Frequently Asked Questions

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a comprehensive visual examination of the home’s overall structure, major systems and components: the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. A trained and qualified CAHPI(BC) Island Building Inspections inspector will review your house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect the operability or lifespan of another. Components that are not performing properly should be identified, as well as items that are beyond their useful life or are unsafe. The purpose of the home inspection is to provide the client with a better understanding of the property conditions, as observed at the time of the inspection. Our inspections are performed according to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of our professional association, The Home Inspectors Association of BC (www.hiabc.ca). The Association is universally recognized and accepted by many professional and governmental bodies.

Why do I need an inspection?

Buyers: A pre-purchase home inspection can provide you with the information you need to know about the condition of the house you plan to purchase. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about a newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. More information equals an informed purchase decision, which equals fewer surprises – more Peace of Mind.

Owners: If you already are a homeowner considering a renovation? A pre-renovation inspection equals money spent in the right places. A home inspection can identify problems and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.

Vendors: If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition Show prospective purchasers that every effort has been made to disclose the condition of the home and minimize the need for negotiations once a buyer makes an offer subject to their own inspection. A listing inspection can equal a faster sale.

What does a home inspection include?

Please access the link above and refer to the Standards of Practice for a detailed overview of the inspection process. Generally an inspection includes a home’s heating system; interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components. Click here for sample report pages.

What are your qualifications?

I am an Accredited Home Inspector (AHI). Registered Inspectors meet rigorous requirements, including passing comprehensive written technical exams and performing a minimum of 250 fee-paid inspections conducted in accordance with the Standards of Practice of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors. Mandatory continuing education keeps members current with the latest technology, materials and professional skills. Please see the HIABC website for details on becoming a Registered Home Inspector.

At HIABC, we are committed to protecting consumers and improving home and property inspection services through our stringent membership requirements, mandatory ongoing training program and our detailed standards of practice and code of ethics.

The B.C. Government has recently instituted regulations requiring that all home inspectors hold licenses through the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority of B.C. Our inspectors meet all BPCPA's licensing requirements and carry current license identification.

At Island Building Inspections we are Certified WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) Inspectors and Commercial Property Certified Inspectors and Registered Home Inspectors.

As WETT Certified Inspector I have met rigorous educational requirements administered by a separate organization (Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc.) to promote the safe and effective use of wood burning systems in Canada.

How far ahead do we need to book?

Most times we can accommodate clients within a day or two, although there are times we're booked ahead for four or five days, so it is best to give us as much notice as possible.

How long does an inspection take?

A professional home inspection usually takes between two and four hours, depending on the size, age and condition of the house. It is critical that the we can access all areas and/or systems. If certain areas are inaccessible, the inspection can be hampered and take longer than necessary. The client may need to reschedule and pay for a return visit to the site.

An average size home (from 1000 to 2000 sq. ft.) takes approximately 2 -2 ½ hours to inspect plus ½ - 1 hour to review the report with the inspector. A condo inspection takes approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours. We maintain flexible hours to accommodate clients.

May we attend the inspection?

Yes. Our clients are encouraged to attend inspections. Time onsite with inspectors provides buyers with excellent opportunities to learn more about their prospective homes. Please be sure your agent and/or the vendor are aware that you would like to attend the inspection. Most clients choose to attend only at the end of the inspection, for the ‘walk-thru’, which includes a detailed review of the completed inspection report and an opportunity to ask questions of the inspector. For those who cannot attend, e-mailed reports and telephone consults cover all information that would normally be reviewed onsite.

How do I prepare my home for an inspection?

Homeowners should be aware that inspectors cannot move personal effects during the course of an inspection. Here are a few suggestions to prepare a home for an inspection:

  • Remove any furniture and stored material from access panels, crawl spaces, attic hatches, electrical panel boxes, furnaces, hot water tanks and water shut-offs.
  • If the access panel to the crawl space or attic is in a closet, you might want to remove the clothes from that closet or cover the clothes with a sheet, in order to protect them from bits of insulation and debris that might fall down in the process of removing the access panel.
  • Over friendly or unfriendly dogs or other family pets can complicate the inspection process and are best keep either away from the house or in a contained space during the period of an inspection.

What if the inspection uncovers problems?

No house is perfect and discovering problems doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.

How much do inspections cost?

Cost should not be considered a factor in whether or not to get a home inspection. Pricing can vary depending on your area of service. If no defects are uncovered during the inspection, you will have invested in valuable maintenance information and a good overall picture of the condition of your home and location of components. Whether a house is in obvious need of repair, new, or appears to be in excellent condition, an inspection can uncover defects unnoticed by vendors or buyers. The lowest priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Check inspector’s qualifications and experience. Members’ qualifications can be verified with CAHPI Also remember that some inspectors may have surcharges for a crawlspace, basement suite, age of house, mileage, etc. (www.cahpi.bc.ca).

For pricing please contact us at: ibi@telus.net.

Which forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cheque/cash/visa/mastercard & paypal. The inspectors accept payment onsite at the end of your inspection.

When do we get the report?

Following the inspection, the buyer is presented with a written report, consolidating the details of the inspection. Your inspection report is prepared onsite, e-mailed to our office for editing, and sent to you within 24 hours. Most reports are e-mailed late in the evening on the day of your inspection. If you have questions after the inspection, the inspector will be happy to answer them on the phone.

If you have further questions, please call us at 250-339-5399 or e-mail us.

Do you perform services other than residential home inspections?

We are certified to provide services for commercial inspections, indoor air quality investigations, new construction deficiencies list, WETT (wood stove) inspections.

What should I know about ASBESTOS in a home?

In most BC homes built prior to 1990, the presence of some building materials with asbestos is almost always present. It was commonly used in office buildings, public buildings and schools. It insulated hot water heating systems and was put into walls and ceilings as insulation against fire and sound. It has also been found in many products around the house: clapboard; shingles and felt for roofing; exterior siding; pipe covering; compounds and cement; textured and latex paints; acoustical ceiling tiles and plaster; vinyl floor tiles; and appliance wiring to name a few.

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC)cautions: “To avoid health risks through prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres, proper precautions must be taken when repairs or renovations disturb asbestos-containing materials, such as: disturbing loose-fill vermiculite insulation which may contain asbestos; removing deteriorating roofing shingles and siding containing asbestos; ripping away old asbestos insulation from around a hot water tank; sanding or scraping vinyl asbestos floor tiles; breaking apart acoustical ceiling tiles containing asbestos; sanding or scraping older water-based asbestos coatings such as roofing compounds, spackling, sealants, paint, putty, caulking or drywall….”.

You can find more information at www.cmhc.ca. Safe practices for handling asbestos can be found at www.worksafebc.com.

Recognizing and disclosing the possibility of asbestos is not within the scope of your home inspection. If your inspector suspects the presence of asbestos, he/she may suggest further evaluation and analysis by a qualified professional.

Protecting your Investment – Regular Maintenance of your Home is the Key.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation offers this fact sheet for a regular schedule of seasonal maintenance to protect your investment in your home. www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/gemare/gemare_003.cfm