about your house
                                                                                                         ...
About Your House
Hir ing a H ome Inspe cto r




If problems or symptoms beyond the           that they are a home inspect...
About Your House
                                                                                                         ...
About Your House
 Hiring a Home Inspector




    To find more About Your House fact sheets plus a wide variety of informa...
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Hiring A Home Inspector (Cmhc)

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Hiring A Home Inspector (Cmhc)

  1. 1. about your house CE 35 Hir ing a Home Inspector It’s often said that one of the most the components that are not Scope of the inspection expensive and important purchases performing properly as well as items you will ever make will be your home. that are beyond their useful life or are Home inspections are intended to However, unlike the guarantee a buyer unsafe. They will also identify areas provide information regarding the receives with most purchases, there’s no where repairs may be needed or where condition of systems and components money-back guarantee or return policy there may have been problems in the of the home at the time of the if you’re not satisfied with your recently past. Inspections are intended to inspection. It will help you make an purchased home. Once you buy a provide the client with a better informed purchase decision. home, you’re on your own to maintain understanding of property conditions, The home inspector will provide a it, repair it, anticipate problems and as observed at the time of the visual inspection by looking at the pay the bills. This is why it’s best to inspection. home’s various systems, including know as much as you can about interior and exterior components. A pre-purchase inspection for a potential problems before you make The inspector will check exterior 165 to 205 m2 (1,800 to 2,200 sq. ft.) the commitment to buy. components including roofing, home typically takes about three hours and costs around $500. Following the flashing, chimneys, gutters, What home and property downspouts, wall surfaces, windows, inspection, the buyer is presented with inspectors do a written report, consolidating the doors, the foundation and the grading details of the inspection. The home around it. One of the best ways to understand about a home’s condition, habitability inspector should be willing to answer Note that if the inspection takes place and safety is to hire a professional any questions a buyer might have and in the winter, the roof and the home inspector1. A properly trained to clarify the limitations of the foundation may not be fully visible home inspector will review your house inspection to avoid misunderstandings. for inspection if they are covered with as a system, looking at how one CMHC recommends that potential snow and ice. For safety and insurance component of the house might affect buyers accompany the inspector as reasons, the home inspector would not the operability or lifespan of another. the inspection takes place. It can be typically climb up on snow or ice Home inspectors will go through a valuable learning experience. covered roofs. However, the home the property and perform a inspector will inspect the roof from the comprehensive visual inspection to ground or other vantage point. This assess the condition of the house and also applies to the chimney and all of its systems. They will determine downspouts. 1 Property inspectors inspect commercial properties. Many inspectors perform both home and property inspections.
  2. 2. About Your House Hir ing a H ome Inspe cto r If problems or symptoms beyond the that they are a home inspector. That is name of only one home inspector. They scope of the inspection are found, the why it is important to choose an are, however, permitted to provide a list home inspector may recommend inspector wisely. of home inspectors from which you can further evaluation. choose. Reputable home and property inspectors Interior systems the home inspector generally belong to a provincial or The only alliance home inspectors will check include electrical, heating, regional industry association. These should have is to their professional air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, associations have set standards, which, association and their only allegiance insulation, flooring, ceiling and walls, in some cases, are recognized by should be to the homebuyer. windows and doors. Note that a home provincial governments. Some inspector is not qualified to inspect a associations have developed membership 2. How long has the home wood-burning appliance such as a categories based on the individual inspector been in business? fireplace or wood stove unless they are members’ qualifications. In most The competence of a house inspector WETT (Wood Energy Technology provinces, a member cannot advertise can be expected to improve with the Training) certified. Many home or promote his or her membership in number of years in business and the inspectors are, but do not carry out the association until they have reached number of home inspections a WETT inspection as part of the the minimum standards of a practicing conducted. Experienced home standard home inspection unless it member. Standards may vary from inspectors will be better prepared to is requested. This is an extra request province to province. assess the condition of the house. and will add at least one hour to The Canadian Association of Home and the inspection time. To be properly Property Inspectors (CAHPI) with the 3.What are the home inspected, a chimney must first be support of CMHC, Human Resources inspector’s qualifications? cleaned. and Social Development Canada and Look for people who belong to a As with the outside of the home, the the Construction Sector Council, provincial association and who have inspection of the interior systems is developed a voluntary national taken inspection courses such as: defect visual, meaning that the inspector accreditation and certification program recognition, building sciences, and will be unable to see behind walls to help ensure the competency and home construction. Professional home or under the floor. professionalism of home inspectors. inspectors are typically bound by a Home inspectors who have met the Unless otherwise arranged, typically a strict code of ethics and must adhere to requirements of this national home inspection does not include specific standards of practice. certification program are designated appraisals, exact quotes for repairs, or Knowledgable home inspectors will National Certificate Holders. determine compliance with regulatory have a general understanding of all the requirements. A home inspection is not The following questions/answers have various systems and components in a intended to provide warranties or been prepared to help you to choose a home. Many have practical experience guarantees. home inspector: or a background in engineering, construction and related building Choosing a home trades. 1. How do I find a home inspector inspector? Keep in mind that at this time, Home inspection is a discipline that Check association websites, the Yellow anyone can become a member requires special training, knowledge PagesTM or housing or home trade of a home inspection association. and communication skills. magazines. Ask friends or family Many associations have different levels However, there is presently no members. Your real estate agent may of membership. Being an association mandatory certification and no also make a suggestion. However, be member does not necessarily mean that legislated requirement for home aware, under provincial regulations for a member has successfully completed a inspectors to take any courses or to some provinces, and the code of ethics certification process. Check to make have passed any tests. Anyone can say for real estate agents, agents are not sure that the inspector has successfully permitted to recommend or provide the completed the association’s certification process. 2 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  3. 3. About Your House H i r i n g a Home Inspect or 4. How do I know that a home 7. Does the home inspector Note that some builders have policies inspector has the necessary conduct inspections at night? concerning who may be present during qualifications? the pre-delivery inspection so it’s best It is not desirable to conduct an to inquire with the builder during the You should ask to see proof of inspection at night, since a number negotiation of the sales agreement their membership in a provincial of the vital components of the exterior whether or not this is possible. association. In most provinces, of the house cannot be seen properly. a member cannot advertise their You should also be aware that membership in the association until 8.Where can I get more pre-delivery inspections are fairly they have reached the minimum information about the home specialized and not all home inspectors standards of a practicing member. inspector and/or his/her firm? have experience in this area. If you have The association in your province will permission from the builder to bring a The home inspector may point you be pleased to clarify their membership home inspector to your PDI, to the firm’s website, to their industry categories and any particular inspector’s enquire if the inspector has the association, provide company details, membership level. Inspectors meeting knowledge/experience to conduct list inspector qualifications or describe the requirements of CAHPI’s National this type of inspection. a range of services offered. Certification Program have a National Certificate Holder designation. 9.What should a home inspector A final note : provide following the inspection CMHC does not recommend or 5. Can the home inspector and when will I receive it? endorse any individual home inspector provide three references? The home inspector generally provides or association. CMHC supports Any qualified home inspector should national uniform standards of a written report reviewing every major gladly provide this information upon competency for home inspectors. home system and component within 24 request. Call the people named as hours of the inspection. For more information on the references and ask whether they were satisfied with the service they received 10. Should I hire a home inspection industry’s National from the inspector. You can also check Certification Program, please refer to inspector to inspect my new with the Better Business Bureau. the National Certification Authority’s home? website http://www.nca-anc.com/ 6. Can the home inspector also A pre-delivery inspection (PDI) may be be hired to do repairs a requirement in closing the purchase or improvements? of a new home. During the pre-delivery inspection, the homebuyer and builder Many home inspectors associations inspect the home to ensure both parties have code of ethics that prevent home are satisfied that the conditions of the inspectors from offering services to sales agreement have been met, any repair or improve homes they have outstanding work, and warrantable inspected. While they may provide you defects or deficiencies, are identified. If with a personal opinion based on past you do not feel that you have the experience, it is recommended that knowledge to judge whether or not you obtain three independent quotes your new home meets the conditions from qualified contractors. set out in the agreement you could retain a home inspector to help you. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 3
  4. 4. About Your House Hiring a Home Inspector To find more About Your House fact sheets plus a wide variety of information products, visit our Web site at www.cmhc.ca.You can also reach us by telephone at 1 800 668-2642 or by fax at 1 800 245-9274. Free Publications About Your House fact sheets Hiring a contractor Order No. 62277 Sample Renovation Contract Order No. 62351 Understanding Window Terminology Order No. 62031 ©2001, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Printed in Canada Produced by CMHC 22-10-07 Revised 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 Although this information product reflects housing experts’ current knowledge, it is provided for general information purposes only. Any reliance or action taken based on the information, materials and techniques described are the responsibility of the user. Readers are advised to consult appropriate professional resources to determine what is safe and suitable in their particular case. Canada Mortgage and 62839 Housing Corporation assumes no responsibility for any consequence arising from use of the information, materials and techniques described.

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