Frequently Asked Questions About Home Inspections

Author: Homeworks Inspection Services | | Categories: Certified Home Inspector , Home Inspection , Property Inspection


A home inspection is a vital part of buying a house as it reveals the true condition of the property. That way, you can avoid making a poor investment that drains your income and leaves unhappy. However, if this is your first time buying a property, you may have a ton of questions about the process and find answers difficult to come by. At Homeworks Inspection Services, we want to arm you with the most accurate information on this activity, and to do this, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about home inspections.

1. Is it okay to perform the inspection myself?
Inspecting your own potential house or having a friend or relative do it for you is not recommended. Home inspectors are specially trained to look for things you or someone who is not adequately trained may miss. Unless you are a home inspector yourself, seek out a professional for this task.

2. What is covered in a home inspection?
Not all home inspectors cover the same things, and each province may have their own legal requirements for home inspections. In Ontario, home inspectors must adhere to one of the following three standards of practice: 

a. OAHI / CAHPI Standards of Practice 2012 National Standards of Practice

b. CSA A770 Standards

c. ASHI Standards of Practice.

In general, all three standards include an inspection of the roof, exterior, structure, electrical, heating, cooling, insulation, plumbing, and interior. Beyond that, some home inspection companies include other services if their clients require them like septic system inspections or the inspection of wood-burning fireplaces or wood-burning appliances. If you have specific concerns about a particular area or feature of the home, be sure to ask your home inspector before the inspection if they will be evaluating that area of concern.

3. How long will the inspection take?
Knowing the length of time of an inspection is important because you usually have to arrange a time with the realtor and the current owner for the inspector to examine the house. A typical home inspection takes between two to four hours, but it may take longer depending on the size and features of the house. Factors that will affect the amount of time taken to inspect a property include the size of the house, if there are outbuildings (garages, barns or workshops), and the number of dwelling units within the house (that is if it a single-family or multi-family home). When booking the home inspection appointment, make sure to describe the property in detail to your inspector so that they can give you an accurate estimate of how long the inspection is expected to take.

4. What is the cost of a home inspection?
The cost of a home inspection varies between home inspection companies and the different properties being inspected. Detached homes are typically more expensive to have inspected than a townhouse. Also, the fee for a single-family home inspection is usually less costly than the cost for a multi-family home inspection. On average, a prospective home buyer can expect to pay between $350 to $550 for a home inspection. But if the house is huge, has multiple dwelling units, or has a septic system, well, or other additional features that need an inspection, the price can be higher.

5. What type of inspection report is supplied, and how long does it take to receive it?
The quality of inspection reports varies significantly within the industry. Some companies will provide you with a single page checklist, and others give a handwritten report included in a binder with supporting reference material. Some inspectors will even email you a digital report, including photographs, diagrams, and links to reference material. Regardless of the type of reporting system they use, most inspection companies will provide a report within twenty-four hours of the inspection.

6. Is it possible for a home to fail an inspection?
The home inspector does not pass or fail a house. Instead, their home inspections are designed to tell you the present condition of the house and what needs to be repaired or what may lead to a problem in the future. Once you have all the information revealed by the home inspection, and if the home inspection is a condition that you had in your offer to purchase, it is your decision whether to proceed with the purchase as is, renegotiate the terms of the deal, or keep looking for another home. The home inspection is intended to empower you (the purchaser) with the information you need to make an informed decision.

7. Should I attend the home inspection?
Your home inspector should allow you to attend the inspection as it is a valuable experience for you as a home buyer and future homeowner. The inspection will show you first hand what potential problems exist now or may arise in the future. By observing and asking questions, you will learn a great deal about the house you are about to purchase

8. Do I need a home inspection?
The purchase of a house is probably the single largest investment you will ever make. As a result, a home inspection is a large part of your due diligence before purchase to learn as much as you can to protect yourself from unwanted surprises that may arise in the future.

If you have any more questions about home inspection, get in touch with the experts at Homeworks Inspection Services. We provide you with a certified home inspector in Hamilton, ON, to thoroughly inspect your prospective home and educate you on whether it’s a good investment. With over twenty years of experience, we understand the requirements to ensure our clients make the right choices. We also work quickly and efficiently to identify problems with a house and point out potential issues in the future. Once we’re done, we make it our goal to update you with a formal report in twenty-four hours. During the inspection, we invite you to be present as we can physically show you what we find and update you immediately.

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