Home Inspection When Buying A Home

All About Home Inspections

Before buying a house, you’ll want to conduct a property inspection. Read on to learn more about your options when it comes to home inspections

Thinking about buying a house? That’s a big and exciting decision. Before making such a major financial commitment, you’ll want to check out this prospective property from top to bottom. A home inspection can identify all kinds of issues–from tiny details like drywall cracks, to major problems like water in the basement.

A home inspection can also help a prospective buyer create a wish list of upgrades. All of this information feeds back to the negotiation process, giving buyers and sellers key details that affect the property’s value. Some mortgage lenders require a building inspection, to get an accurate assessment of the investment they’re funding. But it’s smart for any prospective homebuyer to go through an inspection process. There are several options for having a house inspected.

Hire a Licensed Building Inspector

First-time homebuyers and buyers who don’t have a basic knowledge of all the systems that make up a house are good candidates for the services of a licensed home inspector. You’ll pay for this service (prices start around $300), but you’ll get a report full of details on all systems, including the home’s structure, insulation, roofing, HVAC components, windows, doors, etc. Some building inspectors include a radon test.

Get Inspections from Specialist Contractors

Houses can have a wide range of problems, and many of these demand the expertise of specialty contractors. For example, if you conduct a radon test on a house you’d like to buy and get a result above 4 pCi/L (4 picocuries per litre of air), you’ll want to call in a radon mitigation specialist to inspect your home and develop a bid for a radon abatement system.

Home Inspection

Home Inspections involve a visual inspection to assist home buyers/sellers by providing information related to the condition of a home prior to sale. Home Inspectors must be knowledgeable with all aspects of residential building systems and their operation. They must be able to recognize and report on conditions and/or the potential for failure.

The systems and components of a house include roofing, structure, electrical, heating, air conditioning/heat pumps, plumbing, exterior, insulation and the interior. The ten subjects in this certificate course have been organized to address each of these, as well as to provide students the communications skill and knowledge of professional practice required to be successful in this growing industry. Successful completion of this program fulfills the OAHI Baseline Academic Requirements including

Residential HVAC Inspection

Residential Electrical Inspection

Introduction to Home Inspection – Practical

Students wishing to use these Program Courses towards their Registered Home Inspection designation (RHI) must achieve a minimum grade of 70% or better.

Program outcomes

Describe the types and the materials involved.

Recognize the typical defects and their implications for system performance, including safety concerns for the occupant and the inspector.

Describe the features of adequate installation and repair technique as applicable.

Use proper terminology.

Perform inspections in a manner that is consistent with the North American Standards of Practice of the home inspection profession.

Admission procedures

Submit a completed Conestoga College Program Application Form.

Attach proof of Admission Requirements.

Final selection is made following an assessment of the admission requirements.

Home Inspection Terms

A/C: An abbreviation for air conditioner or air conditioning.

A/C Circuit: Alternating Current. The flow of current through a conductor first in one direction, then in reverse. It is used exclusively in residential and commercial wiring because it provides greater flexibility in voltage selection and simplicity of equipment design.

A/C Condenser: The outside fan unit of the air conditioning system. It removes the heat from the Freon gas and turns the gas back into a liquid and pumps the liquid back to the coil in the furnace.

A/C Disconnect: The main electrical ON-OFF switch near the A/C condenser.

ABS: (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) Rigid black plastic pipe used only for drain lines.

Absolute Humidity: Amount of moisture in the air, indicated in grains per cubic foot

Accelerator: Any material added to stucco, plaster or mortar which speeds up the natural set.

Access Panel: An opening in the wall or ceiling near the fixture that allows access for servicing the plumbing/electrical system.

Accessible: Can be approached or entered by the inspector safely, without difficulty, fear or danger.

Acre: 43,560 square feet.

Acrylic: A glassy thermoplastic material that is vacuum-formed to cast and mold shapes that form the surface of fiberglass bathtubs, whirlpools, shower bases, and shower stalls.

Activate: To turn on, supply power, or enable systems, equipment, or devices to become active by normal operating controls. Examples include turning on the gas or water supply valves to the fixtures and appliances and activating electrical breakers or fuses.

Actual Dimension (Lumber): The exact measurement of lumber after it has been cut, dried and milled.

Adaptor: A fitting that unites different types of pipe together, e.g. ABS to cast iron pipe.

Adhesion: The property of a coating or sealant to bond to the surface to which it is applied.

Adhesive Failure: Loss of bond of a coating or sealant from the surface to which it is applied.

Adversely Affect: Constitute, or potentially constitute, a negative or destructive impact.

Aerator: An apparatus that mixes air into flowing water. It is screwed onto the end of a faucet spout to help reduce splashing.

Aggregate: Crushed stone, slag or water-worn gravel that comes in a wide range of sizes which is used to surface built-up roofs




performs inspections during the resale of a home or upon completion of a newly constructed home, just prior to the walk-through with the builder. Our home inspectors, armed with the most advanced equipment, complete a thorough structural and mechanical analysis of each home


Siding, trim, exterior doors, windows, gutters, downspouts, deck, landings, sidewalks, driveway, chimney, crawl space, foundation, and roof


Interior doors, floors, walls, ceilings, windows, kitchen appliances, attic, attic ventilation, attic insulation, basement structure, all non-cosmetic items, and foundation


Hot water heater, piping, venting, toilets, tubs, showers, and sinks


Main service cable, service rating, main panel box, main disconnect, all visible wiring, wall outlets, GFCIs, light fixtures, and switches


Heating unit, cooling unit, supply and return ducts, room registers, and returns


Detailed review of each area of concern same day as inspection



Many people believe that a new home means there is nothing mechanically or structurally wrong with it. They feel that the county inspections and/or the walk through with the builder are adequate substitutions for completing a private inspection. County inspectors may not spend the necessary time in your home to find all the issues

Catching problems early on can save thousands of dollars in repairs later. If there are code violations, the builder may be required to fix the items for you. Any code violations or problems that exist in your home may pose a problem when you decide to sell if they are not found and corrected sooner.


Pre-drywall inspections are conducted right before the drywall is installed in the home. It is a structural analysis that evaluates all load bearing and framing components, ensuring these items were properly installed. The inspection certifies that the home is structurally sound and compliant with building code standards. A pre-drywall inspection also includes an examination of the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC rough-ins for code compliance.


A newly constructed home typically includes a 1-year warranty in which the builder will correct any problems encountered in the first year of ownership of the new home. It is wise to have an inspection conducted shortly before the 1-year warranty expires. The best time to schedule this inspection is at the 11-month mark so there is plenty of time to notify the builder of any items that need to be repaired or replaced