What to Expect From Your Home Inspection

Homeowner standing in front of their newly inspected property.

A snap shot in time

An inspection is a visual technical analysis of a home’s accessible major systems and their components. St. Lawrence Valley Home Inspections completes this analysis according to the Ontario Association of Home Inspector’s National Standards of Practice.

The analysis can be thought of as a snap shot in time of the home’s condition on the day of the inspection. This snap shot, through the inspector’s eyes, provides the client with an accurate representation of the condition of their prospective home. Only after such an inspection can the buyer make that all important informed decision to buy.

Remember that a snap shot is a moment in time and things do change. A home inspection does not stop time or prevent changes for occurring thereafter.

What does an inspection consist of?

The inspection is a VISUAL technical analysis of the accessible major systems of the home. It does not involve any destructive or invasive testing nor dismantling of components and systems. There are limitations involved since the inspector cannot analyse what he cannot see. Some examples are hidden wiring in walls, storage boxes in the basement blocking a view of the walls and floors, a finished basement ceiling where drywall has been used rather than ceiling tiles or a defect buried in the ground. Another example is basement leakage. There are homes where the basement will only leak in the spring and this situation makes it difficult to detect if no clues have been left behind like watermarks.

How is the inspection completed?

The Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors provides its members with a document called “Standards of Practice”. A copy is provided in every report. These are guidelines that an association bound home inspector must follow when inspecting and reporting upon a property. In the process of becoming a home inspector, the association requires the submission of several reports of actual inspections and the inspector is graded. This ensures that no sub-standard report is produced by accredited home inspectors. So there you have it, an inspection with minimum standards as dictated by the Association coupled with minimum standards in report writing ensure an accurate, reliable and thorough inspection and reporting process.

Oh, by the way, St. Lawrence Valley Home Inspections uses a proprietary check list containing over 1000 points to ensure that we provide you with the most accurate inspection available on the market today.

Click here to view a copy of our standard inspection contract.

The goal of an inspection is…

The goal of the inspection is to identify existing major problems that are apparent on a visual inspection of the property. This approach, is in concert with the Standards of Practice of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. Achieving this goal ensures that our clients interest are satisfied and they are prepared to make that final commitment.

Environmental assessment

A home inspection does not include any environmental assessment. Remember that a home inspector is a general practitioner. Like your family doctor, the home inspector identifies issues and refers you to specialists to address them. Some examples of items the home inspection will not address are underground fuel tanks, radon gas, moulds, carcinogens, air quality, water quality/volume, UFFI or infestations by insects, rodents or other vermin. These areas are best served by those with special training in their respective professions.

Renovation and repair costs

St. Lawrence Valley Home Inspections includes a general list of approximate repair costs (approximate costs only) with every home inspection report as a service to their clients. These costs are not absolute and must be use as a guideline only. Prices for services vary from area to area and the quality of material chosen can change the cost substantially. It is highly recommended that at least three quotes from reputable contractors backed by references be obtained before proceeding with any project.

Home Maintenance Schedule

Inspecting your home on a regular basis and following good maintenance practices is the best way to protect your investment in your home. Whether you take care of a few tasks at a time or several all at once, it is important to get into the habit of doing them. Establish a routine for yourself and you will find the work is easy to accomplish and not very time consuming. A regular schedule of seasonal maintenance can put a stop to the most common — and costly — problems, before they occur.

By following this CMHC Home Maintenance Schedule, you will learn about protecting your investment and how to help keep your home a safe and healthy place to live.

A final word…

It is important to understand that a home inspection is not a guarantee, warranty or an insurance policy of any kind. The inspection and the report represents the condition of the home at the time of inspection for the purposes of helping you make an informed decision regarding the purchase of a property. The report does not make any statement with respect to the future adequacy, performance or condition of the property. We do, however, encourage you to ask questions during and anytime after inspection for the purposes of helping you making that big decision.