Is My Foundation Failing?

When looking for a new home on the market, it’s always important to remember that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ home. Every home, whether it is a century-old or a brand new build, is more than likely to have some issues, ranging from cosmetic, to minor to major. However, one thing you definitely don’t want to encounter when you’re buying a home is issues with the foundation. It is very important to understand the most common signs of existing foundation problems, and a reputable home inspector is the best resource for identifying issues related to a home’s foundation. 

What are the Most Common Foundation Problems?  

Bulges and Curves – The presence of bulges or curves within block foundation or concrete walls are a good indicator of foundational movement. In Canada, our climate and extreme temperatures cause soil to contract and expand, which in some cases puts pressure on the foundation walls in turn. 

Cracking – Post-excavation, the soil surrounding the foundation of a home is loose. When the soil eventually settles causing nearby vibrations to occur, cracks in your foundation can happen. 

Leaking – If there are cracks in the foundation of your home, this can cause major problems. In most cases, plastic perforated piping (also known as weeping tile) is installed on the outside of the foundation footing to trap accumulating water. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always prevent moisture from getting in. Ultimately, when too much water gets into these cracks, you’ll find yourself with a leaky basement that becomes a damp, wet, and poorly ventilated space that has ideal conditions for mold to grow. 

What are the Warning Signs of a Faulty Basement or Foundation? 

During a pre-purchase home inspection, the home inspector will pay special attention to the foundation and will thoroughly inspect for signs of foundation problems. Ignoring these issues and hoping they go away is not a good option, foundation problems don’t disappear or resolve overnight! In fact, foundation problems will worsen over time, and while they may not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the home, they will likely become dangerous over an extended period of time if left uninspected and unaddressed.  

Some of the most common signs of foundation problems are:  

-Cracking of the Interior/Exterior Brickwork 

-Bowing or Honeycombing/Flaking of the Walls 

-Imbalanced, Uneven, or Sloping Floors 

-Gaps or Cavities between the Walls and the Floor or Ceiling 

-Dampness in the Walls or the Presence of Mold 

-Cracked Floor Tiling  

-Doors and/or Windows that no Longer Fit in their Frames  

It is normal and common for shrinkage cracks to appear in most poured concrete foundations, which are a result of the concrete drying and curing. These cracks typically are less than ⅛, of an inch, and are generally regarded as par for the course. That being said, taking the time to seal any crack (even the tiny ones) can be a great way to guard against water damage or leakage.  

What Causes Foundation Problems? 

Problems related to a home’s foundation can affect all types of foundations, whether it is poured concrete, pier and beam, or another type of foundation. Any type of structure can be affected regardless of how old or young the house is, so it is very important to understand the causes behind these types of problems and how they can be prevented.  

Foundation issues most often occur when there is movement of the soil beneath the structure. As movement occurs, the building will also be forced to move. This usually results in settlement cracks, which in turn can result in a water or moisture issue because of poor drainage. Sometimes, this movement is caused by extreme weather events such as an earthquake, hurricanes, or extreme temperatures.  

How Much does it Cost to Fix a Falling Foundation? 

The cost of repairing foundation issues can depend on the severity and extent of the problem. Repairing minor cracks, for instance, will cost a whole lot less than repairing a home that has settled or sunk into the ground. Generally speaking, crack repair in a foundation can cost between $500-1000 per crack. Fixing a foundation that leaks can cost as much as $8,000 or more. When there are major issues with the foundation of a home it can be very expensive, difficult, and stressful to fix. 

How Can a Home Inspection Help with Foundation Problems? 

Whether you are hoping to purchase a new home, or are concerned about foundation problems in your existing home, having a reputable home inspector conduct a thorough examination of the foundation is very important. The findings from the home inspection will help to inform you about your next steps and how the issue can be resolved. Just as you wouldn’t want to buy a car with faulty steering, you won’t want to buy a home with significant foundation problems either. A home inspection equips you with all the information you need to make the best decision about your home, or potential new home. If you want to learn more about foundation problems and how a home inspector can help, contact us at Building Insights today!   


Why Does My Basement Stink?

Have you ever started down the stairs towards your basement, only to be met with an unpleasant smell? Or have you brought things out of basement storage only to find they smell moldy or musty? While there are many reasons your basement might stink, it is essential to identify the source of the odor. In some cases, a basement becomes smelly due to an unresolved water or mold issue and this can be not only unpleasant but can pose a health and safety risk. In older homes especially, there’s a good chance that there will be some issue with moisture in the basement, which can result in some of these unpleasant smells. Even if you’ve installed a sump pump, it may not be enough to combat the moisture and mold. Sometimes these smells are related to blockages in the plumbing, vents, drains, or HVAC system. A reputable home inspector can help you determine the cause of the odor and advise you on what possible repairs or installations will work to remedy the problem.

Is it Normal for a Basement to Smell Musty?

Basements present ideal conditions for a mold or mildew problem, resulting in a musty smell that can be stubborn and difficult to remove. Because some (or all) of the walls of a basement are built underground, the cold, damp soil that surrounds the walls can leech moisture into the basement. Moisture can also get into a basement from improper drainage or standing water issues. Mold and mildew thrive in areas where there is substantial humidity. While it is not nice to have a stinky basement, it is a common issue, especially in older homes.

What Causes a Smelly Basement? Why Does the Basement Smell Like Sewage?

Some of the most common causes of a stinky basement are:

High Moisture Levels – Water and moisture will find a way into the basement if there is one. Whether that is due to cracks in the drywall or flooring, improper ventilation, condensation build-up, or standing water. High moisture levels can also be the result of appliances that were installed incorrectly or do not have adequate drainage and ventilation.

Sewage/Plumbing Issues – If your basement has a sewage-type odor (as opposed to a musty smell) there is likely an issue with the drains in the basement floor. These rarely-used floor drains in your basement are the most common source of the sewer smell. They are designed with a trap to hold a minimal amount of water which works to seal the pipe and prevent sewer gases from escaping into your home. Over time, that seal can break as the water in the drain dries up, and can result in the release of sewer gas into the basement and result in an unfortunate odor. In some cases, a sewage smell in a basement can be due to the sewer line being damaged. If the damage is close enough to your home, sewage water (and its smell!) can back up into your home.

Animal Smells – Sometimes, a smelly basement can be the result of something unrelated to moisture, drains, or sewage. The most common of these are animal smells. Whether it is cat urine, animal feces, or the smell of a decomposing animal, these odors can be incredibly potent and difficult to remedy.

How Do You Get Rid of Basement Smells?

The first and most important step towards a nice-smelling basement is to identify the source of the smell. Start by doing a visual inspection of your basement, keeping an eye out for any signs of standing water, moisture damage, or mold. It can also be helpful to identify what kind of smell you are experiencing, as that will help to narrow down the possible causes. In many cases, identifying the source of the smell can prove to be very tricky and should be left to a professional home inspector to identify.

Once the source of the smell has been identified, the next steps will depend on the cause and severity of the smell. A home inspector can not only help to identify the source but can also offer sound advice on how to proceed. Some basements may require significant repairs, reinforcement of the walls, or the installation of a sump pump. In some cases, the floor drains may need to be resealed or completely replaced.

Basement smells can be stubborn and upsetting, and getting rid of them isn’t always simple or easy. A reputable home inspector is your best resource when it comes to eliminating this type of problem. If you want to learn more about how a home inspector can help with a stinky basement or to schedule a home inspection, contact us at Building Insights today!


The Importance of Inspecting for Mold When Buying a New Home

For many people when considering the purchase of a new home, mold is the last thing they are thinking about. As potential buyers walk through a possible new home, they may be thinking about where their furniture will fit, how much work the yard will take to maintain, the amount of storage the home has, and other things of that nature. It is very important, however, to never overlook the possibility of the presence of mold. This can result in a very unwelcome and expensive surprise down the road. There are a few main reasons why it is so important to inspect for mold when buying a new home, the most significant is that mold can pose a serious health risk to the inhabitants of the home. It can also be expensive and stressful to remove the mold and repair damaged areas.

Can Mold in a Home be Dangerous?

The most important reason to check a new home for the presence of mold is that mold can carry some serious health and safety concerns. Mold is not only unpleasant to look at, it can also be very dangerous and can affect the structural integrity of the home.

There are some strains of mold, most notably toxic black mold known as Stachybotrys chartarum, that can result in serious health concerns, ranging from respiratory issues (such as coughing, wheezing, and a runny or congested nose), to skin rashes, chronic fatigue, and recurring headaches.

In addition to possible health risks, if mold is left untreated, it can cause significant structural damage to the home. By nature, mold consumes organic material, such as fabric, wood, and drywall which are in essence the materials that make up the structure of a house.

What Happens if a Home Inspection Finds Mold? What Happens if you Buy a House and Find Mold?

If the presence of mold is discovered before the purchase of the home is finalized, the buyer can often negotiate a credit or reduction in the home price for having the work and mold remediation done, or ask the seller to eliminate the mold themselves. If the mold is not discovered until after the purchase of the home is final, the cost to clean the mold and repair the damage is completely the responsibility of the new owner.

Is Treating for Mold After Purchasing Your Home Expensive?

In the situation that mold is found after the purchase of the home, the cost to remediate the issue can range anywhere from $700 to $7000 or more depending on how widely and severely the home is affected.

This financial cost comes in addition to the stress and effort involved with clearing out the space that is affected by mold, and ensuring that all materials in the space are effectively treated, and eventually getting everything back in place once the remediation of the mold is finished.

How is a Home Treated for Mold?

During the mold treatment, a specialist starts by cleaning the affected area including a large area around it. The specialist will then spray a chemical that works by trapping any spores that may still be in the air. Then they will use a special HEPA vacuum to clean the carpet and remove any other mold that may be present in the fibers of the carpet.

How Do You Know if a Home Should be Inspected for Mold? What are The Signs of Mold to Look For?

The most obvious sign that a home should be inspected for mold is the presence of any visible signs of mold – regardless of how minor or insignificant, they may seem. In the case where mold growth is visible, there are likely larger areas of mold growth that aren’t visible, and that area should be checked thoroughly by a mold inspector as soon as possible.

In some cases, where there is no visible mold, a home inspector may find signs of potential mold such as standing water around an HVAC system or in a basement, high levels of humidity in certain spaces, signs of water damage in the walls, floors or ceilings, and/or the presence of earthy or musty smells.

If any of these signs are present in the home, or your home inspector finds any areas of concern related to mold, it’s important to schedule a mold inspection with a specialist. It is also important to note that mold can be present even when there are no obvious signs or visible areas of concern within the home.

Always remember, mold isn’t only unsightly, it is also a significant health and safety hazard. Inspecting for mold is very important any time it may be suspected to be present, so you can move into your new home worry-free. A thorough and reputable home inspector will always take the care and time required to identify any areas of concern related to mold. If you want to learn more about how a home inspector inspects for mold and what you should do if mold is found, or to schedule a home inspection, contact us at Building Insights today!


What Should You Ask a Home Inspector?

Purchasing a new home can be very exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. Imagine falling in love with your dream home, only to discover a moldy basement or pest infestation when you move in. When it comes to buying a house, it is important for the buyer to have as much information as possible before closing the deal. This is where home inspectors come in! A home inspection is a very important step in the process of buying a new home and many buyers wonder if they should be present for the inspection. While it isn’t mandatory, most home inspectors will advise that potential buyers be present. This gives the buyer an opportunity to see everything first hand through the eye of the inspector, as well as ask any pertinent questions and highlight any particular areas of concern.  

What Questions Should I Ask During a Home Inspection? 

There are a few key questions you should be prepared to ask the home inspector before, during, and after the inspection has been completed.  

What Qualifications Do You Have?  

It is very important to ensure that the building inspector you are working with has the right credentials and qualifications to conduct a thorough and accurate inspection. You will want to find a home inspector who is appropriately certified, insured, experienced, and is a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. It is also important to note that trustworthiness and integrity cannot be awarded, bought, or certified, so do your research before selecting your home inspector. 

What Can You Tell Me About the Condition of the Roof? 

During the inspection of the roof, inquire about the condition of the shingles and whether any of them are buckling, coming away, or missing. You should also ask your inspector to evaluate the eavestroughs and the overall condition of the roof. If it should have significant signs of wear and tear or it is badly weathered it may need to be replaced.  

How Well Does Drainage Occur Around the Exterior? 

You and your inspector should take a walk around the exterior of the home and look for any signs of drainage issues such as standing puddles and looking to see that the ground slopes away from the home as it should. Your inspector will also look for missing downspouts or other areas of concern related to water drainage.  

How Well Has the Home Been Insulated? 

The quality and condition of the insulation of the home will have a direct effect on your heating and cooling costs. You will also want to know what kind of insulation is used and whether the basement is well insulated as well. A properly insulated basement is key when it comes to preventing mold and mildew.  

How is the Foundation and Structural Integrity of the Building? 

The building inspector will check the foundation of the house, ensure that the building is structurally sound and identify any cracks or damage they may find. If they do find any cracks, ask what kind of cracks they are as well as their size.   

How is the HVAC System in the Home? 

The building inspector will run the HVAC system during the inspection to make sure it is in good working order. You can also ask how old the system is and whether the system has been properly installed, serviced, and maintained. 

How is the Plumbing in the Home? 

The home inspector will look at all drains, faucets, toilets, water heaters, as well as the temperature and pressure of the water in the home. A good home inspector will also make note of any stains or signs of water damage as they may indicate an issue with the plumbing system.  

How is the Electrical in the Home? 

It is very important to ensure that the home’s electrical system is in good condition and up to code. The home inspector will look for such things as faulty wiring, location of outlets, parts that are worn or broken, upgrades or replacements that weren’t done correctly, or anything that could compromise the safety of the home and its residents.  

Did you Find any Signs of Mice or Other Pests? 

During the inspection, the inspector will also look for signs of a pest infestation or the presence of unwanted critters. These pesky creatures can cause major damage to the foundation and structure of the home.  

What Does a Home Inspector not Check? 

There are some things that a home inspector isn’t able or qualified to check. Some of these include chimneys and fireplaces, the presence of such things as mold (if not visible), radon, or asbestos, swimming pools, and septic systems. In most cases, inspections of these items must be conducted by a specialist.  

A home inspector will not move heavy furniture to access areas. If there is a particular area of concern, this needs to be communicated to the homeowner before the inspection so they can ensure access to the area.  

Essentially, a home inspection is a thorough visual and practical assessment of the home. Home inspectors don’t have x-ray vision so they cannot see what is beyond the drywall or under the floors.  

What’s Next? 

Once the home inspection is complete and you’ve received your report, it is important to take the time to go over the report thoroughly and ensure you understand all the information it contains. You can also contact the inspector after the fact to ask any questions you may have about the report or the home. It is the job of the home inspector to make sure you have all the information available to make the best decision about a home for your family. If you want to learn more about the building inspection process or schedule an inspection, contact Building Insights today!  


Should I get a Home Inspection on New Construction?

When purchasing an existing home, there is essentially no question about whether or not to get a home inspection. It is so important to cover your bases and make sure you have as much information as possible before submitting an offer. However, when it comes to new builds, this decision may not seem as straightforward, and many people wonder if a home inspection is really necessary. After all, why would you need an inspection on a home that is brand new, supposedly in perfect condition, and in some cases designed and built to your preferences? Experts agree that conducting a building inspection on a new build is incredibly important for several reasons. 

Is it Standard to Conduct a Home Inspection on a New Build?

The sale of a newly built home usually includes a final walkthrough, but may not include a home inspection. In most cases, buyers will opt to arrange their own inspection of a new build before closing the deal. In some rarer cases, buyers who have been very involved with the building and design process and have been present at the site throughout construction may opt to forego a home inspection because they feel they already have enough information about the state and quality of the home. Most experts agree, whether it is a house that is a hundred years old, or one that is brand new, a home inspection is a standard part of the home buying process. 

Why Should I Get a New Home Inspected?

Brand new homes are attractive to buyers because many assume that a new build will be completely free of issues. The truth is, it is relatively common to find problems in a new home simply because it is brand new. While you are unlikely to encounter problems with the plumbing or electrical systems in the home, as well as cosmetic or major structural issues, new homes can still have issues. Sometimes contractors work too fast or are doing the bare minimum to get the house up to code. In some cases builders or contractors are outsourcing smaller projects to several or many other vendors, making proper oversight of the entire project difficult. It is also important to remember that mistakes do happen, and problems can occur that would have been unavoidable. 

The bottom line is this: no one should assume that their home is perfect just because they are the first owners. 

What Kind of Issues Could be Uncovered on a New Build?

Some of the most frequently seen issues with the interior of a new build are: 

  • Humidity Inside the Home
  • Problems with Doors and Windows Sticking
  • Nail Pops in the Drywall
  • Flooring Issues
  • Appliances (particularly the installation should be thoroughly checked)
  • Truss uplift 
  • Cracks in the Drywall

When Can a Home Inspection Happen on a Newly Constructed Home?

A home inspection can be arranged at any time, and some people choose to schedule two inspections, one to take place before the drywall is installed (which allows the inspector to evaluate the framing of the house as well as the plumbing and electrical systems), and another to occur after the drywall is in place. This final inspection (if you choose to do more than one) should be scheduled as late as possible in the construction process, and ideally after the city has done its final approvals. 

If you encounter a builder who opposes or questions your choice to hire an independent home inspector, this should be viewed as a red flag and in no way should deter you from proceeding with the inspection. A reputable builder should have no issue with a home inspection taking place on their work. In fact, if they stand by their work, they will welcome a home inspection. 

As the buyer of the new build, a home inspection means that anything that needs to be rectified or repaired is the responsibility of the builder without the need for significant negotiation. If problems are found, the home inspector will simply advise the builder that they are not finished building yet and must deliver the quality of work they had promised.

The bottom line is, if you skip a home inspection on a new build you are foregoing the opportunity to have the builder fix any issues and you will ultimately have to pay out of pocket for repairs should they be necessary. It is never a bad idea to hire a reputable home inspector before you finalize the purchase of any home, whether you are the first owner or the 20th. Contact us today to learn more about inspections on new builds and how we can help you on your journey toward finding the perfect home for your family. 


What Fails a Home Inspection

A home inspection is a crucial part of the process of buying a home. The goal of a home inspection is to identify any problems or issues that exist within the home. This is a very important step for both the seller of the home and the potential buyer, and passing the home inspection is imperative to move forward with the sale. It is important to note that home inspections are not strictly a pass or fail as much as an in depth look at the quality and condition of the home. That being said, there are some issues that are widely considered to be ‘deal-breakers’ should they be found during a home inspection. When a home ‘passes’ the inspection it means that the home inspector did not find any major issues. It is the job of the home inspector to identify anything within the home that needs to be repaired or replaced.


What Could Cause a Home Inspection to Fail?

The things that will cause the most problems during a home inspection are those that pose a risk to the health and safety of the residents of the home. Some of the most common areas of concern that can result in a failed home inspection are:

Roofing Problems – Roofing problems can be some of the more expensive issues to fix, and are more likely to cause the buyer to lose interest or call off the deal. Over time, roofing materials can degrade and break down, which can result in leaks and water damage. These issues can be exacerbated by extreme weather, poor or incorrect installation or subpar materials.  

Moisture in the Basement – The presence of water or moisture in a basement is always a possibility, simply because basements are below ground. Water or moisture in a basement can damage concrete, brick, or stone and can also cause mold to develop. 

Problems with HVAC Systems – HVAC systems are a common source of issues discovered during a home inspection. Whether it is an issue with proper wiring, adequate exhaust systems,  or the functionality of the heating and cooling systems in the home, problems with HVAC systems can significantly affect the outcome of the home inspection. 

Moisture in the Attic – Poor ventilation or insulation in an attic can cause moisture to build up and can ultimately result in the presence of mold and mildew. 

Electrical Problems – The home’s electrical systems must meet the current standards. One of the most common issues identified with electrical systems during a home inspection is over-fused circuits. These can be very dangerous and in some cases can start fires. 

Damaged or Rotting Wood – Any wood that has been used in the construction and structure of the home can become damaged by moisture and age. This includes the wood used on decks, railings, and door and window frames. 

Structural or Foundation Problems – A stable foundation is one of the most important elements when ensuring the structural integrity of a home. Issues such as cracks in the foundation or damage to the home related to foundation problems can be dangerous and expensive to fix. 

Problems with Plumbing – When it comes to plumbing, it is quite common for a home inspector to find at least one issue with the plumbing system in the home. From leaky faucets to clogged drains, plumbing issues are frequently found during a home inspection. The good news is that in most cases, plumbing problems are relatively easy and inexpensive to repair. 

Faulty Masonry – Cracks in a chimney are among the most common issues related to faulty masonry in a home, and can often be caused over time and due to weather. If a crack exists at the base of the chimney and goes upward, this can be a sign of a major structural issue.


Do Home Inspectors Always Find Something Wrong?

If there is something wrong in the home, a good and thorough home inspector will always find it. In fact, it is very rare for a home inspection to occur without the inspector finding a single issue, even in new builds. Often, the issues are minor and inexpensive to fix, leaving the choice up to the seller whether they want to repair it themselves or offer the repair cost as a credit off of the price of the home. When major issues are identified that may be more involved and expensive to repair, it can affect the existing offer/deal and in some cases, if the seller is unwilling to compromise, kill the deal altogether.

It is in the seller’s best interest to identify and repair any existing issues and prepare the house as best as they can prior to the home inspection. Once an issue is identified through a home inspection, it can end up costing much more to fix by forcing the seller to drop the price of the home. 

Many sellers opt to do a home inspection prior to listing the house. This can help to identify exactly what needs to be done before the house is listed and the search for a buyer begins. This also eliminates any possible surprises down the road, which can prove to be stressful and costly. In some cases, the buyer will accept the home inspection done by the seller in lieu of conducting their own.

If you want to learn more about what fails a home inspection or what makes Building Insights uniquely qualified, professional and trustworthy, contact us today!



How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

Most of the things you might hear or read about home inspections are written about the buyer’s experience or point of view. But what about the sellers? What do sellers need to know about the home inspection process? As a seller, it is important to present your home at its best when
undergoing a home inspection. While there are some rather obvious or straightforward things a seller should do to prepare their home for an inspection such as making sure it is tidy and clean, there are some other things to consider in the weeks and days leading up to a home inspection.

How Should I Prepare My Home for a Home Inspection? What Should I Clean before a Home Inspection?

Check Systems are in Working Order – Ensure that the heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing, security, and any other systems in the home are working correctly and efficiently. You might also consider having your furnace, hot water tank, or air conditioning system evaluated.
Check Doors & Windows – Check all your doors and windows to make sure they open and close
properly and that all locks, latches, and doorknobs are functional.

Repair Damage – If there is any existing damage to the roof, flooring, drywall, or ceilings, it is a good idea to repair those prior to the home inspection.

Outdoor Maintenance – In the days leading up to the home inspection, take the time to trim any trees or bushes that may have become overgrown or potentially affect the roof or foundation of the house.

Clean & Tidy Up – On the day of (or the day before) it is a good idea to give your home a good clean and tidy, making sure the inspector can access all areas of the home. Remove or relocate any furniture that may be blocking access to doors, windows, or functioning systems within the home. It is especially important to ensure that the home inspector has access to:

-Main water line
-Hot water tank
-Attic hatch
-Electrical panel
-Air exchanger

Assemble Documents – If you have any documents related to the maintenance of your home such as warranties, reports of yearly checkups of your furnace or other systems, or invoices for repairs, gather them (or copies of them) together to leave out for the home inspector and buyer to review.

Should the Seller be Present for the Home Inspection?

In most cases, it is a good idea for the seller to make plans to vacate the premises for a home inspection. You should plan to be out of the house for at least 3 hours on the day of the inspection. You will also need to make arrangements to relocate any household pets for the duration of the inspection.

Do Home Inspectors Move Things?

Large pieces of furniture such as couches, beds, tables, and chairs won’t be moved during a home inspection. If the buyer has an area of concern that is covered or blocked by furniture that they want the inspector to evaluate, they must communicate to the seller before the home inspection date so that the seller may ensure access. Home inspectors will also not lift floorboards or carpets or damage drywall so they will not be able to inspect anything under the floor or within the walls.

Honesty is Always the Best Policy

If you are aware of issues within your home, it is best to be honest, and upfront with the buyer and the home inspector. Odds are, the home inspector will find it anyway and dishonesty will not help your relationships with the buyer or agents nor will it help you sell your home.

Covid 19 Measures

There are some additional measures you may want to consider as we navigate our way through the Covid 19 pandemic. Take some time to disinfect all your light switches, doorknobs, taps, and other ‘high touch’ areas prior to the inspection. It is also important to have all residents of the home vacate the premises so that the buyer and the home inspector can maintain physical
distancing and other protective protocols. If you or someone in your household is ill or quarantining related to travel or exposure to the Covid 19 virus, please reschedule your home inspection.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, finding a high-quality, reputable home inspector is very important. Contact us today to learn more about Building Insights, our 100% satisfaction guarantee, or how we can help you with the sale or purchase of a home.

What Does a Home Inspector Do?

While it is common knowledge that a quality home inspection is an important part of the process of purchasing a new home, not everyone knows exactly what a home inspector actually does. Generally speaking, a home inspector conducts a thorough evaluation of the condition of both the interior and exterior of the home. Home inspections are important because looks can be deceiving, and it is vital to have as much information as possible when it comes to making major life decisions such as whether or not to purchase a particular home. It is the job of the home inspector to find anything that may be wrong with the home, or anything that may go wrong in the future.  

What does a Home Inspector Look For? 

A detailed home inspection involves a thorough visual inspection, watching for areas that are damaged or potentially unsafe, as well as confirmation that certain systems and fixtures are functional and up to code.  

Some of the most significant things an inspector will look at are the plumbing and electrical systems and whether they need to be upgraded, the quality of the ventilation and insulation of the home, damage or cracks to the foundation or roof, and the overall structural integrity of the building.  

They will also check thoroughly for signs of water damage, mold, and pest infestations. The home inspector will evaluate the heating and cooling systems in the home, check that toilets flush properly, run the taps to gauge the water pressure, as well as check that all windows and doors open and close as they should.  

When Should a Home Inspection Take Place? How Long Does a Building Inspection Take? 

A home inspection typically occurs after an offer on the home has been made but before the buyer has become fully and financially committed to purchasing the home. In most cases, offers are conditional on the results of the home inspection, and usually, a home inspection is completed within 5 days of the submission of the offer.  

In some cases, sellers like to complete their own home inspection prior to listing the house on the market. This prevents the seller from being blindsided on inspection day and also can help to leverage the sale, as many buyers will forgo their own inspection and accept the one conducted by the seller.  

Inspections typically take 2 to 3 hours but can take as long as 4-6 hours depending on the size of the home and intricacies or obstacles that may prolong the process. An averaged sized home (1500-2000 square feet) can be inspected in 2-3 hours, and you can expect to add half-hour per 500 square feet beyond that. Some of the other things that may extend the duration of a home inspection are the age and condition of the house, the type of foundation of the house, the number of systems within the house, and the weather conditions at the time of the inspection.  

Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will deliver a detailed report of everything that they found during the evaluation of the home. This will include photos of any issues or areas of concern. A timeline of projects and when they should be completed will also be included as part of the report.  

Why Choose Building Insights? 

Since 2002, Building Insights has been conducting quality home inspections for over 5000 happy clients. A home inspection through Building Insights will give you the peace of mind to know your investment is sound and limit or eliminate unwanted surprises down the road. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality in service and professionalism, ensuring every inspection we conduct is thorough, accurate, and impartial. 

At Building Insights we consistently deliver the highest quality in professional insights and technical expertise. Our inspections offer in-depth looks at cost implications and maintenance requirements. As registered home inspectors with the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors and licensed electricians, we possess the knowledge, certification, and experience to provide the highest level of service to all our clients. Whether you are a purchaser or a seller, Building Insights is the name to trust. 

In most cases, our inspections can be booked within 24-48 hours. Contact us today to book your inspection and let us help you reduce stress and frustration during one of the most significant financial purchases of your life.  


Why You Shouldn’t Skip a Home Inspection

Hunting for the perfect new home for you and your family can be exciting and fun. For many people, they easily romanticize and idealize every house they visit, and often begin to plan where they might put their furniture or how each room might be used on their initial walkthrough. Getting a home inspection from a qualified and licensed home inspector is a vital step on the road to purchasing a new home, and can help to provide clarity and insight into the pros and cons of purchasing a particular home. Building Insights offers the best in service and approaches each inspection with the utmost care and attention. A home inspection will help you see what’s beyond the fresh paint or new floors and reveal issues that otherwise would go unnoticed and subsequently unrepaired or unaddressed.  

A thorough home inspection involves examining every nook and cranny in the home, focusing on areas that are known to be problematic or prone to structural issues. While it’s true that most sellers are not trying to dupe you or be dishonest, in most cases they will do everything they can to sell you their home. In some instances, this may mean they are not forthcoming or perhaps unaware of the possible issues within their home. 

Are Home Inspections really Necessary? Is it Bad to Skip a Home Inspection? 

Many people wonder if a home inspection when considering the purchase of a home is truly necessary. The simple answer is, yes! While you may pay your home inspector a relatively small fee, they have the potential to save you a whole lot of time, money and disappointment. Imagine purchasing your dream home only to discover that it has a mold problem, or bad plumbing, a pest problem or unsafe electrical wiring. By that point it will be too late, and any repairs or renovations required will fall solely on the buyer of the home.  

What Happens during a Home Inspection? 

The home inspector will conduct a thorough evaluation of the home, examining both the interior and exterior while keeping an eye out for some specific things.  

Inside the home the inspector will:  

-Check the foundation of the house as well as the basement for any structural issues, cracks or water leaking
-Examine the walls, ceilings and floors for any damage or defects
-Turn on and off all taps and faucets, gauging the water pressure and ensuring they are in working order, as well as flushing all toilets  
-Check all electrical outlets, switches and fuse box
-Check windows to ensure they open and close properly
-Examine all attics, crawl spaces, closets and spaces underneath stairs
-Conduct a thorough inspection of the heating and cooling systems 

From the outside of the home, the inspector will:  

-Review the exterior of the home looking for signs of weather damage, structural issues with railings, decks or balconies. 
-Inspect the roof, eavestroughs, chimneys and flues
-Evaluate the grading of the house’s foundation 

What Won’t a Home Inspector do? 

A home inspector cannot put holes in walls or pull up flooring and they do not have x-ray vision, so often they can only provide their best guess when it comes to what might be behind the drywall or under the floor. Because of this it is important to remember that at some point you may still uncover some problems with the home, despite having a home inspection done. 

Should you Ever buy a House without a Home Inspection? 

No! Surprises can be great fun at birthdays or anniversaries, but not so fun when it comes to unexpected issues with your new home. You may have heard about people foregoing a home inspection in order to improve the odds of their offer being approved on a certain home, especially in a hot market. While that may be enticing to some sellers, you might want to consider why they would be keen to make the sale without an inspection. It is also important to note that purchasing and moving into a new home without a home inspection could pose a serious health and safety risk.  

A home inspection from an experienced and licensed home inspector can help you understand and be prepared for any problems or issues that may need immediate attention. In addition, the home inspector may identify issues that the buyer should keep an eye on should they worsen as time passes. A home inspection can also help to leverage your offer, and often sellers will agree to remedy certain issues to secure the sale. A home inspection can help to ensure you get the best rates and terms from your mortgage broker or lender as well.  

These are just a few of the many reasons it is so vitally important to secure a home inspection before finalizing your purchase of a new home. A quality home inspection can make all the difference in your decision making process and will potentially save you a significant amount of money and frustration. If you want to learn more about our home inspection procedures, services and rates or how we can help make the process of closing on a new home as smooth and stress free as possible, contact us today! At Building Insights, our inspections are 100% satisfaction guaranteed, and can often be scheduled as soon as 24-48 hours from your initial call.  


Home Inspection Milton


We provide a range of home Inspection services in Milton whether you are buying or selling a home. Our services provide a detailed inspection supported by a qualified Inspector and our satisfaction guarantee. After the inspection, you will be given an in-depth report in an electronic format, including pictures of any defects and safety issues discovered.


When making a major decision such as buying a home in Milton, being informed about your potential new home, can ensure that your investment is a smart one. A pre-purchase home inspection allows Building Insights Inc to pinpoint any issues throughout the property, how to look after the home, and what improvements you may need to make in the future. A home inspection can take between two to three hours and your presence as a client is encouraged.


Whether you are buying or selling a home an inspection makes sense. A pre-listing inspection ensures the seller (homeowner) can address any areas of concern before selling, determine anything that could increase the value of the property, and assess fair market value. Being well informed about your property can enable a quicker sale and eliminate the need for re-negotiating after a home buyer’s inspection.

Homes with a pre-listing inspection report sell much quicker and with less effort than those without. A credible pre-listing inspection report generates more buyers, creating better
negotiating circumstances for both sellers and buyers. With the home’s condition revealed to all, there is less liability for all parties.

Transferable Report

With the seller’s approval, our Pre-Listing inspection reports are available for the buyer to view. With the buyer, Building Insights Inc will tour throughout the property and explain the report to the buyer. Then, Building Insights Inc will turn over the report into the buyer’s name and enter a contract with the buyer. The fee charged for the transfer of report is $175 and paid for by the buyer.


A pre-offer inspection is conducted prior to submitting an offer on a property. Building Insights’ pre-offer home inspection services are equally as attentive and detailed as a post-offer home inspection and it includes the same all-inclusive report. Instead of risking thousands of dollars by purchasing a home without a thorough inspection, choose to be well informed about your new homes’ condition prior to making an offer.

Included with all our Milton Inspection Services:

  • A highly trained and qualified Inspector
  • A Comprehensive, Computerized Report
  • Executive Summary
  • Home Wizard – Home Maintenance App
  • Lifetime Homeowner Advisory Service
  • Satisfaction Guarantee