Recently, I was reviewing a depreciation report for a client and I found a glaring error. The depreciation report stated that the water supply piping was copper and had a 50 year life expectancy. However, during the inspection I noted that the supply piping was NOT copper but polybutylene pipe. This was an important detail and I provided all the information to my clients about polybutylene pipe. I always inform my clients about the history, condition, life expectancy and potential concerns with building components. It’s very important that inspectors explain all the of the details as omissions like this could lead to a lawsuit. Home Inspectors will always find concerns like plumbing leaks, rodents and damage but taking the time to provide ALL of the information about the home must be a priority. Also spending the time to fully inspect the home while on site and NOT producing “instant” reports will give clients far more information. My advice don’t get caught up with inexpensive home inspectors most likely they are more interested in getting to the NEXT inspection than providing the best possible service. Lastly, to quote a highly respected colleague “A home inspection is not a race”
Just because your home is new, has occupancy, and passed city code inspections, do you think that it is safe to live in? For many, the common-sense answer would be yes. But, here’s a great example of why you should have your home inspected. I came across this safety issue in a townhouse that was only 5 years old.
It’s amazing how many times I have come across fresh air intake problems. Fresh air intake issues can lead to producing dangerous carbon monoxide, as well as poor efficiency and damage to gas burning appliances. This concern is particularly alarming, as I am fairly certain that every furnace room in the townhouse complex may be installed the same way.
The concern here is that the contractor installed the wrong type of vent cover – one that has a flapper which doesn’t allow fresh air to enter the furnace room. This is a significant safety concern – but it can be easily fixed by removing the flapper or changing the vent cover. My client was notified of this concern. It was recommended to contact the strata to have this issue potentially resolved throughout the townhouse complex.
With Vancouver’s red-hot housing market, I am hearing stories about homes being sold without getting a home inspection first. It scares me to know that people are feeling rushed to get into the market, and so, many are bypassing the important step of making an informed purchase.
Home inspections matter. They are an important part of the home buying process. Home inspectors are highly trained to detect issues in a home, and their services are of great value.
Although, there are different standards for the various professional home inspection associations – overall the process should be similar from association to association and cover the entire home.
A home inspector is educated, they are certified, and they must meet the high standards set by Consumer Protection BC. This is not the same as a friend who works within construction, or a roofer, plumber or tradesmen. Unfortunately, they simply may not have enough information to understand and examine how the elements of a house interact – or, the broad-based knowledge required to provide you with the education needed to make the largest purchase of your life.
Choose your inspector carefully.
Do research. Look at credentials. Make sure they have license.
Check their work experience, and find out what they did before they became a home inspector.
Many times, when I talk with other home inspectors about their work experience, they have not spent any significant time in the home building industry.
Now, that’s not to say there are not great home inspectors out there, that may have little to no experience within the home building industry. However, understanding practical building knowledge is an asset to an inspector’s ability to perform a quality service. While completing my comprehensive education and training to become a home inspector, I noticed that many of my peers did not understand basic building knowledge. Without this, the learning curve as an inspector is made more difficult.
Where you find out about a potential home inspector matters too. Was this person referred to you by your realtor?
If so, make sure you also do a bit research to ensure that he or she is a professional.
Realtors who like to use the same home inspector for every deal, may be a conflict of interest. I believe, when a realtor uses multiple inspectors, they are taking a more ethical approach to the home buying process. On the other hand, sometimes a realtor truly does know the best home inspector, and they want you to get all the information needed to make the most educated decision on purchasing the home.
Just a caution, when you see a home inspectors with a flashy vehicle or fancy website, they typically have more over head. This could drive up the price of your home inspection.
Lastly, don’t choose your home inspector by price. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for!
Do your research and protect yourself.
Understand what services you are getting, and what you are buying!