Frequently Asked Question
- Why do I need a home inspection?
Home inspections can give you a better insight into the home you are considering buying, or as a seller wanting to get top dollar for your home. Unknown issues or damage are additional costs on top of the purchase price of your home, and can raise the price of the home if not discovered before the sale of the home. An inspection can discover damage or issues not covered in the sellers' disclosure, costing thousands of dollars in repair if they are discovered later in the future. Sellers wanting top dollar for their home can show potential buyers that maintenance items are up to date on their home. People who don't have a lot of home maintenance experience would also benefit from a yearly check up to keep their maintenance list short and manageable.
-What is typically covered during a full inspection?
The InterNACHI standards of practice are adhered to for our inspections. They can be found here.
The inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of the home. As a brief overview: The roof and components, the exterior of the home and grounds are inspected along with the driveway and any walkways. A representative number of interior doors, windows, and electrical plugs will be checked. All plumbing fixtures will be operated using normal procedures, and all exterior doors will be checked. Heating and cooling will be checked through normal operating procedures using the thermostat. Should outside temperature exceed manufacturers recommendations for testing, the a/c may not be checked. The electrical panel will be checked, and all gfci and afci breakers and plugs tested. The attic space will be checked, and foundation walls where accessible. Decks and patios are checked, and crawlspaces, should they be accessible.
-What is not covered in a home inspection?
Safety is important to us; safety for our clients, agents, home owners and inspectors. Any item that is not deemed safe to operate will not be checked. Unsafe roofs will not be walked on. Water shut-off valves and breakers that are turned off will not be turned on. Specialized equipment requiring specialized knowledge will not be checked unless specified by the inspector (ex. heat exchanger and condensing coils). Pool pump/hot tub operation and out-buildings (sheds, detached garages) are outside the scope of an inspection and will not be inspected unless specified. Areas not accessible by reasonable effort from the inspector will not be inspected. For example, an electrical panel blocked by storage shelving is not accessible and will not be inspected; a roof covered with an abundance of snow and ice will be observed from the ground with field glasses. While the inspector will do his best to gain access to the attic interior, many attics are not designed for foot traffic, and as such, should there not be an adequate walkway or the inspector feels he will compact or disturb the insultation or damage the ceiling below the attic space, the attic inspection may be limited to the visible area around the access hatch. Inspections are based on conditions at the time of inspection. An abnormally dry season may hide moisture issues. While we do our utmost to find issues for our clients, owning a home is an ongoing process that changes as environmental conditions change, and therefore an inspection is only a report on the condition of your home when the inspector was on site. Inspection does not include out-building, pools, hot tubs, or wells, but are additional assessments that can be arranged by 4 Corner Home Inspections. One garage is included with inspection whether attached or not. Additional basement suites are an additional $50 plus GST. All specialized equipment such as heat exchangers, solar panels may require additional inspection by a certified trade expert. Any specialized testing (thermal imaging, air quality testing, asbestos testing) will not be performed unless specifically noted in the service agreement.
What is the difference in the services provided?
-In short, the Full Home Inspection is a full service package, with up to 4 hours on site (or more depending on the home), with a full written report. This is the recommended package as it will provide the client with the most information about the home. The Walk-Through Inspection in comparison is brief and not as exhaustive. Clients can choose the areas of the home they want more information about, while passing over other areas. While this is not ideal, in all cases it is better than no inspection at all. In a seller's market where any added condition to the offer may cause the seller to pass over your offer, a walkthrough inspection can take place in a short amount of time, while you are viewing a home, as a pre-offer inspection. For a Walk-Through Inspection, you are essentially paying for the inspector's time and experience on site. There is no written report with this package and the inspector will be on site for approximately 1 hour or less. The Yearly Check up package is essentially a Full Home Inspection in year one, and every subsequent year at $150. The follow up inspections are similar to a walkthrough inspection, checking up on maintenance issues mentioned in the full report issued in year one. The yearly check up report will provide a checklist of maintenance items the homeowner can address or budget for in the future. Single component inspections and renovation consultations are limited to one hour, with additional costs per portion of the hour following.
-I have an inspection scheduled. What should I expect when the inspector shows up?
The client is the priority. The client and their agent are welcome to be on site. In the interest of full disclosure, it is easier for our inspector to go about his inspection and present his findings on site after the inspection. If a client stops the inspector every few minutes to ask questions, the process is slowed. We just ask clients be mindful of the inspector's time so that we can provide the best quality inspection we are able to. We ask that family members and friends are not on site. You can expect the inspector to be on site for a few hours for a full inspection and a full written report will be emailed by the end of the next business day. Hard copies of the report can be delivered within 2 business days for an additional fee. For a walk-through inspection, the inspector will be on site for up to 1 hour, including a verbal report with any portion of an hour after that at $100 per hour. With insurance restrictions, clients are not to be on the roof or attic space during an inspection. As Covid-19 has taken the world by storm, 4 Corner Home Inspections practices social distancing protocols whenever possible, and basic personal protective gear will be used on site, along with hand sanitizer and wipes. If you are clients or agents entering someone's home, we would ask that you respect their space by removing footwear and wearing a mask in our global efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Should you not have a mask, 4 Corners Home Inspection will provide one for you, as supply allows. You can choose to not wear a mask and observe the inspection from the outside of the home.
4 Corner Home Inspections is fully insured, and if the inspector accidentally scratches a wall or breaks a mirror, or similar, we are more than happy to fix the problem for you. However, should damage that occurs during an inspection that results directly from unsafe conditions, or as a result of pre-existing damage, is outside of our control. For example, if an inspector steps on a roof that appears safe but the inspector puts his foot through the roof because the substructure is rotten (from years of neglect or intentionally covered up damage), in reality, he has found an issue that seller/buyer need to sort out. If an inspector tests a GCFI outlet and the outlet does not reset as per manufacturers testing procedure, the inspector has successfully found a safety issue that needs to be resolved buy the homeowner. It is our goal to operate the business in a transparent and honest manner. Happy clients are important to us.
- What is included with a thermal imaging add-on?
Thermal imaging is a very useful tool in finding defects that may not be visible to the naked eye. While there are limitations to the technology (you can't "see through walls"), thermal imaging is able to detect energy loss due to lack of or missing insulation or heating/cooling ducts that are leaking and moisture leaks that have not yet become visible on the finished surface. While our inspector is able to investigate the cause of some of the thermal anomalies, you can choose to hire your own contractors to investigate further, in order to maximize the time our inspector has to do a thorough job with the thermal imaging. In readily accessible areas, the thermal imaging readings will be confirmed with visual evidence or supporting readings from a moisture meter. While thermal imaging can be a great tool in finding defects, it is not infallible, and therefore, there are no warranties given or implied by a thermal imaging service.
-As a red seal electrician, are you able to fix electrical or any other issues you find?
Unfortunately, as your home inspector, I am unable to do any repairs in your home for a period of 12 months. We would be happy to recommend a specialist to help you.
-With a global pandemic in full swing, what can I expect from an inspection?
Covid has taken our society by storm. Regardless of the differing views on Covid-19, the reality is that we have to be mindful of our interaction with those around us. 4 Corner Home Inspections has adopted the view that it is better to be safe than sorry. There is new studies and short term research coming to light almost daily, but the fact is that we don't really know the long term effects of Covid-19 yet. As a result, 4 Corner Home Inspections will practice social distancing and the inspector will wear a mask while in your home. We will have hand sanitizer on hand and sanitizing wipes. Regardless of your views on Covid-19, we ask our clients to respect the homeowners residence and wear a mask and avoid excessive touching of surfaces. Should a client not have a mask, 4 Corner Home Inspections will provide one for you as long as supply allows. We ask that friends and family member not attend the inspection or remain outside and take turns being in the home. Safety for the clients, agents, homeowners, and inspector is our utmost concern. Should an inspector feel anyone on site is not acting in a safe and responsible manner, the inspector can choose to end the inspection. As the Manitoba Health Order restrictions are lifted, 4 Corner Home Inspections will adjust accordingly.