How do you choose a qualified home inspector?
When it's time to start looking for a Home Inspector, how can you determine who's qualified? You can start by searching Google or asking your Realtor, Banker, or Attorney for a list of names. Or check out the directories of top national organizations such as InterNACHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) for a listing of Inspectors in your area.
After you have a list of names from which to choose, check their websites and contact them. A legitimate Home Inspection Company will have a quality website, and should list their qualifications. Remember, not all inspectors and their qualifications are created equal!
1. Choose An Inspector With Top Qualifications
Buying a home will likely be the largest investment you will ever make, therefore it is extremely important to choose carefully when selecting your Home Inspector.
"Hands-on" experience in building is one of the most important criteria to look for. A house cannot be dismantled during an inspection, so it's extremely important to have someone with the experience and background who knows how a house is normally built from the ground up and what components that are not visible, will be present in the walls, floors etc. A house is made of many different visible and non-visible components and systems that are all inter-related and are all supposed to work together. It is important to choose an inspector who has actual experience in home-building.
Don’t be misled by a Home Inspector's "certifications" obtained through quick study programs (sometimes two weeks or less), or sold through trade organizations. It takes many years of experience and training to develop the necessary skills and insight needed to be a good Home Inspector.
John Vandermeer is a retired police officer, who also, for the last 20 years, has been involved in the hands on maintenance and repairs of apartment buildings, houses and commercial buildings. This involved carpentry, electrical, structural support and plumbing to name a few. With his experience he can not only find the problem, he can give quality advice on how big of a problem it is and how difficult it would be to fix. He is a graduate of the Carson Dunlop Home Inspection College, the most intensive Home Inspection course available and is a certified member in good standing of InterNACHI. (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors)
2. The Report.
Be sure that your Home Inspector provides a detailed report, not just a hand written checklist given to you at the end of the inspection. A hand written checklist can be difficult to interpret and to read, and may not have all the information you require. The best is a computer-generated report, which offers a combination of the checklist and narrative about specific areas of the home. The Inspection Report should give you the information that you need to make an informed decision about your potential purchase. Further, a good Home Inspector will contact you or be available to answer your questions after the Inspection is over.
Our reports are prepared using the Carson Dunlop "Horizon" Home Inspection computerized report system. It incorporates numerous photos of the house, and describes both defects and well designed components of the house, so you not only learn about whats wrong with the house, you learn whats good about the house, giving you the total picture. Our reports are sent by email, downloadable PDF (Adobe Acrobat) files and average 40 pages. We are available to answer questions and discuss aspects of the house for as long as you own the house.
3. Professional Affiliations & Certifications
Be sure that the Inspector is a certified member of a nationally recognized Home Inspection organization. These organizations require continuing education for the Home Inspector to remain certified, so you know the inspector is keeping up to date with changes. If a Home Inspector is not a member of an organization, it is very likely he is not qualified.
We are certified in good standing with InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) in addition to being a certified graduate of the Carson Dunlop Home Inspection College.
4. How long will the inspection take?
On average, a home inspection should take two to three hours to perform. If you’re dealing with a large home, a fixer-upper or an older home, the inspection could take even longer. Don’t hire someone who promises to be in and out within an hour, as this is too short a time to properly inspect a home.
Keep in mind that it’s not a home inspector’s job to inspect things that can’t be seen. The inspection won’t reveal any wiring problems hidden behind drywall or any mold problems under the shower tiles.
With that said, an inspector should evaluate every possible visible place in your home, including the roof, basement and attic. The home inspector should be in physical shape to access these places, even if a ladder is required.
We go through your future home, top to bottom, examining all the visible components. Our inspections average just under 3 hours.
5. What Type Of Equipment Will Be Used?
If all the Home Inspector brings to the Inspection is a flashlight, you've likely picked the wrong Inspector. The equipment doesn't have to be fancy, but it needs to do the job. A Home Inspector who hasn't bothered to purchase the right equipment for home inspections, is the wrong inspector. Expect to see electrical testing devices, a digital moisture meter, cameras, levels, ladders, extendible mirrors, circuit testers, etc.
We have a full selection of advanced home inspection equipment, to extensive to list here.
A person should always be budget conscious, but when hiring a Home Inspector, you should always search for the most qualified and most experienced person you can find. You want to avoid a marginal difference in price, if you're compromising experience and quality.
We have the right expertise, equipment and qualifications for the job, and our prices are very reasonable (HST included in the price). Give us a call.