A common question that potential home buyers will ask any home inspector is, “What will be included in the inspection report?” The best way to answer that question is to help inform the client and shape their expectations by understanding not just what we will look at, but also outlining what is not included.
Our certified and professionally licensed inspectors will inspect your prospective new home to the detailed standards set out by the Government of Alberta by using the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) Standards of Practice. After the physical inspection is done, we will give you a comprehensive and insightful home inspection report that includes looking at the conditions of the prospective house.
A standard home inspection is a visual and functional, non-invasive inspection of the readily accessible major systems of the home. This includes inspecting the Roof and Exterior; the Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace, and Structure; the Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing systems; Electrical; Attic, Insulation, and Ventilation; Fireplaces and Chimneys; as well as Doors, Windows, and the interior.
Home inspectors are generalists, not specialists. We will use a broad area of knowledge to help identify potential issues that may exist with your home at the time of the inspection. Some of these issues may be a good indication of things to come, but that does not mean an inspector will predict the life expectancy of the home systems. The inspection report will identify things that are visually evident on the day of the inspection.
A standard home inspection is not able to identify all issues that are hidden behind walls or under floor coverings, etc. The home inspection can not identify issues that are concealed, whether intentionally or not, under furniture or stored items, by the current homeowner. The inspector will do their best to provide you with as much information as possible, but they do not have the ability to see through drywall or wall coverings and are not permitted to move personal property or furniture belonging to the current owner.
Our inspectors are Infrared certified, but the entire home will not be thermally imaged for energy efficiency during a standard home inspection. The inspector may, at their discretion, choose to use an Infrared camera during the inspection as a supplemental tool to help identify some general issues or deficiencies. Infrared cameras can not find cracks in the foundations of a finished foundation, nor can they identify mold, although they may be able to detect evidence of moisture that may be associated with these issues.
During a standard home inspection, an inspector is not specifically looking for mold, asbestos, air quality, Radon, or insects. That said, if the inspector sees something during their visual and non-invasive inspection of the accessible systems of your home which they suspect to be one of these items, they will tell you of their suspicion and suggest that you have a specialist in the particular area of concern investigate and do further testing.
The inspector will check that systems of the home respond to normal operating controls and open certain panels, like the furnace access panel, that are intended for the homeowner to access in typical day to day functions. The home inspection is not technically exhaustive, which means that while the inspector will visually look at the overall condition of home systems, that can not always identify individual components of those systems that may at some point require repair or replacement, like small individual parts of the greater furnace system for example.
In regards to wood burning fireplaces and their associated chimneys, a standard home inspection is not a WETT (Wood Energy Transfer Technology) inspection. This goes outside the realm of a generalist inspection and is something that should always be looked at by a WETT specialist.
Lastly, your inspector will neither pass or fail your home, nor will they tell you the cost of potential repairs, or if your home is listed for a fair price. What they will do is provide you with as much information as possible to help you make a well-informed decision before you choose to close the deal or not. Buying a home can be a stressful transaction, but we hope to help give you some extra peace of mind before you sign your name on the dotted line.
More information on the details of the InterNACHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics can be found at:
Let's unpack what is included in a standard home inspection.
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