Why it is Important to Have Your Home Checked by a Qualified Home Inspector

For most Canadians, purchasing a home is the single biggest financial undertaking they will make in their lifetime. Yet, many will purchase a home without having a qualified home inspector assess the condition of the property before the final purchase.

Serious repairs that come to light after a purchase can cost tens of thousands of dollars and in some cases more. House fires caused by faulty electrical wiring are not uncommon. Excess moisture from leaking pipes or a damaged roof can result in toxigenic mold. Does the home have proper insulation behind the walls and in the ceiling? What about foundation cracks or leaks? These hazards can be avoided by having your soon-to-be-home checked by a qualified home inspector before signing the purchase documents.

However, not all home inspectors are equal. Currently, there are numerous contractors in Ontario who are not qualified to do home inspections properly. To ensure the highest level of service, hire a Registered Home Inspector, the highest qualification in Ontario.

Jean Laframboise is one such home inspector. He has been doing inspections for eight years and reviews all the major home systems: roofing, exterior, structure, electrical, heating, cooling, insulation, plumbing and interior.

“I am an objective third party. My role is not to look after the agent’s interests as some home inspectors do,” Laframboise says. “I’m there for the client — the person who is going to purchase the home.”

Laframboise worked as a professional engineer (Mech.) for the Department of National Defence for twenty years, and after a career change, built up his home inspection company, InSpecRes Inc. He is a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors, which protects both home buyers and sellers, and complies to the highest standards of practice for professional home inspectors. His passion for the home inspection field led him to become an Algonquin College instructor for future home inspectors. And, since 2011, he has been a contributing committee member of the nationally distributed The Canadian Home Inspector magazine.

Laframboise explains that the home inspection industry is not presently regulated in Ontario, but noted that, “it’s about to change”. Queen’s Park is in the process of regulating the home inspection industry through a certification regime designed to protect consumers and legislation on this is imminent. This will also prevent unqualified contractors with little or no training who offer lower rates from competing with qualified professionals.

With more than 850 home inspections of homes ranging from modest cottages to contemporary multi-million dollar Barry Hobin-designed homes, Laframboise is a recognized expert. He identifies underlying issues with the major systems in a home.

“A home inspection typically takes two and a half hours, sometimes much more. I encourage my clients to follow me around and ask all the questions they want.” He points out that by participating in the inspection, clients acquire a better understanding of their new home’s operation.

Both sellers and buyers contact Laframboise for home inspections. Buyers do so prior to closing the deal. With the home inspection report in hand and the assistance of a real estate agent, they are able to make informed decisions. Sellers contact him to learn about the home’s condition and to be aware of any major problems that may negatively impact the closing of a sale.

Still, it isn’t up to Laframboise to give a pass or fail grade.

“My job is to offer suggestions and make recommendations. In the end, it is the client who makes the decisions,” he says. “There are no homes without some kind of problem. I point out the issues, but it’s up to the client whether to act on them or not.”

Laframboise has found some life-threatening conditions over the years, such as a natural gas leak, and he has helped a lot of potential home buyers avoid homes plagued with significant problems.

“Some inspections reveal major problems, which causes the transaction to fall flat or helps the potential buyer to get a lower price.”

He says it’s important for a homebuyer’s peace of mind to ensure that they hire a home inspector with solid credentials and extensive experience.

inspecres_card-back-copyJean Laframboise, P. Eng., RHI
jean@inspecres.ca or www.inspecres.ca