FAQs Home Inspections

Dave Sarlo, Certified home inspector at Northstar Inspections


Why would I need a home inspection before purchasing a home?

Purchasing a home is one of the largest investments you will likely make in your life. Having it inspected to better understand its condition and how it has performed over its life, is a wise decision. The cost is very small compared to the investment you are making in the house purchase. An inspection will give you additional information that you need to help you decide whether to proceed with the purchase and how much to offer.

How long does a home inspection take?

A typical inspection should take between 2.5 and 3 hours to complete. This can vary, given the current condition and size of the home, the accessibility of mechanical systems, and so on.

What do you look at?

We inspect the major systems and areas of the house. These include the roof, exterior, structure, electrical, heating, cooling, plumbing, insulation and interior. We look in the attic. We go into crawl spaces where possible. We examine each room and confirm all appliances work. Our goal is to identify any existing major problems that would affect a typical buyer's decision to purchase.

When is an inspection needed?

Pre-listing inspection - before you put your house on the market to be sold, get a pre-listing inspection so that you know what needs attention before exposing your house to the market. You can then address some items, or set your price accordingly. Either way, you are better informed and prepared for potential buyers.

Pre-purchase inspection - before you commit to buying a house, get it inspected so that you know its current condition and can better determine whether to proceed and how much to offer.

What is included in the fee?

A complete home inspection conducted by an experienced professional.

A comprehensive, written home inspection report.

Phone call support for as long as you own your home.

A complimentary Home Reference Book for some inspections. It contains 450+ pages that describe the major components of a home. This is useful both for having discussions with contractors or for making upgrades yourself.

The Home Reference Book also contains a list of common repairs and upgrades and the typical cost for them. And it contains a maintenance checklist, helping you ensure you keep the house operating smoothly.

Can I follow along?

Definitely. We encourage you to attend since you will get the most benefit from the inspection by accompanying the inspector. The inspection is a valuable learning experience for most homebuyers.

Can I ask questions?

Absolutely! You may want to bring some questions that you have regarding the home. You should also feel free to stop the inspector and ask questions as you go. If the inspector's comments or explanations are not clear, please ask for further explanation.

What should I wear?

You should dress comfortably and be prepared to spend roughly 2 1/2 hours walking through the home with the inspector. You won't have to climb on the roof or go into the attic, so your clothes won't get dirty.

Do I get a written report? When?

You will receive a written report. The report includes a description of the condition of the home and on all the major systems of the home. It is delivered the same day as the inspection, typically in the evening.

If it's really bad, will you tell us not to buy the house?

No. Our goal is to report on the condition of the house, indicating potential repairs and expenses. Ultimately, it is your decision as to whether or not you buy the house. The home inspection is very important but it is only one piece of the puzzle. Only you know all of the factors at play.

Do you offer a warranty on the house?

A home inspection is a professional opinion based on less-than-complete information. It's a little like getting a check-up from your doctor: it improves your odds of good health but there is no guarantee or warranty.

Some problems can only be discovered by living in a house - they cannot be discovered during a home inspection. For example, some shower stalls leak when people use the shower but don't leak when you simply turn on the shower. Some roofs and basements only leak when specific weather conditions exist. Some problems will only be discovered when carpets are lifted, furniture is moved or finishes are removed. As such, we cannot and do not offer a warranty on the house.

How much experience do you have?

Dave has had over 40 years of experience in house renovations.

What qualifications do you have?

Dave is a graduate of the Carson Dunlop Home Inspection Training Program, a premier home inspection training program. It is built around The Home Reference Book, which has become the gold standard in the home inspection profession. The program is endorsed by ASHI, CAHPI and NAHI, home inspection associations in North America.

Dave has also completed Carson Dunlop’s field training program, a full week of guidance in inspecting homes and completing reports.

Dave has also passed the certification exams for the CAHPI association and is an Associate member of CAHPI. He keeps his skills current with continuing education programs.

How many days notice do I need to give you?

We strive to fit your home inspection in whenever you need it. This can often be next day, perhaps even same day. Call for our current schedule!

Contact an accredited home inspector in Winnipeg. Call us at 204-898-1423 to schedule your inspection!