Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a home inspection?
- How much does an inspection cost?
- How long will the inspection take?
- Will I be able to attend the inspection?
- How quickly can I get my report?
- Who gets a copy of the home inspection report?
- Is the home inspection industry regulated?
- How do I know my inspector is qualified?
- Are you a FULL-TIME inspector?
- What qualifications / experience do you have?
- Can a house fail an inspection?
- What if the report reveals problems? Should I buy the house?
- If the house is found to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
- Do I have to use one of the inspectors on the list provided by my realtor?
- Why should I use Seacliff Inspections instead of a competitor?
What is a home inspection?
There is no universally agreed-upon definition of a home inspection. However, for Seacliff Inspections, a home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. The home inspection is performed in accordance with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Standards of Practice. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.
How much does an inspection cost?
Our fees are very competitive. A typical inspection of a home under 2000 square feet is only $285.00, plus GST. Larger homes cost more. For each additional 1000 square feet, add $50.00 to the inspection fee. You can see a complete list of our fees here. Many companies promote lower initial fees, but charge more if the house if more than 40 years old, or has 3 bathrooms, etc. We believe this is confusing and unfair to the consumer, so we keep our pricing easy to understand.
How long will the inspection take?
A typical home inspection takes about 2½ hours. During that time we will examine all the home's systems and components, including, the roof, attic, basement or crawlspace, heating, plumbing and electrical systems, the visible insulation and ventilation, and the home's structure and exterior. If there is a garage, we will inspect that too.
Will I be able to attend the inspection?
Yes. We encourage all our clients to come along on the inspection. It's the best way to learn about the home. It's also the perfect time to ask the inspector questions about specific concerns you may have, and to learn about the home's maintenance requirements. Our report will then address your specific concerns along with the items we normally cover.
How quickly can I get my report?
Reports typically are completed within 24 hours of the inspection, but often the same day. Because we do not provide abbreviated reports or simple checklists as many companies do, you will not receive the report at the end of the inspection. Although we may cover verbally what we have observed with you, we do not feel an on-site check list report is of much value to you. Our written report contains the full benefit of our deliberation on site and after the inspection.
Who gets a copy of the home inspection report?
Only our client gets a copy of the inspection report. The report is confidential and will only be given to other parties with our client's written consent.
Is the home inspection industry regulated?
Along with appraisals and title searches, home inspections have become a standard part of the home buying process. However, the home inspection industry in Ontario is not regulated. Anyone can call themselves a home inspector. Many inspectors come from the construction trade and may have previously been roofers or drywallers. Though this provides a good basis for becoming a home inspector, without proper training in all areas of home design and construction, the inspector may not be fully qualified.
How do I know my inspector is qualified?
The best way to know if your inspector is qualified is to ask where they got their training. Having come from the construction trade is great, but proper training through Carson-Dunlop, or one of the accredited colleges, is the only way to ensure your inspector is fully qualified in all areas of the design and construction. The inspector should also be a member in good standing with one of the accredited home inspection organizations, such as OAHI (Ontario Association of Home Inspectors), ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or iNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors).
Are you a FULL-TIME inspector?
Yes. I am a full-time inspector. This is my only job, and I make my living solely from home inspections. There are many inspectors who only work at the profession on a part-time basis, and continue to work their regular construction jobs for a living. I work full-time at home inspections, and at continuing my education to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies so I can provide client's with the very best service available.
What qualifications / experience do you have?
I have over 15 years experience in home design and construction. I have completed the Carson-Dunlop home inspection course and successfully completed the home inspection program at St. Clair College. I am certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (iNACHI), and have received training in Defect Recognition and Report Writing from the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI). Even though I have all this experience and training, in addition to actual home inspections performed, I constantly work at upgrading my knowledge of new and older technologies through continuing education to ensure my clients receive the very best and latest information related to building science. My in-depth knowledge of home inspection essentials has enabled me to develop home inspection report software which is sold to other home inspectors all over North America. Wouldn't you want to have the home inspector that wrote software used by other home inspectors to be the one inspecting your house?
Can a house fail an inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.
What if the report reveals problems? Should I buy the house?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you don't wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.
If the house is found to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can finialize your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things about your new home, like maintenance requirements, from the inspector's written report, and will want to keep that information for future reference.
Do I have to use one of the inspectors on the list provided by my realtor?
No. You should call a number of inspectors and retain the services of the one you are the most comfortable with. Your best bet is to get an inspector who is a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) and/or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and/or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (iNACHI) in order to ensure that they have a defined level of technical competence and experience. Members of these professional associations adhere to a "Standards of Practice" as a performance guide. Seacliff Inspections meets or exceeds these standards in many areas.
Why should I use Seacliff Inspections instead of a competitor?
In addition to being well experienced and certified, a member of both ASHI and iNACHI, I am an Independent Inspector. This means that I work ONLY for the buyer, not the realtors or the seller. My main focus is to ensure that you have as much information as possible about the home you are proposing to buy, so that you can make an informed decision. After all, when smart people are provided with good information, they are better able to make wise decisions.
If you have any questions or concerns about these Frequently Asked Questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.