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Discovery Inspections

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The Ultimate Home Inspection Guide - It's NOT Pass or Fail!

 

So what happens during a home inspection and what exactly do they do in a home inspection?

In this guide, we’ll show you how home inspection works and answer all questions you might have regarding the most important financial decision of your life— that is, having a Home Inspection done when Buying or Selling your house!

Let’s dive in!

Do I Need a Home Inspection?

If you’re buying or selling a house and trying to decide if you should get a home inspection, I can make it really easy for you – the answer is YES. In today’s market it’s not uncommon for people to forgo a home inspection in order to make their offer more appealing, but this is a huge gamble. You may get the house, but you might also get a whole host of unexpected and expensive problems with it. If you want to decrease your chances of getting burned when buying or selling a home, an inspection is key. Saving money is a must in the world we live in today, and having an inspection done on your house could allow you to save your hard-earned money from unexpected expenses in the future!

What To Expect From A Home Inspection?

Before the Inspection: When an inspection is booked with Discovery over the phone, the first thing that will happen is the office staff will take down a small amount of personal information such as your name, phone number and email. Then we will ask for the address and that way we can bring the listing up on Realtor.ca  and BC Assessment to provide an accurate quote for the address you are wanting the inspection for.

Once the details are sorted out, you will be sent a confirmation email, with an online agreement form to be completed. This will give a little bit more info to the office and inspectors and act as authorization for the inspection.

Next, we will reach out to your realtor, to let them know the date and time of inspection and find out who will be providing access to the home on the day of inspection. If it is a private sale or pre-listing inspection, then we would go over who will provide access to the home with you or the seller.

We like to make the process of booking a home inspection as quick and easy for you as possible!

How Long Will the Inspection Take?

Generally, a home inspection will take anywhere from 3-4 hours depending on the size of the home and if there are any additional outbuildings being inspected as well.  Additional time is allotted also, for a personal consultation and in-depth walkthrough with the Inspector (either in person at the site, or by telephone) free of charge.

We also provide ongoing support and consultation to you, in the form of helpful advice and recommendations, for as long as you own the home.

What does a Home Inspector Do?

A home inspector will evaluate the interior and exterior of a structure, looking for several things (including but not necessarily limited to the following list):

  1. Exterior Systems
  2. Roofing, Flashings, Penetrations and Chimneys
  3. Structural Systems
  4. Plumbing Systems
  5. Electrical Systems
  6. Interior components
  7. Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) Systems
  8. Fireplaces And Solid Fuel Burning Appliances
  9. Insulation and Ventilation of Attics, Crawlspaces and Unfinished Basements

If there is one area that you are wanting the inspector to focus on, due concerns about something specific, please let our office know ahead of time and we will ensure they can provide you a more detailed report on those areas.

After your inspection you will also be provided a detailed, web-based inspection report that is ready for you on the day of the inspection, and includes color photos, explanations and helpful recommendations about any issues that were found in the home.

At Discovery Home Inspections we include an Infrared Thermal Imaging Scan of the home for no additional fee - we don’t believe that charging someone extra to pull out an invaluable tool that the inspector already has ready in his bag. This type of scan offers key advantages, as it can help identify – or rule out – problem areas that may not immediately be seen with the naked eye.  Thermography can increase the likelihood of detecting:

  • Missing, inconsistent, or wet insulation
  • Heating and cooling losses around windows, doors, electrical outlets, etc.
  • Leaky or disconnected duct work
  • Broken seals in thermal pane windows
  • Moisture issues such as roof leaks, plumbing leaks, leaky skylights, leaky foundations, moisture ingress
  • Electrical hot spots
  • Poor construction
  • Damaged or malfunctioning in-floor heat

 

What Does a Home Inspector NOT Do?

Below are 10 things that aren’t typically covered in your standard home inspection report. If you are concerned with any of the items listed below, it’s a good idea to hire a certified specialist to further evaluate or test for:

  1. Asbestos Testing
  2. Radon Testing
  3. Lead paint Testing
  4. Mold Testing
  5. Inspect swimming pools
  6. Buried Oil Tanks
  7. Appliances (chattels)
  8. Scope Perimeter Drain Systems
  9. Inspect Septic Systems (But Drain Doctors can help you with this and provide a $100 discount on the septic inspection when you book it with a home inspection!)
  10. Move an occupant’s personal items to access any area of the home

It’s really important to recognize that home inspectors aren’t magicians and can’t see behind the walls. They’re not able to put holes in walls or rip up floors, so in many cases they can only give you their best guess about what lies beneath. This is why it’s important to have an emergency fund put aside in case you find things like knob and tube wiring, or other must-do fixes.

Your standard home inspection report goes over visible and accessible areas. Things like asbestos, lead paint, and radon gas aren’t something that an inspector can see. When the presence of Pests, Mold, or a Buried Oil tank are visible, the inspector will document this and recommend further evaluation by a qualified professional. To be clear, a home inspector can only inspect what he can access.

Meaning, if the trap door for the crawl space is under an unmovable furniture or the occupants personal belongings and can’t be accessed from the outside, you shouldn’t expect your inspector to be able to report on what’s inside of it. So, if you would like the most thorough inspection possible, we recommend removing any obstructions before the inspector’s arrival.

After Your Home Inspection: Did it Pass or Fail?

There is a common myth about home inspections that we would like to touch on here. A Home Inspection or a Commercial Inspection is not a pass or fail situation. It is not uncommon to believe that a home inspection is like a test that your home is required to do and will pass or fail. But this is simply not the case. A home inspection is a snapshot of the overall condition of a home and its various systems on the day that the home inspector was there.

A professional home inspection is an examination and record of the inspector’s opinion regarding the current condition of your prospective home or current home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.

Home Inspection Tips

The most important thing we can recommend is to take the inspection report seriously and ask questions! By the time the inspection happens people are often already emotionally attached to the house, and they have a tendency to brush off the results.

If the results are not what you were expecting, you can sometimes ask the seller to fix the problems (if you are the buyer) or you can even negotiate the purchase price so you can make the repairs yourself. Your realtor is the best person to advise you on these options. As a seller, the Inspection Report will be a good starting point to prepare your home to be put up on the market, with a guideline on what some of the major or minor repairs will be and also will allow for time to budget for them.  

Summing Up

Hire a professional home inspector to properly inspect your home with a full home inspection checklist and to go over the inspection report with you. This will give you peace of mind knowing the home’s overall condition and will help avoid surprise costs in the future. Even new homes can have problems that may only be recognized by an experienced Home Inspector.

Here at Discovery Inspections, our daily operations reflect our commitment to our customer's satisfaction and everyone involved in the company works tirelessly to maintain this high level of service for our customers. From our friendly office staff to our qualified and professional team of licensed and insured inspectors, it is a privilege to go above and beyond for our clients.

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