September 29th, 2016

Grow Houses

Have you ever wondered why your neighbors never surface from their home, rarely have any garbage to pick up, always have the blinds down or windows covered, come and go at unusual hours and never invite you over for a barbecue? If this is the case, there is a possibility you are living beside a grow house. With an estimated 50,000 grow houses in Canada, there is growing concern about health, fire, safety, and structural implications for home buyers. But what risk is there in owning a grow home?

What is a grow house?

A grow house is a home that has been converted into a marijuana operation. Larger homes in quiet areas with unfinished basements are preferred, although grow houses can exist in any neighborhood.

What are the signs and the risks?

There must be ideal greenhouse conditions for these operations. The electrical system is usually altered to power the hydroponic equipment. Operators may also steal electricity by tapping into the electrical service before it enters the electrical meter, and bring power into the house through a hole in the foundation. Additional circuitry is usually added inside the home to bring electrical power to the equipment, and operators rarely make sure that these alterations meet electrical codes. While these modifications can create a hazardous electrical situation, improvements can be made to ensure the electrical system remains safe for a potential homebuyer. Holes cut in the foundation wall can be repaired as well, but if not done properly, the potential for water leakage remains.

Plants require light, ideal temperature, water and nutrients in order to thrive, and with the heat generated by hydroponic lighting, a significant amount of humidity is produced in the process. While humans, animals, and plants need humidity, too much can cause mould, mildew, and rot to form in the home, especially in or on exterior surfaces. Often, modifications are made to the home to help vent the excess humidity to the outdoors and bring in fresh air from the outside. Fireplaces and chimneys can be used as channels for removing excess moisture. Structural members such as floor and ceiling joists are sometimes cut to accommodate additional ductwork. The structural integrity of the home may be compromised by the combination of cut framing members and high humidity. Signs of high humidity are usually most visible in attic spaces, where the moist air is often dumped. Darkening of attic surfaces is generally a good indicator that mould and mildew are present.

Mould comes in many colors and may be visible and distinct. It can also be very subtle. Surface mould may be the tip of an iceberg, with considerable mould concealed behind the wall. In other cases, the mould is only on the surface. The toughest situation occurs when the mould is not visible. Home inspectors pay particular attention to intersecting walls and ceilings where air circulation is poor or areas that have been chronically damp or wet. The good news is that many grow houses are in operation for less than a year, which may not be enough time for mould to thrive and cause serious structural damage.

Other clues

Look for painted concrete floors in the basement, and walls that have been painted white to reflect light. Screw holes and patches are often visible in the foundation wall where equipment was mounted above the floor level to avoid any water on the floor. Multiple splices in the plumbing system may be present to nourish the crop. Chemical odors, including fertilizers and pesticides are also used, which can create health hazards through poor indoor air quality.

Conclusion

While it is expected that realtors who are representing sellers or landlords of these properties should make every effort to ensure that all parties are notified of the potential issues, a home inspection can help quantify the severity of these issues. In most cases, with proper clean-up and some repair, these homes can be lived in without concern. Unfortunately, insurance companies are also being very cautious and focusing on reducing loss ratios, not on acquiring business, making it more difficult to get insurance on high risk homes such as grow homes. By exercising good judgment and due diligence in obtaining proper information on the condition of the home, purchasers can rest easy knowing that with a little tender loving care, the home will provide the comfort and security they deserve.


September 29th, 2016

Home Improvement Costs

 

The following costs are intended as ballpark estimates for repairs and/or improvements to a typical three bedroom home. Our experience has shown that actual contractor quotations can vary by as much as 300%. Naturally, the quality of workmanship and materials will influence costs. The complexity of the job, accessibility and even economic conditions can also alter actual costs.


 

Roofing / Flashings / Chimneys
Install conventional asphalt shingles over existing shingles $2.00 - $4.00 per sq.ft.
Strip and reshingle with conventional asphalt shingles $2.75- $5.50 per sq.ft.
Strip and reshingle with premium quality asphalt shingles $5.00 - $10.00 per sq .ft.
Strip and re-roof with cedar shingles $9.00 - $18.00 per sq .ft.
Strip and replace built-up tar and gravel roof $10.00 - $20.00 per sq.ft. (min. $1000)
Strip and replace single-ply membrane $10.00 - $20.00 per sq.ft. (min. $1000)
Reflash typical skylight or chimney $500.00 - $1000.00
Rebuild typical chimney above roof line $25.00 - $50.00 per row of bricks (min. $400)
Rebuild typical single flue chimney above roof line $200.00 - $400.00 per lin.ft. (min. $1000)
Exterior
Install galvanized or aluminum gutters and downspouts $5.00 - $10.00 per lin.ft. (min. $500)
Install aluminum soffits and fascia $8.00 - $16.00 per lin.ft.
Install aluminum or vinyl siding $6.00 - $12.00 per sq.ft.
Repoint exterior wall (soft mortar) $3.00 - 6.00 per sq.ft. (min. $500)
Repoint exterior wall (hard mortar) $5.00 - $10.00 per sq.ft. (min. $500)
Parge foundation walls $3.00 - $6.00 per sq.ft.
Dampproof foundation walls and install weeping tile $150.00 - $300.00 per lin.ft. (min. $3000)
Install a deck $25.00 - $50.00 per sq.ft. (min. $1000)
Resurface existing asphalt driveway $2.00 - $4.00 per sq.ft.
Install interlocking brick driveway $8.00 - $16.00 per sq.ft.
Rebuild exterior basement stairwell $5000.00 and up
Build detached garage $70.00 - $140.00 per sq.ft.
Build retaining wall (wood) $20.00 - $40.00 per sq.ft. (min. $500)
Build retaining wall (concrete) $30.00 - $60.00 per sq.ft. (min $500)
Painting (trim only) $2000.00 - $4000.00 and up
Painting (trim and wall surfaces) $5000.00 and up
Structure
Underpin one corner of house $5000.00 and up
Underpin or add foundations $300.00 and up per lin.ft. (min. $3000)
Lower basement floor by underpinning and/or bench footings $150.00 - $300.00 per lin.ft. (min. $5000)
Replace deteriorating sill beam with concrete $60.00 and up per lin.ft. (min. $2000)
Install basement support post with proper foundation $800.00 - $1600.00
Perform chemical treatment for termites $2000.00 and up
Repair minor crack in poured concrete foundation $400.00 - $800.00
Electrical
Upgrade electrical service to 100 amps 
(including new panel)
$1200.00 - $3000.00
Upgrade electrical service to 100 amps 
(if suitably sized panel already exists)
$800.00 - $1600.00
Upgrade electrical service to 200 amps $1700.00 - $3500.00
Install new circuit breaker panel $700.00 - $1400.00
Replace circuit breaker (20 amp or less) $100.00 - $200.00
Add 120 volt circuit (microwave, freezer, etc.) $150.00 - $300.00
Add 240 volt circuit (dryer, stove, etc.) $300.00 - $600.00
Add conventional receptacle $200.00 - $400.00
Replace conventional receptacle with ground fault circuit receptacle $70.00 -$140.00
Replace conventional receptacle with aluminum compatible type (CO/ALR)(assuming several are required) $60.00 - $120.00 ea.
Upgrade entire house with aluminum compatible receptacles, connectors, etc. $1000.00 - $2000.00
Rewire electrical outlet with reversed polarity 
(assuming electrician already there)
$5.00 - $10.00 ea.
Replace knob & tube wiring with conventional wiring (per room) $1000.00 - $2000.00
Heating
Install mid-efficiency forced-air furnace $2500.00 - $5000.00
Install high-efficiency forced-air furnace $3500.00 - $7000.00
Install humidifier $300.00 - $600.00
Install electronic air filter $800.00 - $1600.00
Install mid-efficiency boiler $3500.00 - $7000.00
Install high-efficiency boiler  $6000.00 - $12000.00
Install circulating pump $400.00 - $600.00
Install chimney liner for gas appliance $500.00 - $1000.00
Install chimney liner for oil appliance $700.00 - $1800.00
Install programmable thermostat $200.00 - $400.00
Replace indoor oil tank $1200.00 - $2500.00
Remove oil tank from basement $600.00 and up
Remove abandoned underground oil tank $10000.00 and up
Replace radiator valve $300.00 - $600.00
Add electric baseboard heater $250.00 - $500.00
Convert from hot water heating to forced-air (bungalow) $10000.00 - $20000.00
Convert from hot water heating to forced-air (two storey) $15000.00 - $30000.00
Clean ductwork $300.00 - $600.00
Cooling / Heat Pumps
Add central air conditioning on existing forced-air system $3000.00 and up
Add heat pump to forced-air system $4000.00 - $8000.00
Replace heat pump or air conditioning condenser $1200.00 - $2500.00
Install independent air conditioning system $10000.00 - $20000.00
Install ductless air conditioning system $3000.00 - $7000.00
Insulation
Insulate open attic to modern standards $0.80 - $1.60 per sq.ft.
Blow insulation into flat roof, cathedral ceiling or wall cavity $2.00 - $4.00 per sq.ft.
Improve attic ventilation $30.00 - $60.00 per vent
Plumbing
Replace galvanized piping with copper 
(2 storey with one bathroom)
$2500.00 - $5000.00
Replace water line to house $2000.00 and up
Replace toilet $500.00 and up
Replace basin, including faucets $750.00 and up
Replace bathtub, including ceramic tile and faucets $2500.00 and up
Install whirlpool bath, including faucets $3500.00 and up
Retile bathtub enclosure $1000.00 - $2000.00
Replace leaking shower stall pan $1000.00 - $2000.00
Rebuild tile shower stall $2500.00 - $5000.00
Replace laundry tubs $400.00 - $800.00
Remodel four-piece bathroom completely $6000.00 - $50000.00
Connect waste plumbing system to municipal sewers $5000.00 and up
Install submersible pump $1000.00 and up
Install suction or jet pump $700.00 and up
Install modest basement bathroom $6000.00 and up
Interior
Add drywall over plaster $4.00 - $8.00 per sq.ft.
Sand and refinish hardwood floors $2.00 - $4.00 per sq.ft.
Install replacement windows $40.00 - $120.00 per sq.ft.
Install storm window $200.00 - $400.00
Install masonry fireplace (if flue already roughed-in) $3000.00 and up
Install zero-clearance firelace (including chimney) $3500.00 and up
Install glass doors on fireplace $300.00 and up
Install skylight $3000.00
Remodel kitchen completely $10,000.00 - $110000.00
Install gas fireplace $3500.00 and up

 


September 29th, 2016

A home inspector can encounter a lot of horrors in a day’s work. The job entails:

  • conducting a visual, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, most often in connection with the sale of that home
  • inspecting all the accessible major components which include the roof, exterior, structure, electrical, heating, air conditioning and heat pumps, insulation, plumbing and interior
  • preparing and delivering to the client a written report of findings

These are a home inspector’s 10 worst nightmares…

 

10. Major Defects in New Construction

Water in a crawlspace in a new home, now that’s scary. Potentially, this leakage can reoccur in the future if not repaired correctly. This water, as it evaporates, creates ongoing high humidity in the home and it can support mould growth in attics and roof spaces when it condenses.


9. Do It Yourself Structural Modifications

In order to create more storage in the attic, a home owner has cut engineered roof trusses, without a permit… and without adding any reinforcement. Likely, the roof will sag in time, and possibly collapse during heavy snow or wind loads.

 

8. Raw Sewage

 Every time the toilet flushed, sewage entered the crawlspace through the missing clean-out cap. Nasty for the poor home inspector, never mind the new buyer. Multiple issues for the home owner: health, sanitation, odour and moisture.

 

7. Abandoned Buried Oil Tanks

When home owners converted from oil to natural gas furnaces, they simply left the buried oil tank in the ground. Problem is, some home owners did not pump the oil out of the tank. These metal tanks eventually corrode and the oil leaks out, contaminating the surrounding soil. We’ve all heard about the $150,000 clean-up bill.  Scary to the pocketbook.


6. Leaky Condo Syndrome

Most Lower Mainlanders have heard this term or have had first-hand experience with their condos leaking. It’s cost many people a lot of money. The causes?
  •  Greater wall wetting from buildings designed without roof overhangs plus exposed decks over living spaces,
  • Tighter” building envelopes in the name of energy efficiency,
  • Poorly standardized construction details with poor workmanship,

The scary part is that rainscreen technology, which is mandatory on newly constructed and remediated buildings, has been part of building science since the 1960s, but never adopted into the Canadian National Building Code.


5. Mould

This photo is of ceiling mould in a bedroom closet. There was zero attic insulation above this area, so warm, moist air from the home’s interior was condensing on the cooler drywall ceiling, creating the moisture the mould needed. The scary part: children and the elderly are most susceptible to continual exposure and possible long-term health effects. In extreme cases, mould can be toxic. 


4. Marijuana Grow-Ops

This photo shows grow-op ventilation ducting into the basement toilet drain. Home inspectors see three types of grow-ops:
  • Busted by the police, where full disclosure is available to all parties
  • Busted by landlords, with a superficial cover-up, not necessarily disclosed before selling
  • Owners have operated and removed the grow-op, doing superficial cover-up and not necessarily disclosing before selling

 The physical damage from a grow-op can be substantial and, if not correctly remediated, can have health, structural and moisture-related issues. Obtaining home insurance can be difficult and may include additional costs.


3. Substandard Home Owner or DIY Upgrades

Most people looking at this addition know this is wrong. Where is it going to leak? Home inspectors see additions, basement suites and general renovations with the associated unprofessional and often scary (i.e., dangerous) roofing, structural, electrical, plumbing and heating modifications. In extreme cases, the upgrades need to be partially or totally removed and redone.


2. Rodents

This mouse got stuck between the fan blade and the fan housing. You would think the home owner would have checked why his fan blades weren’t turning. I often see signs of rodents in attics and crawlspaces. It’s scary thinking this carcass is decomposing so close to your food. Yuck!! Upon seeing this, some people would have continual nightmares. Is this the only mouse in the house?? Perhaps that’s why this home is for sale!


1. Large Animals, Dead or Alive

I won’t show you the ghostly picture of the dead cat in a crawlspace. Not a serious matter, but scary and disturbing for the home inspector (me). BTW, the owner had no knowledge of it. Live baby raccoons in a house attic can be a very serious matter. For one thing, they did some roof damage to enter the attic. On top of that, they’re using the attic as their toilet. Significant repairs and clean-up after they move out.

 


February 16th, 2014

Undertaking a Home Repair or Home Improvement

Let's start by differentiating between a home improvement and a home repair. A home improvement, as the name implies, means improving something. It is usually a renovation to create more space, change the layout of the house, improve energy efficiency, or to make aesthetic changes. This report will deal with the simpler topic of home repair--basically replacing things that are worn out or fixing things that are broken. Here are some very basic rules to follow. Some of theses rules can also be applied when undertaking a Home Improvement.

  1. Know what you want done 
    If you are replacing a worn out furnace, for example, do some research to find out whether you want a mid-efficiency furnace or a high-efficiency furnace. If you are repairing a roof with a leaking valley flashing, determine whether you want the valley flashing replaced or just patched to last a few years until the whole roof needs re-flashing.
    If you know what you want done, you can compare apples to apples when reviewing quotations. Otherwise it would be very hard to compare various quotes if every contractor has a different repair strategy. 
    Be prepared to stick to your guns. Many contractors will tell you that the job is much bigger, much harder, or it must be done his way (because if you don't, it will be dangerous, or much more expensive the next time). 
    As home inspectors, we are often faced with contractor opinions that differ drastically from the recommendations in our reports. In most of these cases, the contractor is proposing unnecessary work. 
  2. Find at least 3 experienced, reputable contractors who are capable of doing the work 
    This may sound easier than it is. While it is best to rely on personal referrals from people you trust, these referrals must be taken with a grain of salt. Former customers of contractors are not usually in a position to comment on the quality of the installation of a furnace, for example. Also be sure the type of work that you are planning to have done is similar (in size and scope) to the work done for the person providing the referral. Many contractors who are geared to do major renovations are not well suited to do minor repairs and vice versa. 
  3. Obtain 3 written estimates 
    Our experience has shown that contractors quotes can vary as much as 300% on any given job. This is sometimes due to different perceptions of what needs to be done. This can be avoided by following Step 1 carefully. However, sometimes the variance is simply the result of how busy the contractor is. 
  4. Get three references from each contractor 
    Better than three references is a list of the recent clients that the contractor has worked for. That way you get to choose who you would like to select as a reference. Follow up with these references bearing in mind the comments in Step 2. While you are at it, ensure that the contractor has appropriate licenses and insurance.
  5. Choose the contractor 
    Don't necessarily base your choice on price alone. Look carefully at what has been included in the estimates. Select the contractor with the best reputation, provided that the price for the job is fair. Avoid paying cash. The benefit of a cash deal is typically far greater for the contractor than it is for the homeowner.
  6. Have both parties sign a contract 
    The contract should include a complete description of the work. It should also include details as to who is responsible for obtaining permits (if there is any doubt regarding the necessity of a permit, contact your local building department). 
    The contract should have a start date and a completion date. (On larger contracts, sometimes a penalty clause is included for each day the job extends beyond the completion date.) 
    The contract must also contain a payment schedule. The schedule should not demand very much money up front and the payment should be based on stages of completion as opposed to pre-determined dates. 
    Remember to hold back 10% of each payment for 45 days after the completion of the job to determine whether any liens have been placed on the property (as a result of the contractor not paying his sub-contractors). 
    Also, don't expect much in the way of a guarantee if you are simply asking a contractor to undertake band-aid repairs. Many contractors will not simply patch a damaged valley flashing, for example, even if they are 95% sure that the repair will work. This is because there is still a 5% chance that they will get complaints to fix a subsequent leak. In fairness, the leakage is not their fault. They just do not want the hassles. Consequently, many contractors will suggest repairs which are overkill (replacing the entire side of the roof, for example) to reduce the potential for complaints. A significantly lower price can be obtained, if you explain to the contractor that you expect him to do his best, but you aren't going to make him responsible for the future of the entire roof based on a $300 repair. 
  7. Expect delays 
    Any type of home repair seems to take longer than was first predicted. If the repairs involve any sort of interior demolition. 
  8. Have a contingency fund 
    Many home repairs end up unearthing something else that requires repair. While this is very common, ask lots of questions if your contractor is proposing additional work.

 

Summary 
We trust that the above information will help people in their dealings with contractors, realign expectations, and perhaps avoid pitfalls.


January 15th, 2014

Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS?

Home inspectors come and go. We have been in business for over 5 years and are here to stay. We will be here if you have a question or a problem down the road.

 

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR INSPECTORS' QUALIFICATIONS?
The industry is essentially regulated but there are three different associations. CAHPI has the highest standards of the three which we are a proud member of.

 

Q: CAN I FOLLOW ALONG AT THE INSPECTION?
We actually encourage you to attend. This is a valuable learning experience for most home buyers. It is the perfect opportunity to ask specific questions about the condition of the home. Also, where defects are identified, the inspector can discuss these so that you understand what repairs are required.

 

Q: DO YOU DO REPAIRS OR RECOMMEND CONTRACTORS?
No. We are an inspection firm specializing in home inspections. We consider it a conflict of interest for a home inspector to recommend or refer a contractor to perform repairs.

 

Q: HOW MUCH DOES AN INSPECTION COST?
Some factors will affect the fee. If you are comparing home inspection firms, the fee charged should not be the sole deciding factor, unless of course the level of service offered is identical.

We suspect the house you are buying is not the cheapest house, but rather a house that you feel represents good value. We urge you to choose your home inspector the same way.

 

Q: HOW LONG DOES AN INSPECTION TAKE?

A typical home inspection takes between 2.5 and 3 hours plus the report writing time. Some older and/or larger homes can take longer. As a courtesy to the vendor, they should be informed of the time involved once the inspection is arranged.

 

Q: DO YOU PROVIDE A WRITTEN REPORT?

Yes. We will provide you with a computer generated report complete with illustrations and digital pictures. There will also be important maintenance tips in the report so that you can maintain you new home.

 

 Q: CAN WE CONTACT YOU WITH QUESTIONS AFTER THE INSPECTION?

Yes. We offer free technical support after the inspection for as long as you live in the home. Simply call us or email us with any questions.

 

Q: WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT?
We inspect the major systems of the house. These include the Roof, Exterior, Structure, Electrical, Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Insulation and Interior. The goal is to identify any existing major problems that would affect a typical purchasers buying decision.

We will add significantly to your knowledge of the home, but still cannot tell you everything about the house. All home inspections are entirely visual. No destructive testing is performed. The inspection and report will put you in a much better position to make your decision.

 

Q: CAN YOU PROVIDE ME WITH ANY REFERENCES? 

We cannot give out our client’s information as all home inspection are confidential but we do post customer testimonials on our website for you to read.

 

Q: DO YOU LOOK FOR UFFI?
The only way to guarantee that UFFI is not present somewhere in the house is to remove all of the interior finishes. Obviously, this is not possible. Looking for application holes, or drilling the odd hole is not enough. If we should see evidence of a UFFI installation or uncover a material we suspect to be UFFI, we will inform you.

 

Q: IF THE HOME IS REALLY BAD, WILL YOU TELL US NOT TO BUY THE HOUSE?

No. Our goal is to report on the condition of the house, indicating potential repairs and expenses. Ultimately, it is your decision as to whether or not to purchase the home. The home inspection is very important but it is only one piece of the puzzle. Only you know all the factors at play.


December 16th, 2013

Pre-Inspected Listings, The Future of Real Estate 

Home inspections have traditionally been for the benefit of the purchaser. Pre-inspected listings benefit all parties - purchasers, vendors and Realtors.

 

Deals Won't Fall Through

Home inspections, performed as a condition of the offer, can kill deals. Sometimes this is because the purchaser gets cold feet; sometimes there's a big problem no one knew about. Sometimes it is because the house has been misrepresented; sometimes it is because the home inspector scared the purchasers by not explaining that minor and typical problems are just that - minor and typical.

If the home inspection is performed prior to the house being listed, all parties will be aware of the physical condition of the house before an offer is drawn. There will be no surprises after the fact. Deals will not fall through.

 

Pre-inspected Listings Avoid Renegotiation

In a buyers' market, most houses have to be sold twice. It takes a lot of work to get a signed Agreement of Purchase andSale. Then the home inspection is done and the purchaser wants to renegotiate.

If all parties know the condition of the house prior to the offer, there is no need for renegotiation. As most real estate agents know, renegotiation is very difficult. Vendors have already mentally sold the house; purchasers are suffering buyers' remorse. Egos, pride and frustration can muddy the already emotional waters.

A vendor who pays for a home inspection will be further ahead than one who has to renegotiate. He of she may even sell the house faster.

 

Unrealistic Vendors

An inspection at the time of listing can also help a Realtor deal with a vendor who has unrealistic expectations. The inspection report is good ammunition for explaining why you can't ask top bucks for a house which is not in top condition.

 

Repairs Prior To Sale

Sometimes, the home inspection will reveal items which should be repaired immediately. A pre-inspected listing allows the vendor to repair the problem prior to putting the house on the market.

If the inspection occurs after the Agreement of Purchase andSale, the purchaser could walk, renegotiate or, depending on the inspection clause, the vendor may have the option to repair. A repair done by an unmotivated vendor may not be the best repair and may not meet the purchasers' expectations. This has caused more than one deal not to close.

 

Peace of Mind for the Purchaser

There is no doubt that part of the value of a home inspection is a guided tour of the house for the prospective purchaser. The inspection company can return to do a walk-through with the purchaser, if requested.

 

Reputable Inspection Companies

Pre-inspected listings will only have value if the home inspection company is perceived to be reputable, qualified and properly insured. Prospective purchasers will have little or no faith in a report done by someone they perceive to be in the vendors', or Realtors' pocket.


September 6th, 2013

As a professional house and building inspection company, one of our primary jobs is answering questions. One of the most common questions we get is "Should I have my brand new house inspected?" It's a fair and honest question. The short answer is YES. But you expected us to say that, right? Let me tell you why it's a fair and honest answer.

 

Risk Reduction

Let's take the emotion out of it. Let's not call it your home; let's say it's a house. A building with a roof, a structure, mechanical systems, and interior finishes. It requires a substantial investment for you to purchase this building. You are putting your money at risk. It makes sense for you to learn about the qualities of this investment before putting your money on the line.

"But what could be wrong? It's a new house?" Yes, the risk of problems is probably lower than if you bought an old building. It actually depends on the individual properties one is comparing. It boils down to illuminating the risk, rather than assuming there is none.

 

House vs. Home

But it is artificial to take emotion out of it, precisely because the building will be your home. So you have a financial and an emotional investment. Why is this important? Because even a small problem, like for example a leak at the kitchen sink, will elicit in you an emotional response. What happens when you notice the leak? You get an adrenaline rush, you turn off the tap or the dishwasher, you wipe up the water, you remove the soaking box of dishwasher detergent, you wonder what you should do next, you call someone you trust, you call the builder or a plumber, you wait to make dinner until the service-person arrives. A non-trivial emotional investment, for a minor problem.

For some people, that minor incident will bring on a not-so-minor bout of buyer's remorse, wherein they wonder, "What else will go wrong?" It is better for both you and your builder for the inspector to find the leak so it can be fixed immediately.

 

Helps the Builder

Your builder has worked hard to put your home together. It takes a phenomenal amount of coordination to turn an empty patch of ground into a dream house. With so many steps and so many hands, it is inevitable that some things will get missed. Sometimes we find electrical outlets that don't work. Sometimes we find un-insulated attics. These were not done on purpose, they just happen. If you hire an inspector to find the things that need attention, you can put the items on the PDI punch-list (the list of deficiencies generated at the pre-delivery inspection that the builder is contracted to fix), or you will have documentation of the issues and can bring them up later. This helps both you and the builder keep track of the final wrinkles to be ironed out. If there only a few wrinkles, you will gain an appreciation of how well the house has been built.

 

11-month Inspection

Many of our clients choose to hire us after they move in, but before the standard one-year builder's warranty coverage expires. This has proven to be a uniquely successful strategy. The waiting period allows the newly built house to "settle-in", making a performance-based inspection more valuable.

 

No matter how you look at it, getting a professional building inspector to kick the bricks of your new home is a sound idea.