PRE-PURCHASE INSPECTION

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The aim of a pre-purchase inspection: to give the client a better understanding of the condition of the building in question, at the time of the inspection.

By accompanying the inspector during the inspection, the client is able to become familiar with a potential future property and its characteristics. The client will also obtain precise answers to any questions as they arise. What does a pre-purchase inspection involve when carried out by an AIBQ member? It includes an inspection of all systems and components of the building that are visible and accessible.

THE COMPONENTS

Here are the 11 components that form part of all building inspections.

The inspection aims to identify any major defects which may reduce the use, enjoyment or value of a building, or present a risk to the safety of the occupants. It also aims to note the condition of the building’s elements at the time of the inspection. The inspector observes and comments on the state of all systems and components in order to inform the client.

Section I – Structural components

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 17 The inspector shall observe and describe the following structural components and mention their condition in the report:

  • 17.1 foundations;
  • 17.2 floors;
  • 17.3 walls;
  • 17.4 columns;
  • 17.5 beams;
  • 17.6 ceilings;
  • 17.7 roofs.

Art. 18 The inspector shall probe the structural components which appear to have deterioration. However, probing is not required when it would result in damaging the building or putting the inspector or other persons at risk.

Art. 19 The inspector shall enter crawl spaces and attic spaces that are accessible through a passage that is safe, secure and of adequate size and that does not require the use of tools, except where access is obstructed, where entry could damage the property or where dangerous or adverse conditions are suspected.

Art. 20 The inspector shall report the methods used to observe crawl spaces and attic spaces.

Section II – Exterior

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 23 The inspector shall observe and describe the following exterior components and mention their condition in the report:

  • 23.1 exterior wall cladding, siding, trim and flashings;
  • 23.2 permanent windows and doors, flashings and mouldings;
  • 23.3 walkways, decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches and railings, garage and car ports or driveways;
  • 23.4 eaves, including fascia and soffits;

The inspector shall mention in the report:

  • 23.5 the presence of electric garage door openers and safety devices;
  • 23.6 whether or not any electric garage door opener automatically reverses or stops when meeting reasonable resistance during closing.
  • 23.7 the presence of vegetation, soil grading slopes, water drainage systems, and retaining walls when any one or the other of these systems can have an effect on the condition of the main building.

Art. 24 The inspector shall:

  • 24.1 operate all permanent exterior doors, including garage doors that are operated manually or using a permanently installed electric door opener;

Section III – Roofing

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 26 The inspector shall observe and describe the following roofing components and mention their condition in the report:

  • 26.1 roof covering materials;
  • 26.2 roof water drainage systems; 2
  • 6.3 flashings;
  • 26.4 skylights, chimney exterior and structural roof penetrations.

Art. 27 The inspector shall mention in the report the methods used to observe the roofing.

Section IV – Plumbing

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 29 The inspector shall operate all toilet flush valves, fixture faucets and hose faucets.

Art. 30 The inspector shall observe and describe the following interior water distribution components and mention their condition:

  • 30.1 materials of water supply piping to inside the building;
  • 30.2 the main water entry shutoff valve and it’s location;
  • 30.3 materials of water distribution piping;

The inspector shall mention in the report:

  • 30.4 the condition of interior fixtures and faucets;
  • 30.5 if the functional flow from the plumbing fixtures is functional;
  • 30.6 the presence of faulty connections (problem or cross connections);
  • 30.7 the presence of water leaks;
  • 30.8 the presence or absence of exterior faucets;
  • 30.9 the presence of yellowish or reddish water in the sump pumps and drainage pits.

Art. 31 The inspector shall observe and describe the following interior water drainage system components and mention their condition:

  • 31.1 traps, drain and vent piping materials;

The inspector shall mention the presence or the absence of the following elements of the interior drainage system components:

  • 31.2 water leaks;
  • 31.3 interior and exterior floor drains;
  • 31.4 back flow valves;
  • 31.5 cleanouts;
  • 31.6 sump pumps and drainage pits;

The inspector shall mention in the report:

  • 31.7 the functional flow of the water drainage system.

Art. 32 The inspector shall mention the following elements of the water heater equipment for the production of domestic hot water, including:

  • 32.1 heating equipment and capacity;
  • 32.2 the location and the year of manufacture;
  • 32.3 energy source;
  • 32.4 the presence or absence of a shut-off valve;
  • 32.5 the presence or absence of an automatic safety device and its drainage installation;
  • 32.6 fuel reservoir, including:
    • 32.6.1 location;
    • 32.6.2 year of manufacture;
    • 32.6.3 leaks;
    • 32.6.4 supports;
    • 32.6.5 supply pipe;
    • 32.6.6 fill and ventilation piping;
  • 32.7 the exterior of chimneys, exhaust systems, flues and vents;
  • 32.8 the presence or absence of vacuum breakers (anti-siphon) when such is required.

Art. 33 The inspector shall mention the presence of the following installations and verify their operation by using their normal operating controls:

  • 33.1 solid waste pumps;
  • 33.2 laundry pumps;
  • 33.3 sump pumps.

Section V – Electricity

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 37 The inspector shall observe and describe the following electrical components and mention their condition in the report:

  • 37.1 service type (overhead or underground);
  • 37.2 grounding equipment;
  • 37.3 main service box (protective device and location of box);
  • 37.4 main and secondary distribution panels (protective device, posted capacity, location);
  • 37.5 branch circuit wiring, their over current devices, and the compatibility of their ampacities and voltages; Specific exclusions

The inspector shall mention in the report:

  • 37.6 nominal rating according to main fuses or circuit breakers on the main service box;
  • 37.7 the operation of a representative number of installed lighting fixtures and switches located inside or outside the building;
  • 37.8 if polarity and grounding of a representative number of outlets have been verified;
  • 37.9 operation of installed ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and the absence of GFCI’s in areas where required;
  • 37.10 the presence or absence of arc fault interrupters.

Art. 38 The inspector shall open main service boxes and distribution panels when it is safe to do so. If he cannot open these, he shall indicate the reasons in his inspection report.

Section VI – Heating

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 41 The inspector shall observe and describe permanently installed heating systems, whether primary, secondary or other, including:

  • 41.1 energy source;
  • 41. 2 type of heating equipment;
  • 41. 3 normal operating controls;
  • 41. 4 automatic safety controls;
  • 41. 5 the material and the condition of the exterior of chimneys, the flues and dampers;
  • 41. 6 heat distribution systems, including:
    • 41. 6.1 ducts;
    • 41. 6.2 piping;
    • 41. 6.3 radiators;
    • 41. 6.4 the condition of registers and air filters.

The inspector shall mention in the report:

  • 41. 7 the presence or absence of a permanently installed heat source in each habitable room, unfinished basement areas and crawl spaces.
  • 41. 8 fuel tank, including:
    • 41.8.1 location;
    • 41.8.2 year of manufacture;
    • 41.8.3 leaks;
    • 41.8.4 supports;
    • 41.8.5 the location and the condition of supply piping;
    • 41.8.6 fill and vent piping.

Art. 42 The inspector shall operate permanently installed heating systems using normal operating controls.

Art. 43 The inspector shall open access panels provided by the manufacturer or installer for routine homeowner maintenance, where this operation does not require any tools.

Section VII – Air conditioning and heat pump

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 45 The inspector shall operate the systems using normal operating controls

Art. 46 The inspector shall observe and describe the central cooling system, including their:

  • 46.1 energy source;
  • 46.2 cooling equipment type and location;
  • 46.3 drainage installation.

Art. 47 The inspector shall observe and describe in the report the distribution system air ducts.

Section VIII – Interior

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 50 The inspector shall observe and describe the material of the finishes for the following components and mention their condition in the report:

  • 50.1 walls, floors and ceilings;
  • 50.2 steps, stairways, balconies and railings;
  • 50.3 kitchen and bathroom cabinets and counters;
  • 50.4 interior windows and doors, including the condition of their hardware;
  • 50.5 walls, doors and ceilings separating the habitable spaces and a garage.

Art. 51 The inspector shall operate a representative number of permanent windows and interior doors.

Art. 52 The inspector shall mention any indications or signs of water penetration or condensation and he shall also mention any signs of what appears to be mold on interior building components. If applicable, the inspector shall use a moisture detector to confirm or refute the presence of moisture in suspected areas and nowhere else.

Section IX – Isulation

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 55 The inspector shall observe and describe in the report all insulation materials and vapour barriers seen in unfinished spaces (attics, walls, ceilings and floors);

Section X – Ventilation

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report.

Art. 57 The inspector shall observe and describe in the report:

  • 57.1 ventilation of attics, basement areas and crawl spaces;
  • 57.2 kitchen and bathroom venting systems;
  • 57.3 dryer venting system.

The inspector shall:

  • 57.4 mention the presence of an air exchanger and its location;
  • 57.5 open the access panel for the air exchanger.

Section XI – Occupant's safety

Performance of the inspection and inclusion in the report

Art. 59 The inspector shall observe and describe in the report all visible unsafe installations relating to the following elements, unless these elements have been reported in other sections of the report:

  • 59.1 banisters, railings and handrails;
  • 59.2 electrified components located at a dangerous distance from a water source;
  • 59.3 means and points of egress;
  • 59.4 access to pools, whirlpool baths, spas or other types of water basins;
  • 59.5 landings
  • 59.6 operable windows whose sill is at an unsafe distance on the inside of a room;
  • 59.7 stairways;
  • 59.8 fire separation walls in the attic space;
  • 59.9 the presence or absence of a clearance of insulating materials and other combustible materials around chimneys that are visible and accessible.

Art. 60 The inspector shall observe and describe in the report the presence or absence of safety components, including:

  • 60.1 smoke detectors;
  • 60.2 carbon monoxide detectors.

 

The inspection is carried out as per the Standards of Practice of the AIBQFinally, the inspection is completed by a written report.