Whether you’re buying or selling a property or choosing a home inspector for a specific condition, you need to know your inspector is an experienced professional, able to deliver his findings to you in an honest, straight-forward manner and that’s he’s working for you, and no one else.
Since January 2009 home inspections in the province have been regulated by Consumer Protection BC. The provincial government agency assures a measure of security for consumers by requiring that licensed inspectors maintain membership in good standing in a designated professional association and carry professional liability insurance coverage.
Home Inspectors Association BC
(formerly Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors CAHPI (BC)
The BC chapter of the Home Inspectors Association BC) was instrumental in pushing for a provincial licensing requirement and continues to lead the industry with its stringent member guidelines in BC and throughout Canada. Training to practice as a HIABC Associate Member typically takes 2 years of academic training from a recognized post-secondary institution, mastery (min. 80%) on a series of 7 exams, field work and peer review. Designation as a HIABC Accredited Home Inspector (AHI) is the highest home inspector certification requiring completion of over 250 fee-paid inspections and involvement in ongoing training and education.
There are several other Home Inspector associations recognized by Consumer Protection BC. Quality Home Inspections recognizes that there is a lot riding on the information gained in an inspection and are proud of our affiliation with HIABC and the skill and expertise required of its members.
Background Experience of a Home Inspector
A background in construction and building technologies is invaluable for a home inspector; and the more professional, the better! Home inspectors come from many previous work backgrounds, some completely unrelated to the field. This doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t good inspectors but it is an indicator that their recognition and understanding of conditions may be more limited than someone with hands-on experience.
There are a number of reporting systems available; inspection checklist, narrative inspection reports, a combination checklist/narrative, and verbal. Report systems vary from a one page checklist to a complete reference binder system. Most Inspection Reports are digital with photographs and will be emailed to you shortly after the inspection is completed. A verbal discussion of the inspector’s findings should be included with every report.
The report should include all the principal components in the home and property such as:
- Lot grading and drainage
- Garage and carport
- Exterior walls, windows and doors
- Porches, decks and handrails
- Roofing, gutters, chimneys and skylights
- Attic ventilation and insulation
- Interior walls, ceilings and floors
- Kitchen and bathrooms
- Basement and crawl space
- Foundation and structure
- Heating system and fireplaces
- Electrical system
- Plumbing system
Home inspection costs range, on average from $350.00 to $550.00. Larger and more complex buildings will be priced higher. Keep in mind that not all home inspectors are equal. In most cases you get what you pay for and the lowest price may mean a lack of experience or qualification.
Fees are calculated based on a number of factors including:
- Type of property (house, townhouse, condo, commercial building)
- Square footage
- Additional suite(s)
- Crawlspace vs. basement
The length of time to complete an inspection varies from 2 to 4 hours on average depending on the type, size and age of the structure. Larger buildings generally take longer to inspect.
It is the home inspector’s primary duty to represent the property being inspecting above all other interests. In a limited amount of time he will have looked at thousands of items assessing all the major systems and components of a building, gathering and analyzing the findings to form his conclusions. The inspector’s ability to communicate this information clearly and concisely is as important as the technical skills necessary for the job; one is of little value without the other. Knowing that you will get all your questions answered clearly and concisely, on-site at the inspection and later by phone or email, will give you peace of mind to make your real estate decisions with confidence.