A home inspection is always recommended before buying a home. After all, your new home is their old home – and while their quirks may be nothing to worry about, there may also be problems. Home inspections are intended to reveal major problems. Specifically, a good home inspector will do an attic to basement assessment of the home – but they are mostly looking at major systems, not every minor issue.
What Should a Home Inspection Include?
1. The structure and foundation of the home, including the walls, floors and ceilings as well as the roof. The inspector is looking for problems which might cause structural issues now or down the line – water damage that might cause a ceiling to collapse, for example.
2. The attic, basement, and any crawl spaces. Again, this is for major structural problems. If the attic insulation is accessible he will inspect it to see if it is in good condition and doing its job.
3. The exterior, including the site in general terms, the gutters and drainage systems (for clogs and the like) and any porches or decks for structural integrity. This typically includes driveways, walkways and one garage.
4. The home’s major systems – the electrical systems and panels, plumbing systems, heating and cooling and any finishing carpentry within the home. Home inspections are primarily visual, but some inspectors will also use thermal imaging. FXC offers this for free with every inspection.
You home inspector should send you a pre-inspection agreement that will tell you exactly what the inspector will look at. A written home inspection report should be delivered to you within 24-48 hours.
What Does a Home Inspection Not Cover?
A basic home inspection does not cover the following items. Keep in mind that experienced home inspection companies often offer these services as add-ons.
1. Pools and spas. These should be inspected separately by an expert who can spot issues. Generally assume that any pool and spa should be drained and cleaned when you take possession.
2. Additional units. If there is a separate accessory dwelling on the property, then it needs to be inspected separately. Sheds and other outbuildings are also not included in inspector’s base rates.
3. Wells. If the home has a well this, again, requires a specialist to look at and verify, including pumping equipment.
4. Radon, mold, and other environmental hazards. If radon is a concern then you should ask about a radon test. FXC offers mold and air quality samples & inspections.
5. Sewers. Some home inspectors do not check or scope sewage and septic systems. FXC offers sewer cam scopes for an additional charge.
6. Some inspectors will check to make sure the appliances are in working order. Most home inspectors will not inspect kitchen appliances in-depth, as this requires a technician with how many makes and models exist. FXC Inspections has a 90 day warranty and Recall Check for appliances.
7. Satellite dishes.
8. Central vacuum systems. These should also be checked by a specialist.
9. Sprinkler and irrigation systems in the yard. In general, you can check these easily yourself.
10. Alarms and other systems. Sprinkler systems, burglar alarms, smoke alarms, etc.
11. Termites and other pests. These are specialized types of inspections that require a specialist.
Common Home Inspection Questions
How long will the inspection take?
Generally two to three hours, although the age and the size of the home has an impact. The more potential problems, the longer it will take.
Do I need to fix everything?
A home inspection will generally highlight major problems – and often these are problems you want to fix. All homes will have lingering issues and defects. Each individual will have different standards for what needs to be fixed now vs. later.
What does the home inspection report look like?
Home inspection reports should be written to be easy to understand and navigate. Not all inspectors deliver a report that’s easy to read.
Your inspector should include many photos of the issues and of areas in satisfactory condition. Their sample report should be easy to navigate and not 70 pages of text. Check out a sample report here.
If you are an agent or homebuyer in need of an inspection in the Red Deer, Calgary or Edmonton area, give us a call. Our trained personnel will give you an accurate and easy-to-read report so you can make a confident buying decision and understand the investment you’re about to make.
- Red Deer
- Sylvan Lake
- Rocky Mountain House
- & Central Alberta
Monday: 8a.m. – 8p.m.
Tuesday: 8a.m. – 8p.m.
Wednesday: 8a.m. – 8p.m.
Thursday: 8a.m. – 8p.m.
Friday: 8a.m. – 8p.m.
Saturday: 8a.m. – 8p.m.