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A building inspections is a visual examination of a home and property, which is conducted by a home inspector. The expert assesses in depth and objectively the accessible structure (interior and exterior) as well as all the main systems of the house, including the mechanical systems of the property (such as plumbing, electricity, etc.) and then determines their proper functioning and whether they are safe. A home inspection also detects structural problems or other defects, notices any repairs that might be necessary, helps identify interventions that can avoid unexpected repair costs, and highlights any other potential areas to risk that require special attention.

What to expect when inspecting your home.

On the day of the building inspections, a professional, experienced and courteous home inspector will perform a visual examination of the home's installed and accessible systems.

The process usually takes two to three hours, during which the house is examined from top to bottom. The inspection includes the observation and, where applicable, the verification of the proper functioning of the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical and household appliances systems, as well as structural components: the roof, the attic, the foundations, the basement, exterior and interior walls, fireplace and doors. Being present on the day of the inspection is worth it, so you can walk around the property with the inspector, ask questions and really get to know and understand the house.

The home inspector will give you his professional opinion on the condition of the house and he will highlight the components of the house that he considers to be clearly defective, dangerous or approaching the end of their useful life.

During the day you will receive a copy of the report, usually by e-mail, this will include the written and well-documented home inspector's report. This report will include photos, illustrations, and it will be presented in an easy-to-read format to take the guesswork out of it and provide you with a great foundation in your home buying decision.

What is not included in a home inspection?

building inspections cannot detect every flaw imaginable, it is not a guarantee or an appraisal.

1. Features of the house that are NOT covered

A home inspector can only inspect visible areas and items . Inspectors cannot see through foundations, walls or floors. Usually the inspector will not move furniture and he / she will not inspect inaccessible areas or objects either. And unlike what you might have seen on TV, the inspector can't knock down a wall to see what's hiding inside!

A normal building inspections does not include aesthetic or decorative elements of a home, such as swimming pools, spas, fireplaces and other wood-burning appliances, outbuildings or other specialized systems such as telephone, television. cable, alarm systems or automatic lawn sprinklers.

Please note that there are many specialist services (example: thermography ) which cover some of these elements and it is worth asking the inspector or checking the specialist service lists of large companies beforehand.

The AIBQ (Association  Inspection en Batiment Quebec) offers a complete list of home inspection limitations that you can consult for the standards of practice .

2. This is not an appraisal or estimate of your home.

An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay (or a seller might receive) for a property. This service is provided by an appraiser, who determines the value of a property usually on behalf of a mortgage lender (or a mortgage insurer) in order to use the property as collateral during a mortgage financing. An appraisal does not list flaws or highlight potential problems with the home like a building inspections does.

3. A building inspections report is not a guarantee

Because a home inspection is a visual inspection of the home and how systems are functioning, it is technically not comprehensive. There is no guarantee, expressly or impliedly, that the equipment will not fail at a later date. It is possible to purchase extended warranties and some of the larger companies offer these protection solutions. When these services are used together, a home warranty plan covers items that were working at the time of the building inspections and then failing due to normal wear and tear. If you're interested, ask your service provider if they offer these kinds of plans. 


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