Making Home Buying and Selling, an Informed Decision!

      

How Long does an inspection take?

Typically, an inspection with client participation, will take about 2 1/2 - 3 hours for a home, and 2 hours for most condominiums and townhouses, but can take longer depending on difficult access to all areas of the home, unique features such as the presence of pools, large properties, retaining walls, or weather.  In most cases, the written report is completed separate from this time allotment.  These are minimal times for a proper inspection.  An inspection covering 10 key areas of the typical home cannot be reasonably done in less time.

 

Should the Buyer attend the inspection?

Yes!   First time owners and owners who want to know more about the property they are investing in should attend the entire inspection.  We encourage all buyers to attend, but realize that not everyone can or wants to have this detailed knowledge.

 

Does the property owner need to be present during the inspection?

It is not common for the home owner to be present during a Buyer's inspection.

 

Do all Inspectors provide written reports of the inspection?

No!   If they are members in good standing with CAHPI,OAHI or ASHI, they MUST provide written reports on all inspections to meet the requirements of membership within these organizations.

 

Can the report be given to anyone?

No.  The report and its contents can be provided only to the individual who has contracted and paid for it.   That individual must provide in writing a release of the report for any other individual to review.


Inspection Fee's - Why so Varied?

The most accepted answer is tied to experience and membership in Provincial and or National organizations.  


Lower fees are quoted when the inspector does not carry insurance, has a lack of training, education, experience, formal governance, or the market place is 'overheated' and 'sharks' have entered the market pretending to be experts.   This latter situation occurred during the last real estate frenzy.

 

Quite often it is found that the inspection is without any written report - a walk-through or soft inspection - or contract!   

 

Credible inspectors will always provide a contract and a report, and their regulatory Association will demand ongoing minimal annual education that is audited, peer reviewed, and submission to audited minimal membership education standards as part of a staged membership status that is available to the public.


The tools that are used by the inspector do make a difference, but only if they have been trained to use them!


Anybody can acquire an IR Camera these days, but the training on how to use them, and more importantly, how to read the images, is very expensive and time consuming.  And no, IR cameras DO NOT TEST FOR WATER.  Remember that IR Thermography (IR Camera) is the measurement of heat differentials between 2 or more objects (in its simplest form).


How about the use of a drone to get to those high peaks on the roof?  Use of remote camera?  Moisture meter? Tools are very important in assisting in identifying issues and concerns.

 

The inspection went wrong.  What Can I Do?

It can happen that when the inspection was done, there were no visible signs of a problem.  The problem could only exist during unique weather conditions.   Or the inspector just made a mistake.   Should this be the case, before you do anything else, contact your inspector and notify him of the problem, and allow him to see the situation.  

 

If it is after a contractor has come in and opened the wall or ceiling that a problem is found, its too late.   Your inspector CANNOT disassemble, or do an invasive inspection, ever!    At the time of the inspection he is limited to doing a non-invasive, non-destructive visual viewing of the property using what tools that are available to "see" potential problems.   

OAHI/CAHPI Conference -2015

The annual conference to provide education, training and exposure to new and innovative processes, services, or 'war stories' was held March 6-8th.  The session offered insights into concerns and issues with wildlife intrusion (raccoon's in the attic), directions from industry leaders in IR Thermography and  concerns with the lack of training being seen of users of this technology as the price of equipment comes down, an in-depth review of issues and concerns with heating equipment, what tools the typical inspector needs today, the impact on roofs and the inspector with solar powered panels, a look at interior air quality and solutions, and numerous other topics.


 

Is the Home and Property Inspection Industry Regulated?

In the Province of Ontario, there is no government oversight or license requirements at this time.   


There is an ongoing movement and struck committees of both Federal and Provincial government levels, and recognized bodies from the industry such as CAHPI and OAHI, to setup national minimal standards, independent examination centres, independent Provincially regulated Colleges to provide formal education,  an independent regulatory and monitoring agency, and licensing for all Home and Property Inspectors.

 

Currently the province of British Columbia issues licenses, and Alberta will be licensing as of September 1, 2011.  


December 2013 - Update

The Ontario Government has established a formal panel of industry experts and government agencies with a proposal to have minimal standards and licensing in place for the Home Inspection industry in Ontario in place for 2015.  


The proposal requires practical as well as educational requirements, mandatory 3rd party examination, mandatory E&O and GL insurance, on-going continuing education minimums, and a license fee of $1,000 - the highest fee than any other province or territory is currently asking for to practice.


December 2014 - Update

A fast paced year has passed.  Regretfully, the Spring Provincial elections put the licensing issue on the side burner.  Currently, a new mandate has been given by the Liberal government to push ahead with current expectations for 2016.


New to home inspection industry is Alberta's commissioned request to the CSA group to define what a home inspection is to be.  This report will be released Spring 2015 with expected rollout to ALL provinces shortly afterwards. 


Although the committee was formed with a cross section of 'experts', only 6 of the 30 members  were from the home inspection industry!  The balance were government personnel, lawyers, doctors, educational field personnel, and realtors.  The latter group was the largest and it is reported they made no recommendations or suggestions.


The current feedback is a concern that the inspection process will become a multi-day and a minimum of $1,200 cost.  This is prohibitive to the home owner/buyer.


On the positive side, home inspectors will be recognized as a formal profession requiring formal education provincially, and must carry insurance and licensing.  This is great news for home owners and buyers IF the province's and the realtor's back up this national standard.  So far they have not.

 

October 2015 - Update

The inspection industry across all of Canada is now waiting upon the formal release of the CSA report for the Province of Alberta as to what  a Home Inspection will be. 


The delay in releasing this report was based upon industry feedback that was unheard of for any government research, and has forced them to defer releasing the report until they are able to respond correctly to the over 2,200+ questions that CSA acknowledges as being relevant. 


Are there National or Provincial Associations that hold Government Charters?

The national organization is the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors - CAHPI which has provincial chapters.   


The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors - OAHI is a registered organization with the province of Ontario (Bill Prl58 (Chapter Pr65 Statutes of Ontario, 1994)  An Act respecting the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors) and participates with CAHPI within the national organization.  These two bodies spearhead with the Canadian Government minimal educational requirements, ongoing education needs, and auditing of all there members to meet published and legally binding Standards of Practice.  This includes peer reviews, audited inspections, minimum education standards across all of the membership, and arbitration where required.

 

Are there other organizations that certify Inspectors?

Yes.   Some of these associations only certify that their members are part of the organization and have paid their dues!  This does not mean that they have met minimal education standards to do inspections or are peer reviewed.

 

Can Inspectors refer work to 3rd parties?

No and yes.  No, inspectors should not be referring or performing work based upon their inspections.  However, many homeowners look to us as an expert resource to assisting them identify or resolve issues that are found in the home.  Each association has rules governing what their members can do or offer. 


OAHI/CAHPI rules say that NO inspector may perform repairs, nor take  or receive any form of remuneration from a third party as a result of an inspection, and should provide referrals only where at least multiple vendors are provided with no specific statements on who to use.  It is a difficult position to be viewed as an expert resource!  You can understand our hesitancy on this issue.