Everyone has a home inspection story. Unfortunately the stories are usually not the good kind. It’s always about the home inspector that didn’t find something that caused major problems for the buyers later on. Even sellers have horror home inspection stories of buyers scared off by the way a home inspector described something minor. There are so many issues with home inspections that some people don’t bother to get them done.
Granted, they may miss something, but home inspectors are certified and regulated (something you should check!) and most of the time I’ve found they do a great job. Buying a home can be an emotional experience and a home inspector might show you something fairly obvious that you overlooked. They can test for all sorts of issues and recognize things that may not be a problem on closing but is something that you’d have to put money into within 2 years.
For the minimal fee that home inspectors charge, they are definitely a worthwhile investment. If you get a really good home inspector and there isn’t anything wrong with your home, they will still give you a quick breakdown on how your new home works and how to maintain it which can be extremely valuable as well.
Choosing a Home Inspector
Home inspection is a discipline that requires special training, knowledge and communication skills. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) includes representatives from provincial associations across Canada.
Reputable home and property inspectors generally belong to a provincial or industry association. To become a member of these associations, an inspector must meet professional and educational requirements followed by a review. Members of these associations are also required to have errors and omissions insurance, just as other professionals are required to.
Look for people who belong to a provincial association, who are Certified and continue education through their Association. Ensure that have extensive construction experience and have completed courses given by a recognized facility. Be sure that they are an experienced Home Inspector!
Professional home inspectors are bound by a strict code of ethics and must adhere to specific standards of practice. Home inspectors should have a general understanding of all the various systems and components in a home.
The home inspector should provide a written report reviewing every major home system and component of the home upon the completion of the inspection.
Exterior components include:
Roofing, flashing, chimneys, gutters, downspouts, wall surfaces and the foundation, including the grading around it.
Interior systems include:
Electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, insulation, flooring, ceiling, wall finishes, windows and doors.