Buying a home should be
one of life's most gratifying
experiences. We want to help
make that happen.

Certified Master Inspector

Certified by the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors - Click here to verify.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For Home Buyers

  1. What is an Independent Inspector?
  2. What is a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection?
  3. Why do I need a home inspection?
  4. Can a house fail the inspection?
  5. Should I be at the Inspection?
  6. How does the inspector review the house?
  7. When do I call the home inspector?
  8. Who gets a copy of the Home Inspection Report?
  9. How long does it take?
  10. How much does a Home Inspection Cost?
  11. Why should my NEW home be inspected?
  12. Is a home inspection a guarantee, warranty or insurance policy?

For Home Sellers

  1. What is a Pre-Listing Inspection/Consultation?
  2. Do I have to repair everything wrong with the house?
  3. Getting your home ready for the Home Inspection.

What is an Independent Inspector?
The Independent Home Inspectors of North America are a group of inspectors that believe there is an inherent conflict of interest when real estate agents selling homes, recommend specific home inspectors to potential home buyers. These "recommended" inspectors often provide minimum standard inspections to please realtors and to maintain their position on the agents "short list" of recommended inspectors. Independent Inspectors do not advertise or promote their business services to realtors and choose instead to rely on referrals from satisfied clients. Independent Inspectors perform thorough inspections and provide a genuine service to protect and educate clients.

The primary mission of The Independent Inspectors of North America is to help promote consumer protection for home buyers by:

1) Educating home buyers to the inherent conflict of interest when agents recommend, influence or control the Home Inspector selection process.

2) Working with provincial legislators to enact amendments to the real estate broker and salespersons licensing laws to remove the agents involvement from the Home Inspector selection process.

What is a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection?
A Pre-Purchase home inspection is an objective visual assessment of the physical structure and systems of a home at the time of the inspection. It is like a physical checkup, and will determine if problems are of major or minor concern, or if conditions affect your personal safety. When problems or symptoms are found, we will provide recommendations, or refer you to the appropriate specialist or tradesperson for further evaluation, repair, or replacement. The goal of the home inspection is to identify significant expenses that you will need to budget for in the short term. The inspection will not be a list of every minor flaw or repair, and issues like carpet condition or color, scratches on walls or counters, or the homes style, are not the focus. As well, the home inspection is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies code compliance.

Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home is a major undertaking. It is to your benefit to learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy. You can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties. The inspection will also point out positive aspects of the home as well as maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection you will have a much clearer understanding of the home.

Can a house fail the inspection?
We will not pass or fail a home, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement. The ultimate decision to buy or not buy the home is yours.

Should I be at the Inspection?
While it is not necessary for you to be present during the home inspection, you will benefit most if you can be at the house during the inspection. It should be said that the inspection process is an interactive process. By not attending the inspection you will not receive the best value from your inspection. We highly recommend and encourage you to attend the inspection and to ask as many questions as you like.

How does the inspector review the house?
Our inspections are performed in accordance with the Standards of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors. The report is an opinion of the present condition of the property based on a visual inspection of the readily accessible features. Inspectors are not permitted to drill into walls, dismantle major components or disrupt the vendors home. We examine the home using normal operating controls such as the thermostat, plumbing fixtures, light switches, and opening readily operable access panels. Our inspection process normally starts with the roof and exterior. Inside the home we review the major systems such as the structure, furnace, air-conditioning, electrical, plumbing and plumbing fixtures. We operate windows, doors, look under sinks, in some closets and in the attic. Our approach is to look at each functional component in the home and evaluate whether it is able to perform as intended. Emphasis is placed on major expenses and safety issues. Some less important deficiencies may be found while looking for major items, but an all inclusive list of minor flaws is not provided.

When do I call the home inspector?
A home inspector is typically called right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. Home buyers should ensure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making the purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection.

Who gets a copy of the Home Inspection Report?
We email a copy of our online PDF file report to our client only. We cannot discuss our findings or release a report to anyone unless instructed otherwise by the client. The inspection report is for the exclusive use of our client and is not intended for the use of any other party.

How long does it take?
At Halton Home Inspection Service, we are not rushed, and we choose to provide a high standard and thorough service. Typically our Home Inspections take 3 to 4 hours. Some older, larger and more complex homes may take longer.

How much does a Home Inspection Cost?
A home inspection is a great value in the real estate transaction. Inspection prices vary by size, age, condition and complexity of a home. For prices please visit our online Fee Schedule.

Why should my NEW home be inspected?
Many people ask, "Why does a newly constructed home need an inspection?" Many people assume that the builder and contractors are overseen by provincial or municipal officials and that these local inspectors check out the house. This is true to some degree, however, few if any municipal inspectors spend anywhere near enough time to fully check out a home. Further, there is often other problems with new homes that are not necessarily code violations, yet could have serious consequences for the long term health of the home.

FACT - The majority of construction tasks are usually subcontracted out to the lowest bidder, with speed being the most important consideration for the builder. With many separate activities going on at the same time, it's nearly impossible for the builder / contractor to personally monitor all phases of the homes construction.

Every week we identify significant problems and deficiencies at newer homes that are over two years old and are up for sale. In many cases we discover these problems for our clients, the potential buyers of the newer home. Unfortunately for the sellers, a majority of their warranty coverage has now expired and the builder is no longer required to return to the home and correct the problems. Invariably, these defects would have been caught during a "warranty" inspection, and the homeowner could have saved, in some cases, thousands of dollars.

In summary, we encounter a full range of issues with new homes. During the New Home Inspection process we will describe what each problem is, and explain why it is a problem. When considering the value of a professional Halton New Home Inspection, remember, peace of mind can be priceless.

Is a home inspection a guarantee, warranty or insurance policy?
Due to limitations, and the restrictive nature of the home inspection, we cannot offer to guarantee a house. Our reports are an opinion based on a visual inspection of the accessible features of the home only at the time of the inspection. A home inspection is not technically exhaustive and all encompassing. Without dismantling the house or its systems, there are limitations. Throughout any inspection, inferences are often drawn which may not be confirmed by direct observation. Symptoms and clues may not reveal the extent a problem. It should be understood that while we can substantially reduce the risk, we cannot eliminate it, nor do we assume it. Some problems can only be discovered by living in a house and may not be discovered during a few hours of a home inspection. For example, some roofs may only leak during specific weather conditions. Other problems will only be discovered when carpet is lifted, when furniture is moved, or when finishes are removed. The Inspector's role is principally educational, to provide you with a better understanding of the house. The inspection is not a guarantee, warranty, or an insurance policy for the buyer or vendor. We would advise home buyers to ask the vendor if they are aware of any defects that may not be detected by a visual inspection.

For Home Sellers

What is a Pre-Listing Inspection/Consultation?
The process of the Pre-Listing Inspection is identical to a Pre-Purchase inspection but the goal of the inspection is different. The Consultation portion of the Pre-Listing Inspection is intended to provide you a better understanding of conditions which the buyers inspector may point out. This provides an opportunity to resolve, repair or improve issues putting the house in better selling condition. This may facilitate a smoother transaction by reducing negotiating points and bypassing annoying delays.

Do I have to repair everything wrong with the house?
While a Pre-Listing Inspection is not intended to be a "to do" or repair list for the home, many sellers take advantage of our consultation and do make some improvements that are recommended buy our inspector. The goal is to present the home as well maintained and safe. Sellers are not obligated to repair conditions noted in the report, nor are they required or expected to produce a flawless house. A home seller can make repairs as a matter of choice, not obligation.

Getting your home ready for the Home Inspection.
As the Seller, it is your responsibility to get the home ready for the inspection. The following suggestions will help make the house accessible to inspect.

  • Closets need to be cleared that access areas such as attics.
  • Access is required for crawlspaces, electrical panels, sub panels, furnace, air conditioner, water heaters, etc.
  • Excessive storage should not hinder or prevent inspection of specific areas.
  • Utilities need to be turned on and all gas appliances such as a gas fireplace should be ready to run. - Keys should be provided for any locked areas.
  • The inspector should be notified if there are any occupants of the home that may be sleeping, such as infants.
  • Aggressive or "escape artist" animals should be removed from the property to allow full, unencumbered access to all areas of the home.
  • The inspector should be notified of any items that should not be touched or operated due to condition or damage. ( ex: a faulty sink that leaks whenever turned on )