Below are some of the frequently asked questions about home inspections. If you do not find what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an unbiased professional opinion as to the condition of a dwelling based on a non-invasive examination of the readily accessible features and components of the house and property.
The inspection is a visual and physical examination of the property.
The inspector assesses the major areas (structure, roofing, exterior, electrical, heating, plumbing, air conditioning/heat pumps, interior/insulation) of the dwelling. The inspector is looking for any signs of damage or any deficiencies, as well as any safety issues.
A detailed report with all the findings is sent to the client following the inspection.
Who should have a home inspection?
For Buyers: Our Inspection and Report will:
- Help ease the Buyer's mind on the upcoming investment
- Highlight any potential problem or deficiency we find
- Include information about the home as well as pictures
- Include all major systems (structure, exterior, roofing, electrical, heating, plumbing, air conditioning, interior and insulation)
For Sellers: Our Inspection and Report will:
- Increase the Seller's confidence and could speed up the sale
- Allow the Seller to react to issues before negotiating
- Remove the Seller's impartiality towards their own house
- Increase the Seller's confidence with solid knowledge of the property’s condition and a report to back it up
- Provide full disclosure from an unbiased third party
Other reasons for a home inspection could be for warranty - giving the house a professional inspection before the home builder warranty expires or to maintain the warranty, or for maintenance - finding out what needs repair or monitoring, and when.
What should I look for in a home inspector?
Make sure the inspector is licensed and the company is licensed. All Alberta home inspectors and home inspection businesses must be licensed through Service Alberta
Make sure the inspector is a member of a home inspection association, such as InterNACHI. Being part of an association requires the member to be taking continuing education courses to ensure that the inspector is kept current. The inspector is bound to the Standards of Practice and the Code of Ethics from the Association.
Ask about the inspector's education/qualifications. If the inspector uses an infrared camera, is the inspector a certified thermographer. Is the inspector certified in any of the other special services provided.
The home inspector should have good communication skills. During the inspection, the inspector must be able to correctly convey the nature of his findings. The inspector must be able to properly write about the results of the home inspection in the report that is clear and understandable for the client.
Does the inspector/business carry Errors and Omissions insurance as well as General Liability insurance? Is the company bonded? All of these are requirements for Service Alberta licensing.
The Service Alberta website publishes a Consumer Tips article on Hiring a Home Inspector.
What should I expect during a home inspection?
Before the inspection starts, the standard contract (approved by Service Alberta) between the client and the inspector must be completed and signed. Both parties will get a copy of the contract before the inspection begins. The contract will outline what is included in the inspection. The contract is generally emailed to the client for signing, and then returned for Encompass to sign. This is usually completed a day or two (or more) in advance of the inspection date. In some instances, this could be done in person at the inspection site before the inspection starts. Payment for the inspection is made before the inspection commences. Payment can be handled on site (Visa, MasterCard, Debit) or by email transfer (the day prior to the inspection).
The inspection is a single, non-invasive, visual inspection of the readily accessible features and components of the property at the time of the inspection.
The inspector will systematically go through the entire house, inside and outside. This generally takes about 3-4 hours. During the inspection, you can accompany the inspector. As items are discovered, the inspector will identify them to you. Any question you have will be answered by the inspector.
Since the inspection is limited to non-invasive, the inspector cannot cause any damage to the property (unless the owner has given prior written consent). The inspector can test the systems, but cannot operate any safety or shut-off valves. Neither the inspector nor the Buyer can move furniture items, storage, etc. during the inspection, therefore relying on what is readily accessible for examining.
The inspector will provide the the client with a complete report of the findings in the house within the predetermined time frame specified in the contract.
How much does a home inspection cost?
The cost of a home inspection will vary depending on the type of dwelling (e.g. single family dwelling vs condo), size (square footage) of the house, features within the house (secondary suite, number of bathrooms, multiple fireplaces, etc.), age and condition of the property, any extra items to be inspected or to be excluded, etc.
Can I pay with a credit card?
We use a secure CHIP reader to process payments (not the small Square swipe readers that attach to a smart phone). We take payment by Visa, MasterCard or Debit right on site before the inspection begins. Another payment option is via email, but those have to be sent a day in advance of the inspection.
Do houses "pass" or "fail" a home inspection?
The purpose of a home inspection is to assess the various systems (e.g. heating, electrical, plumbing, structure, etc.) in the house. Therefore, the house does not "pass" or "fail". The report for the home inspection shows what was found. At that point, it is up to the client to examine the findings and determine the pros and cons of the house. With the inspection report in hand, the client can make an informed decision on what they want to do. If some potential repairs or shortcomings are identified as necessary, this will provide the Buyer with information on how to approach their pending purchase (such as to purchase as is, negotiate for repairs to be done before possession, negotiate for a lower price to cover the costs of repairs, etc.) The home inspector is providing information about the condition of the home to the client to assist in their decision, but the inspector does not give any advice on any of the purchase details.
No need to look any further ...
Feel free to contact us to:
- Request a free, no obligation quote
- Ask any questions
- Book your home inspection