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How Does a Home Inspection Work?

Last updated on June 20th, 2023 at 11:31 am

Let’s face it — no one likes to buy a home and discover that it has more issues or needs more work than expected. Home inspections are one of the most vital steps in purchasing a property to help you avoid this scenario. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, this article will walk you through the process of home inspections.

Why Do I Need a Home Inspection?

  • Uncovers hidden issues.
  • Assesses the property’s condition, allowing you to plan for necessary repairs or renovations.
  • Leverages negotiation power. If the inspection uncovers significant issues, you can use these findings to negotiate repairs or price reductions.
  • Offers peace of mind in your decision to buy a particular home.

The Process of a Home Inspection in Canada

1. Scheduling the Inspection

It’s recommended to book the inspection as early as possible, especially during peak seasons. These peak times vary depending on the region and local real estate market conditions but typically align with periods of high home sale activity.

2. Inspection Agreement and Standards

Before the inspection, you’ll sign an agreement outlining the inspection’s terms and conditions. This includes the scope of the process, limitations, and responsibilities of the inspector and you as the client.

3. On-Site Inspection

Now comes the exciting part — the on-site inspection. Your qualified home inspector will thoroughly evaluate the property and examine various aspects to provide a comprehensive assessment:
  • The exterior inspection includes the roof, foundation, walls, windows, doors, and overall structural integrity. They will check for signs of damage, deterioration, or potential issues, such as cracks, water penetration, or improper installations.
  • The interior inspection looks at components like walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows, keeping an eye out for signs of moisture, leaks, mould, or other potential hazards. Your inspector will also inspect plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems, and appliances to ensure proper functioning. 

4. Safety Considerations

Safety is one of the most crucial aspects of a home inspection. As your inspector moves through the house, they will pay close attention to potential issues, like fire or trip hazards, faulty wiring, or inadequate ventilation. They will also inspect smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and other safety devices to ensure they are installed correctly and in working order.

5. Documentation and Reporting

As your inspector walks through the property, they’ll write notes, take photographs, and even take measurements. They use this documentation to create a detailed report, which you’ll get after your appointment.

6. Inspection Report

Your report will clearly describe the problems (if any) found during the inspection and recommendations for action or further evaluation. You can use this report as a valuable reference to help you make decisions regarding the property.

7. Asking Questions and Next Steps

It’s natural to have questions after you receive your report. A reliable home inspector understands this and can provide clarification, further explanations, or guidance. This will help you plan and determine which issues need urgent fixing and which require ongoing maintenance.

Home Inspector Standards in Canada

The Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI) is a leading organization that sets guidelines in the field of home inspections across Canada. Their standards of practice and code of ethics provide a framework for home inspectors to follow, ensuring professionalism, integrity, and consistency in their work. This framework also outlines the responsibilities, limitations, and exclusions.

Searching for a New Place to Call Home?

If you need help during the home-buying process, contact our team today. We have extensive experience in the Ottawa real estate industry and can guide you toward your dream home and offer pointers along the way.