Video: How to Pick the Right Home Inspector in Vancouver

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark Bossert from Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here with David Fairbairn. David is a building and home inspector here in Vancouver. How’re you doing today David?

David: I’m great Mark, how’re you doing?

Mark: Good, really good actually. So we’re getting down to the nitty gritty, how does one go about choosing the right home inspector in Vancouver?

David: Well Mark, there’s a couple things you’re going to want to do before you start picking home inspectors, you need to understand how the home inspection industry works in BC. In BC all home inspectors are required to be licensed so you’re probably not going to be able to find a home inspector who’s not licensed and if they don’t have a license you’re going to want to run away from them. It would be similar to going to a dentist who doesn’t have his license. This should be someone who’s a trained professional, obviously anyone who doesn’t have on, that’s the biggest thing but of course in BC all home inspectors are required to be licensed so when you’re choosing an inspector, they may tell you, well I’m licensed, well you know it kind of puts us all on similar ground. What you should do, there’s a couple ways you can find a home inspector, one is to speak to your real estate professional. In Vancouver, I don’t know if it’s common in other areas but in Vancouver the real estate agent will actually give you three names usually, three inspectors that they trust and then you can do your research on that, call them, find out what they offer and pick one of the three. So that’s probably the most common way to find it is to speak to your real estate agent or of course going on the web, Google or having a look around and seeing if there’s a website of an inspector that you trust and it’s someone who appears to offer a good selection of services at a good price. So those are usually the two ways is either the internet or through a real estate agent.

Mark: So I guess there’s some sort of association that you guys have?

David: Yes, basically in BC to get our license we have to be a member of an association and there’s a number of associations in Canada that you can belong to that satisfies that requirement to get a license, so you may hear inspectors talking about different associations; I like to think that it’s not really about which association you belong to, however, there are pros and cons of each one. I’m a member of the Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. There’s another one called Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors also known as CAHPI, there’s ASTTPBC so there’s actually quite a few and I guess the upshot there is if they really try to force one Association on you versus another I would probably steer clear of that because it doesn’t always guarantee that you’re going to get a quality inspector. You should be looking at the inspector on their merits alone and not their association.

Mark: What are the qualifications that I should be looking for?

David: You can take the course, you could go out right now and take some courses and become a certified home inspector but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have real world experience and I think this is one of the things people find is that the home inspector that they’re choosing does not have any prior contracting experience or any engineering experience. In some cases the person was maybe working in an office before and now they’re all of a sudden out and inspecting homes and while that’s well and good, I like to believe that the education is good enough to get you up to speed to do a proper quality job, however in some cases the person doesn’t have the background to identify problems that they may not have been exposed to in a classroom. Ideally if you can find a home inspector who has engineering or contracting experience prior to being a home inspector, for me that’s a huge thing. Of course I have, shameless plug, I have engineering experience and contracting experience as well prior to becoming a home inspector.

Mark: So if I could sum that up it, just because you watch building shows on TV don’t make you a contractor.

David: That’s correct, as much as I love HGTV it’s a lot of fun to watch, it may not actually be realistic in terms of what you’ll see in the real world and a lot of time there is actually a lot of bad information on those shows, I probably call it one error per show. So take it with a grain of salt, its entertainment, right?

Mark: Yes. So what’s the best way to find an inspector? You kind of outlined a couple of them, what else would be your advice in that regard?

David: Look for somebody, I always say take a look at two things which is the sample report so if you can get a copy of the home inspection report from your inspector and see what kind of product you’re going to get because you’ll get everywhere from a paper checklist that’s one page long with a bunch of x’s on checkboxes or the longest I’ve ever seen one was a 100 page report with 200 plus photos and descriptions of everything. So there’s everything in between but take a look at the report because this is the kind of report you’re going to be getting and if you don’t understand it or it doesn’t make sense to you, you’re probably going to want to hire a different home inspector because it’s going to be just as useful on the house you’re buying as it is with the sample report, so get a copy of the sample report and also find out, one of the things would be is how long the inspection takes. If you find an inspector who says he can do it in an hour, he can but he can’t do a good job in an hour. I’m not aware of any home inspector who can do a quality job in one hour. Most of our inspections take about three hours, sometimes four depending upon the square footage. We try to keep it around three and I find that’s a good split between doing a quality job and being efficient at the same time.

Mark: So we’ve been talking with Mr. David Fairbairn. He’s a home inspector in Vancouver. For a trusted, quality job, he’s the guy to call. You can reach him at 604-395-2795 or go to his website at Thanks David.

David: Thanks Mark, talk to you later.

About the Author DavidFairbairn

Author David Fairbairn is a certified, licensed home inspector serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. He has been featured in the media and has contributed to "24" Newspaper, and Global TV. He has spent years working with residential and commercial building projects, and holds a Power Engineering License in BC. Why not give him a call for your next Home Inspection? Call 604 395-2795 or email today!

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