Are you a member of a professional home inspection association and what level of Canadian provincial/national recognition have you attained?
It O.A.H.I is recognized by the Ontario government under the private members Bill Pr158 as well as the Ontario Real Estate Board and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Your inspector’s association should have at least this level of recognition as a minimum.
Does you association require you to take continued education to maintain your membership?
They should be required to continuously upgrade there education to stay current with new building technology.
Is it mandatory in your home inspection association to take Ontario Building Courses in order to achieve your title or designation?
Believe it or not, some associations do not require this level of training which is absolutely critical and it's primarily because their focus may be more international than provincial.
What home inspection related courses have you taken within the last 2 years?
Completion of 1-2 courses in the past 2 years would indicate commitment to upgrading personal and professional skills.
How long will the home inspection take?
It should take approximately 3 hours for a typical house.
What times do you schedule inspections?
They should be scheduled when there is enough natural daylight to complete the inspection.
Is home inspections your full-time job?
If home inspections is not their dedicated profession, they may not have adequate experience or the commitment you would expect to do a thorough job.
Is your report narrative or checklist?
A checklist report provides very generic pre-typed descriptions of common defects. Also, since redesigning the form with new information is expensive, they often do not include new defect scenarios. Narrative reports allow the inspector to write complete descriptive sentences unique to each defect. Most are computer based which gives the inspector even more flexibility in packaging the report.
When will I get the report?
Receiving the report on site before you leave is the best option because you may need it to justify purchase renegotiations immediately following the completion of the inspection.
How many inspections did you complete in the previous year?
A well established home inspector will typically complete a minimum of 250-300 per year. This type of volume suggests satisfied clients are referring the inspector to their friends and family.
How many inspections do you perform a day?
An inspection should take a approximately 3 hours to complete and, for this reason, completing more than 2 per day is not realistic when travel and lunch time is included. If the inspector normally completes 3-4 inspections per day, it is likely that not enough time is being dedicated to inspecting your potential house and answering your questions.
What is the inspection fee?
Although price should not be the sole determining factor on your choice of inspector, it will have some influence. Be cautious of low priced inspection fees. Most reputable companies charge between $350-500 plus tax as the base price for a typical 1500-2000 sq. ft. home. Anything less could either mean they are high volume inspectors who complete 3-4 short inspections per day or they are part-time inspectors who are only inspecting for supplemental income.
How many clients have successfully won their claim of negligence against you?
Unfortunately, as Home Inspectors we are sometimes subject to the "Last Man In" theory, where various contractors and tradespeople will wrongly convince a home owner that the inspector was negligent This happens as a means to justify an opportunity to charge for their services and they convince the client to file a claim to recover the cost of those services. The fact that one or more claims against an inspector should not be a concern. You should be more concerned with how often the inspector including the companies owned has been ruled at fault in these situations.