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Home Inspection Verses Code Inspection – What the home buyer needs to know

I have been asked many times when contacted regarding the possibility of conducting a home inspection in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, or Muskoka to explain the difference between a building inspection and a home inspection. It seems many buyers are unsure of the difference or they confuse aspects of the to . Here I will try to explain just what a building inspector looks at and for and what a home inspector looks at and for. The two are very different indeed.

In my opinion Building Inspectors have it easy!

Building inspectors in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Orillia and Muskoka indeed in all Ontario must follow the natural course of the home building process and they get to see the things they inspect as they are being built. They don’t have to do any of the work but are able to closely investigate all items that need inspection prior to any being covered up . The contractor / builder must stop work for as long as it takes for the building inspector to attend the site and inspect the work. The building code inspector then has the ability to indicate to the builder if the work is correct in which case they may proceed to the next step or in the case of defective work or materials the inspector can stop the work and insist on changes to the job. Let’s use the example of the last addition I was responsible for building at my sons home in 2112. It was only a 12×12 addition but all the elements of a normal home went into it. I first drew up the building drawings and at that stage took them in to the building department where the building inspector and the building department plays their first hand in the process. The staff looks at the plans, checks them over for firstly conformity to local municipal bylaws such as front and side yard set backs, where you can and can not build on the lot etc. They then check for conformity to building codes ie. what type of foundation, beam, floor and wall frame will be used. Does the roof framing specified confirm to code or is the insulation level indicated the correct amount for the area. In my case they took the plans to check for approval after indicating everything looked ok but, between the day they got the plans and the day I took out the permit a week later the building code spec had changed for insulation and when I got the permit with a copy of the plans back it indicated the new requirements for the insulation level to be now r 50 rather than the r40 I had planned on. This change the building inspector had written on the plan and that was believe me much easier than changing the roof framing to accommodate the change.

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The next building inspection takes place when the hole is dug for the foundation. The building inspector gets to view the hole to ensure all loose earth is gone, the foundation will be below frost level and on undisturbed soil or bare rock. Once the inspector has seen that they will allow the foundations to be poured at which time they return to closely examine the foundation to ensure it will meet code for structural stability and strength. This step which the building inspector, or code inspector, gets to see but a home inspector never does, is very important as the entire structure will rest on these foundations but be covered usually entirely as the building progresses.

By Haadi