My Canadian Experience
House Inspection


On 14th March I headed back to Chatham on the train to attend the official house inspection of my new house. I took the precaution of having George the builder in tow so that I could discuss anything needing done and he would also get a copy of the house inspection report. The inspection took around 2.5 hours and was very thorough.  While the house is well built and of solid construction there were a lot of wee things that needed doing.

Essentially the house is build on a raised brick foundation which meant that although there was a full basement it was actually only some 3 feet into the ground. This was seen to be a good point which meant the basement was sure to be dry.  We found galvanised plumbing in the basement which is not good from an insurance point of view and would need to be replaced. The plumbing through the main and first floors was copper. There has obviously been some attempt to upgrade things in the basement and as a result some wiring would also need to be replaced and/or finished up. We also found the furnace needed maintenance and that the filter hadn't been replaced for some years. There is full air conditioning and de-humidyfer installed. There had been a toilet in the basement but while now removed the sewer outlet had not been properly sealed so that will also need to be attended to.

We found that the garage roof needed replacement but there were plug points in the garage and it has an automatic door. The steps to the rear door were not in good condition and the hand rail was almost falling off. There was also some work to be done to the porch. We also noted that the trees around the house were running against the hydro and also onto the roof so they will need trimming back.

Some gutters needed renewed around the roof line and the chimney needed pointed. Other wee bits of work needed outside but nothing major.

Inside the house was in good condition but will of course need decorating. 3 rooms could also do with having central fans installed.  The first floor bathroom was ok but there had been leaks at one time and if was recommended that the toilet and shower unit should be sealed better to ensure leaks would not happen again. There was also no air extractor so that will be added. The water pressure was good.

Up in the walk in attic we found this to be well built and with plyboard in the roof and it would have had ceder shingles at one time.  We discovered that the large chimney was not being used and so in duscussions with the inspector and builder we have decided to remove that and put in a sky light window along with full insulation so that the room can be used for other purposes. We'll also install an air conditioning unit in here to ensure it is warm in winter and cool in summer and ensure that good ventilation is available. Some work will also be needed to paint the outside woodwork although the house does have good vinyl sidings.

In all it was estimated that to do all the maintenance work, upgrade the attic and do decoration that it will cost around $15,000 which gives me a great home for a total of CAN$90,000 which I think is a good deal overall. That's US$75,500 or 39,000 pounds at time of writing. Chatham also has most of the large stores like WalMart, Canadian Tyre, Sears, No Frills, Solbeys, Zellers, etc. It is also just within walking distance of the train station and at a stretch to the local Tim Horton's (of which there are 7 in Chatham) and the local pub :-)

We just managed to complete all this and get the official report in time for me to catch the train back to Toronto.  So all that is left is getting the legal work done and if that goes well I will take possession on Thursday 7th April in the afternoon.

Of course once I know that all is ok I'll be able to order delivery of my stuff from Scotland but I'll also need to get appliances and furniture locally. Delivery of my stuff from Scotland is likely to take from 6 to 8 weeks.


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