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Home Inspections

Posted on
24 May 2011
  • Comments (8)

What to Expect From a Home Inspection

Written by  Michelle

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Purchasing a home is a large investment for many British Columbians.  It is so important to familiarize yourself with all of the activities related to buying a house so that you are making an informed choice.  Many people get a home inspection done as part of their home buying decision.  As you may know, Consumer Protection BC licenses home inspectors in the province. To find a licensed home inspector, please click here to access the licensee search on our website.

So what can you expect from a home inspection?  Typically inspections take 2 to 3 hours to complete.  They are visual inspections which means the inspector is not expected to displace flooring and tiling, or check water or air samples. Here are a few examples of what inspectors may or may not do:

A home inspector may:

  • Probe structural components where deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of possible deterioration exist.
  • Visually inspect the roof, chimneys, skylights and gutters.
  • Look for leaks in piping systems, check for drainage and test water pressure in faucets and other plumbing fixtures.
  • Check the home’s electrical system by inspecting outlets and main service panels.
  • Report on any evidence of water penetration in the home.

A home inspector may not:

  • Probe structural components when it would damage any finished surface or where no deterioration is visible.
  • Predict the life expectancy of the roof, perform water tests, or disturb insulation.
  • Inspect structures that aren’t part of the main building such as storage sheds, swimming pools or tennis courts.
  • Determine the quality of water, or the adequacy of water supply.
  • Look for erosion in or around the yard.

When the inspector has completed the examination of your potential home, you should receive a written report which outlines the findings from the inspection.  If you have questions about the report, it is important to speak with the inspector to clarify the findings.  The above information is to be used for guidance only. More information about your home inspection rights can be found on our website, at

Last modified on 05 October 2016


Michelle formerly worked in the Consumer Protection BC Inquiry Centre. She answered calls and emails from consumers and businesses on a wide variety of topics




23 July 2013
Great blog.

Mark Brandon

25 January 2015
Are you familiar with RECA policy? if so, good! if not then I'll explain further.. well this reca policy enable the buyer to explore the property yet with only limited people to access the area this includes the home buyer, inspector and the buyer's representative and excludes the seller during the home inspection. There is nothing wrong in this policy but some home buyers don't agree with it.


27 January 2015
Hi Mark -- Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you may be referring to the rules of the Real Estate Council of Alberta? While we are not responsible for licensing/overs ight of the real estate industry in BC, we appreciate you sharing this info per our responsibilitie s with BC's home inspection industry. Also, you may be interested in some information we have on our website about conflict of interest with realtor referrals and home inspections. Here is a link to that information:


07 June 2015
One of the outlets isn't working in my house can they fail the inspection over that


08 June 2015
Hi Barjinder -- Thanks for the question. It's my understanding that a home inspector will not "pass" or "fail" a home based on what they find during the home inspection. Rather, the person who ordered the home inspection will be provided with a report that includes things about the home that they may want to know. We have more information about what a home inspection is on our website, here: I hope that helps!


20 October 2016
I bought a home 7 years ago, after dealing through a local real estate company, & having the house inspected. Nothing was disclosed to us from realtor or home inspector, that the house has a history of flooding in the basement that goes back to when the house was built! So much for getting the protection they claim to provide when you deal with a reputable realtor and home inspector!!


09 May 2017
Hi Kelly, thank you for your question. While Consumer Protection BC does license home inspectors in BC but the standards of practice can vary. Remember that a home inspection is a visual inspection which means the inspector is not expected to displace flooring and tiling, or check water or air samples. A home inspector may look for leaks in piping systems, but they may not. Home inspectors are trained to recognize signs and symptoms of major problems, but are not experts in all fields and may need to refer consumers to specialists. It’s important for consumers to recognize that a home inspection cannot eliminate risk, only reduce it. You may want to contact a few home inspectors to ask what about their practices. There are a few home inspector associations in BC and they may have more information on their websites about what to expect from one of their home inspectors. I hope this helps!


09 May 2017
We sold our house and are moving in 2 months. Today we just found out that we have a water leak somewhere outside. The buyer of our home bought without an inspection. Would this have been caught through the the home inspection? Pulling up the cities water meter utilities bill?

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