As a home buyer you want to attend your Calgary home inspection, ask questions, and learn as much as you can about your new home. You're also going to want to get the best home inspection report possible so that you can refer back to it to protect your investment.
1. A Digital Report.
Believe it or not there are still home inspectors out there who will hand you a hand written checklist at the end of your inspection. If you didn't ask about this up front it can be a troubling turn of events. Think about how little a paper report helps you after the inspection. A list of parts of the home with Fair, Good, Poor checked off beside it. Absolutely useless in my opinion.
What you want to receive at the end of the inspection is a digital report that outlines a description of the property, the limitations faced by the inspector at the time of the inspection, and recommendations your inspector has made about the property. You can review this report at any time without going to the basement and searching through boxes to find where you put a paper report. The information in the report is clear and there are links to additional information about every item so that you can get the answers you need.
Most home buyers have educated themselves in this area. Pictures are more prevalent now than ever in home inspection reports and they do add a lot of value in terms of identifying where the problem was, how it looked at the time of inspection, and you can share it with contractors via email to more easily describe what you want done.
Pictures of the deficiencies can help but so can illustrations. Illustrations show you how the items should have been done and give you a better understanding of the problem and the solution without the need for a construction background.
Most inspectors will take photos for you but be aware that you want those photos to be referenced to something. 200 photos on a cd is not going to make much sense after a month goes by. Each photo should be found in the relevant area of the report with a description, location, timeframe, and recommendation regarding repair.
3. A limited amount of "further evaluation" recommendations.
A home inspector may see a roof surface is worn and recommend further evaluation by a roofing contractor. This is acceptable but it doesn't offer a lot in terms of helping you understand what needs to be done with the roof. A good home inspector will be able to give you better insight suggesting perhaps replacing the roof material in less than two years for example. A home inspector cannot predict the future and there are certainly times when further evaluation by a professional in that area is required however some home inspectors use this phrase as a "go to" in protecting themselves from liability. If you receive a report with more than one or two of these suggestions you should call your home inspector immediately to clear up what items require attention first.