Home Inspections Protect Your Investment
Home inspections are a valuable part of the home-buying process. Buying a home without one is the same as buying a used car without taking a test drive.
Most Realtor’s will recommend you include a home inspection clause when you make an offer to purchase. As the home buyer you will be paying for the inspection, so you need to know what you’re getting for your money. Don’t use referral from your Realtor, call some Local Home Inspector’s and ask some questions.
The Value of a Home Inspection
A professional home inspector investigates a property’s accessible areas to identify any visual or possible deficiencies that are present. He will point out any positive or negative conditions of the property and any conditions that require specialized attention from a licensed trades person.
Your home inspection will include structural elements such as the roof, foundation, walls, windows, doors, insulation, basement or crawlspace and attic. Electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems are also part of a home inspection. As a Certified Building Code Official your inspection will also include and Code Violations that are evident.
Once the inspection is complete, a home inspector provides a computerized, comprehensive report detailing any issues with the home. A picture and commentary will be included for all deficiencies.
Some important things to remember about home inspection reports:
—No home is perfect, there are also ongoing maintenance tasks that need to be done. It is not uncommon for a report to include 30 – 50 or more issues.
—This is not “pass” or “fail.” The inspection gives you the information you need to decide whether or not to buy the home based on the condition of the home at the time of the inspection.
—This is not a warranty. The report identifies issues found the day of inspection and cannot predict problems that may arise a few months or a few days down the road.
Use a Professional Home Inspector
Home inspection is another one of those jobs best left to professionals. Few of us have the expertise to identify electrical, plumbing and structural problems. Combine that with the emotional factors of buying a home, and it’s easy to see why potential buyers are not the ones who need to do the inspecting. Bringing a friend, who is a handy man, or buys a lot of homes will not make up for the Training & Knowledge a professional will have.
Although I find few people have the patience required to follow me around during an inspection, I always advise that they will learn a lot about their future home with me as their guide. Although all items are included in the detailed inspection report, first hand knowledge is the best decision.
Some Items Covered by Your Home Inspection
o Are there shingles missing?
o Is there flashing and trim installed?
o Are there any signs of leaks?
o When will the roof need to be replaced? In Ontario most shingles only last about 15 years.
o Are there visible cracks on the outside walls? Many cracks are not related to water entry and are cosmetic in nature.
o Are there any trees near the foundation?
o Does the drainage slope away from the house? Recommended drainage of 2 inch drop for every 6 feet.
o Are there any soggy areas you can identify? Standing water is a definite sign of improper drainage.
o Are the walkways and driveway in good condition? Are the sidewalks sloped towards foundations?
o Has there previously been a fire in the home? Painted attics are usually an indicators of either mould or smoke damage.
o Do the walls show vertical or horizontal cracks?
o Are there any stains on the floors, walls or ceilings? Water stains are typically located below upper washrooms.
Ventilation and Sub-Systems:
o Does the house smell? Can you identify the source?
o Do the heating and AC systems appear to be working?
o Does the water heater produce enough hot water?
o Is there a working exhaust fan in the kitchen?
o Do all the switches work?
o Is each outlet properly grounded?
o Do the ceiling fans work?
o Has the electrical panel been recalled? ESA has recalled some Federal Pioneer Stab-Lok breakers.
o Are there any unusual noises? Are all fixtures properly vented.
o Do the faucets and other fixtures have enough pressure? Are there shut off taps installed.
o Check all of the following elements for signs of damage or wear:
Slab – Unusual cracking or sinking of concrete floor.
Ceiling – Any home made storage units attached to trusses?
Vents – not required unless garage is heated
Lights – All covers installed and cables properly supported
Openers – Is outlet provided for door opener?
Windows – Any cracks or leaking Thermal Seals
Roof – roof vents required if garage has been insulated
Call the Barrie Home Inspector for further information or to book a home inspection in Barrie, Alliston, Orillia and Simcoe County
Roger Frost 705-795-8255 or Toll Free 888-818-8608
Air Quality, Mould Testing and Asbestos Testing