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Tue, Jun 19th - 5:19PM

Home Inspectors Ripping You Off?

Home inspections are a fairly new phenomenon in the Real estate industry. There are no regulations in place to control who may call themselves or perform home inspections. This leaves the prospective home owner at the mercy of Real Estate agents, who usually refer or recommend a home inspector to their clients. Real estate agents are required to refer at least three home inspectors as dictated by their ethics requirements, but most typically refer their trusted inspector. Horror stories abound of home sales lost through the callous remarks of an “un-trained home inspector.

As a fully insured member of FREA, one of the requirements of obtaining insurance was the requirement to have completed a recognized home inspectors course and supply a certificate. I personally took the Carson-Dunlop course which covers all the main systems of the home in detail. Another requirement is to belong to an home inspectors organization, to which I also belong, NACHI ( North American Association of Certified Home Inspectors ). I looked around before choosing an association to belong to and found NACHI provided the most information and help for inspectors after you paid your dues. There is an Ontario Association but I felt their main concern was obtaining your dues and ensuring you did not interfere with the existing membership, with no visible support mechanism after payment. This was a personal choice and based solely on my needs and is not intended to drum up business or deny business to any organization.

Building Code knowledge is a vital part of being a home inspector. Understanding how all the building systems are connected and designed to work together to achieve the minimum standards set out in codes and regulations is vital to accuracy when inspecting any building. I have completed Part 9 the House of the Ontario Building Code, which is comprised of, Structural, Building Envelope, Health & Safety, Fire & HVAC and General Legal Process, which are all related to residential type home construction. Over the years I have also taken courses on plan reviews, sprinklers, inspection courses, and some Part 3 courses, which deal with industrial/commercial type buildings.

Proper equipment is an important part of home inspections. Want the quickest way to tell if your home inspector is truly a professional; look at his vehicle and type of ladder he is using. Some recent entries into the home inspection market have started up using a van and collapsible ladder. So how is he going to inspect your roof with a ladder that collapses? Most ladders of this type only extend to 21.5 feet. I have one that I use only for attic access, they are great for getting around closet organizers etc. That would be the same thing as the fire department pulling up to your home in a car, bringing a portable fire extinguisher! Yes, he will be able to put out a small fire, and yes, he is a fire fighter, but is that the type of response you are looking for?

Expertise is another area of home inspections that is very important to the home owner. What building experience does the inspector have, is he limited to a week or two intense training at a “franchise training center”? If your inspector has no prior knowledge or experience in the building industry, he is hopelessly beyond the ability of any brief training course to educate. There is too much to learn and too many subjects involved. Typical areas of expertise required would include but not limited to; landscaping, foundations, footings, roofs, drainage systems, building envelope, windows, doors, decks and porches, insulation and ventilation, heating and cooling, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, structural support and construction, mould and abatement, interior finishes, stairs and handrails, exhaust venting, laundry and washroom fixtures. So if you had 24 subjects you needed to be at least competent at and your went on a 2 week intensive training to your franchise school, if you spent 12 hours a day in “school” you would spend 3 hours on each topic minus breaks, lunches. Do you want your roof inspected by a “home inspector’ in a van who has had a total of 3 hours training to recognize defects in ventilation, construction, insulation and signs of failure?

A professional home inspector should take you around your home, not only pointing out defects but also showing you areas that will require future maintenance. He will educate you on where shut offs are located and explain such things as how much space is available in your main electrical panel. Whenever you book a home inspection never miss this golden opportunity to learn about the systems and features of your home.

Roger Frost, the Barrie Home Inspector,  is a professional home inspector serving clients in the Barrie, Ontario area in Simcoe County. He has over 26 years experience in the building industry and inspections. Roger has developed a loyal client base, which is centered on his professional abilities and excellent service provided. He also provides free consultation for any questions you may have concerning your home and is available 7 days a week.


Barrie Home Inspector
Barrie Home Inspections

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