Intro back page
Taking possession of your new home or condo is often a long anticipated moment, possibly the fulfillment of a dream, full of excitement and fears, anticipation and anxiety. As a specialist in residential inspection, I will use my knowledge, qualifications and experience to ensure you have the quality of construction you expect and paid for.
The pressures in the construction industry and on the job site, the complexity of today’s homes, the constant advancements in building science and changes required by new building codes, all contribute to the recognized need for the verification of new constructions by a qualified neutral third party.
Objective: What does an inspection do for you ?
“La loi sur le bâtiment” (L.R.Q., c. B-1.1, a. 185 et 192) states that, no matter what kind of residence you buy, you must complete a Pre-Acceptance Inspection. This inspection is a critical step in ensuring you are getting full value for your investment and to assure your undisputed coverage under the RBQ’s Plan of Guarantee.
The completion of this inspection brings you to the signing of the “Building Acceptance” which releases the contractor of responsibility for any unfinished work, defects in design or poor workmanship visible but not reported at the time of the inspection(*). Anything missed is yours to fix.
The goal of this inspection is to assist you in adequately meeting your legal obligation by verifying that all contracted work has been done according to best trade practices, and to note what needs to be completed or corrected. To this end, the inspector, based on the visible evidence, renders an account of the condition of all the buildings systems and their components. Particular attention will be given to any changes made to the original plans or supplementary work requested by you, as well as any elements touching on safety and security. In the case of any doubt, guaranties will be requested of the contractor or legal reserves will be recommended pending completion of work or execution of a fuller investigation.
What to expect the day of your inspection ?
The Pre-Acceptance Inspection is completed using a checklist of elements to verify, established and approved by the Régie de Bâtiment du Québec. We will do much more than just the checklist.
An inspection takes from 2 to 4 hours at the property, depending on the size and the complexity of the building being inspected. We do the inspection together (except for dangerous or really dirty bits!) and in the company of your contractor. The contractor can be a valuable source of information about invisible elements, right of ways, property lines, etc. His co-operation is very helpful (but not guaranteed). I am, at all times, working for you and any other input will be accepted only as far as it is helpful to us.
Typically we start by considering the surrounding environment and then we inspect the exterior of the building including the roof, which I usually do on my own. We then move inside and go from bottom to top; the basement, each room on each floor and finally the attic. I photograph and inspect all the components, and operate all the mechanical systems (see list in the side bar). As we move through the inspection we will complete the RBQ checklist and I will explain everything I note and the impact I believe it will have on the home. At the end, on site, we will do a verbal review of the problems noted and usually the signing of the inspection, with all appropriate reserves. In the most extreme circumstances, we will negotiate with the contractor any actions required before signing your document of acceptance. My work however is not yet over.
You will receive a full written report in a clear, easy to read format that covers far more than the elements found in your contractors checklist. The final report is usually about 20 pages and includes an account of the observations made during the inspection, an identification of the defects found, an analysis of how they interact and what that tells us about the health of your future home. Recommendations are given for each problem detected and items of particular importance are supported by photographs. A summary at the beginning gives you a quick reference to the major problems and recommendations found in the report.
The report is written individually for you and the house we inspected together; it is not the work of a software program. The diagnostic work done requires reflection, often research or sometimes calls to an associate or an expert. I take the time to do a complete second inspection of the house using the photos I have taken (300 to 600 per inspection).
You will receive your full report by e-mail a maximum of 3 days after the inspection. Paper copies are available for a fee.
What does it cost ?
The base honorarium of a pre-purchase inspection is $500.00 dollars (no taxes are added to this price). The costs can increase depending on the size or complexity of the building, the presence of an apartment, garage or outbuilding or travel distances outside the region. Payment is made after the inspection by cheque, e-transfer or cash .
Contact me to establish a detailed submission and final price.
Reduction to young families: $20.00 per child less than 8 years of age.
The basic limitation of a Pre-acceptance inspection is that we cannot do anything that damages, or might damage the property, the house, or its contents. That means our inspection uses only the signs, we can see, smell, or hear to report or deduce the state of affairs.
Our observations are limited to the date on which the inspection took place.
The inspection does not include any element that exposes me (or you) to any unnecessary danger or health risk.
We cannot give you advice on the value of the property.
A detailed explanation of the inclusions and limitations of this inspection can be found at: www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/medias/pdf/Publications/anglais/web_maison_eng.pdf
What do we inspect ?
The inspector, based on the visible evidence, renders an account of the condition of all the buildings systems and their components. In the case of any doubt a more thorough investigation will be recommended.
siding, flashings and sealants,
doors and windows, soffit and fascia,
building access and drainage
flashing, sealants, drainage
supply and distribution
hot water supply
evacuation, drains and vents
fixtures, valves and taps
bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen
supply, main panel, wiring
switches, lights and plugs, heaters
energy source, heat generator
distribution and controls
Refrigerant and generator,
Distribution and controls
central HRV, distribution and controls
ceiling fans, kitchen hood, dryer
Insulation and ventilation:
foundations and/ or crawl space
floors, walls, and attic
floors, walls, ceilings,
doors and stairs
cupboards and counters
Building envelop integrity
Notes articles and references
Concerning the “Plan de Garantie”
The contractor who sell or builds a building must offer coverage under “The Guarantee plan for new buildings” recognized by the Régie de bâtiment de Québec. In the event that the contractor does not meet his or her legal or contractual obligations the Plan offers protections to the buyer, before the acceptance, at the moment of acceptance and after the signing of the acceptance for the building. Coverage for each of these stages has very specific limitations, procedures and time delays.
When the contractor considers the house is ready, he will contact you and invite you to the Pre-Acceptance Inspection at the end of which you will sign the Building Acceptance. This acceptance can be signed, as is often the case, with reserves if there are elements to correct and/or complete. Once the acceptance of the building is signed you have another three (3) days to complete this list of work to correct or complete (on condition that you have not moved into the home).Once the contractor has completed all the work indicated in the inspection list, you will sign with him, the declaration of the End of Works.
Each of these steps, the terms used and the conditions applied are important in order for you to benefit fully from the Guarantee for new buildings. We recommend very strongly that you read and understand le booklet “The Guarantee Plan for new residential buildings: measures to be taken for your home/condo” available at the website www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca/plan-de-garantie under the publications tab
Example of PRE-ACCEPTANCE inspection points
We observe that the trusses in the roof are missing most wind and pressure bracing elements. These components play a very important structural function under extreme climatic conditions (ex. snow load, hurricanes) and their lack can nullify engineering guaranties.
Work to be completed by the contractor:
Adding the necessary wind and load braces to the roof trusses.
We observe that the plugs by the kitchen sink do not respond to a test for ground fault. According to the indications on the electrical panel they are connected to a AFCI type breaker (#86A). While this type of breaker offers a certain degree of protection it cannot be used to replace a class A, GFI protection. The present installation presents a risk of serious electrical shock.
Work to be correct by the contractor:
Install appropriate ground fault protection on all required circuits.
We notice a bump in the shingles on the roof of the garage. Possibly an indication of an undesirable object under the shingles, that creates a risk of premature breaking of the shingles and subsequent lose of water tightness.
Work to be corrected by the contractor.
We observe that there is a flashing missing at the left extremity of the porch where the roof meets the wall. The junction here is sealed only with a joint of caulking, a temporary solution creating risks of leaking and premature deterioration of the structure.
To be corrected by the contractor:
Installation of any flashings need to assure the long term water tightness of all roof joints.