Researching your home inspector is an important part of selecting the right expert to meet your needs. Here are the answers to many of the most common home inspection questions we get from clients:

What does your inspection cover?

Our professional practice of home inspections is governed by standards of practice from the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI). Our house inspections include observations and concerns on: Property and Drainage, Roofing, Exteriors, Interiors, Plumbing, Electrical, Structure, Crawlspaces or Basements, Attics, Hot Water Systems, and Heating Systems.

Solid State sees these CAHPI requirements as minimums and goes beyond the standards to bring you a comprehensive understanding of the appropriateness and performance of your home systems including detailed colour photos and comments. See a sample home inspection report here.

What do you inspect in a Condominium or Townhouse as much of the building is covered by strata responsibilities?

While in most cases, strata’s are responsible for building upkeep, the costs for this are still carried by the owners of the strata units. A Solid State Condo/Townhouse inspection reviews the major systems of the buildings for risks of upcoming expenses to owners such as a need for a new roof or boilers. In addition to the strata building review, we complete a detailed inspection of the individual strata unit being reviewed and both the strata building and unit interior are included in our detailed home inspection report.

Are you certified by anyone and what designation do you hold? Do you do regular training?

All Solid State Home Inspectors are members of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) and are licensed by the Province of BC. In addition, we maintain accreditation with the BBB.

Part of maintaining CAHPI accreditation includes regular ongoing training. Our inspectors attend quarterly training sessions in addition to conferences and other related skills training. In addition, Solid State home inspectors participate in constant challenge, mentoring, and improvements with each other.

How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession?

James - I started this company in March of 2009 and it is my full time employment completing 250-300 inspections per year. I’ve had the opportunity to inspect thousands of bathrooms, bedroom, kitchens, and mechanical systems in addition to ongoing training in the latest equipment. I’ve also written numerous books on ‘how-to’ inspect homes and run a home inspection business which are available on Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo bookstores. Lastly, I’m also a trained and experienced Commercial Property Inspector which brings additional inspection knowledge and experience in my inspections.

Do you have a reference from a previous client?

Our clients regularly send feedback to us about their experiences. Check out this list of some of the feedback we have collected (and yes, every one of them is real, we don’t need to pad our feedback page with fake feedback).

Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?

Absolutely not, and for good reason. It may seem convenient to hire a single person to both do your home inspection and related repairs, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily in your best interest. A home inspector who’s been hired to repair defects may be more likely to find more potential flaws then one who’s simply performing an inspection. In fact, the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors code of ethics forbids our members from performing repairs on a home we inspect.

Also, beware of inspectors who offer their friends and families services for repairs as you never know what arrangements an unscrupulous inspector may have on the side. See our article on hiring great contractors here.

How long will the inspection take?

We budget 3 hours for houses, 2.5 hours for townhouse, and 2 hours for condos. However, what takes the most time in a home inspection is properly documenting deficiencies identified in the home. Homes with few deficiencies will be completed faster than homes with many deficiencies. Homes with suites, extra kitchens, or numerous bathrooms may add a little extra time to the inspection.

How much will it cost?

We believe in being transparent in our pricing for clients so you know what to expect when we arrive and our pricing is on our services pages. We aim to be priced ‘right’ for the value we deliver clients. You may find someone cheaper, but expect to get what you pay for.

What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?

Our inspectors take advantage of the latest digital technology and can produce detailed type-written report with colour photos. This report is delivered by email typically immediately at the end of your inspection (many of our clients are reviewing their copy of the report on their smartphone as we drive away).

View a sample home inspection report here.

Do I need to attend the inspection? What if I can’t?

We encourage all our clients to attend the inspection, if possible, for the best inspection experience. You are welcome to join us for all of the inspection, or arrive a little later (30-60 minutes before the scheduled end) in time for a full walk-through and the chance to ask as may questions as you have.

If you can’t make it for the inspection, don’t worry. You still get the same great written inspection report and we can do all the paperwork, report delivery, and payment through email and electronic invoicing. We’ve done many inspections for clients who booked online and we never met in person or even on the phone who told us they had a great experience.

Who will be carrying out the inspection?

We know clients (and realtors) have preferred inspectors to work with so you can specifically book the inspector you would like to work with. Clients who don’t specify a particular inspector will still be booked with a Solid State Home Inspector. In the event that a Solid State Inspector is not available during the booking window needed, the client will be asked if a highly qualified but non-Solid State employee (sub-contractor) would be acceptable.

Does a new house or condo need inspection?

New houses need a home inspection. While there are many great builders out there, all builders are ultimately trying to make money building your home and hiring low-paid labour and cutting corners on materials or safety systems should be a concern to new home buyers.

Don’t let your builder talk you out of a home inspection because of a ‘warranty’ or ‘municipal inspections’:

  • In BC, the full home warranty is only 1-year (with 2 years on limited systems, 5 years on water ingress, and 10 years on structure only) and you may not discover a serious safety flaw or incorrect system until after your warranty has run out. 
  • Municipal Inspectors are typically under-funded and they only inspect a sample of homes. The largest builders even have self-inspection processes in place with municipalities. Your new home may never have had a municipal inspector step on the property.

Most deficiencies found in new homes are safety related. Don’t let an accident on your property be the first time you find out about a safety deficiency. An independent home inspector reporting to you will give you the best protection in your new home investment.