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Tue, Jun 26th - 6:10AM

Common Defects Found During Home Inspection

Construction defects and safety violations are quite common and are usually very visible, but the majority of home owners are totally unaware of them. Some, in fact, like standing water by foundations, are commonly avoided by the home owner as he walks around his house. People get used to seeing things and unless educated never realize the problem. The following, therefore, is a list of common defects likely to appear in a typical home inspection report:
1. Roofing defects, caused by aging or improper installation are likely to be found on most buildings. Excessive wear in area of discharge from higher roofs is also a common problem. This does not mean that most roofs need replacement, but that many are in need of maintenance and repair.
2. Ceiling stains in many homes indicate past or current leaks. Also a good home inspector will be alert to newly painted areas of ceiling, a dead give away of a cover up going on. The challenge is to determine if the leak was repaired or will recur during the next rain. Discovery is not always possible. A good moisture meter will help you tell if there was any recent leakage.
3. Faulty ground drainage often causes water intrusion beneath buildings. Such problems can be pervasive, difficult to resolve, and may cause damage to building components. Soil compaction is common along foundation in new homes, which is caused by natural settling. Advise home owners to build-up any low areas to maintain proper drainage.
4. Electrical safety violations, either few or many, are to be found in the majority of homes. Examples are ungrounded outlets, lack of shock protection, amateur wiring "improvements," and conditions too numerous to name. FPE panels have a background of problems and aluminum wiring was used between 60’s and 70’s, and although allowed should certainly be identified. Many home owners are becoming very adept at hiding their aluminum wiring. Pushing wire tight to breaker and running copper from nearby junction boxes to the panel are just a couple of means of avoiding detection.
5. Rotted wood is common where components remain wet for long periods. Exterior locations are trim, eaves, and decks. Problems also occur at walls and floors in bathrooms. Mold can occur in as little as 48 hours when conditions are right, always recommend a mold specialist if mold is suspected.
6. Code violations are common where additions and alterations are built without permits. Sellers often boast that, "We added the garage without a permit, but it was all done to code." This is a red flag to most home inspectors. Recommend your buyer check with local building officials if there is any doubt about permits or code violations, there maybe property line issues.
7. Fireplaces and chimneys are often unsafe. Common causes are amateur installation of hardware and fixtures, exterior rust damage, or simple failure to call a chimney sweep. Most home inspectors provide WETT inspection services, mine is included at no charge.
8. Water heaters are seldom in total compliance with code requirements. Violations include inadequate strapping, substandard overflow piping, unsafe flue conditions, and faulty gas lines. Rental hot water heaters are usually installed by gas company and rarely have any defects in their installation.
9. Gas furnaces often harbor defects. These range from dirty filters to faulty combustion; from poor airflow to exhaust hazards; from noisy operation to inadequate fire clearance. Given the potential for major consequences, annual servicing by the gas company is recommended. Inspecting furnace filter and finding any build up is a flag that cleaning is probably required.
10. Faulty firewalls are common in garages. Violations include, holes, unprotected attic accesses, doors not fire rated, drywall that is too thin, and exposed wood framing. In Ontario, interior garage doors, require automatic closures. Many homeowners disconnect the closures to make bringing in groceries easier.
11. Minor plumbing defects are commonly found, including loose toilets, dripping faucets, slow drains, leaking drains, hot water at the right faucet. Polybutylene Plumbing Lines (PB) (Quest) was installed in some homes and has been known to fail due to chemical reaction on fittings, this could lead to thousands of dollars in water damage and should be inspected by a licensed and insured plumber.
12. Failed seals are routinely found at thermal pane windows, resulting in fogging and mineral deposits on inside of glass. This is most common with windows manufacturer during the 1980's. Casement windows can have faulty or loose mechanisms, cracks in glass panes and wood rot are also common problems found in many window units.
Most professional home inspectors belong to associations that keep them up to date on newly discovered defects and product notifications. I personally use, NACHI, Ontario Building Officials Association, ULC and CSA to keep informed of most technical bulletins and notifications.

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Barrie Home Inspector

Barrie Home Inspections

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Tue, Jun 19th - 9:42AM

Home Inspector Ethics

Purchasing Real Estate is not for the faint of heart. Purchasers of new and used homes expect their dream home to be completely free of defects. Hiring a home inspector is their reassurance that their expectations will be met when they inhabit their dream home. Why, you ask, are countless claims are made against inspectors, Realtors and sellers for sundry defects that were not disclosed at the time of purchase. Some of these claims are valid, but some are not. Some of the conditions found after the buyers move in were not apparent at the time of the transaction, while others were plainly visible but were simply missed by the inspector. Sometimes these misses are the result of mere human error, but there are also times when they reflect professional negligence. Unfortunately, some negligent inspectors may not take responsibility for mistakes, while the true professional will step up to the plate and accept responsibility for his errors.
In all fields of human effort, errors are inevitable. Even the most competent and experienced home inspectors miss apparent defects and are sometimes called to account. When a professional home inspector gets the call from a client he is faced with an ethical dilemma that may or may not cause him to act as professional. If, in fact, he had missed a defect that was visible at the time of the inspection, he should immediately proceed to rectify the defect for the client.
As soon as the call is received, the home inspector, should show the appropriate concern and make a visit to the home as soon as possible. Apparent disinterest is like salt in a wound, aggravating a situation that is already uncomfortable and which may be teetering between resolution and conflict. An honest and proactive show of interest can often defuse a sensitive and potentially explosive situation. Sometimes a few hours or dollars invested can save thousands of dollars of needless legal warfare, while cementing a lasting relationship and bolstering a good reputation. Often, the reported problem turns out to be minor, the inspector provides reassurance, and an avoidable dispute is laid to rest.
Buyers should be aware that the primary purpose of a home inspection is not to provide a list of every minor flaw and cosmetic defect, but to identify major defects and problems. Many home inspectors include other disclosures as a courtesy, to provide a more complete overview of the general condition of the property and to give the home purchaser a list of maintenance type issues that may be required. Holding an inspector liable for nondisclosure of minor problems, such as a loose fence, doors that rub or a window that is painted shut, is inappropriate and is not within the scope of the home inspection.
Finally, home inspectors work for the home buyer, and provide a valuable service. I enjoy my job and always ensure that my personal service to the client is a positive experience that they will remember and hopefully pass on to friends and family. I have done many 2nd generation inspections that were the result of clients that were extremely happy with my service.

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Roger Frost is the founder of Napoleon Home Inspections. Read more articles on home improvement and renovations at and ask experts questions at , where you can ask trades people questions on common home problems.

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Sun, Jun 17th - 2:55PM

Barrie Home Inspector
Roger Frost is the Barrie Home Inspector, with over 26 years experience in home building and performing inspections. During this time he has built up a professional reputation in the Simcoe County area that is unsurpassed.

Introducing a Fair Pricing policy has allowed his company, Napoleon Home Inspections  to jump into the forefront with their $199.00 home inspection.

Offering a 100% Money-Back guarantee for 30 days after the client takes possession of their new home has solidified the Barrie Home Inspector as a true professional that stands behind his product.

Available seven days a week and at any hour that is convenient to the customer is another way of indicating the commitment that the Barrie Home Inspector has to his customers.

Book your Risk Free home inspection today. Get  Peace of Mind  when you make one of the largest investments that most people will make in their lives.  Call Napoleon Home Inspections at (705) 795-8255 or pager number (705) 795-8255 today.

The Barrie Home Inspector

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Sun, Jun 17th - 2:40PM

TARION Warranty - Tips for the New Home Buyer

By law all new home builders and vendors in Ontario have to be registered. check your builders registration by calling their regional office in Ottawa at 613-724-4882.

Here are some quick figures for you to think about:

1. Deposit coverage is limited to $20,000.00 in event of non-completion; and

2. Maximum coverage on any housing unit is $300,000.00.

Home owner is responsible for notifying builder and TARION in writing of any complaints within 30 days of possession and within 30 days prior to the one year anniversary date.

Note: When submitting any form to TARION you should always add an update list of defects etc to your form. This keeps your file current and up to date. TARION might assume anything not on last submittal has been rectified and consider it completed.

Their web site has both Customer Service Standards and Construction Performance Guidelines which are explained below.

Customer Service Standards which include mandatory requirements for builders in terms of after-sales service. These standards include the introduction of a standard Homeowner Information Package, a required Pre-Delivery Inspection, and specific timelines within which builders must provide necessary after-sales service.

Construction Performance Guidelines which provide factual information to assist with the resolution of warranty-related issues and help new homeowners understand what is and is not included in their statutory warranty coverage.

Some Coverage’s Include:

Water seepage, leakage through the building envelope, defective plumbing, heating or electrical systems, and the doors, windows and exterior cladding are all protected for TWO years.

Major structural defects are covered for seven years. Home built prior to 1990 are covered for five years.

Download complete book on TARION’s coverage from, this will guide you through all the details and prepare you for completing the necessary forms. This is highly recommended, as a home inspector I have seen many contractors trying to rush their buyer through their inspection so that the initial report doesn’t contain many items. They then have been known to stall repairs until warranty runs out. Ensure your pre-delivery inspection is complete to the most minor defect. This is where a home inspector can really help you find every item that requires fixing.

I cannot stress the importance of ensuring that TARION’s Certificate of Completion and Possession (CCP) contains anything and everything you are not satisfied with. This is a legally binding document you are signing and saying, “you didn’t know” or “didn’t notice” will not help you getting the builder to fix anything that is not noted. I am not saying every builder will not fix things that are not written down, but the majority will not.

caveat emptor let the buyer beware

The Barrie Home Inspector

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Sat, Jun 16th - 4:14AM

What is A Home Inspection? by the Barrie Home Inspector


A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.


The standard home inspector's report will review the condition of the home's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure.


The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards.

Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase.

If you are already a home owner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer's inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.


The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending upon the size of the house, particular features of the house, its age. I charge $199.00 for a single home with one bathroom and include a free WETT inspection.

However, do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection, or in the selection of your home inspector. The knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector's qualifications, including his experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration.


Even the most experienced home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. He or she understands how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.

Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home 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.


If you are located within Simcoe County Area, contact Napoleon Home Inspections
( ) and we will be happy to provide home inspection services for you.

If you are outside the Simcoe County area, the best source is a friend, or perhaps a business acquaintance, who has been satisfied with and can recommend a home inspector they have used. NACHI has a great "Find an Inspector" tool on their website that will give you a list of NACHI members in your area.


A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. I am available 7 days a week. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.


It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you've seen the property first-hand through the inspector's eyes.


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.


Definitely. Now you can complete 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 from the inspector's written report, and will want to keep that information for future reference.

To dicuss any aspects of a home inspection plse call Roger Frost at Napoleon Home Inspections at 705-795-8255.

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Sun, Jun 10th - 9:22AM

What is A Home Inspection?
Definition: A comprehensive report of a given property by a professional home inspector. The report will identify problems and potential problems with the property not always visible to an average purchaser (ie: a deteriorating roof, an ancient furnace, poor insulation, structural deficiencies, wood rot, basement seepage). Many purchasers make their offer to purchase conditional upon obtaining a satisfactory Home Inspection report. The two main questions you should ask your “Home Inspector” are:
1. Are you insured, and what are you insured for?
2. What qualifications do you hold, and how do they apply to home inspections?

Believe it or not, there are many home inspectors out there that are not insured. Also there are many “home inspectors” that will tell you that they are insured when they are not. Check their credentials and protect yourself.

Qualifications are another area of concern that you as a homeowner should be aware of. Some home inspectors will tell the potential clients that they are qualified for septic and well inspections, and they probably are if you only want someone to verify that they exist. When these “home inspectors” state that they are qualified for any of these, ask them if they are licensed and insured for septic or well inspections and ask to see their documentation. You will be surprised at their answers as they dance around that question. Stay away from people whose qualifications are non-related to building or inspecting homes, they have no qualifications so they use un-related items such as management courses or sport affiliations to mask their inexperience. Qualifications that are important are building experience, Building Code courses and usually any government recognised certificate program. Carson Dunlop has a very good program to help qualified people make the transition to the home inspector profession but I would not recommend it by itself as the sole source of education for inspections. Many homebuyers do not know what else to ask. Since this person will be inspecting the most valuable possesion you may possibly ever purchase, here are a few ideas along with a list of questions you should consider asking when calling about a home inspection. Another thing to consider is the size and reputation of the company.

Many inexperience people tend to go the franchise route as it offers a “turn key” approach to opening your home inspection business. A quick course, some maybe as long as 2 weeks, and your set to go, all advertising and contacts are generated for you. You have to choose from a large business who’s inspectors pump out as many as 3 to 4 inspections a day in order to make a decent income, or a small independent business who offers individual service to each and every customer with no quota to worry about? Which ever you prefer, be sure to check them out thoroughly! The following is a list of just 9 questions you may want to consider asking when seeking a home inspector for your new property:
1. How long have you been doing Inspections? Make sure the inspector has experience
2. Approximately how many inspections have you performed? Make sure your not the first on their inspections performed list.
3. What did you do before becoming a home inspector? A person with previous experience in building trades may be a wiser choice than an ex-circus clown, unless the clown had extensive inspection training.
4. Are you Insured? Some areas require home inspectors to carry E&O Insurance. Check your local laws to make sure. Ontario does not require insurance. Unfortunately, in Ontario you can drop out of public school and print up some cards, and then call yourself a home inspector. There are no government regulations so the home owner has to use some due diligence in selecting one.
5. Can you give me references? Inspectors should be able to offer references from previous clients if requested.
6. What type of report do you offer? Ask what type of report they offer and how soon it will be available. Napoleon Home Inspections offers a complete computer generated report complete with pictures of deficiencies and recommendations. Some companies offer a check list type of report which is then stuffed with home maintenance tips etc to give the report some bulk.
7. What do you inspect, Roof, Attic, etc? Some inspectors will not traverse a roof or enter a crawlspace. This is understandable if unsafe conditions exist but if not, ask if they will do it or not. Does your home inspector even carry a ladder to get on your roof. I am not saying that every roof has to be walked on to be properly inspected, but the inspector does not know that until he gets to the house. Beware of the “Home Inspector” who does not carry an extension ladder, because he cannot know what type of house you have, and if he doesn’t have the proper ladder, then how is he going to inspect your roof.
8. And Finally! What do you charge? You will find that some home inspectors charge more than others. Obtaining answers to the questions listed above may help you to determine why! Napoleon Home Inspections offers its “Fair Pricing Policy”, why pay for what you are not getting. We have structured our prices so that they reflect the size of home that we are inspecting. Napoleon bases our inspection price on bathrooms. Through experience we have realized that the larger the home the more bathrooms the home will likely have. We charge $199.00 for a single residential home with one bathroom. For each extra bathroom we charge an extra $30.00 up to a total of $259.00. Every professional trade uses size as a basis for estimating their job price. Why should you, the home owner, be forced to pay the same price for a two bedroom townhouse as a 4,000 sq ft executive home with 6 bedrooms and 4 baths. Napoleon thinks this practice is unfair and prices their inspections accordingly, which benefits the homeowner. So when you here these home inspectors warning you about cheaper prices, have a good look at their price structure and see if they are charging you for what you are getting, or maybe they are just charging you. You be the judge.

TODAYS TIP - If someone shows up at your house to do a home inspection in a car and white shirt and tie, immediately tell him you have changed your mind, and then go out and hire a real home inspector.

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