So you just bought a house maybe your first or this is your second or third time purchasing a home. You want a home inspection because you’re unsure and nervous about your purchase probably the biggest or one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. Your Real Estate agent will likely show you 3 contacts as their code of ethics states they should recommend at least 3 names for outside services. Whether you choose the agents suggestions or choose your own inspector here are things you want to consider when choosing a home inspector.
Home Inspection in Ontario is unlicensed, licensing may be coming in the future in this province but for now you need to realize that anyone in this province can hang out their shingle stating they are a home inspector.
Most home inspectors will state they are certified. Think carefully about that and ask certified by whom? Anyone can say they are certified so it is important to see that they are certified by a college or association that has reputable background. Be careful if someone says they are certified by the organization they work for.
Is the inspector insured? This is important because whenever an occupation is unregulated but the service professional or contractor carries insurance the insurer becomes the unofficial regulator. Insurance companies don’t want to insure someone not qualified and will check the contractor’s background for education, qualifications, membership in professional associations before insuring this person or their business.
Extra Services. Inspectors offer extra services, which is fine if they have the proper training and qualifications. Things like WETT inspections (wood burning appliances) require certification by the WETT organization. There are level one and level two WETT inspections, level two includes inspection of the chimney flue if you don’t get a level two inspection then the appliance really has not been certified as safe to use. Septic and Wells require licenses from the Ministry of Environment, a home inspector can be fined up $10,000 for removing the lid on a septic or well without the proper credentials. Mould testing. If your inspector says he does mould testing that should raise a flag, home inspectors can only do sampling not testing unless they have their own lab. Will your inspector interpret the lab report and explain it to you? My belief on all these extras is leave it to the professionals. These services are beyond the scope of “Home Inspection” I will recommend contacting these types of professionals whenever any type of red flag is raised in these areas but your home inspector needs to realize when the issue is beyond his area of expertise and training.