Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a home inspection?
A. An inspection is a non-invasive examination into the current condition of your property. It is a snapshot in time. It is not an appraisal, guarantee, warranty or an insurance policy.
Q. How long does an inspection take?
A. Usually 2 ½ to 3 hours but it depends on the age of your home, its condition and square footage. A thorough inspection takes time especially when attention is paid to detail.
Q. Do you use an infrared camera in an inspection?
A. Yes. We use it to check things like moisture, electrical and insulation issues for the inspection. We do not perform energy audits.
Q. Should I be present for the inspection?
A. Yes. Having you there, either throughout the inspection, or at the very least, during the briefing at the end of the inspection is highly encouraged. There are always items in the inspection that are better explained on-site. Keep in mind no home is perfect and it is always important to maintain realistic expectations. If you cannot attend, the emailed electronic contract will have to signed and the inspection prepaid by credit card/EFT.
Q. Does a newly constructed home need an inspection?
A. Absolutely. We perform two types of new home inspections. New Construction Pre-Delivery Inspection (before you accept possession) and New Home 11th Month Warranty Inspection (prior to warranty expiration). With the 11th Month Inspection, the house has usually been exposed to all four seasons of Canadian climate, which in most cases will reveal any settling problems.
Q. Do you inspect septic tanks?
A. Yes, a visual inspection inside the tank from the openings. A proper septic system inspection requires that the tank be pumped out and the field/mound tested in order to check its condition. Home inspectors are neither trained nor equipped to perform this function.
Q. Do you go up on the roof?
A. Yes. To do a proper evaluation requires going up on the roof, with exception to when it is unsafe due to excessive slopes, ice, snow, or poor weather conditions at the time of the inspection.
Q. Do you inspect appliances?
A. Yes. We check to appliance operation at the time of the inspection if they are included in the purchase. We will record serial numbers of appliances providing they do not have to be moved to access this information.
Q. Do you do repairs or recommend contractors?
A. No. It is a conflict of interest for a home inspector to refer a contractor to perform repairs that are recommended in the report.
Q. Can we contact you after the inspection?
A. Yes. We welcome your call with any questions or concerns regarding the inspection report.
Q. Can inspections be done on weekends?
A. Yes. Trying to accommodate the schedules of all parties involved with the inspection is important to us.
Q. How far in advance should I book the inspection?
A. Try booking as far in advance as you can to get the best time that works for you. We will also try our best to accommodate appointments on short notice.
Q. Do you carry Insurance?
A. Yes. Final Grade Inspection carries Errors & Omissions and general liability insurance.
Q. Should my realtor get a copy of the inspection?
A. You decide. There may be benefit in sharing the information with your realtor who can determine if any items in the report are significant enough to warrant re-negotiation or a change in pricing. Information about your inspection will only be shared with your permission.
Q. Do you take pictures?
A. Only when a significant problem is found that warrants documentation.
Q. What if the report reveals problems?
A. All houses have problems. Most are minor and can be remedied over time. If a major problem is found you will need to consider all options in making a decision.
Q. How should a home owner prepare the home for an inspection?
A. Some things can be done to help prepare for an inspection:
- All doors should be accessible.
- Leave the utilities (gas, water, power) connected and the pilot lights lit
- Provide access to the attic, garage, electrical panel, and crawl space (if applicable).
- Provide space around the electrical panel, furnace, water heater and air conditioner.
- Leave keys for gates, outbuildings, electrical boxes, etc.
- If there are pets, make sure they are secured or removed from the property.
- Prepare to be away for a few hours during the inspection.
Q. Can I pay by credit card?
A. Yes. Payment can be made by cheque, cash, Visa or Mastercard, as well as electronic funds transfer (pre-paid if using EFT).
Q. Do I have to use one of the inspectors on the list provided by my realtor?
A. No. Choose a qualified inspector, and not one based solely on cost when making this important decision. Make sure the inspector you choose is licensed to do inspections in the province of Alberta, experienced in the construction industry and insured.
Air Quality and Mold Testing
Q. What do I need to do to prepare for the inspection/sampling?
A. Make sure all windows/doors are closed for 24 hours prior to sampling.
Q. Can you tell if there is mold without sampling?
A. No. A lab analysis is required to confirm the mold and mold type even if the mold is visible.
Q. Can I pay by credit card?
A. Yes. Payment can be made by cheque, cash, Visa or Mastercard, as well as electronic funds transfer prior to results being released.