1Why is it important to have a home inspected?
Pre-Purchase: It is advantageous for potential home buyer(s) to learn as much as possible about a house before committing to such a large purchase. An inspection can uncover existing problems or issues that will allow you negotiate the price, schedule repairs or even walk away from the deal. Pre-Listing: If you are planning to put your home on the market, it is always good idea to get an inspection done. This will help identify issues and correct them before listing. You will know the condition of your home and deal with the repairs/issues that may stall or delay the sale. Annual Maintenance: If you’re have lived in your home for many years but are not looking to sell or move - you can still benefit from an annual inspection to determine your home’s condition and ensure it is safe and sound for your family. It will help you budget for repairs that you may have overlooked or not aware of.
2What does a Standard Home Inspection include?
When performing an inspection, our home inspector will carry out a non- invasive examination of the property. The Inspector will look for patent defects that could easily be visually detected like foundation cracks and roofing issues We will examine the structural and mechanical elements of a home to determine the quality and functionality. This includes evaluating the heating (and air conditioning systems), visible areas of the plumbing and electrical systems, insulation, the roof and attic.
3Does your home inspector check appliances?
Appliances are not mandated in a home inspection, but at Arch Home Inspections, we test all major appliances for basic functionality (Turn off and on or short cycle). Older and portable appliances are never tested. Please be aware that appliances are mechanical and can break down or leak at any time. Please note we are not appliance technicians hence a full evaluation of appliances is simply not possible. You should check appliances on possession date. This is because the time the inspection was completed and you took possession will be about 2 months on average. Anything can happen in this time frame.
4My uncle knows a guy is in construction and he can do my inspection, thanks
A construction background is not comparable to the knowledge and background of a professional inspector who has conducted hundreds, or thousands, of home inspections. Construction knowledge is really a small part of the home inspection. A house is comprised of various systems all of which work together. Your inspector is objective – your friend or relative is not. A professional inspector’s judgment is not affected by affiliation. An experienced inspector is worth his weight in gold. He should be not only qualified, but certified and demonstrate that he has good experience with the process. The best associations have criteria that they require and expect of not only the inspector, but the report he produces afterwards. The report that is generated is crucial to the process, not only for the buyer but also the seller. Things should be clear. Things should be professional.
5Can I accompany the inspector during the home inspection?
We do encourage our clients to be present during the inspection process, as it allows you to walk through the home with our inspector, giving you the opportunity to address any immediate questions or concerns. It also let the inspector explain things that not covered in the report. You might want to know where certain shut-off valves are located, how systems work etc. The report will be easier to understand if you have been there and seen the house with the inspector. Try not to have too many people tag along, it can be extremely disruptive. We have seen clients bringing in their uncles and aunties - with tons of questions and assumptions. We recommend 2 persons maximum to come along. Make note of any possible questions or concerns you may have ahead of time. Too many questions during the actual inspection could and will disrupt your inspector. We appreciate you not climbing the ladders to get on roof and attic as accidents are known to happen. Our insurance doesn't cover you for damage or injury
6Should the seller(s) be present for the inspection?
As a Home Inspector, I appreciate the seller be there in the first few minutes so there can be a quick overview of the home I am inspecting. If the seller leaves his/her contact – it will help me liaise with him/her if there is something I need to reach out to. I have also noticed the inspection tends to go on very smoothly after the initial meet up with the seller. However, the answer to this question is NO. There are some things that work, and then there are some things that don’t work. Having the Seller present during an Inspection is something that often does not work! A Home Inspection, by its very design, is intended to be thorough and complete. I have experienced the Seller(s) become defensive and angry, if defects are found, or areas of “do-it-yourself” renovations are noted. Remember, this is your inspection: This is the time for you and the Inspector to look at the house and be able to freely discuss what you are seeing without fear of hurting someone’s (the Seller’s) feelings. When a Home Inspection is scheduled, it is important to emphasize this to your Realtor. If you happen to be purchasing a home without the services of a Realtor, then the responsibility of interacting directly with the seller, will be totally up to you. It can sometimes be difficult asking a seller not to be present, during the Inspection. After all, this is still his home. We have found, however, that if at all possible, it is the best route to take.
7Does the house pass/fail an inspection?
No, not really. A home inspection is a look at the house on the day of the inspection. It is not a code-compliance evaluation, city inspection or appraisal of market value. There is a huge market for buyers who are looking for properties that has not been cared for. Those buyers want to fix it up and sell it at a profit. Their objectives are different than the average buyer. Either way, the home inspection is a description of the house on that day. The home inspection is very important piece of the puzzle. Only you know all of the factors at play.
8Do you offer any warranties?
The answer is NO. A home inspection is a professional opinion based on the condition of the property on the day of inspection. Some problems can only be discovered by living in a house; they cannot be discovered during a home inspection. For example, some shower stalls leak when people use the shower but don’t leak when you simply turn on the shower. Some roofs and basements only leak when specific weather conditions exist. Some problems will only be discovered when carpets are lifted or when furniture or finishes are removed. There are some inspectors that offer 3rd party warranties- but please read the fine print of these warranties.
9Can u check if my house has MOLD?
The only way to determine if your home is free of hidden mold is to get an Indoor Air Quality Testing done and Certified by an Independent lab. The inspection is a visible non -invasive examination and will not detect of any issues behind drywalled areas of the home. The same goes with any pest issues. These are ancillary services and comes at an additional cost Remember- the seller has to legally disclose if the home has any past water damage or mold issues but there is no way or determining if the information is correct. Buyers who are already stressed out about the financial aspects of the purchase do not need additional surprise costs in unnecessary home repairs. At Arch Home Inspections- we are certified and trained to collect Air and Surface samples.
10Home Inspection fees/ Realtor referrals
It is an open fact that most people tend to price shop for the cheapest inspector or let the realtor pick their choice. Realtors are obliged to give out at least 5 names of inspectors to prevent conflict of interests. When you interview the inspector, be sure to ask their qualifications, experiences and professional affiliations. Be sure to ask questions and research reviews which are easily found via a google search as most have their own websites. Cost is probably NOT the best question to ask when hiring a Home Inspector since most of the senior inspectors charge about the same price. Keep in mind the amount of money you can save if you hire an experienced inspector that finds the big issues. For example, if your inspector determines the home needs a new roof, a leaky water tank, or foundation damage – the inspection just paid for itself. At Arch Home Inspections, we are experienced with thousands of inspections completed with over 1200 verified client reviews to date To request a quote on any of our services, feel free to contact us- 7 days a week.
11Do you take measurements?
No. There are various companies that specialize in this service. Your Realtor will be able to advise you.
12What kind of report do you give?
We use the Horizon reporting software, which is an online based reporting. This is an easy to read report with a summary page, digital photos and detailed notes. Your report will be ready a few hours after the inspection and sent by a link via email. It allows us to concentrate on the inspection on site and proof read the report before sending it out
13How much of notice do I give you?
We recommend that you allow at least three to five days to arrange for a home inspection. Time requirements will vary depending on season. If you need an urgent inspection, give us a call. We are a busy firm and are committed to quality and integrity so planning ahead will allow us to better serve you.
14What happens if I have questions after you’ve completed the inspection?
At Arch Home Inspections, we take pride in earning and keeping the trust of our customers for life. We make it a priority to provide continuous, professional service during every step of the inspection process for all our clients. If you ever have home related questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via a phone call, text or e-mail. We are available for as long as you need us
15If the home inspection reveals a really clean, well maintained home with few problems, should I have even gotten the home inspection to begin with?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report and will have that information for future reference. Peace of mind is worth a million bucks!
16What kind of payment methods do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards, check, e-transfer and cash 5% GST is applicable to all completed inspections
Many buyers arrive at their Home Inspection unprepared. They are not aware of what all is involved in an Inspection, so they are not able to adequately prepare for it. Due to this, sometimes a buyer will have questions or concerns arise about the home- often days after the inspection was performed. These questions could have been answered by the Inspector, had it been brought to his attention. The following sections will explain what a Home Inspection is, and what you as a buyer, can do to better prepare yourself for one. A typical Home Inspection can be separated into three distinct areas:
FAQ's FOR BUYERS
1Meet and Greet
This is when you meet your Home Inspector and the actual evaluation of the property takes place. The buyer should talk to the inspector prior to the inspection and indicate any specific concerns. It is beneficial for the buyer, especially a first-time buyer, to attend the inspection because its a leaning process and often exciting but also overwhelming
2How long does it take to do an Inspection?
An experienced inspector can complete a small condo/ apartment inspection within 1 ½ hours. A townhome may take about 2 -3 hours depending of the size.. A standard home under 2800 sq ft home will take about 3 hours on site. The actual timing will depend on the size and conditions of the home
3The Report and Summary
Most inspectors nowadays use a digital reporting system. Gone are the days where you should expect paper reports These reports are sent via e-mail within 24 hours with digital photos and observations on site. If you are present, the inspector can do a walk through and summarize any significant defects that are observed during the inspection. Communication is key as you can interact with the inspector and leave the inspection with a very clear idea of the property you are planning to purchase or invest. If you are getting a home maintenance or pre-listing inspection- you will have a better idea of what needs to be done/ fixed. If you are not present, a phone conversation with a report will make it easier to understand what the issues are.
4There are so many things on this report. I'm freaking out !!!
RELAX and YES take a deep breath . Most people freak out when reading reports believing there are tons of issues when they see a report between 20- 60 pages long. This normally happens when clients dont show up on the inspection and just rely on the report. It all depends on what the Home Inspector observed on the property. Depending on the age of the home, most will be maintenance issues. It is important to go through the report with your inspector to get a very clear picture of the home.
5Resources after the Inspection
Your Inspector should make himself available after the Inspection - to clarify or answer any questions you may have about the Inspection and Report. An Inspector can be an invaluable resource for you, long after you have moved in. He can help provide you with referrals for contractors, advice and tips on home repairs, etc. Most Inspectors will not charge you for consultation over the telephone. If you need a re-inspection - expect a fee to be involved.
How Sellers Can Help Prepare For a Home Inspection:
Home sellers quite frequently ask, "What will a home inspector be looking for in my home and how can I be more organized for the home buyers inspection?"
Informed sellers can make the home inspection process easier and faster, ensuring a more thorough and accurate inspection
Here is a list that may be helpful for you in preparing your house for a home buyer's inspection.
Many of these items can be done at little or no cost and are part of a regular maintenance program for any home.
FAQ's FOR SELLERS
If the house is vacant, make sure all utilities are turned on before the inspector arrives. This includes water, electricity, furnace, gas fireplaces and the water heater because they will need to be inspected.
2Tenanted Home/ Occupied
Most tenants are quite clean. However, many are not. Tenants sometimes do not co-operate to an inspection. Sad but true but there is very little you can do in such situations and hope for the best. If you live in the home - make it presentable by cleaning and tidying up. As a Home Inspector its difficult to inspect a home when there is so much stuff or clothes all over the flooring.
The Home Inspector will inspect both the interior and exterior. Ensure all exterior doors are accessible, door locks are working and keys available for locked doors i.e. sheds etc. Remove storage from around the home so the foundation is readily visible. There should be 6-8 inch of clearance to the ground. Trim trees and branches that are in contact with the roof and side of home. Gutters should be cleaned and disconnected downspouts repaired. If your roof is full of moss/ algae- its about time to hire a contractor to clean it and repair any damaged surfaces
The Home Inspector needs to move around. Be sure all doorways, windows and closets are accessible. Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition. Time to shampoo the carpets if you havent done so in a long time. The Inspector needs to get into the attic and any crawlspace. Remove anything thats blocking entry. If you have a crawlspace, time to have a peek inside to ensure there will no surprises- like pests, water damage etc.
5Plumbing (Kitchen and Bathrooms)
Repair any known leaks and all malfunctioning components, i.e. loose faucet handles, inoperable sink stoppers, ventilation fans and loose/broken toilet seats. Take all those plastic bags and cleaning materials from under the sinks. One of the biggest frustrations is when we see DIY work done by owners who try to save money. Never a good idea- always hire a licensed plumber to ensure everything is done correctly.
The inspector will need clearance to access the electrical panel(s). If they are blocked, please remove all belongings or pictures. for easy access. Time to replace all burned or missing light bulbs. Check all switches and receptacles, replace damaged or missing cover plates. Call your local electrician to help you with any electrical work. You dont want any improper work or accidents to happen. Replace smoke alarms if they are more than 10 years old. The law states your smoke alarms must be in working condition.
7Heating and Cooling
When did you last service the furnace/boiler? Are your ducts clean or full of debris? Get your service technician service the heating components- including the fireplaces. Ensure the technician place a service sticker- it does help and keep the receipts handy. If you have a wood burning fireplace, it should be cleaned and certified. Again, please hire a professional- DIY is never a good idea.
As a Home Inspector - I love pets. But I am there to inspect your home, not to look after your pets. I. have been close to bitten and attacked by dogs and cats and its unpleasant. I do not want your pets running out and getting injured or killed. It will be traumizing for all. These are your pet (s), so be responsible for them.
9Cars in Garages
We know you have that one beautiful Corvette/Harley that you drive or ride in summer. Nice choices but we are here to do a job. Please remove your vehicles for the period of the inspection as the areas needs to be inspected. The Home Inspector needs to check the garage and garage door for proper operations and dont want any accidents.
10Will I get a copy of the Inspection Report ?
The answer is NO. The inspection is done for the buyer(s). The report belongs to them