Frequently Asked Questions


What is a building inspection?
A property inspection is a reasonable effort to disclose the property conditions existing on the day of the inspection. An inspection is a look at your home with an experienced eye in the following areas:

• Roof
• Siding
• Foundation
• Basement
• Doors & windows
• Plumbing
• Electrical system
• Heating system
• Fireplaces
• Air conditioning
• Insulation
• Built-in appliances

Who is a building inspector?
Property inspectors are generalists with broad knowledge on many topics. The property inspector gives an overview of the condition of the property and reports major defects. A good inspector must be well-versed in residential construction techniques and have good communication skills.

Are there any limitations?
A home inspection is a non-invasive visual inspection. Physical obstructions, weather conditions, etc. can prevent a home inspector from observing hidden conditions (e.g., a snow covered roof or concealed areas). An inspector cannot make representations about what was inaccessible.

What if the report reveals problems?
The report is intended to identify conditions that may not be readily apparent or visible to an untrained eye. The report may help you understand future maintenance issues, negotiate price, or get repairs done before listing or closing. The report is for information only; an inspector does not have the authority to require repairs to be performed. The choice is yours.

Which properties should be inspected?
Any property should be inspected regardless of age. New construction as well as existing properties may have defects. The inspector also uses his experience of inspecting older properties to anticipate future problems in new construction.

Can a property “fail” an inspection?
An inspector does not “pass” or “fail” a property. A professional inspection is simply an examination of the property’s current condition. An inspector notes conditions and gives recommendations on items in need of repair or replacement.

Is an inspection an insurance policy or warranty against future repair?
No. A property inspector cannot predict every repair or maintenance item that may be encountered while owning a property. Purchasing a property brings risk, and an inspection cannot eliminate this risk. An inspection does not constitute an insurance policy.
Do I need to be present at the building inspection?
It is not necessary for you to be present at the inspection. Being at the inspection will help you learn about your new property. The inspector can give you tips on maintenance and upkeep and answer questions and/or concerns you may have.

Why do I need an inspection?
Buying a property is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. A property inspection will let you know the condition of the property before you buy so you may avoid unpleasant costly repairs afterwards. After an inspection, you should have a clear understanding about the property and feel confident about your purchase.

When do I call in a building inspector?
Buyer: After you have made an offer to purchase the property is a good time to call in an inspector. Have your lawyer or realtor include an “inspection clause” in the contract, making your purchase contingent upon the findings of a professional inspection.

Seller: Prior to listing is a good time to call an inspector to get an unbiased assessment of the property. An inspection report can be used as a list for repairs or as additional information for potential buyers.