Home Inspection FAQ's
Q. What is a Home Inspection?
A. A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of the home that is not technically exhaustive and does not imply that every problem will be discovered. Some defects only present themselves under certain conditions. For example, a shower may only leak when someone is using it and not when the tap is turned on, roofs may leak under certain adverse weather conditions that were not present at the time of inspection, or storage may have prevented a full examination of the foundation wall or other areas.
Q. What is included in a Home Inspection?
A. A home inspection will consist of a full inspection of the roof, basement, heating system, water heater, air-conditioning system, structure, plumbing, electrical, interior, exterior, insulation, attic and many other aspects of buildings looking for improper building practices, those items that require extensive repairs, items that are general maintenance issues, as well as some fire and safety issues including smoke alarms. All defects and maintenance issues will then be described in detail, photographed, and included in the report which is provided to our clients to aid them in their decision making process.
Q. How Long does a Home Inspection take?
A. A home inspection generally takes about 2 1/2 hours to complete from start to finish for an average home in size and age. However some homes that are larger, show extensive signs of problem, or are older may take more time to put together the whole picture. Clients should be aware of these time frames in order to be available for the inspection. Although client attendance is not required we strongly urge our clients to attend and be part of the inspection process as this is the best way to “Know Your Home”.
Q. When do I receive my report?
A. Reports are generated and sent out via email to you within 24hrs of the inspection. This is done to ensure that a complete report is delivered and is not rushed onsite. Other benefits of this service are that clients can share this report with anyone they wish world wide in minutes to gain that value advice from friends and family.
Q. Will I know everything I need to at the end of the Inspection?
A. At the end of the home inspection we hold a brief meeting with our clients to ensure that all concerns about the property are addressed and that major defect that would affect their buying decision have been explained in full. At the end of the inspection our clients have a good understanding of any major problems with the home. We do encourage them to read through the report once completed as it will address smaller issues that may not have been presented in great detail at the time on inspection.
Q. What if I have questions after the inspection?
A. We are always available for contact after the inspection is completed for the duration our clients own their home. We understand that the home inspection process can be an information overload and encourage our clients to contact us with any questions that arise. Due to the amount of information delivered during an inspection it is very common to have something misunderstood or not seem important at the time to address.
Q. Should my Realtor get a copy of your report?
A. No! You purchased the report. I do not discuss or disclose any of my findings without your permission. You own the document. However, if any items warrant re-negotiation with the seller, you may wish to discuss them with your Realtor. Having your realtor review the report also insures that you both are “on the same page” at the closing.
Q. Should I be present for the home inspection?
A. Yes, I encourage you to plan to attend the entire inspection. There are always items in the inspection that can best be explained on-site. I will include them in the report of course, but your presence at the property always makes it easier for you to understand important information about the property.
It also gives you 2-1/2 to 3 hours in the home. This allows you the opportunity to feel comfortable about your choice and refresh your memory after a busy “home hunting” schedule. You will have a chance to see first hand the maintenance requirements and discuss any areas of concern before you buy. Attendance at your home inspection is strongly recommended. There is no perfect home and you will learn first hand how to look after your investment.
Q. Do you inspect septic tanks?
A. No. A septic system inspection requires that the tank be pumped out and the field be tested in order to properly check its condition. Home inspectors are neither trained nor equipped to perform this function.
Q. Do you go up on the roof?
A. Yes. An inspector must climb onto the roof to do a proper evaluation, with exception when it is unsafe due to excessive slopes, ice, snow, or poor weather conditions at the time of the inspection.
Q. Do you inspect appliances?
A. Yes. We check to see if they are operational when the appliances are included in the purchase. We will record serial numbers of appliances that do not have to be moved to access the serial numbers.
Q. Do you do repairs or recommend contractors?
A. No. It is a conflict of interest for a home inspector to refer a contractor to perform repairs that are recommended in the report.
Q. Can we contact you after the inspection?
A. Yes. We welcome your call with any questions or concerns regarding the inspection report.
Q. Can inspections be done on weekends?
A. Yes. Trying to accommodate the schedules of all parties involved with the inspection is important to us.
Q. How far in advance should I book the inspection?
A. Try booking as far in advance as you can to get the best time that works for you. We will also try our best to accommodate appointments on short notice.
Q. Do you carry Insurance?
A. Yes. Final Grade Inspection Ltd. is a fully insured company.
Q. Should my realtor get a copy of the inspection?
A. You decide. There may be benefit in sharing the information with your realtor who can determine if any items in the report are significant enough to warrant re-negotiation or a change in pricing. Information about your inspection will only be shared with your permission.
Q. Do you take pictures?
A. Only when a significant problem is found that warrants documentation.
Q. What if the report reveals problems?
A. All houses have problems. Most are minor and can be remedied over time. If a major problem is found you will need to consider all options in making a decision.
Q. As a home owner how do I prepare my home for an inspection?
A. Some things you can do to prepare your home for an inspection are:
- All doors should be made accessible.
- Leave the utilities (gas, water, power) connected and the pilot lights lit.
- Provide access to the attic, garage, electrical panel, and crawl space (if applicable).
- Provide space around the electrical panel, furnace, water heater and air conditioner.
- Leave keys for gates, outbuildings, electrical boxes, etc.
- If you have pets, make sure they are secured or removed from the property.
- If the buyer is present, prepare to be away for a few hours during the inspection.
Q. Can I pay by credit card?
A. Yes. Payment can be made by cheque, cash, Visa or Master card.
Q. Do I have to use one of the inspectors on the list provided by my realtor?
A. No. Choose a qualified inspector, and not one based solely on cost when making this important decision. Make sure they are licensed to do inspections in the Province of Alberta, experience in the construction industry and insured.
Q. I am selling my home. Should I have an inspection prior to listing?
A. Yes. Knowing the condition of your home before it is placed on the market can be very helpful. An inspection would identify potential problems that can be repaired before listing which may help negotiate a better price.