The following is a sample report of an actual inspection performed on a home in Victoria by Kerry Smith of Inspectech, one of the most experienced and qualified building inspection companies in Victoria.
South Island Inspectech Building Inspections Inc.
816 Dalewood Lane, Victoria, B.C. V8X 5G6
Building Inspection - Example Report
This report will document the summary verbal briefing delivered after our inspection conducted February 2, 2017 at the above referenced address. This inspection and report have not been conducted and prepared by engineers. A real estate building inspection is “opinion only” and not to be confused with an engineering or specialist examination. Although reasonable means are effected to assess the status of the dwelling in accordance with industry standards, it must be understood that the inspection is topical, noninvasive and incomplete. The inspection and inspection report cannot be relied upon as a true and comprehensive representation of the actual condition of any element of the property or building examined. No guarantee or warranty of any kind is connected to the inspection or inspection report. Further analysis of the items examined in this report must be obtained from a specialist in the area of concern. It is emphasized that the principle of Caveat Emptor – “Let the Buyer Beware“ applies to all real estate building inspections.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LANDSCAPE AND DRAINAGE SECTION .1
WALLS, DOORS AND WINDOWS SECTION .2
ROOF, FLASHINGS and CHIMNEYS SECTION .3
STRUCTURE SECTION .4
PLUMBING SECTION .5
HEATING and VENTILATION SECTION .7
INSULATION SECTION .8
INTERIOR SECTION .9
SUMMARY SECTION .10
1. LANDSCAPE AND SITE DRAINAGE
In accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice pertaining to Landscaping and Drainage as they relate to the exterior, our inspectors are required to inspect walkways, patios and driveways leading to entrances and the vegetation, grading, surface drainage and retaining walls when they are likely to adversely affect the residence. The subject residence is a three level wood frame single family dwelling constructed on a concrete foundation. The lot is relatively flat. For purposes of orientation, the main entry door of the home is deemed to face west.
Landscaping, lot topography and site conditions are examined during a residential building inspection as they can have a significant impact on the building structure. The property appears well planted with no obvious indication of erosion or instability.
No obviously adverse conditions were noted. Engineering considerations such as geo-technical stability fall outside the scope of a real estate building inspection. Inquiry is directed to the local municipal authority and engineering department to confirm the status and history of local geography and any pertinent engineering or environmental considerations.
Surface drainage is provided by what appears to be an upgraded 4-inch PVC perforated plastic piping system that is routed around the perimeter of the building. The visible sections of the system were examined. As the system is buried it is not possible to confirm if it is installed correctly. It is assumed but not confirmed that the piping runs continuously around the perimeter of the building, is sloped correctly and placed at sufficient depth. A downspout was removed from a drain tile riser and a flashlight shined down into the piping. Minimal accumulations of silt and debris were noted and the system appears to be functioning as intended. Inquiry should be madeto confirm the perimeter drain system upgrade history and contractor ID.
Inquiry should be also be made to ascertain the existence, status, details, conditions and transferability of any warranty. If no documented history is available, servicing and further investigation of the system is recommended to confirm actual system condition, upgrade/repair recommendations and related costs.
The sidewalks, patio areas and driveway are concrete and brick pavers with minimal visible deterioration, surface erosion, settlement and cracking observed. The finish for this work is considered to be satisfactory and appears to have been placed by qualified personnel. Retaining walls have been constructed where changes in the elevation of the exterior grades require reinforcement to maintain soil stability. This work was examined and appears in satisfactory condition with some typical settlement cracking noted.
No unusual damage, heaving or other obvious evidence of significant instability was noted and the structures appear to be functioning in the manner intended.
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2. WALLS, DOORS AND WINDOWS
In accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice pertaining to Exteriors, this report describes the exterior wall coverings and trim. Our inspectors are required to inspect the exterior wall coverings, flashings, trim, all exterior doors, the stoops, steps porches and their associated railings, any attached decks and balconies and eaves, soffits and fascias accessible from ground level.
The exterior wall surface is conventional cement based stucco and vinyl siding. The eave underside (soffit) is stucco material with no intake venting. Minor cracking was noted in the work and is considered to be typical settlement. The shell of the building is comprised of a number of architectural details where various building features intersect adjacent materials and surfaces. A representative sampling of exterior building details such as eaves, fascias, trim, flashings, wall intersections, door and window penetrations and the various materials in place to prevent moisture penetration were examined. No obvious indications of major leakage or deterioration to these details were observed at the time of inspection.
The windows are vinyl sash double glazed units. The windows were examined and operated. The window installations appear generally satisfactory and functioning in the manner intended. No indications of failed seals were observed in any of the windows. The exterior trim, sash and sill materials show no significant finish deterioration, cracked putty, wood decay or damage. The main exterior entry and exit doors were examined and appear operational. Jamb material, latches and locks appear in satisfactory condition and functioning in the manner intended. Functioning dead bolts were installed on main entry/exit doors. Weather stripping on the doors and windows is in satisfactory condition.
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The residence has an attached wood frame sundeck and stair set. The work appears constructed of satisfactory materials. The support structure is comprised of 2 by 8 joists attached to a ledger and metal joist hangers at the building and resting on 3-ply 2 by 8 beams bearing on wood posts and concrete footings at the outer end. The railing assemblies appear of sufficient height and are secured. The deck surface is treated wood planking. No severe deterioration or unusualwear and tear was observed. The visible seal and finish materials show no staining or indication of past leakage.
3. ROOF, FLASHINGS AND CHIMNEYS
In accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice pertaining to Roof Systems, Fireplaces and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances, this report describes the roof coverings and the method used to inspect the roof. Our inspectors are required to inspect the roof covering, roof drainage systems, flashings, skylights, chimneys and roof penetrations. Inspectors are required to inspect system components, vent systems, flues and chimneys of fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances.
The report also describes fireplaces, solid fuel burning appliances and chimneys. Those portions of the chimney(s) that extend above the roof are described. NOTE: Inspectors are NOT required to ignite or extinguish any fires in any device, determine the draft characteristics of vents or chimney flues, move fireplace inserts, stoves or firebox contents, inspect the interior of flues or chimneys, fire screens or doors, seals and gaskets, automatic fuel feed devices, combustion make-up air devices, mantels and fireplace surrounds or any heat distribution accessory devices, whether gravity controlled or fan assisted.
The roof was accessed by ladder and walked upon during the examination. The roof material is Torch-On membrane and fiberglass laminate shingles of good quality and appearing in fair to satisfactory condition. No irregularity was visible in the material placement or flashing details and it appears that the roof was professionally installed.
No indications of surface failure, raised ridges, brittle or missing shingles were evident at the time of inspection. Roof flashings are installed at the valleys, wall intersections and pipe penetrations. The flashing material is vinyl and sheet metal and appears in satisfactory condition. Concern exists where a level valley between to two front gables will tend to accumulate debris. Annual maintenance is recommended to ensure the detail remains clear of debris and free draining.
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Shingle material of this quality in this location would be expected to have a remaining service life of 15 + years. Inquiry should be made to confirm that the roof was professionally installed and ascertain the details, conditions,status and transferability of any warranty.
Small accumulations of moss and lichen were noted on portions of the roof surface and should be gently cleaned away. Several areas of the shingle and Torch-On roofing appear to have been damaged, possibly from unskillful moss removal. Sections of the granular surface showed small voids where the material was missing. Further review is referred to the attention of a licensed and reputable roofing contractor for full assessment, recommendations and cost estimate.
Roof drainage is provided by aluminum eavestroughs and dedicated down spout piping. The work was examined and appears to be secured and sloped generally toward drain outlets. The downspouts were noted to discharge into the perimeter drain system. A quantity of debris had accumulated in the eaves troughs at the time of inspection. No obvious major defects were observed and this installation is believed to be in satisfactory condition and functioning in the manner intended.
The home has a manufactured direct vent gas fireplace. The exhaust vent appears adequately flashed where it penetrates the wall. No visible deterioration of the installation was noted. The fireplace is located in the main floor living room. The installation and main components were examined and believed satisfactory with no obvious irregularities observed. Some typical heat stress was visible inside the firebox. The devices and components appear to have been placed with adequate clearance to combustibles. Piping and connections for the gas installations were tested for leaks with the Tiff 8800 Combustible Gas Detector. No leaks were found. It was observed that the flame color and pattern and operation of the main controls were satisfactory. The unit has been fitted with a circulation fan. The fireplace shows no recent maintenance and should be serviced regularly in compliance with manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure optimum safety, performance and reliability.
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In accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice pertaining to Structural Systems, this report describes the foundation, floor, wall, ceiling and roof structures and the method used to inspect any accessible attics and under floor crawlspace areas. Our inspectors are required to inspect and probe the structural components of the home, including the foundation and framing, where deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of possible deterioration exist.
The foundation is poured concrete with typical 8-inch thick walls in a pier and wall configuration. The visible components of the framing and foundation were examined. Minimal settlement cracks were visible at the time of inspection. Attic and roof
framing were inspected with a flashlight by opening the attic access hatch and peering through with a flashlight.
The superstructure is conventional wood frame construction with stud perimeter and partition walls. Floor framing is 2 by 8 floor
joists sheathed with shiplap. Wall framing is 2 by 4 stud framing sheathed with shiplap. The roof is a wood frame assembly of 2 by 6 ceiling joists and 2 by 4 rafters sheathed with shiplap. Observed framing was Douglas Fir at 16” on center. Typical regularity was visible in the rooflines and floor levels. Much of the structure is concealed behind finished surfaces and cannot be examined. As with many older homes, a range of building design and assembly styles were employed. The framing design and assembly of this building, although typical for its vintage, does not conform strictly to currently accepted guidelines. It appears and is assumed but not confirmed that concrete footings are placed at sufficient depth and rest upon adequate bearing. It appears and is assumed but not confirmed that framing members are correctly sized and placed at correct spacing. While no obvious evidence of major structural decay or failure is believed to exist, a comprehensive structural analysis exceeds the scope of a standard residential building inspection. If structural certification is desired, examination of the building is referred to the
services of a recognized consulting structural engineer.
An examination for the presence of wood boring insects and pests was conducted. Areas surveyed included exposed portions of the building exterior, foundation and accessible attic spaces. Visibility was limited in some areas by a quantity of clutter and stored items. In any such examination it must be understood that no part of the building is disassembled. A number of other building components such as the interior of wall and floor assemblies cannot be viewed. No preconditions that would tend to foster infestation and/or deterioration by wood destroying or other pest organisms were observed. The active presence of a wood-deteriorating or other pest organism is not suspected but neither is the absence confirmed. The scope and status of this
issue can only be verified through consultation with a certified pest control specialist. The reader is encouraged to seek out consultation with pest specialists for review of this issue and specifically examine for evidence of rot and other damage to the
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In accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice pertaining to Plumbing Systems, this report describes the water supply, drain, waste and vent piping materials and the water heating equipment, energy source and location of the main water and main fuel shut-off valves, when readily viewable or known. Our inspectors are required to inspect the interior water supply and distribution systems, all fixtures and faucets, the drain waste and vent systems (including all fixtures for conveying waste), the water heating equipment (vent systems, flues and chimneys of water heaters or boiler equipment), fuel storage and distributions systems for water heaters and/or boiler equipment and drainage sumps, sump pumps and associated piping.
The plumbing system is assumed connected to the municipal supply and waste system. Service piping to the building is 3/4-inch PEX plastic with 1/2 and 3/4-inch PEX plastic branch piping inside the building. The main shut off is located in the basement at the original garage door location. The flow pressure is normal for the area and considered low to adequate. Drain, waste and vent piping is ABS plastic, galvanized steel and cast steel. Most of the supply and drainage piping is concealed behind finished wall and floor surfaces. The visible sections of drainage and supply piping were examined and their condition observed. The work appears generally functional. Sections of vertical galvanized steel drainage piping are still in service and may form an obstacle to insurability. Further review is referred to the attention of a licensed and reputable plumbing contractor to confirm the condition and insurability of this material. The plumbing fixtures are conventional glazed steel, fiberglass/acrylic and ceramic units. There are 3.5 bathrooms, 2 kitchens and 2 laundry areas in the home. The devices and fixtures were examined and operated. The installations appear operational with no indications of severe deterioration, damage or failure noted. Tap sets and fixtures have been updated, are operational, and show minor wear and tear to the finishes.
The shower areas are protected by marble and porcelain tile. The shower areas were examined for leaks, damage or deterioration. No obvious or pronounced indications of leakage or deterioration were observed in the installations.
It is noted that a drain and pan were not provided at the master bedroom laundry machine placement. As the installation is located over finished interior space, provision of some type of flood containment and/or alarm device is recommended.
The hot water tank is located in the basement. The equipment is described as a gas fired hot water heater manufactured by Rheem with a 40-gallon capacity. The main fuel shut off is located in the gas piping adjacent to the tank. The hot water tank exhausts via a standard plastic flue pipe and combustion air assembly. The main
water shut off for the tank is located in the water piping adjacent to the unit. The tank is of good quality and shows a manufacture date of Sept 2011. It is noted that the tank has been fitted with a main shut off, TPR valve, discharge tube, vacuum breaker and expansion tank as recommended. A floor drain was not located in the vicinity of the hot water tank. The main elements were examined and show minor corrosion consistent with the age of the tank. Typical service life for hot water tanks of this type and quality is 8 – 12 years.
In accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice pertaining to Electrical Systems, this report describes the amperage
and voltage rating of the service, the location of the main disconnect and any sub panel(s), the presence of solid
conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring and the absence of smoke detectors. Our inspectors are required to inspect the viewable portions of the service drop from the utility to the building, the service entrance conductors, cables and
raceways, the service equipment and main disconnects, the service grounding, the interior components of the service
panels and sub panels, the conductors, the over-current protection devices (fuses or breakers)
The breaker panel is located in the basement. The equipment is described as a 120/240-Volt 200-Amp breaker system
manufactured by Schneider. The main service conductors are routed overhead and connected to a wall mounted meter service mast and weatherhead at the front left corner of the building. The service ground conductor appears and is assumed connected to a buried grounding rod system. The main shut off is the main breaker located in the panel. The distribution wiring is conventional copper Lumex cabling. A representative number of controls, switches, electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, exhaust fans, cable installations, polarity and grounding, breaker panel and sub panel installations were examined. Devices are tested using the normal user controls typically accessible to the homeowner or resident. Circuit breakers are not switched on or off during the examination. The service appears to be grounded with room for future upgrades.
Operational smoke detectors were found in the residence. Smoke detectors are wired in as recommended. It is noted that a GFCI protected receptacle is installed in the bathrooms. It does not appear that handymen or other unqualified individuals have performed wiring alterations. No obvious or pronounced major irregularities were evident at the time of inspection. A cable was not found to serve a cook stove in the basement suite. Inquiry is directed to the seller to confirm the status of this item. A comprehensive analysis of the electrical system is a specialized and lengthy process
that exceeds the scope of a standard general building inspection. If electrical system certification is desired, examination of the system is referred to the services of a certified electrician or electrical engineer.
7. HEATING and VENTILATION
In accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice pertaining to Heating Systems, this report describes the energy
source and the distinguishing characteristics of the heating system(s). Our inspectors are required to inspect the installed heating equipment and associated vent systems, flues and chimneys.
The building is heated by a forced air furnace located in the basement. The equipment is described as a high efficiency gas fired forced air furnace manufactured by Heil and rated at 65,000 BTU’s. The main fuel shut off is located in the supply piping adjacent to the furnace. The furnace exhausts via a standard PVC plastic flue pipe and combustion air assembly Provision of adequate combustion and draft air is critical to the safe operation of this installation. A fresh air supply vent is located adjacent to the furnace. This vent should be protected from accidental blockage. No storage of any kind should be permitted in this area.
The installation was examined and appears operational and in satisfactory condition. No obvious defects or indications of neglect were observed. The normal sequence of operating modes was executed with no obvious defects noted. Gas piping and connections for the installation were tested for leaks with the Tiff 8800 Gas Detector. No leaks were found. It was observed that the flame color and pattern, operation of the main controls and condition of the circulation fan were satisfactory. The furnace shows no recent maintenance and should be serviced regularly in compliance with manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure optimum safety, performance and reliability.
A quantity of dust and debris was accumulated inside the furnace cabinet and ducting. It is recommended that the system is professionally cleaned to reduce the amount of impurities circulating through the system and home. The heating system is supplemented by electric baseboards. The units were examined and appear operational and wired with the correct over current protection. An examination for evidence indicating the presence of an under ground oil storage tank was conducted. No obvious indications of a buried tank presence or related leakage were observed at the time of inspection. The presence of such a tank on the property is not suspected but not confirmed. Inquiry of the municipal authority is recommended to determine the approval status of this issue.
No indications of elevated humidity levels were noted inside the residence. The bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans are operational and appear to be vented to the outside. A kitchen exhaust fan was not yet installed to serve the basement kitchen. It is recommended that good quality exhaust fans are provided for all kitchens and bathrooms. It is further recommended that all kitchen, bathroom and laundry installation ducting is comprised of the correct material and properly vented to the outside.
In accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice pertaining to Insulation and Ventilation Systems, this report
describes the insulation and vapor retarders used in unfinished spaces when readily accessible and the absence of
insulation in unfinished spaces at conditioned surfaces. Our inspectors are required to inspect insulation and vapor
retarders in unfinished spaces when accessible, ventilation of attics and foundation (crawlspace) areas and mechanical
ventilation systems, if present. Several wall cavities were probed and intermittently found to
contain insulation. It does not appear that all wall cavities are adequately insulated. Basement walls were insulated. All but the south wall on the upper floor were insulated. It appears only the kitchen and ensuite bathroom walls on the main floor were insulated. The building has one main attic space accessible from an upper floor closet. Attic spaces and conditions were inspected with a flashlight by opening the attic access hatch and/or peering through the hatch. The attic insulation is fiberglass batts estimated at R-20 and considered inadequate.
There appear to be marginally sufficient roof vents to provide ventilation of this space. The attic access panel was not insulated and weather-stripped as recommended. It is important that all access panels are carefully constructed and fitted. Panels should be well insulated, weather stripped and tightly closed at all times. Correction of this defect will increase energy efficiency. Vapour barriers were found on the attic ceiling. The vapour barrier material is polythene plastic and has been placed in a random, irregular configuration. The attic access was blocked by homeowner possessions. The area was examined from the opening only as full attic entry was not possible at the time of inspection. Further review is referred to the attention of a licensed and reputable insulation contractor for full assessment, recommendations and cost estimate.
In accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice pertaining to Interiors, there is NO requirement for the report to describe any interior components or finishes. Our inspectors are required to inspect walls, ceilings and floors, steps, stairways and railings, countertops and a representative number of cabinets, a representative number of doors and windows and the garage doors and automatic garage operators.
The interior wall and ceiling surfaces are conventional gyproc panels and lath and plaster in satisfactory condition generally. The finishing of the plaster, trim work, etc. is considered to be satisfactory. A small number of surface irregularities, blemishes, cracks, etc. were observed at the time of inspection.
The flooring is finished wood and carpeting in the main areas. Kitchen and bathroom floors are surfaced with marble tile, porcelain tile and prefinished laminate. No excessive indications of damage, neglect or unusual wear and tear were noted and the flooring appears in satisfactory condition. An older and possibly original linoleum material is installed beneath upper floor carpet. This flooring material may contain asbestos and should be considered as a possibly hazardous material. Asbestos is a serious life safety hazard and certain types of exposure can be fatal. Further review of this item is referred to the attention of a licensed and reputable asbestos abatement contractor.
A few random areas of the basement flooring flexes slightly when tread upon. It is speculated that the cause was insufficient preparation prior to flooring placement. The condition is not considered to be functionally significant and correction is recommended for cosmetic reasons. The cabinets are European style units. Countertops are Formica and granite. No obvious indications of damage, neglect or unusual wear and tear were noted. A representative number of doors, drawers and attached devices were operated at the time of inspection and appear to be functioning in the manner intended. The building was constructed in an era when some building materials contained asbestos. It is possible that asbestos containing materials remain in the building.
Asbestos can be serious life safety hazard and certain types of exposure can be fatal. If certification is desired, further review is referred to the attention of an industrial hygienist and/or a licensed and reputable asbestos abatement contractor.
In summary, the residence is considered to be a superior example of a number of similar vintage and style dwellings. The dwelling appears to have functioning electrical, plumbing and heating systems and is insulated. The actual scope of work and cost of corrections/repairs should be confirmed prior to proceeding with the home purchase. Further attention is directed to the items listed below and a typical number of maintenance items.
Further attention is directed to:
1) confirm contractor/trades ID, warranty and permit status
2) confirm buried oil tank status
3) roof review to confirm cause of damage and cost of repair
4) confirm furnace maintenance history
5) consider furnace duct cleaning
6) confirm galvanized plumbing insurability
7) investigate existence of electrical cable for basement stove
8) install basement kitchen ventilation
9) consider attic and wall insulation upgrade
10) consider flood containment for master bedroom laundry
11) adjust master closet sliding door hardware installation
12) confirm presence/significance of possible asbestos in original materials
Although all reasonable means are effected to assess the status of the dwelling, it must be understood that this report is partial and inconclusive. The inspection and inspection report cannot be relied upon as a true representation of the actual condition of any element of the property or building examined. No guarantee or warranty is connected to the inspection or inspection report. Further analysis of any of the items contained in this report can be obtained from a specialist in the area of concern. It is emphasized that the principle of Caveat Emptor – “Let the Buyer Beware” applies to all real estate building inspections.
It is emphasized that South Island InspecTech Building Inspections Inc. is a lawfully incorporated entity and that no liability is personally assumed by the inspector. It is further emphasized that this building inspection is opinion only and that no warranty or guarantee of any kind whatsoever is attached to the building inspection or
building inspection report. Trusting this is sufficient,
S. I. InspecTech Building Inspections Inc.
Kerry D. Smith NCH RHI (CAHPI)
BC Inspector License #47674