A home inspection is an objective unbiased limited visual evaluation of a property’s structure and major systems and will involve a detailed walk-through of the home and the exterior of the property. The home inspector will operate systems as designed using their normal operating controls. The inspector will take photos, videos and detailed notes to include in their report.
After the inspection, the inspector will provide a complete, detailed report of their examination, which will include photos and a list of specific defects and areas that may need repairs.
This independent, objective assessment of the home can be a good counter-balance to the more emotionally charged impression of the property you might have after imagining yourself living there.
It is important to note that the home inspection is a limited visual inspection, that is, inspectors are limited to what can be seen at the time of the inspection. Also, the report will not include repair recommendations, estimates of what it may cost to repair any uncovered issues, or a “pass/fail” rating nor building code violations, although many aspects of the report will be based on building codes due to possible noted safety hazards. The inspector will not recommend you buy or not buy the home, rather they offer an unbiased professional opinion of the general condition and safety of the home. It will be up to you and your real estate agent to decide the best course of action, based on the contents of the report.
At minimum, all Gold Standard inspections are completed using the CAPHI Standards of Practice. Gold Standard Inspections exceed these standards in a number of ways. Here is a list of everything included in a Gold Standard inspection.
A basic residential home inspection usually includes, but is not limited to, an examination of:
1. Plumbing. All visible plumbing in basement and in cabinets inspected for proper installation and leaks. All plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, outdoor taps)are tested for proper function, drainage and leaks. Both a thermal camera and moisture meter is used to identify possible leaks around fixtures and toilets. Please note in winter, outdoor bibs (taps) and fixtures cannot be operated. Hot water tanks are inspected for proper installation, safety, life expectancy and leaks. One tap will be run to ensure hot water and the temperature will be noted on the report.
2. Electrical systems. All plugs and switches are tested and inspected for proper installation and safety. The main electrical panel cover is removed and inspected visually and with a thermal camara for proper installation and safety. Undersized breakers, aluminum wiring and double taps are noted as required, All exposed wiring visually inspected. GFCIs are tested. Service drops (the electrical wires that run to the house) are inspected. We are unable to inspect electrical systems higher than 120/240 volts. We cannot remove plug and switch faceplates.
3. HVAC. (Heating, Venting, Air Conditioning) These systems are inspected for function using normal operating controls (thermostat) and age of the system is reported. Please note that air conditioning cannot be run in the winter months due to possible damage. Due to highly complicated electronic thermostats, it may not be possible to operate all HVAC systems or their connected components.
4. Roof. Inspection of the roof is done by drone (*some restrictions apply) and from the ground with binoculars. A ladder may be used to inspect the edges of roofing material. Due to safety and damage concerns, we do not walk onto the roof.
5. Attic. Insulation depth and estimate of R value is noted as well as proper venting and possible leaks. Due to safety and damage concerns, attics are visually inspected from the hatch only.
6. Ceilings, walls and floors. All ceilings, walls and floors are inspected for cracks, leaks, buckling and general damage.
7. Windows and doors. All doors and windows are tested for operation and locks.
8. Cabinets, counters, pantries and trim. Cabinets and drawers are inspected for function and inside for condition of shelves.
9. Foundation and basement. Where visible, floor joists and foundation is inspected for cracks and leaks. Thermal scans are done near suspected moisture and air leakage areas. Due to safety concerns, crawl spaces are visually inspected from the crawl space hatch only. Crawl spaces and basements will have a basic air quality assessment done.
10. Fireplace/wood stove. Some elements of a fireplace/wood stove will be inspected. We are unable to inspect inside the flue (up the chimney) as this requires specialized equipment.
11. Exterior elements. Inspection of the chimney, gutters, drainage, driveway, sidewalks, lot grading, attached decks, signs of insect infestations, siding, soffit, facia, flashings and vegetation near the home.
12. One garage or carport. All aspects of one garage/carport is inspected. The garage door and garage door opener is tested from the main operating panel for function and operation. We cannot test all remotes associated with the opener.
13. Basic Radon assessment: A proper accurate radon assessment would take up to 3 months and are generally done between October and April. At the time of the inspection, a radon detector is installed in the lowest level of the home only while the inspection takes place. This is not enough time for an accurate test but can give a reading which could indicate an issue and require further investigation. Please note that most if not all homes have some degree of radon, a positive reading does not necessarily indicate a true radon level for concern.
14. Basic Air Quality assessment: An air quality detector is continually sampling the air of inside the home during the entire inspection. The detector samples the air for natural gas/combustible gas (EX) leaks, carbon monoxide (CO), oxygen levels (O2)and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Please note that most if not all homes have some degree of poor air quality, a positive reading will not necessarily indicate a true level of concern.
15. Installed Appliances: An installed appliance is one that would require tools to remove such as a range hood, mounted microwave, garburator or a dishwasher. The appliances will be turned on for a very short time. We cannot run an entire cycle of a dishwasher. We may note age and general condition of other non-installed appliances should they be included in the purchase of the home as a curtesy only.
16. Video: The entire inspection is video taped from start to finish.
The basic inspection also includes:
1. Drone: Drone photos and video are included in the inspection. (*some restrictions apply). Arial photos of the property and around the location as well as video of the roof, chimney, vents, and gutters.
2. Thermal imaging: Thermal imaging of certain areas around tubs, toilets, electrical panel, under sinks are included.
3. A comprehensive report . The report is in PDF format and includes clear colour photos. The report is generally completed within 24 hours for the inspection. Access to additional photos and videos will be available through our website. If you wish a printed report instead, please let us know.
4. Home owners reference book: Every customer receives a free electronic copy of a home owners guide. The guide contains valuable information for a home owner.
5. Support: Our work does not end once we have given you the final report. We are always available to answer your questions or concerns. Contact us anytime trough our website, email or phone. Sign up for our free newsletter and information.
After the inspection, the inspector will provide a complete, detailed report of their examination, which will include photos and a list of specific defects and areas that may need repairs. Drone photos and video of the property are included at no extra cost. Any thermal imaging scans are also included at no additional cost. The report is normally finalized in office to ensure accuracy.
*some restrictions apply – Drone flight may be restricted on a number of factors including but not limited to, proximity to airports, obstructions, wind, precipitation and other weather related issues.
Book your inspection online through our website, call or email us. Once your inspection is booked we will send you a pre-inspection agreement 24 hours in advance of the inspection. This gives you time to review our process and your rights as a client, please read it carefully. We must have the agreement signed by you prior to the start of the inspection. You may send the signed agreement back via email, fax or bring it with you to the inspection. If possible, we appreciate our clients to accompany the inspector so they can ask questions and the inspector can draw their attention to any areas they think might be of particular concern. We will require final payment once the inspection is complete. We will then send you a detailed electronic report of our findings within 24 hours.
Attending a home inspection is highly recommended. It provides you with firsthand knowledge of the property's condition and allows for real-time clarifications and learning opportunities. Your real estate agent is also welcome.
A home inspection can take up to 5 hours, depending on the location and property size, and will involve a detailed walk-through of the home and the exterior of the property. The inspector will take photos, videos and detailed notes to include in their report. On average a basic home inspection of a 3 bedroom bungalow with attached garage and full basement would take about 3 hours.
Although we make every attempt to inspect as much as we can, there may be elements of the property and structure we are unable to inspect or operate. This could be due to such things as snow cover, clutter, locked doors, shut down systems at the source such as turned off breakers and water valves or gas valves. For example, if an electrical breaker or gas valve is off, for safety reasons we would not turn them on. There may be windows, doors or attic hatches painted shut. We will not break the seal. We can not run air conditioning in the winter months due to possible damage to the system. We will not climb into or walk into the attic due to safety and damage concerns. We will not climb down into a crawl space due to air quality safety concerns. We will not climb onto a roof due to safety and damage concerns. We will not risk damaging any system and personal property.
1. Thermal Inspection: A full comprehensive thermal inspection with photos and video. Identifies possible water leaks, missing insulation, overheating wiring, air leaks around windows and doors.
2. Drone inspection: A full comprehensive drone inspection of the property and aerial photos are available. (*some restrictions apply)
3. Radon/air quality assessment: A full comprehensive accurate radon and air quality assessment takes 3 months generally between the months of October to April. The inspector will install a radon and air quality detector and submit a full report on the findings. Air quality readings measure radon(Rn), carbon dioxide (CO2), Humidity, average temperature, airborne chemicals (VOC) and average pressure . Please note that most if not all homes have some degree of radon and poor air quality, a positive reading will not necessarily indicate a true level of concern. Click here for more information on Radon and other air quality issues.
4. Separate structures and outbuildings: Garden sheds, additional garages and barns.
5. Pools , hot tubs or saunas: Check for functionality and proper installation.
6. Water quality or supply: Quality and lead tests available.
7. Septic systems: Limited visual inspection of septic system including holding tanks and septic fields.
8. Wells: Water quality, pressure test, lead and other contaminants test.
9. Sprinkler systems: Dependent on season. We are unable to test if it is shut down or in winter.
10. Non-installed appliances: These appliances include, but are not limited to, washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, portable dishwasher, counter top microwave. Functional testing would consist of one complete short cycle.
11. Re-inspection at possession day: Month can go by before possession day. We can accompany you on your possession day at a reduced price to re-evaluated and ensure all systems and components are still in working order and as they were left at the time of the initial inspection. Also, this may allow the inspector access to areas and systems that were inaccessible at the time of the initial inspection due to clutter, snow, furniture, etc.
12. Annual or bi-annual inspection: Schedule annual or bi-annual inspections ahead of time. Saves money and ensures all your systems and components are in working order. We will review with you your monthly, seasonal and annual maintenance programs specific to your home.
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If we happen to notice something out of the ordinary with any of the elements or systems listed below, we will note these on the report as a curtesy only.
1. Alarm systems, security cameras.
2. Telephone, cable wiring and systems. Satellite dishes, antennas, television and radio equipment, smart home devices, home entertainment systems.
3. Low voltage (e.g. 24 volt) systems.
·4. Play structures/swing sets and home gym/exercise equipment.·
5. Back up generators·
7. Cosmetic fixtures or finishes, such as paint or window coverings. ·
8. Fireplaces. This may require a certified WETT inspector for insurance purposes.·
9. Water softeners and other water treatment systems and filters·
10. Sewer treatment systems.·
11. Adherence to building codes or bylaws.·
12. Anything that can’t be visually evaluated or is not readily accessible (e.g., hidden defects inside the walls, behind furniture, under carpeting). We cannot lift or move furniture, storage containers or lift carpeting. Any exclusions are noted on the report as to why it was excluded.· 13. Any system, element or area of the property that the inspector deems, in their opinion, as dangerous or otherwise unsafe at the time. This could include, but not limited to, such things as air quality, asbestos, mold, gas leaks, confined spaces, ice/ slippery surfaces, damaged or rotten balconies and decks, dogs. Any exclusions are noted on the report as to why it was excluded.
Carefully review the report and follow up with us in regards to any questions you have about what it contains. If the inspector has identified any necessary major repairs or safety issues, you might consider discussing this with your real estate agent.
This report is for you only. We do not share the report with anyone without your permission.
If you decide to buy the property, it’s a good idea to keep your inspection report. It identifies any needed repairs to make, as well as areas to keep an eye on in case new issues develop. We are here to help, customers are welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns.