How much does it cost to hire a building inspector?
Last modified: 2019/02/11 | Approximate reading time 3 mins
Most Canadians go into debt over ten or even twenty years in order to become homeowners. Knowing this fact, it is strongly recommended to call a building inspector before making any transaction on a property. The purpose of this assessment is to identify minor or major problems with a property that may further diminish its value or present a potential hazard to its occupants.
After a thorough visual inspection, the building inspector will note the items that require repair or replacement in a report for you. The goal is obviously to allow you to renegotiate the conditions of the promise to purchase to cover the costs that you will have to pay. By hiring a building inspector, your chances of buying a home with hidden defects will be lowered.
You will soon find that the cost of a building inspector is well worth the risk!
Building inspection: the cost of a pre-purchase inspection
The cost of a building inspection varies from one region to another. As you can guess, the further you are from a big city, the lower the price will be. Of course, the cost varies depending on several factors, including the age of the house, its dimensions and whether you want to evaluate extra items. The prices presented in this article are for illustrative purposes only, hence the idea of meeting with several building inspectors in order to get the best service for a reasonable price.
Count $250 to $400 to have a condo inspected and between $50 and $550 for a single-family home. Prices go up to $625 for a duplex, $700 for a three-story triplex and can reach up to $1,000 for a larger property. A good inspector should spend about eight hours of work including travel, building inspection (minimum 2 to 3 hours), photo analysis, research work and writing the report.
The building inspector should also be able to: share advice, ask the seller about recent construction or renovation work, review the vendor's statement, summarize the inspection verbally and produce a detailed and personalized report (without copy-paste and without technical or meaningless sentences).
What does a building inspection cover?
The building inspector must be experienced and have the technical knowledge to determine if the property is safe and the air is healthy. You should not ignore that in the long run, some moisture problems, can cause serious lung problems, requiring major work to restore the property.
Therefore, a building inspector should be able to recognize the presence of iron ocher (presence of oxygen, water and iron in the soil combined with the reaction of several types of bacteria), Poly-B (chlorine compound, it causes premature deterioration of the pipes which causes leaks), pyrite (which triggers the swelling of concrete and stone, leading to considerable damage to the structure of the building), radon (a harmful gas that can cause lung cancer over long-term exposition), or vermiculite (an insulation product that contains amphibole asbestos that may be harmful to health).
In addition, the building inspector will have to consider several elements:
- Foundations: detect movements and cracks;
- Accessible structure: the condition of the interior and exterior floors and walls;
- Terrain: Sloping (negative) terrain is often synonymous with flooding;
- Driveway: evaluation of the state of the asphalt;
- Roofing: verify its condition and check if it is necessary to replace the material;
- Moisture: measure humidity; detect water infiltration and the presence of mould;
- Air quality: check for aeration and the presence of toxic fumes;
- Insulation: identify heat loss through doors and windows;
- Plumbing: Check the condition of the pipes and the plumbing system in general;
- Heating system: verify its condition and the required maintenance;
- Electrical system: check the electrical panel and system is up to code;
- Ventilation: Inspect the air exchanger, wall mounted air conditioner or heat pump that could be a major expense in case of breakage;
- Sewers and drains: sewer connections and the presence of harmful substances in the drains.
What is not included in a home inspection
- Wood burning appliances;
- The telephone system and cable;
- The alarm system;
- The pool and spa;
- Any other aesthetic element of the house.
The inspector examines only those items that are visible. Therefore, this professional will not necessarily detect a problem located inside the foundations, floors or walls. However, this inspection is valuable in that it can help determine repair and maintenance costs related to the condition of the property. Note that a building inspection is not a guarantee in itself, but "a thorough visual inspection" offered by an experienced professional.
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