Real Estate

How to inspect a house in winter?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 19th, 2019 12:01 am
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Deal Fanatic
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Sep 8, 2007
7103 posts
6379 upvotes
Way Out of GTA
I’ve used home inspectors twice and found about $1000 worth of stuff. In one case he caught that the house had aluminum wiring which made a difference for insurance. ESA, some rewiring. So both cases it was worth it.

In winter conditions even the RFD know it alls are going to miss things. If you can’t see grading or parts of the roof...it is what it is. Good inspectors will obviously catch more issues than some bad inspector. So reviews and referrals are important.

Only simple people would think passing a home inspection means “as good as new, zero issues to be had” or that an inspector is an expert in everything. One thing I want to see in their toolkit is a thermal camera to help see issues that you, without one, can’t see.

https://www.flir.com/instruments/therma ... nspection/
Deal Guru
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Nov 28, 2016
13556 posts
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Out west
cartfan123 wrote:
Feb 14th, 2019 7:29 am
I’ve used home inspectors twice and found about $1000 worth of stuff. In one case he caught that the house had aluminum wiring which made a difference for insurance. ESA, some rewiring. So both cases it was worth it.

In winter conditions even the RFD know it alls are going to miss things. If you can’t see grading or parts of the roof...it is what it is. Good inspectors will obviously catch more issues than some bad inspector. So reviews and referrals are important.

Only simple people would think passing a home inspection means “as good as new, zero issues to be had” or that an inspector is an expert in everything. One thing I want to see in their toolkit is a thermal camera to help see issues that you, without one, can’t see.

https://www.flir.com/instruments/therma ... nspection/
I wish we did one with thermal imaging. Lots of things I wish now after living in our new place for 2 months. But is what it is, so will deal with it and fix as needed. Cant go back on inspectors anyway it seems for things these days, no matter what, there always seems to be some fine print they can work around

My 90 day warranty covered appliances, so if they inspected them but something went amiss in those 90 days your covered. Well that sounds great. Guess what, somethign did with the fridge, the inside light would not turn off, and since it was the old style 40 watt bulbs, it melted the housing. Called the number for the coverage. Oh guess what wasnt mentioned, appliances over 10 years are not covered. That was not mentioned at all, just that appliances were covered. And this guy new this, since the house was 12 years old, and original appliances. But did he say anything, of course not
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2127 posts
1443 upvotes
SW Ontario
cartfan123 wrote:
Feb 14th, 2019 7:29 am
One thing I want to see in their toolkit is a thermal camera to help see issues that you, without one, can’t see.

https://www.flir.com/instruments/therma ... nspection/
Some do, as my guy last year did.

I also have one too, although it's only the smartphone version ;)
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
Deal Fanatic
Feb 1, 2006
9543 posts
694 upvotes
Muskoka
My feeling has always been that if home inspectors knew about building to some great extent, why aren't they making big bucks as a high end trade, or a general?

However, there is still value in it. You will likely learn some stuff about houses, and get a guide on what maintenance needs to be done. I just did one this week, brutal conditions, 60cm of snow, and more falling. He did his best, but I had a lot of questions for him.

In reality, I'm really just looking for the biggies, water/moisture problems, foundation issues, structural issues. If you buy a house that has never been messed around with, that helps a lot.

In our case, we live in a small town, and the seller was someone prominent in town. We have many mutual acquaintances. He gave me straight up info on the house, as he knows he has a vested interest in maintaining his reputation. One of the great things about small town life! You burn someone here, you're finished.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
5354 posts
2425 upvotes
Thornhill
Bullseye wrote:
Feb 15th, 2019 5:13 pm
My feeling has always been that if home inspectors knew about building to some great extent, why aren't they making big bucks as a high end trade, or a general?...
I can't speak to other provinces but in Ontario anyone was allowed to hang up a shingle and call themself a home inspector.


However, in 2017 Ontario passed the Home Inspectors Act which now makes licencing mandatory after passing educational requirements and run under the auspices of a government led authority. It's worth noting that the transition for registration is not yet complete.
Jr. Member
Jun 20, 2010
158 posts
22 upvotes
i have myself paid for/got two inspections done, and just for sake of learning joined a friend or two when they got inspections done. In general it is pretty useless but if you dont know anything about houses then inspector would catch some basic things (at best in most cases).

the house that i myself moved in, had atleast 5-6 basic things that inspector missed and we figured them out in less than a month ofmoving. And when i wrote to the guy with pictures and challenged he stopped responding to my emails. Another inspector couldnt even articulate a specific direction ( a room that was south west became some random direction in his description and when politely pointed he kept defending ....such an illogical statement of his and he was like top rated on home star).

so all in all they are 90% not competent, but still the amount you pay is very low compared to what you are getting into that even a partially expert eye might be a good thing.

@winter - well i would sincerely request that pick one.... who would measure humidity and has some thermal imager as this weather enables you to capture cold spots/leaks etc much easier. That was another exp we had when we inspected a place in march last year that thermal imager found some visible issues which again inspector just ignored but when forced to repoint imager (as me and myfriend were just following him on everystep) admitted there is issue.....
@roof we had to force him to remove a portion of snow and inspect shingles....but even if it was summer i havent come across an inspector that climbed and checked it all. i used tolive in Europe and inspections were much more meaningful.

all the best...
Deal Guru
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Nov 28, 2016
13556 posts
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Out west
anti_maniac wrote:
Feb 16th, 2019 6:04 am
i have myself paid for/got two inspections done, and just for sake of learning joined a friend or two when they got inspections done. In general it is pretty useless but if you dont know anything about houses then inspector would catch some basic things (at best in most cases).

the house that i myself moved in, had atleast 5-6 basic things that inspector missed and we figured them out in less than a month ofmoving. And when i wrote to the guy with pictures and challenged he stopped responding to my emails. Another inspector couldnt even articulate a specific direction ( a room that was south west became some random direction in his description and when politely pointed he kept defending ....such an illogical statement of his and he was like top rated on home star).

so all in all they are 90% not competent, but still the amount you pay is very low compared to what you are getting into that even a partially expert eye might be a good thing.

@winter - well i would sincerely request that pick one.... who would measure humidity and has some thermal imager as this weather enables you to capture cold spots/leaks etc much easier. That was another exp we had when we inspected a place in march last year that thermal imager found some visible issues which again inspector just ignored but when forced to repoint imager (as me and myfriend were just following him on everystep) admitted there is issue.....
@roof we had to force him to remove a portion of snow and inspect shingles....but even if it was summer i havent come across an inspector that climbed and checked it all. i used tolive in Europe and inspections were much more meaningful.

all the best...

My recent one that was the response to, or lack of. Ignore and it will go away.
Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2009
130 posts
154 upvotes
toronto
WikkiWikki wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 8:11 pm
... I would of used that to get a lower price.
I know it’s of topic ( notice proper use of “ of” )
However:
of
Is preposition
1.
expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.
"the sleeve of his coat"

When you want to say “ should have” but say it fast and want to write it down its “ should’ve” which does kind of sound like should of .. but it isn’t . Same with would’ve.. not would of.
Carry on now
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 28, 2016
13556 posts
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Out west
mstefa wrote:
Feb 16th, 2019 4:01 pm
I know it’s of topic ( notice proper use of “ of” )
However:
of
Is preposition
1.
expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.
"the sleeve of his coat"

When you want to say “ should have” but say it fast and want to write it down its “ should’ve” which does kind of sound like should of .. but it isn’t . Same with would’ve.. not would of.
Carry on now
https://www.sciencealert.com/people-who ... tists-find

Scientists have found that people who constantly get bothered by grammatical errors online have "less agreeable" personalities than those who just let them slide.

Wouldn't expect anything less from someone in TO

carry on
Deal Addict
Dec 15, 2009
1265 posts
440 upvotes
Ontario
My last home inspection last April cost us about $600. Inspector found:
- roof leaks/damage (he saw a lot from the attic)
- cracked tile
- water systems not maintained (including in floor heat) - rust and leaks
- decay in porch
- boiler issues

All in we were looking at $30k in fixes.

We walked. The house was off grid (solar, water, wind with 30kw diesel Genny back up). These systems were out of scope for the inspection but we could not trust they were in good shape given other issues found.

$600 well spent.
Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2009
130 posts
154 upvotes
toronto
Good thing is I don’t do it constantly, as it could’ve applied to me. Cheers.
WikkiWikki wrote:
Feb 16th, 2019 4:18 pm
https://www.sciencealert.com/people-who ... tists-find

Scientists have found that people who constantly get bothered by grammatical errors online have "less agreeable" personalities than those who just let them slide.

Wouldn't expect anything less from someone in TO

carry on
Member
May 25, 2011
201 posts
47 upvotes
BC
mstefa wrote:
Feb 16th, 2019 4:01 pm
I know it’s of topic ( notice proper use of “ of” )
However:
of
Is preposition
1.
expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.
"the sleeve of his coat"

When you want to say “ should have” but say it fast and want to write it down its “ should’ve” which does kind of sound like should of .. but it isn’t . Same with would’ve.. not would of.
Carry on now
“Its” is a possessive pronoun; “it’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has”. In one of your sentences, you mistakenly used the possessive pronoun instead of the contraction. Also, don’t forget to use commas to separate independent and dependent clauses when you start a sentence with a subordinating conjunction.

Carry on now.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 28, 2016
13556 posts
1533 upvotes
Out west
I emailed my home inspector today, questioning what he did and didn't do. Said he did thermal imaging, but because it was Nov and nice out the reading would be different. Mentioned the terrible air flow we have out of vents and some other stuff he missed. Told him in my 22 years fo home ownership I have never had to sop up this much moisture on window wells and have iceing up problems like now, and the humidty is low to.

Last home of 11 years we never has this many issues with window moisture and icing up. Sure when it was really cold out we had a small band of moisture at the bottom, but not like this.

very very defensive now, which to me sounds like he did a piss poor job and scampering for excuses. Whatever, I will never recommend him

The local library loans Infrared cameres so will get one and see what he missed. Id like to take picvs and ask him to compare with his "findings" Probably have an excuse for that to. And what if I do find a lot of things, what do I do to prove he missed all this

So it really comes down to, some are good, some are bad. I happened to get one that was I think, bad
Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2009
130 posts
154 upvotes
toronto
TylerK wrote:
Feb 17th, 2019 8:49 pm
“Its” is a possessive pronoun; “it’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has”. In one of your sentences, you mistakenly used the possessive pronoun instead of the contraction. Also, don’t forget to use commas to separate independent and dependent clauses when you start a sentence with a subordinating conjunction.

Carry on now.
The difference is that I pointed out obvious and multiple times repeated mistake in the same post and not just a typo you found in my post. Also, you’re doing it somewhat maliciously. Do you feel personally offended?

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