Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Alberta Property Inspection Ltd.
You will also find links of interest to homebuyers, sellers and realtors.
Q: How long does the home inspection take and should I attend?
A: Absolutely, you should attend the entire inspection. The inspection takes about 2-3 hours. Clients that attend only a portion of the inspection can miss out on valuable information. If your inspector does not want you to attend, you may want to find another inspector.
Q: Can the inspector tell me how much the house is worth?
A: Home inspectors are not qualified to comment on the value of a house. For determining the value of a property, it is best to consult with a professional home appraiser.
Q: Can you refer someone to make repairs?
A: No, home inspectors generally do not refer contractors, as this can be perceived as a conflict of interest.
Q: How much are the repairs found at the inspection going to cost?
A: Under Alberta Government Regulations, home inspectors are not allowed to provide cost estimates of repairs. Alberta Professional Home Inspector Society (APHIS) does provide a general cost guide which is included in your report package. We recommend obtaining 3 quotes from reputable contractors.
Q: Do you use an infrared camera?
A: At API we are infrared certified, but because of the limitations of this technology we will use it as a tool at the inspector’s discretion and at no extra cost.
Q: Does an infrared camera find cracks in a finished foundation?
A: No. Contrary to popular belief, an infrared camera cannot obtain imaging through walls.
Q: Does an infrared camera find mold.
A: No, an infrared camera does not find mold. However, an infrared camera may detect moisture if the conditions are favourable, and moisture is one of the required elements for mold growth.
Q: We have been calling around and are finding quite a difference in price.
A: Since the down turn in the economy home inspection has become the preferred industry for people to turn to make a quick buck. With little knowledge and no experience, competing on price is their only option. (Like they say, the two instances in which you don’t want to hire the cheapest guy are your tattoo artist and your home inspector!) We offer a certified Professional Home Inspector who is qualified and experienced.
Q: I am adding a basement bedroom, what would be the required window size for a safe egress/emergency exit.
A: Unless the basement bedroom has a door leading directly to the building exterior, or the suite is sprinklered, each bedroom must have at least one window openable from the inside. Must have an unobstructed opening portion having a minimum area of .35 m sq. (3.8 ft. sq.) with no dimension less than 380mm (15”). 760mm (30”) clearance is required on the exterior in front of a window.
If a window well is present, the well must extend out 760mm (30”). If the window swings out, window width plus 760 mm (30”) is required.
For a basement window it is recommended that the bottom of any egress window opening, or sill not be higher than 1.5m (5 ft) above the floor Therefore it may be required built in furniture be installed below the window to assist in the event an emergency is required.
Where bars are installed these must be open able from the inside without the use of keys tools or special knowledge.
Basement egress window size is NOT grandfathered.
(Check with your municipality)
Q: I am building an uncovered deck what are the handrail and railing requirements.
A: When open sides of a deck are not protected by a wall, a railing is required where the deck is more than 24” (600mm) between the deck and the ground. Or if the ground adjacent, within 47” (1.2m) of the deck has a severe slope.
The balusters must be vertical and the spacing should be small enough that a spherical object with a diameter of 4” (100mm) will not fit through. Guardrails must be designed so no part will facilitate climbing.
Guardrails must be 36” (.9m) when the deck surface is not more than 6’ (1.8m) above the ground.
Guardrails must be 42” (1.07m) when deck surface is more than 6” (1.8m) above the ground.
(Check with your municipality)