Play a short audio clip while you browse – ‘What Really Matters In A Home Inspection’
ROOF roof-covering materials, gutters, eaves, downspouts, vents, flashing, skylights, chimney, all roof penetrations EXTERIOR wall-covering materials, flashing and trim, exterior doors, adjacent walkways and driveways, stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps, porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports, railings, guards and handrails, eaves, soffits and fascia, windows, vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and grading of the property STRUCTURE foundation, basement, crawlspace, structural components HEATING heating system, location of the thermostat, energy source, heating method COOLING cooling system, location of the thermostat, cooling method PLUMBING main water supply shut-off valve, main fuel supply shut-off valve, water heating equipment, the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, interior water supply – including all fixtures and faucets, toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, drain, waste and vent system, drainage sump pumps with accessible floats, water source (public or private?), capacity of the water heating equipment ELECTRICAL service drop, overhead service conductors and attachment point, service head, gooseneck and drip loops, service mast, service conduit and raceway, electric meter and base, service-entrance conductors, main service disconnect, panelboards and over-current protection devices, service grounding and bonding, switches, lighting fixtures and receptacles, arc-fault circuit interrupter, ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles, presence of smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, main service disconnect’s amperage rating, type of wiring observed FIREPLACE readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys, lintels above the fireplace openings, damper doors, cleanout doors and frames ATTIC/INSULATION/VENTILATION insulation in unfinished spaces, ventilation of unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation, mechanical exhaust systems in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry area, type of insulation, attic R-value INTERIOR doors and windows, floors, walls and ceilings, stairs, steps, landings, stairways and ramps, railings, guards and handrails, garage vehicle doors, door openers, door-bell
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- Registered, and fully insured, Home Inspector with Brookfield GRS (Global Relocation Services). Service area covering Weymouth, Digby County and heading east to Kentville, Kings County.
Sample Home Inspection Report
Paper checklists are dead!
The days of obsolete, hard to decipher and uninformative paper checklists are over! Choose a technology savvy certified inspector that stays current with the industry and is truly looking out for your best interests.
A home inspection report should be informative, thorough and easy to read. Pertinent information should be easy to find at a glance. My reports are comprehensive, descriptive and media rich. View 200+ photos and videos of your home stored in a private online album accessible via the report. Filled with illustrations and links that lead to a wealth of data covering items listed.
Navigate the report quickly and intuitively via the home system tabs (roofing, exterior, structure, electrical, heating, insulation, plumbing, interior) at the top of each page. Each system is further broken down into a description and suggested recommendations.
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Home Inspection FAQs
Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
Absolutely! A new home does not mean that everything is working perfectly. Many things can be built incorrectly and could cause premature failure of other components. A new home is not built like a new car on an assembly line; many local tradesmen are involved in building a new home and the quality of workmanship can vary greatly. The sooner you spot the issues the better. A home inspection is highly recommended prior to a home purchase, new or old.
By all means, in fact, we encourage you to. This is a great opportunity to learn about your new home and ask questions. This also makes reading the final report easier since you were there witnessing the findings first hand. Keep in mind, for insurance reasons, I will have to ask you to refrain from following me onto the roof and inside the attic.
This is not recommended, unless of course you are a home inspector. Certified inspectors are specially trained to inspect all major components of a home. Consider a home inspector like a family doctor, we are knowledgeable about the whole package but may not necessarily be specialists in any one specific field. There is a good chance a thorough home inspection done by a qualified professional would uncover a host of issues you may have missed.
Check out the Resources section (below) for information on these.
The cost estimates I do provide are as a courtesy only and are just to give you an idea of what it may cost to repair or replace. When I give estimates they are broad 100% ranges, such as, it may cost between $3000 – $6000 to replace the roof. It is recommended to obtain estimates from at least three qualified contractors before you finalize your budgeting for repair work. For actual repair cost estimates check out the handy document under the Resources section below.
Deficiencies, from minor to major, are frequently found. You should know that just because issues were discovered the onus does not automatically fall on the seller to fix it. You, the buyer, may choose to negotiate for the repairs as part of the final agreement. If the seller does not agree to manage the repairs you will have to handle it yourself or terminate the contract. However, now that you have a detailed home inspection report at your disposal you have a great bargaining tool to help with your possible negotiations.
The home inspection is intended to show you what requires attention with the home. There is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ given. The final purchasing decision is with you, we simply help you make an informed and confident decision by portraying the current condition of the home.
Tips For Homebuyers
Before you sign the dotted line …
- Visit the home in the rain. Even if you can’t get permission to enter the home on short notice, observe the exterior. Are the gutters and downspouts diverting water away from the home? What does the grading look like? Does the driveway slope away from the garage? How about the dirt road to the home – what does it look like in the rain?
- Walk the neighborhood. Don’t just drive around in your car. Get out and walk it.
- Don’t rely solely on the seller’s disclosure. Sellers are under no obligation to disclose problems they don’t know about – and how could they? For that reason, many sellers don’t want to know what is wrong with their house. Hire a certified home inspector to verify what the seller claims in the seller’s disclosure.
- Ask your seller about any disturbing noises or foul odours. Is there a business nearby that creates emissions? Is the home under an airport route? Is there a train track nearby? How about horse stalls or commercial agriculture? Talk to the neighbours to find out. Visit the home in the middle of a business day. If possible, also park outside the home at night with your car windows rolled down to find out how busy or noisy the area is during the time when it should be most peaceful.
- Ask to see the utility bills. If you’re moving into a larger home, expect your utility bills to be higher. I can show you areas of improvement to help reduce energy consumption and lower those bills.
- Make sure the inspection addendum in your purchase agreement gives you the ability to back out of the deal if I find something horribly wrong. It should also require that your full deposit be returned to you if you decide not to buy the home because of something revealed in the inspection report.
- Remember that everything is negotiable. Don’t be afraid to ask for anything when you make an offer on a home. Perhaps you want a certain closing date. Ask for that. Perhaps you want certain repairs made. Ask for them. Perhaps you want help with the closing costs. Ask for it. Perhaps you want the seller to leave the drapes or the couch. Ask for them to be left with the home. Don’t be shy. Buying a home is a business deal, and negotiating is a normal part of any business deal. And, of course, never assume that any personal property (such as appliances, curtain rods, swing sets, the dog house, etc.) will be left behind if you haven’t agreed in writing that they’re included as part of the sale.
- Pay a little extra for a knowledgeable and certified inspector. Buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection. The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the value of the home being inspected. You’ve been recently crunching the numbers – shopping for a mortgage, adding up closing costs, and negotiating offers – and trying to get the best deals. The least expensive inspector is not the best deal. Do yourself a favour and pay a little more for the quality inspection you deserve so that you can make a confident decision with peace of mind.
- Remember that no home is perfect, not even a new one. Don’t make the mistake of not getting a home inspection on a newly constructed home. Houses aren’t created like new cars on an assembly line. Each home is hand-built by a variety of different tradesmen.
The good, the bad and the ugly
Don’t leave this ever-important and far-reaching decision to chance! I walk on roofs and leave no crawlspace unexplored. Tall ladders, advanced mobile inspection software, gadgets and a fervor for thoroughness allow me to give you the crucial information you need.