FAQs

Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers

A home inspection is a fact-based assessment of a property, including the physical condition of the systems and components of the home. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the home inspection provides you with information that allow you to make informed decisions and can be used as leverage during negotiations.

First-time home buyers are one of the biggest markets for home inspections, however, anyone who is buying a house should have their new home inspected. Sellers can choose to get a pre-listing inspection to help during the sale of a property, and veteran homeowners may need an annual home maintenance inspection to help determine an appropriate maintenance plan.

At Cornerstone, we inspect practically everything in your home, including but not limited to the following systems: 

Roof

  • Inspection of the roof covering (shingles, clay tiles, etc.).
  • Inspection of the roof flashing, chimneys, skylights, penetrations, drainage, fascia and soffits.

Exterior

  • Inspection of the lot grading and drainage of surface water.
  • Inspection of driveways, walkways, fences and retaining walls.
  • Inspection of vegetation potentially affecting the building.
  • Inspection of visible systems, such as electrical service wires and gas meter.
  • Inspection of the building cladding (vinyl, wood, stucco, etc.) and any penetrations (vents, hose bibs, etc.).
  • Inspection of decks, porches, patios and balconies.
  • Inspection of exterior portions of windows and doors.
  • Inspection of hose bibs (taps) and electrical outlets.

Garage

  • Inspection of the roof and exterior with the same methods as for the house.
  • Inspection of the interior walls, ceiling, floor, visible insulation, venting and windows.
  • Inspection of the man doors and house entry door (if applicable).
  • Inspection of the vehicle door and automatic opener.
  • Inspection of the electrical system.
  • Inspection of any installed equipment, such as water heaters, furnaces, etc..

Utilities

  • Inspection of furnace, including fuel supply, venting and ducts.
  • Inspection of water heater, including fuel supply, venting, hot water distribution plumbing.
  • Inspection of main water shut off, isolation valves and cold water distribution plumbing.
  • Inspection of waste plumbing materials.
  • Inspection of electrical panel, visible grounding and visible distribution system.
  • Inspection of air conditioning system (if installed).

Unfinished Basement / Crawlspace

  • Inspection of visible foundation, floor, beams, joists, posts, framing, etc..
  • Inspection of visible plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling, venting, waste plumbing and insulation.
  • Inspection of other systems present.

Interior (finished basements, main floor, 2nd floor, 3rd floor, finished attic spaces, etc.)

  • Room by inspection of floors, walls, ceiling, heating, lighting, outlets, windows and doors.
  • Bathrooms – plumbing, faucets, toilets, showers, baths, drainage, venting and cabinets inspected.
  • Kitchens & Laundry – plumbing, faucets, drainage, cabinets, venting and installed appliances inspected.

Attic

  • Inspection of insulation and hatch.
  • Inspection of visible rafters / trusses, ceiling joists, collar ties, roof sheathing and walls.

Heating and Cooling

  • Gas fireplaces are inspected.
  • The furnace is tested and the heat distribution is checked, ensuring all rooms receive heat.
  • Installed central air conditioning units are tested only in weather above 18 degrees Celsius.

While it’s not a necessity to be present during an inspection, we do recommend it. There is tremendous value in the walkthrough and education we provide as part of each home inspection.

There is no universal answer to this question. Through the home inspection and report, you will be given information specific to the appliances in your home. To keep you on track with maintaining your home and appliances, we also include a complimentary home maintenance guide with each inspection to help you keep your home healthy, retain its value, and prevent more significant repairs.

Yes! Whenever you buy a house, whether it’s been lived in before or not, you should hire a home inspector. When you hire Cornerstone to inspect a new home, we do a standard inspection as well as a New Home Warranty Inspection for the price of just one inspection! The New Home Warranty Inspection covers the minimum requirements set out by the Alberta New Home Warranty Program. There are specific coverages for 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years on all homes built after February 2014. 

You can either call us to request a quote or book an appointment. On the day of the inspection, we will meet with you briefly before performing a comprehensive and thorough examination of the interior and exterior of the home. Afterwards, we will take you on a walkthrough through the house to discuss our findings. All data and information we collect will be available to you in a detailed report within a few hours after the inspection. During busy times, we guarantee report delivery within 24 hours. 

We accept cash, debit, credit or e transfers. Typically, we won’t take payment until the inspection is complete and you are satisfied with our work. If you are unable to attend the inspection or need to leave early, we can also send an invoice with your report, payable by e-transfer.

It depends on the property itself; a 900 sq. ft. condo with limited systems can be as fast as an hour while a 5000 sq. ft. luxury home can take four hours or more. These discrepancies are reflected by our scaled price based on type, size, and the age of the property. We also book each inspection to have plenty of additional time so our home inspector is not rushed and you will have all the time you need to ask any questions you may have.

Yes. With each inspection, we include a thermal imaging inspection at no additional cost.

Yes. Where appropriate, we can provide a sewer line inspection. The need for this type of inspection is based on the type of property, it’s age, and the type of landscaping.

No; for the purpose of a home inspection, radon testing is just not practical.

When it comes to hazardous materials, information and knowledge are crucial. For example, most people assume hazardous materials like lead or asbestos simply aren’t used in the modern age, but we still use them in certain materials. The important thing is to understand where hazardous materials can potentially
contaminate the living space, which is what we look for during an inspection.

It is difficult to apply a warranty to a home inspection. Rather, we offer a lifetime consultation service as well as errors and omissions insurance.

In accordance with guidelines set out by Service Alberta, home inspectors are not permitted to fix any defects found during the inspection, nor are we allowed to recommend a contractor to fix them.

In accordance with guidelines set out by Service Alberta, home inspectors are not permitted to offer quotes or estimates for repairs or renovations. We may give a rough idea or a price range, but we cannot provide official quotes or estimates. 

Yes! We work any day of the week, at any time during daylight hours. Having daylight is important to have a proper inspection of the exterior, windows, etc.