I often get asked, "What do you do"?  If you would like to know what a West Coast
Inspections inspection is all about... please, read on!

What is a Home Inspection?

A West Coast Inspections inspection is an extensive professional visual observation of the
home's structure, exterior, lot grading & drainage, roof, attic, garage, basement,
crawlspace, plumbing system, electrical system, heat & air conditioning systems, and
interior.
 I will evaluate the accessible and visual components of the home or
building and report on their condition.  I will advise on any items that are
significantly deficient
or near the end of their service lives, and provide useful information
on upkeep and maintenance.  If possible I also inspect major appliances (washer & dryer,
refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher, permanently-installed microwave, & garbage disposal)
for basic functionality.

What Kind of Report Do You Provide?

I am proud to state that my report is one of the best in the business and is a true
communication tool!
 

I will provide you with a 30 - 60 page report SPECIFICALLY written for YOUR home,
complete with a detailed summary and clear, colour photos pertaining to any notable
areas.  I collect and compile data on-site, and unless we start our inspection late in the
afternoon the report will be
completed on site.  I will then provide you with a verbal
summary during our walk-through and you will leave with a CD containing the report and all
the photos I have taken.  The report will verbally and visually walk you through your home.

I am not knocking the inspection
abilities of those who choose to use a pre-packaged large-
format binder with pages of checklists and hundreds of pages of house reference material
(which I suspect few people ever read), or a skimpy 12 page narrative - I simply believe
that these formats are not the most effective way to convey important findings to you!

What Kind of Tools do you Use?

See Inspection Tools for an answer to your question.  That said, I would like to comment
on Infrared Camera inspections.  

THERMOGRAPHY – The Pros & Cons of Infrared Thermal Imaging

Since infrared radiation is emitted by most objects, thermography makes it possible to see
one's environment with or without visible illumination because what you are "seeing" is
heat. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature; therefore,
thermography allows one to see variations in temperature. When viewed through a thermal
imaging camera, warm objects stand out against cooler backgrounds, and vice-versa.

That said the infrared camera is not a magic wand.  Just like any other tool in your kit,
infrared cameras have limitations (
i.e. There is less for the camera to “see” if the
temperature DIFFERENTIAL is not great enough
).  It is important to realize this.  Just
because an infrared camera is being used, this is no guarantee that all moisture
and insulation issues will be located.

Why then do I choose to use one?  Simple… just like my moisture meter, my infrared
camera is another tool which provides me with more information than I would have had
were I to inspect without one.  And I will take more over less, every day of the week.

Should I be Present During the Inspection?

Preferably, yes.  It's better for you, and for me, if you can attend the inspection where I
can explain my findings to you in person.  However, I recognize that you have a busy
schedule and can’t always be there, which is why I take the time to carefully explain my
findings in your report and include photographs.

I prefer to start between 10AM - 1PM and do what I can to schedule your inspection
around a time that works for you, but as you are spending a great deal of money on a
home, I encourage you to do what you can to arrange your work schedule in order to
allow you to be present on site... even for a short while.  Take a long lunch and drop by
the inspection for an hour if you can.

What kind of Training do you have?

I am a graduate of the UFV Home Inspectors Program and am Licensed by Consumer
Protection BC (License # 48042).  In addition I have taken professional Commercial, Building
Envelope and BC Building Code compliance courses.

I am an Accredited member of the
Home Inspectors Association British Columbia (formerly
CAHPI-BC).

How Many People Can Come to the Inspection?

I know you are excited and think that this may be an opportune time to show the house
to your friends and relatives, but it’s not.  Out of respect for the current homeowner I try
to discourage guided tours.  During an inspection, the house is put into my care; I am
totally responsible for the house and all of its contents and I take this responsibility
seriously.  I would do no less were I inspecting YOUR current home.

Is an Inspection expensive?

No!
 Compare the cost of the Home Inspection with the cost of a used vehicle inspection
and you will find that the relative cost of the Home Inspection is
much cheaper.  As a wise
consumer you would pay $125 for an inspection on a vehicle worth $5000, that you DO
get to test-drive.  Likewise, I would certainly hope you would pay a few hundred for a
home worth 100 times as much, that you did NOT get to test!
 Think of me as your
personal test driver!

Further, sellers are often willing to pay for repairs, or to renegotiate the purchase price, on
the basis of my professional findings. This can save YOU, the buyer,
much more than the
cost of the inspection.

If you are comparing home inspection firms, the fee charged should not be your deciding
factor, unless of course the level of service offered is identical. I suspect the house you are
buying is not the cheapest house, but rather a house that you feel represents good value.
I urge you to choose your home inspector the same way, and challenge any other
inspector to provide the level of service, professionalism and value that I provide.

How long does an Inspection take?

A typical home inspection takes between 3 - 5 hours. Some older and/or larger homes can
take longer, while smaller Condos less time. As a courtesy to the Homeowner they should
be informed of the time involved once the inspection is arranged.

When do we pay?

Payment is due in full at the time of the inspection; I accept cash, cheque or credit cards
(in advance via my website) before you receive the final written report.

Who gets a copy of the Inspection Report?

Home Inspection reports are confidential.  I provide one copy to my client.  If a client asks,
I'll provide a copy to their Realtor, Lawyer, Insurer or Banker.  I don't provide copies to
anybody else.

Should I have a new home inspected?

YES... Absolutely!  Click here!

Do Home Inspectors check for code compliance?

No. Building Codes are constantly being revised, and are very different from what they
were even ten years ago. No house built thirty years ago would pass present-day building
codes.  This does not mean that older homes are necessarily unsafe.  The purpose of a
Home Inspection, performed in accordance with your inspection agreement, is to
determine the functional condition and safety of a home, as it is at the present time, not
whether it meets past or present codes.

Will further inspection be required?

Maybe; a Home Inspector is a professional generalist.  The Inspector's knowledge and
experience are very broad and includes the ability to recognize hundreds of conditions.

Like a general-practice physician who refers a patient to a specialist, a Home Inspector will
sometimes suggest further evaluation by a specialist in the electrical, plumbing, or other
specialized field.  It is up to the buyer whether or not to follow this suggestion.  If the
seller agrees to make repairs at the buyer's request, for a nominal fee the Home Inspector
can, if the buyer wishes, return to inspect these repairs to ensure they've been completed.

What happens if I want to dispute an Inspection Report?

In the event of any concern or disagreement you may have with my inspection or report,
please call me!  I always give my very best when performing an inspection and my primary
objective is your education and satisfaction.  If you are not satisfied, I want to know about
it and would be happy to discuss any issues with you at your home, over a coffee, or over
the phone.


I trust I've answered your questions.  If you have any others, please contact me!

Arne Larsen
West Coast Inspections
Definition:  A Home Inspection is a high-liability, in-depth, multi-disciplined technical analysis of the home,
conducted under adverse circumstances in front of a demanding audience, requiring the generation of an
incredibly detailed written report, prepared in an unrealistically short time frame, for an inconceivably low fee.
Things are not always as
they appear!
Frequently Asked Questions (or "What do you do"?)
"But my new
home doesn't need
an inspection."

YOU DECIDE!
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