Getting a Home Inspection

Why get a home inspection?

Because a trained eye can point out problems with a home that a typical homebuyer wouldn’t detect on casual observation. With this information, you can make a more informed decision and have an estimate of the required repair expenses, if you choose to purchase the property.

Even when buying a new home (newly constructed), it is still a good idea to get an inspection. Firstly, builders can and do make significant mistakes, which can be identified before the defect results in damage or injury. Secondly, a home inspector can also identify smaller problems that might otherwise go unnoticed (for example, where a builder used the wrong materials, such as the incorrect insulation grade).

Who performs a home inspection?

In Ontario, qualified home inspectors are members of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) and have obtained the Registered Home Inspectors (RHI) designation. The OAHI also hears complaints and can discipline home inspectors who have breached the Association’s by-laws, Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics or Code of Conduct. The OAHI’s website allows people to search for home inspectors by name, company and region of Ontario.

What does a home inspector do?

A home inspector does an examination of a property's structure and amenities, including the heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, roof, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows and rainwater drainage. An inspection may require an inspector to climb into the attic and tight corners of the home, as well as onto the roof. An inspection will typically not require pulling up the carpet or other flooring, or opening walls. Depending on the property, you may want to ask prospective inspectors whether they inspect for mould, termites, asbestos or the presence of harmful chemicals or environmental contamination (these may be outside of the scope of a typical inspection and may require an inspector with additional training).

The physical inspection will usually take about three hours and the inspector will produce a report outlining any defects in the property and an estimate of the cost associated with repairing it.

How much does a home inspection cost?

Typically, an inspection will cost between $200 and $400, depending on the company and the home’s age, size and amenities.

When should I get an inspection done?

It would be very costly and time-consuming for a buyer to have every prospective home inspected before they made an offer. Instead, a buyer can insist on including a condition in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale which makes a satisfactory home inspection a condition of the deal. This ensures that the buyer can make an offer on a home with the satisfaction that they will not be obliged to follow through with the deal if it turns out that the property is riddled with hidden defects.


When buying a new or resale home, it’s always a good idea to get a home inspection.