  This is valuable information that Home Buyers should be aware prior to choosing a Home Inspector.

What is a Home Inspection?

home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.

A home inspector is sometimes confused with a real estate appraiser. A home inspector determines the condition of a structure, whereas an appraiser determines the value of a property. In Canada, although not all Provinces regulate home inspectors, there are various professional associations for home inspectors that provide education, training, and networking opportunities. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an inspection to verify compliance with appropriate codes; building inspection is a term often used for building code compliance inspections in Canada.  A similar but more complicated inspection of commercial buildings is a property condition assessment. Home inspections identify problems but building diagnostics identifies solutions to the found problems and their predicted outcomes.

Answers to Common Home Inspection Questions



Why Should I have a Home Inspection ?

Skipping a home inspection means you’re relying on the seller to disclose everything that’s wrong with the house. This is risky because some sellers just won’t do it, while others genuinely might not know. Having an impartial expert come in and evaluate the house is the best way to get an honest, informed opinion on the condition of your new home.

In the past Sellers used to fill out the SPIS ( sellers Propery Information Statement ), which listed many important facts concerning the home.  Unfortunately the SPIS is no longer filled out on most Real Estate transactions.

What Qualifications Should My Inspector Have?

Your Home Inspector should belong to a Professional Organization at the very least. Professional Certifications are an indication of their knowledge and training.  Government Certifications are always the best as the Standard of Training is higher.  How long have they been performing home inspections, a busy professional will average around 500 plus home inspections a year.

Knowing what your Home Inspector did before entering the field is important also.  Some Home Inspectors lump their previous job experience together with their actual Home Inspector experience to portray more experience than they actually have. One good way to acurately assess their experience is to use

Here are the results for ( Creation Date of 2005 )

Domain Name: NAPOLEON.CC
Registry Domain ID: 86806871_DOMAIN_CC-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server:
Registrar URL:
Updated Date: 2017-12-07T00:55:30Z
Creation Date: 2005-05-16T12:57:50Z

So as you can see I have roughly 15 years of experience as the Barrie Home Inspector.   I also have 7 years experience as a Professional Inspector employed by the Department of National Defence.  That is where I received my training as a Certified Building Code Official and also obtained my WETT Certified designation.

Finding a Home Inspector?

Getting a recommendation from someone you know is usually the best method of finding a competent home inspector. Friends Finding-a-Home-Inspectoror relatives may have used an inspector and can pass their experience, whether good or bad along to you.  Most home buyers will rely on Home Stars, Angies List or Google Reviews to aid them in their search for a Qualified and Knowledgeable Home Inspector.

Most industry experts caution against using a Home Inspector recommended by your Real Estate agent.  Your Realtor has a vested interest in completing the sale and will not refer you to someone they might consider too picky and likely to cost them a sale.

Every Professional Home Inspection organization has a Standard of Practice, which details what is inspected and what is not inspected.  Understanding the Scope of your Home Inspection can help prevent disappointment after purchasing your home.

View the Barrie Home Inspector’s Standard of Practice


What Does a Home Inspector Look For ?

All Home Inspectors have a Standard of Practice which defines what items a Professional Home Inpector is expected to evaluate in the performance of their inspections.

  • Landscaping: Home inspectors start the inspection by looking for current or potential water issues such as puddles or signs of erosion.  He will also inspect you roof drainage looking for poor grading or damaged downspouts. He will inspect landscaping to see if trees and shrubs are in good condition, and evaluate fences and retaining walls.
  • StructureIs the foundation poured concrete,  masonry blocks or a rubble foundataion found in Century Homes?  Are the sides straight? Are the window and door frames square? This part of the inspection is particularly important to a buyer who’s considering a Century Home.
  • Roof: A home inspection looks for defects related to the roof, including attic shingles, flashing, and fascia, all of which can cause ceiling leaks and damaged insulation in attic; loose gutters; and defects in chimneys and skylights.
  • Exterior: A home inspector will check exterior cladding for cracks, rot, or decay; cracking or spalled masonry near ground level; cracks in stucco; dents or bowing in vinyl; blistering or flaking paint; and adequate clearing between siding and earth, which should be a minimum of 6 inches to avoid damage from moisture.
  • Windows, doors, trim: If you want to keep heat in, cold out, and reduce energy consumption, the windows and doors must be in good condition. The inspector will see if frames are secure and not rotting, caulking is solid and secure, and glass thermal units are not leaking.
  • Interior: Inspectors are concerned about leaning walls that indicate faulty framing; stained ceilings that could point to water problems; adequate insulation behind the walls; and poorly distributed heat vents that could make a room cold and drafty.
  • Kitchen: Your Inspector will check your range hood fan for proper operation; ground-fault circuit interrupter protection exists for electrical outlets within 3 feet of a sink; check for leaks which may exist or have occured under the sink; and cabinet doors and drawers for proper operation.
  • Bathrooms: Bathtubs and showers are operated for water supply and draining capablities. Caulking is inspected for cracks or is simply missing.  Grout and tiles are inspected. Floors checked for being level and cracked tiles.  GFCI outlets are tested and reset. Exhaust fans inspected for proper operation.
  • Plumbing: Inspectors are evaluating pipes, drains, water heaters, and water pressure and temperature. Beyond plumbing issues, they may also look for water damage and missing traps for drains.
  • Electrical systems: Your Inspector will check if the visible wiring and electrical panels are in good shape, light switches and the HVAC systems work correctly, and there are enough outlets in each room.  He will remove main panel cover and inspect installation looking for Double Taps or Improperly Installed cables.