Are home inspections a thing of the past?

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®, the largest home inspection company in North America, is offering advice to new homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.
"We understand the competitive nature of supply and demand," said Dan Steward, president and CEO of Toronto based Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. "Buyers are afraid that if they put in an offer contingent on the outcome of a home inspection, they may lose the home to three or four other bidders who are willing to take the risk of buying the home without that contingency."
Steward continued, "If you really feel you need to go this route, we suggest a new buyer immediately should call in a home inspector after closing. If there are minor issues, a home inspector can spot them and the problems can be fixed and eradicated before they become not so minor problems."

For example, a recent home inspection done by Pillar To Post revealed a crack in the cement floor of a garage attached to an expensive home. While this crack looked very tiny, and could have been easily overlooked by someone without experience, the home inspector later revealed to the buyer that it was there as a result of a giant oak tree next to the garage. The roots were so huge that eventually the entire floor would be broken by the growth of the enormous tree. By removing the tree then, the cost was only a few hundred dollars, but in five years, the inspector said, the entire garage floor would have needed to be jack hammered and then replaced with a newly constructed concrete floor. The cost of that job would be in the thousands.
Here are some tips from Pillar To Post Home Inspectors that can help a new homeowner catch little problems before they become big problems.
  • Often, insulation is lacking in a home's attic. A professional can determine if more should be added.
  • Soot builds up in chimneys quickly, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and posing a fire hazard. A certified chimney sweep should be hired to routinely clean your chimney to prevent buildup.
  • A loose toilet seat is a sign of a bigger issue than just being uncomfortable—a seat that rocks could indicate that the seal at the base has failed, which can allow water to leak causing significant damage.
  • The electrical outlets we have are sometimes incapable of handling the large amount of gadgets we now throw at them. Consult a certified electrician to install additional outlets to handle the increased load.
  • Plants too close to a home's siding can cause moisture damage and premature wear.
  • Down spouts that discharge water from a home often release against walls, which can cause the foundation to deteriorate and cause water to enter the basement. Redirect these spouts away from the structure.
  • Chimneys, ovens or range filters can become clogged, posing a major fire hazard. Check filters for built-up grease, and consult a professional to check the connections to determine if the model needs exterior exhaust.
  • Seals around kitchen and bathroom sink fixtures can become loose leading to water damage. Examine seals and test and replace if loose.
  • Roofs don't last forever. When purchasing a home, consult a professional home inspector to determine both the age and condition of the roof. Even if you already bought the home, it's good to know what shape of the roof is in right now. Maybe a few minor repairs will make it wear longer.

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