Blog 1 NightmareIn July of 2003, I was contacted by a potential Client about performing a home inspection for him. One of the subjects was that he would still have to be satisfied with the home upon the completion of a professional home inspection. After spending a few minutes on the phone, my Client chose to engage my services.

I always recommend that my Clients join me throughout the whole process of inspecting the house. I feel that it is well worth a buyer’s time to spend 3 hours or more with me while I go around the whole house – even if it means taking time off work. That way, a Client can see all the conditions with his own eyes, and have plenty of time to ask all the questions he wants. The time to find out about any concerns is BEFORE one buys the house, and not after one moves in. It’s kind of too late then.

I met my Client in front of the house at the agreed time. He informed me that since he was an engineer, and had thought about doing the inspection himself and not hiring a professional Home Inspector. But engineers are all specialized, such as Civic, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, etc. and he preferred to trust a qualified Home Inspector. It’s a good thing he did.

The 31-year-old home itself was in good condition. It had a near-new roof. There were 200 amps of power coming to the home, instead of the normal 100 amps. The plumbing and heating were adequate. When I entered the crawl space, there were no major cracks in the foundation or previous water entry. The owners had just spent thousands upgrading the interiors. Overall it looked like a solid, square, well-built house to most people. HOWEVER, the home was located on a bank located at the rear of the property. And the patio slab at the rear had settled abnormally.

The Standards of Practice of the Canadian Association of Home Inspectors (CAHPI) state, among other things, that an inspector must declare all items of the Standards which were not inspected, and a reason why. For some reason, I wasn’t comfortable with the looks of the patio. And I could not give a qualified opinion on the bank. Therefore, I recommended that my Client engage the services of a professional to fully evaluate the rear of the property.

He took my advice, and hired a Soils Engineer. The Engineer produced a report which stated that the soil was sandy, and recommended that a retention system should be installed to prevent the house foundation from moving. The approximate cost for this would be $110,000.00. If this was not done, he could not guarantee the future performance of both the house foundation and structure.

For that reason, my Client chose not to purchase the property. He was likely concerned about what might happen to the house (with his family in it) the next time there was a heavy downpour of rain. The house went back for sale on the market again.


Would you assume that the house looks great, and it doesn’t NEED an inspection?

Or, would you hire the cheaper inspector to save $25.00 – who would say everything is fine, so far? Might those not be some of the biggest mistakes which could affect both you and your family in your whole lifetime?

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