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Finding a good home inspector

November 3, 2022
min read

Looking for a home inspector in Winnipeg? Learn what makes a good inspector, how to interview your inspector and what exactly a home inspection looks for.

If you're looking to buy a home, a home inspection is a great way to get peace of mind and fully understand what you're buying. Jeremy Winton, a home inspector in Manitoba, says that a home inspection is "the best way to protect your investment and make you aware of the full condition of the house."

Know Your Home

"A home inspection gives you a more in-depth look at a house," Winton says. "Viewing a home gives you 15 – 20 minutes, and you'll only be looking at superficial items to make sure it looks nice, and if you don't have experience, you won't know what to look at."

Getting a home inspection means you'll have two to three hours to walk through the house and receive the perspective of a third party. "When I inspect a home, I am thorough," Winton says. "I'll go into crawl spaces, go on the roof and check everything, everywhere."

A Home inspection can save you money

Though there is an upfront cost, getting a home inspection can save you a lot of money in the long run. This is because an inspection ensures there are no serious defects with the property you want to buy.

Although you may catch some of the defects on your own, a trained home inspector will catch issues that may otherwise go unnoticed and provide a rough estimate of the repair cost.

A home with serious defects such as major foundation issues or wiring that's not up to code can be extremely expensive to repair and may not be worth the hassle and expense required.

On average, a home inspection can cost about $500, though it can vary depending on the size of the home. But what makes a good home inspector, and what should the inspector look for, specifically in Winnipeg?

What to look for

In Manitoba, home inspectors do not require a license to perform home inspections, so it is very important to understand the qualifications of a home inspector.

When looking for a home inspector, Winton recommends someone with trade experience, a construction background and experience in inspecting homes. "They will know first-hand what they're looking at when inspecting," Winton says. He also recommends checking to ensure they are certified by the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI).

Find a good home inspector

To find a reputable home inspector, start by asking your friends and family who have recently bought homes if they can recommend someone. You can also check the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors website for a list of certified home inspectors.

Your realtor might also recommend an inspector to you; however, that recommended inspector might be tempted to go easy on your inspection based on their relationship with your realtor. This is why it is important to do your due diligence before hiring an inspector.

"Before hiring a home inspector, talk to them and ask questions. Treat it as a job interview," Winton says. Your home is likely to be the biggest investment you ever make, so you should ensure the home inspector you hire can confidently answer your questions.

What you should ask your potential home inspector:

  • What experience/training do you have? (Tip: Look for trade experience, construction background and experience inspecting homes)
  • Are you CAHPI certified?
  • Do you have experience specifically in this neighbourhood and with this style/age of home?
  • Can you provide references? (Tip: Hearing from someone who has worked with your potential home inspector is a great way to get feedback)
  • Will there be a written contract?
  • What will be included in the report?
  • How quickly could you get the inspection and report completed?
  • Can I be present during the inspection? (Tip: It's important to understand any issues in the house, and being present to hear it directly from the inspector is always better than reading a report)

Their answers should leave you feeling confident in the fit between the home inspector's training and experience and the home you are looking to buy.

What should home inspectors look for?

"Every neighbourhood has its own challenges and quirks," Winton says. For instance, if you're looking to buy a home outside of Winnipeg, you will have septic fields and tanks to contend with. "Within Winnipeg, each neighbourhood has its own traits; some have more water issues than others. Foundation issues are typical in Winnipeg because of the age of the houses," Winton says.


Foundation issues are common in Winnipeg. "This is because we experience a large range of temperatures, and we have a lot of groundwater," Winton says. Winnipeg is an area with high water tables, which means the ground is soft and constantly moving and shifting.

Winton says your home inspector should look for shifting and foundation cracks. If you see cracks, keep in mind that not all are detrimental. A home inspector can thoroughly examine the house and provide a report detailing what they have found. "In essence, all cracks can be managed in different ways," Winton says, and your home inspector will advise you on what you can do.


Your home inspector should examine your home's roof to determine its condition and the quality of the shingles. If the weather allows, they will go onto the roof to do this inspection. "Your inspector will be looking to see if the roof is square and to ensure that the roof pitch is straight," Winton says. "This helps us determine if the home is sitting level."


Moisture in a basement can signify foundation issues. Your home inspector should examine the basement to ensure there are no signs of moisture.

Heating, Cooling and Electrical

Your home inspector should examine your home's heating and cooling systems to determine the age and condition and flag any potential issues you should address. In addition, they'll check the home's electrical systems to ensure that the wiring is up to code.

Walls, Floors, Windows and Plumbing

They should review the home's interior to determine if there are any problems or repairs. A common check is ensuring your floors are actually flat.

Wood Burning Appliances

Inspectors require an additional certification (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) to inspect wood-burning appliances. Typically, this inspection will add time and cost to the inspection, so this requirement would need to be clarified before the inspection.

Many things can impact the safety of wood-burning appliances, such as a fireplace. If there is a nest in the chimney, for instance, this is a fire and carbon monoxide hazard. Getting an inspection will let you know if the fireplace can be used safely immediately upon possession or if maintenance work is needed beforehand.

What do I do after the inspection?

Your home inspector will give you a full report on the condition of the home, which will give you a good picture of what repairs are needed and the potential costs. This will help you determine how much you want to pay for the home, bearing in mind the repairs or renovations required.

While some home inspectors may provide a rough estimation of cost, it can also be valuable to obtain formal quotes from various contractors for major repairs.

House hunting? Follow these simple steps to buying a home in Winnipeg.

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