What is a Home Inspection? Part 2

What is a Home Inspection? Part 2

I left the last post off at some of the rules inspectors follow when conducting an inspection.  

Rules of a Home Inspection? 

Many people may not know, but there are actual guidelines published on how home inspectors are to conduct home inspections.  First and foremost, Consumer Protection is the one that issues licenses for home inspectors.

There is a link available to look up to see if someone is licensed as a home inspector.  Here is the link License Lookup.

Consumer protection also has rules that inspectors must follow to create reports as well.

There are also 3 main organizations that publish Standards of Practices for home inspectors that consumer protection allows adherence to. 

Those 3 organizations are:

  • Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (CanNACHI)
  • Home Inspector Association of BC (HIABC)
  • Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC)

Standards Of Practices (SOP)

Most of the SOPs are relatively similar between the organizations except for some minor differences.  But understand how an inspector goes about doing an inspection is also about understanding a SOP, and what inspectors don’t do

Inspectors can only work with what they can see.   There is a lot of fancy equipment out there that gives us all sort of information beyond what we can visually see, such as infrared cameras, and moisture testers, but at the very end of the day the 100% confirmation of anything is based on what we can see with our eyes. 

Equipment can indeed be fooled, and many things on a report you will see that further confirmation will be required to 100% confirm a situation

Appliances usually don’t make it on a report.  Believe or not inspectors are NOT required to inspect appliances.  The reason behind this is that running an appliance can cause further damage to a property at the time of inspection.  Such as a leaking dishwasher.  

Also it is very difficult to guarantee an appliance will be operational at the time of possession, especially if the property is still occupied

Inspectors are not supposed to turn on any valves, or breakers of they are set to off.  This is another example of not damaging the property further.  The assumption is that if a water valve is turned off, for example, there is probably a good reason for it.  Perhaps there is a leaking line somewhere and turning it on will cause that leak again.  

Buyer beware still exists.  Unfortunately no one can guarantee that a property is in the same condition compared to the day of inspection.  If people are still living in the property, and using it, there is still a chance something could break.  

Many inspectors take pictures during the inspection, and will create a document of the property on the day that it is inspected.  So many times at least if something isn’t right, you can ask the inspector if they have pictures of something for what it was like on the day of inspection.

Inspectors that do what is best for their client

At the very end of the day, a good inspector should do what is best for their client within the rules they are given.

For example, if the roof is wet on the day of inspection, it will be difficult to walk on it without jeopardizing the inspector’s safety.   However, does the inspector carry binoculars?  If they do, they could still try and view as much as they can with them.

There are also times that inspectors will go what we call ‘beyond the standards of practice’  The SOP exists for a reason, and this is usually done at the risk of the inspector causing damage.  But experienced inspectors will know when the time to do this will be.

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