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Tue, Sep 30th - 3:29PM

The PDI inspection – What You Need To Know!


Many new home buyers will see their new home for the first time during their PDI inspection. Most builders do not encourage buyer to visit the new home site during construction, siting insurance concerns, but other builders welcome purchasers and allow them access to their home during construction.


Your Pre Delivery Inspection is a mandatory inspection required by Tarion and is conducted using Tarion’s checklist or a similar list supplied by your builder.


Many home owners are over whelmed by the prospect of inspecting their new home and often hire a professional home inspector to accompany them during the PDI inspection. I personally always recommend that the home owner notify the builder in writing that they will be bringing a home inspector as some builders are very resistant to having a professional inspect your home.


I recommend that the home owner bring a copy of the Tarion check list that is available on their web site and keep track of all items that they have looked at and any deficiencies that require the builders attention. As a professional home inspector I use a more in depth check list which covers basically but not limited to the following:


· structural components including foundation and framing, including probing a representative number of structural
components where deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of possible deterioration exist.

· exterior wall covering, flashing and trim.                                        

· exterior doors.

· attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, and their associated railings.        

· eaves, soffits, and fascias where accessible from the ground level.

· vegetation, grading, surface drainage, and retaining walls on the property when any of these are likely to
adversely affect the building.

· walkways, patios, and driveways leading to dwelling entrances.

· roof covering.      

· roof drainage systems.            

· roof flashings.        

· skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations

· interior water supply and distribution systems including all fixtures and faucets.

· drain, waste and vent systems including all fixtures.                        

· water heating equipment.

· vent systems, flues, and chimneys.                                

· fuel storage and fuel distribution systems.

· drainage sumps, sump pumps, and related piping.

· electrical service drop.                                                

· electrical service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways.

· electrical service equipment and main disconnects.                        

· electrical service grounding.

· interior components of electrical service panels and sub panels.        

· electrical conductors.

· electrical over current protection devices.                   

· a representative number of installed lighting fixtures, switches, and receptacles.        

· ground fault circuit interrupters.

· installed heating equipment.        

· heating vent systems, flues, and chimneys

· installed central and through-wall cooling equipment.

· interior walls, ceilings, and floors.                                 

· steps, stairways, and railings.

· countertops and a representative number of installed cabinets.        

· a representative number of doors and windows.

· garage doors and garage door operators.

· insulation and vapour retarders in unfinished spaces.        

· ventilation of attics and foundation areas.

· mechanical ventilation systems.

· fireplace system components.        

· fireplace vent systems, flues, and chimneys.

Every house is different and each inspection will identify items that are unique to that particular home. There are many similarities to deficiencies found while inspecting homes but as homes are built by humans there is the possibility for almost any conceivable mistake possible to be present.


Some home inspectors argue that cosmetic damage is not within the scope of the Tarion PDI inspection. I differ on this completely. It has been my experience that home owners that do not make a note of minor dents, scratches on floors or cupboards etc on their PDI, find that when they identify them on their 30 day list the builder has disputed the fact because they were not included on the initial PDI checklist. Not all builders are cut from the same cloth but I have encounter circumstances where the client had to chase after the builder who had got them to sign off on the PDI before completing inspection. He had told them that it was not a “big deal” and just to list everything on the 30 day inspection report.


The cost of a professional home inspection, we only charge a maximum of $279.00 and start at $199.00, is pretty small when you consider the cost of repairing, doors, floors, cupboards, furnaces, plumbing fixtures, missing insulation, poor workmanship and the many items that are found on a regular basis. On one new home that I inspected last year, the roofer had used different coloured shingles under the soffit, hoping no one would notice. Now I don’t want to imply your builder is involved in trying to defraud you from what you have bought and paid for, but in some cases mistakes happen and you don’t receive what you bought and paid for. It is my job and responsibility to recognise and inform you of any short comings or damages found during your Pre Delivery Inspection. Remember when choosing a professional home inspector – CAVEAT EMPTOR = BUYER BEWARE – ask questions ( an informed consumer is a smart comsumer)


Brought to you by   the   Alliston Home Inspector

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Tue, Sep 30th - 3:14PM

Hardwood Flooring - Maintenance and Care

Hardwood is one of the best choices when it comes to flooring options. Hardwood floors are preferred over carpet flooring because it does not retain allergy causing pollen. Also, carpets need a lot more cleaning and maintenance than hardwood floors. Carpets also tend to smell over time, while hardwood doesn`t.

Aside from carpets, hardwood floors also beat other synthetic materials in the sense that hardwood floors are more durable and elegant. Hardwood floors will add style, grace and value to your home that other types of synthetic flooring can`t do. If you want a romantic and warm tone to your home, hardwood floors will also have an advantage over other extracted flooring material like stone. Beyond these however, one of the best benefits of having wood flooring is the ease of cleaning these beautiful hardwood floors.

Cleaning hardwood floors entail occasional sweeping with a regular broom to get rid of dust that may have settled on the floor. Be sure however that when cleaning hardwood floors, you use only a soft broom that will not scratch the polyurethane varnish off the floor. You can also even just use a slightly damp mop immediately followed by a dry one to make sure that dust will be thoroughly picked up in cleaning hardwood floors. One thing you cannot do in cleaning hardwood floors is to scrub with a hard brush on the floor surface. By doing this, you will create marks on the even and shiny finish of your hardwood.

Another thing is that you should not excessively wet the area when cleaning hardwood floors to avoid the water from seeping into the wood and making it swell. Swelling, which results from incorrect methods of cleaning hardwood floors, will cause the wooden planks to become uneven and in some cases, chip off. Be very careful not to spill or mop up quickly any spills that may occur on your hardwood.

Generally, modern wood stains and polyurethane varnish finishes the wood and gives it a protective coat that will shield it from untoward accidents like spills and the like. You also don`t have to worry about too much wear and tear on the hardwood floor because the usual protection from the varnish usually lasts for years before a reapplication is needed.

Even cleaning hardwood floors is made a breeze by these modern wood finish and varnish aids because the surface of the floor becomes very even and smooth, which makes it hard for dust to settle. Any dirt or dust is easily lifted off the surface without much effort.

In collecting the aid of cleaning tools for your hardwood floors, make sure that you don`t use any substance that can ruin your floor`s protective varnish. For instance, some cleansers may contain alcohol or other harsh liquids that can ruin your floor`s finish.

Also, be sure not to use equipment not meant for cleaning hardwood floors. Some surfaces or edges from certain equipment may unduly scratch and create grooves on your floor so be sure to think twice or better yet, consult a hardwood floor expert for advice. Whatever the case, cleaning hardwood floors can be a total breeze with a little effort and common sense. No more scrubbing or back breaking work. Just give it a few sweeps and your floor will retain its warm luster and look like new.

Brought to you by: the Alliston Home Inspector

Barrie Home Inspector

Napoleon Home Inspections

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Wed, Sep 24th - 4:38AM

Floor Drain Primer Line - Does Your Basement Have One?

Have you ever just been casually looking around in your basement, typically around your furnace area and found a plastic line disapearing into your concrete floor and thought: what is this?

Well the “what is this?” is the automatic priming line for your floor drain.

Let’s start at the beginning here. According to the Ontario Building Code and the National Plumbing Code, a floor drain must have something called a trap seal, what this means is that there must be water in the trap to prevent sewer gas from entering your home.

What is a trap? It is a pipe that is either formed or pieced together to form the letter P (this is one of the common traps that we’ll discuss) . They are found in such places like under sinks, under showers, and of course they make up part of the floor drain. But because the traps in the floor drains do not get used as much as traps elsewhere in the house, the trap seal dries up and allows sewer gas and other smells into the house. This is the importance of a priming line.

So what’s a priming line? A priming line is a plastic or metal water line that is attached at one end to something that when in use, supplies water to another location. In most cases the priming lines are connected to the taps on your laundry tub, the taps in the kitchen (under the counter) and attached to the toilet tank (running up the back side of the tank). From their connection point they run through another pipe and eventually end up connected to the floor drain to maintain the trap seal – stops in the intrusion of sewer gas.

What if you don’t have a primer line – what do you do? You can make sure that all traps have water in them simply by running the taps for a few moments. Take a container, pour it down the floor drain, if you have a bathroom in the basement that you hardly use, run the taps in the sink and tub/shower. If there is a laundry tub that is not used to often… again, run the taps, get that trap seal working again.

By doing all of the above, you will maintain the trap seal, you should be minimizing the chances of sewer gas into the house and eliminating any unpleasant odours that make occur.

Brought to you by the Alliston Home Inspector

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Thu, Sep 18th - 2:16PM

Eaves Maintenance Essentials for Every Homeowner

Eaves trough a.k.a. Rain gutters, are an essential but often overlooked component of homes. Eaves trough prevent water damage to outdoor property, roofs, foundation, and landscaping, and also help protect against leaks, which is why regular gutter maintenance is absolutely essential. Although eaves replacement and repair is best left in the hands of a professional, most homeowners can take care of maintenance on their own with a little know-how.

Eaves Trough: Slope is Essential

When eaves trough are installed by a contractor, they are positioned in such a way that they are slightly sloped towards the downspout. This allows water to be expelled efficiently. An important part of regular gutter maintenance is checking the slope of rain gutters. An easy way to do this is to climb up on a ladder and spray water into the gutters with a hose. The water should flow smoothly towards the downspout. If it simply sits there, the slope probably has to be adjusted. There are different opinions about the ideal slope of rain gutters, but a one inch slope for every 20 feet of gutter is a common suggestion.

Using a line level, locate and mark the high point and low point for your gutter. Then, readjust your eaves trough by repositioning the hangers. Replace any rusted or damaged hangers and screws.

Eaves Maintenance: Fixing Leaks

Again, use a ladder to access your eaves and spray water into them using a hose. Then, look to see whether any sections of your eaves are leaking. Most leaks in sectional rain gutters will occur at the seams, and this problem is relatively easy to fix. Simply apply silicone or caulking along the seams. Be sure to seal both the inside and outside of the trough.

Eaves Maintenance: Repairing Holes

Eaves trough can develop small or large holes over time. Small holes can be easily repaired with roofing cement. Simply use a putty knife to distribute the cement evenly and fill in the hole. Bigger holes can also be repaired, although it will take some extra effort. In addition to roofing cement and a putty knife, a sheet metal patch large enough to cover the hole is also necessary. Set the sheet metal patch into a generous quantity of cement. Then, place the metal and cement (cement on bottom) over the hole. Finally, place more cement over the sheet metal using the putty knife.

Eaves Maintenance: Downspouts

The downspouts in any eaves trough system are crucial because they direct water away from your home’s foundation. The is essential. Inspect downspouts for leaks and signs of wear. If your downspouts are joined to fascia boards, ensure that they are firmly attached. Check the boards for signs of wear and rot and, if necessary, replace them.

Eaves Maintenance: When to Consult a Professional

Most homeowners can take care of basic rain eaves maintenance on their own. Adjusting the slope, repairing leaks and holes, and replacing fascia boards are manageable tasks. However, for significant structural problems and repairs, it is best to call a professional. The same is true if you are thinking about having new eaves trough installed. In Alliston every road is lined with mature trees which beautify the town and add ambiance to the streets. Every fall these trees lose their leaves, many of which find their way into your eaves troughs, which then have to be cleaned out by the homeowner, or in the case of the older Victorian homes, a professional is usually your safest bet.

Brought to you by the Alliston Home Inspector

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