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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!  

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