Tips for a stress-free building inspection

A building inspection involves a visual assessment of a property’s condition conducted by a certified inspector. This inspection covers the property’s structure, systems, and components to identify defects or safety hazards. While building inspections are commonly conducted before a property is sold, they can also be carried out for insurance reasons, to evaluate damage post-natural disasters, or as part of regular maintenance.

Why is a building inspection important?

A building inspection provides valuable information about a property’s condition, helping you decide whether to buy, sell, or maintain the property. 

  • Identifying potential safety hazards, such as electrical or structural issues
  • Revealing hidden defects or problems that may not be visible to the untrained eye
  • Providing an estimate of the cost of repairs or maintenance

How to prepare for a building inspection?

Preparing for a building inspection makes the process smoother and less stressful.

  1. Clean and declutter – Remove any clutter or debris from the property, and ensure all areas are accessible to the inspector.
  2. Make necessary repairs – If you’re aware of any minor repairs that need to be made, such as fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a broken light fixture, take care of them before the inspection.
  3. Gather documents – Have any relevant documents, such as building plans, permits, and maintenance records.
  4. Be present – During the inspection, ask questions and get clarification on any issues.

What to expect during a building inspection?

During a building inspection, the inspector will thoroughly examine the property, looking for any defects or safety hazards.

  • Foundation and structure
  • Roof and gutters
  • Exterior walls and siding
  • Windows and doors
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Insulation and ventilation
  • Interior walls, ceilings, and floors

The inspector will take notes and photographs throughout the inspection and may use specialized tools such as moisture meters or thermal imaging cameras to detect hidden issues. You find more information here are the findings.

What happens after a building inspection?

After the inspection, the inspector will prepare a detailed report outlining any defects or safety hazards found during the inspection. The report will typically include photographs and recommendations for repairs or maintenance. If you’re buying a property, you use the inspection report to negotiate with the seller for repairs or a price reduction. If you’re selling a property, consider making repairs before listing the property to avoid any surprises during the inspection. If you’re maintaining a property, the inspection report helps you prioritize repairs and maintenance tasks and budget for future expenses. Choosing the right building inspector is crucial to accurately and thoroughly assessing a property’s condition. Here are some tips to help you select a qualified inspector:

  • Check credentials – Look for an inspector who is licensed, certified, and experienced in the property you inspect.
  • Get referrals – Ask for referrals from friends, family, or real estate professionals who have recently had a building inspection.
  • Read reviews – Check online reviews and ratings for local inspectors to get a sense of their reputation and quality of work.
  • Ask questions – Before hiring an inspector, ask about their experience, qualifications, and what’s included in their inspection report.
  • Consider cost – While cost shouldn’t be the only factor in choosing an inspector, be wary of inspectors who offer significantly lower prices than their competitors, as they may be cutting corners or lacking experience.

A building inspection is stressful, but with the proper preparation and mindset, it doesn’t have to be. By understanding what to expect, preparing your property, and choosing a qualified inspector, you thoroughly and accurately assess your property’s condition.

Kathy McDonough