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Finding a good home inspector

June 14, 2024
min read

Looking to buy your dream home in Winnipeg? Here’s why you should book a home inspection first and how to choose the right inspector.

Home inspector examines plumbing

Before you buy a house, a home inspection is a great way to get peace of mind and fully understand what you're getting into.

After all, purchasing a house is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s one you want to protect!

In Manitoba, a home inspection can cost about $500. The cost varies depending on the size of the home.  

‍But what credentials and experience are most important in an inspector, and what should Winnipeg home inspectors be looking for? Let’s find out!

Why should you book a home inspection?

Not sure if it’s worth booking a home inspection in the first place? Here’s why you should consider one before you sign the dotted line:

Get an in-depth look

During an open house, you may spend anywhere from 10-30 minutes looking at the home.

But a home inspection takes approximately 2-3 hours. That’s a lot of time you can spend combing through the finer details you may have missed!

An experienced home inspector can point out issues about the home you wouldn’t have known to look for, from roofing issues to plumbing problems.

Protect your investment

The housing market is heating up, and it’s easy to rush into making an offer when you’re competing with other buyers.

When you make an offer on a home, you can add a home inspection contingency. That means the sale of the house is contingent on the results of that home inspection.

If you’re caught up in a bidding war, this contingency might make your offer less competitive – still, we urge you to consider it!

Depending on what the home inspector finds, this contingency gives you the option to walk away from the offer and get your deposit back. It’s just another way to protect your investment!

Save money

Home inspections have an upfront cost, but they can end up saving you money in the long run.

An inspection helps ensure there are no serious defects with the property you want to buy. And if there are issues, you’ll know what you’re getting into before your offer is finalized.

Although you may catch some defects on your own, a trained home inspector reveals hidden expenses you wouldn’t have known otherwise. They’ll also provide a rough estimate of the repair cost.

You can factor in these costs when making an offer and negotiating with the seller.

A home with serious issues (such as major foundation problems or wiring that's not up to code) can be extremely expensive to repair. After the inspection, you may find it’s not worth the hassle or the cost!

How to find a great home inspector

One way to find great recommendations: Word of mouth!

Start by asking your friends and family who’ve recently bought homes if they can recommend anyone.

Your realtor might also recommend an inspector to you; however, we caution you to take that recommendation with a grain of salt. Their inspector may 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. Here’s how:

What to look for

Did you know that home inspectors in Manitoba do not require a license to perform home inspections?

That’s why it’s so important to find one with the right credentials!

When looking for an inspector, search for one with:

What should you ask your potential home inspector?

Don’t be afraid to ask the home inspector questions before working with them. You can treat it like a job interview! Their answers should leave you feeling confident that they’ll do a thorough job.

Start by asking them the following:

  • 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.)

What do home inspectors look for?

Depending on whether you’re looking for a home in Winnipeg, just outside of the city, or another part of Manitoba, there are different factors to consider.

For instance, if you want to buy a home outside of Winnipeg, you will have septic fields and tanks to consider.

Even neighbourhoods within Winnipeg can vary greatly. Depending on the age and location of the house, you might face foundation problems in areas that are prone to water issues.

Here are some of the most important things home inspectors will look for:


Foundation issues are common in Winnipeg. That’s because it’s an area with high water levels from snowmelts and heavy rainfall, which causes the ground to soften as it constantly moves and shifts.

Temperatures range from extremely cold to extremely hot throughout the year, which further contributes to the problem.

Your home inspector should check the foundation for any shifting or 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, as well as what you can do to resolve any issues.


Your home inspector should examine your home's roof to determine its condition and the quality of the shingles. If the weather allows, they’ll go onto the roof to do this inspection.

The inspector will check whether the roof is square and if the roof pitch is straight, which helps determine if the roof is 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

The inspector should examine your home's heating and cooling systems to uncover the age, condition, and 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 figure out 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 examine wood-burning appliances.

Typically, this certification will add time and cost to the inspection. If you need this service, be sure to mention it before the inspection.

Getting an inspection will let you know if the appliances can be used safely upon possession, or if maintenance work is needed.

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 clear picture of what repairs are needed and the potential costs.

You can also decide how much you feel comfortable paying for the home, bearing in mind the repairs or renovations needed.

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

Ready to get back to house hunting? Follow these simple steps to buying a home in Winnipeg!

Get your mortgage with Cambrian!

Before you book a home inspection in Winnipeg, we suggest securing your financing first. It’s just another step in the home buying process!

Cambrian can help with that. Our advisors are here to guide you along your home buying journey, from figuring out your budget to securing a great interest rate on your mortgage. Contact us today!

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