The Importance of Grade Around Your Home

I know there are a lot of home inspectors to choose from in North Vancouver & the Lower Mainland. So, the important question arises – how do you ensure that you are hiring the right home inspector to inspect, possibly, your largest investment?

Just like you want to make sure that your realtor has your best interests at heart, the same is true of your home inspector.

I was recently asked the 5 most important things to consider when hiring a home inspector, and thus, this list was born!

#1: Experience And Knowledge

While this may seem like an obvious “given”, it goes deeper.

  1. How long have they been in business?
  2. What was their previous background?
  3. But, more importantly, can they express their knowledge in an easy-to-understand manner?

It’s all well and good to tell you that there is a crack in your foundation, but what does that mean moving forward? Is it a “deal-breaker” kind of crack? Or the typical kind found in most concrete, generally caused by the natural curing/settlement process?

You may be told that your kitchen is missing GFCI outlets, but that is far from helpful if you don’t know what a GFCI is in the first place, or what it does. An inspector who uses common vernacular and stays away from industry jargon will be invaluable in this case.

#2: Association Member

There are 2 home inspection associations in BC.

  1. HIABC (Home Inspectors Association BC)
  2. ASTTBC (Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC).

But membership is not required as part of the licensing conditions through Consumer Protection BC.

But how does an inspector who is connected with an association benefit clients?

I personally belong to the larger association, the Home Inspectors Association of British Columbia, because they require higher standards of education, training, and report writing for their membership.

Continuing education each year and superior report writing mean that members are sued so infrequently that we get a much better rate on our Errors and Omissions insurance than non-members.

Did You Know: British Columbia and Alberta are the only two provinces where licensing is required for home inspectors, and HIABC was instrumental in fighting to make this happen.

#3: Report Writing

An inspection report should not be a “pass” or “fail” kind of document; it should be a roadmap to ensuring that your home stays in tip-top condition for the least amount of dollars possible.

Reports should be clear and not only mention each concern but should have a reference photo with a description, location, and explanation of why it’s important and what actions you should take, when you should take them, and what may happen if the issue is left unaddressed.

Here is the typical sequence:

PHOTO > LOCATION > DESCRIPTION OF CONDITION > IMPLICATIONS > ACTIONS NEEDED > TIME TO DO IT

#4: Personality

This may surprise some people, but the importance of personality cannot be understated.

An inspection gives clients the opportunity to learn more about their home and the feeling of being comfortable asking questions is an absolute MUST!

An inspector who makes clients feel uncomfortable asking what they may feel is a “dumb” question is the WRONG inspector. 

Most people out there these days are no longer “handy” and, in my experience, appear to feel slightly embarrassed or ashamed of this fact.

Not asking questions is a huge, missed opportunity; your inspector should not only encourage questions but should answer them is a way that encourages MORE questions!

#5: Size Matters

Whaaat??? You may be scratching your head at this one until you realize the size of some of the small but incredibly important confined spaces that your inspector needs to access.

Being female and small, many times, a homeowner or realtor has commented that I was the first inspector to enter certain areas of the home. Being able to maneuver through a tight array of piping in a crawlspace definitely has its advantages!

Unfortunately, Bigger is NEVER better in this profession!
You can’t inspect and report on areas that you cannot see!

And that is the end of the list for now!

As mentioned before, a home in the lower mainland of Vancouver is probably the largest investment the majority of us will ever have. Finding the right inspector is the best way to not only protect it, and make you an empowered homeowner but also to save you from unnecessary future expenses.

If you are still looking for a home inspector for a pre-listing, pre-purchase or even a usual maintenance inspection in Metro Vancouver, please feel free to reach out to me as I will always inspect it as if “I were inspecting my OWN home”.

Also, feel free to follow me on Instagram (@allegiant_inspections) for educational tidbits that can save you from additional headaches and expenditures!

Have a great one!

How did I become the only female home inspector in the lower mainland?

Growing up in an environment of constant renovations undoubtedly led me to over 25 years in the construction industry. Over a lifetime of continued learning, I built a multi-million dollar construction company and eventually found my passion doing inspections and helping people save money and headaches on home ownership.
“Small fixes now prevent expensive emergencies later.”

  • Political Science B.A.: SFU
  • Certified Home Inspector: Carson Dunlop
  • Member of the HIABC (Home Inspectors Association of BC)
  • Licensed under CPBC (Consumer Protection BC): #80437
  • Current member and proud past President of BNI Lions Gate
  • Ongoing Expert Contributor for Neighbours of Edgemont Magazine
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