What does a home inspector do? See this excerpt from the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors

  • FAQ

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a comprehensive visual examination of the home’s overall structure, major systems and components.

A trained and qualified CAHPI(BC) home inspector will review your house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect the operability or lifespan of another. Components that are not performing properly should be identified, as well as items that are beyond their useful life or are unsafe. The purpose of the home inspection is to provide the client with a better understanding of the property conditions, as observed at the time of the inspection.

Consumer Protection BC ‘s website states:  A home inspection is an educational process which is designed to reduce a consumer’s risk when buying a home, and is not a guarantee or a warranty on a property.

Licensing in British Columbia

CAHPI(BC) was instrumental in seeking provincial regulatory control of the home inspection industry, which came into effect April 1, 2009.  Be sure to ask to see a valid license, issued by Consumer Protection BC.  To confirm an inspector’s license go to www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.

Why should I consider hiring / recommending a CAHPI (BC) home inspector?

As a consumer, retaining the services of a CAHPI(BC) member to perform your home inspection assures you that you are hiring a licensed professional with proven ability, experience and impartiality, who can give you peace of mind and help you make a confident and informed buying decision.

As a real estate professional, referring your client to the CAHPI(BC) office or website for the names of qualified home inspectors can reinforce your relationship with your clients. They will feel more confident with the condition of the property, and the quality of your advice.

When do I need a home inspection?

Are you buying a home? A pre-purchase home inspection can provide you with the information you need to know about the condition of the house you plan to purchase. More information equals an informed purchase decision, which equals fewer surprises. Minimize the risk to your investment. No one wants to face serious, unexpected costs shortly after a purchase.

Considering a renovation? A home inspection can help homeowners prioritize repairs and maintenance. A pre-renovation inspection equals money spent in the right places.

Selling a home? Show prospective purchasers that every effort has been made to disclose the condition of the home. A listing inspection can equal a faster sale.

Gain an understanding of the systems in your home, their operation, and required maintenance. Preventative maintenance equals fewer headaches later.

How do I find the right home inspector?

Not all home inspectors are equally trained and qualified!

The best source is by far a “word of mouth” referral; ask a friend, family or co-worker if they can recommend a home inspector they have used in the past and were satisfied with the services. Other sources are your mortgage lender or mortgage broker. Your real estate professional can also refer you to the CAHPI(BC) website or our toll-free number for a referral to a home inspector.

If you are looking in the Yellow Pages, most home inspection companies can be found under the headings “Building Inspection Services” or “Home Inspection Services”. In addition, the CAHPI(BC) online database allows you to find a home inspector in the area where you need a home inspection done. Our members have been asked to list all of the areas where they provide home inspection services independent of where their offices are located.

Whatever your referral source, please perform due diligence when selecting an inspector. Discuss your expectations with the inspector to ensure that the report provided will meet your specific needs.  Be sure to ask to see a copy of the inspector’s Consumer Protection BC license.

To help you in your selection process CAHPI(BC) has developed some questions to ask:

What does the home inspector do?

At CAHPI(BC) we are committed to protecting consumers and improving home and property inspection services through our stringent membership requirements, mandatory ongoing training program and our detailed Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Please refer to the CAHPI(BC) Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

How long does a home inspection take?

A professional home inspection usually takes between three and four hours, depending on the size, age and condition of the house. It is critical that the inspector can access all areas and/or systems. If certain areas are inaccessible, the inspection can be hampered and take longer than necessary. The client may need to reschedule and pay for a return visit to the site.

Should I attend the home inspection?

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) article “Hiring a Home Inspector” recommends that potential home buyers accompany the inspector as the inspection takes place. It can be a valuable learning experience. You can also take this opportunity to get more familiar with your new home, to take measurements of rooms and/or windows. More importantly, you can ask your home inspector questions on the spot.

How do I prepare my home  for an inspection?

Homeowners should be aware that inspectors cannot move personal effects during the course of an inspection.  Here are a few suggestions to prepare a home for an inspection:

Remove any furniture and stored material from access panels, crawl spaces, attic hatches, electrical panel boxes, furnaces, hot water tanks and water shut-offs.

If the access panel to the crawl space or attic is in a closet, you might want to remove the clothes from that closet or cover the clothes with a sheet, in order to protect them from bits of insulation and debris that might fall down in the process of removing the access panel.

Over friendly or unfriendly dogs or other family pets can complicate the inspection process and are best keep either away from the house or in a contained space during the period of an inspection.

What type of report should I expect?

Following the inspection, the buyer is presented with a written report, consolidating the details of the inspection. The home inspector should be willing to answer any questions a buyer might have and to clarify the limitations of the inspection to avoid misunderstandings.

How much does a home inspection cost?

Pricing can vary depending on your area of service. The pricing criteria is usually based on the square footage of the house. Ask your home inspector. Also remember that some inspectors may have surcharges for a crawlspace, basement suite, age of house, mileage, etc.

Bill Nicholls

Bill Nicholls

CENTURY 21 Westman Realty Ltd.
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