Beyond the normal home inspection, clients often have a list of issues with respect to a heritage home.
Conventional home inspections don't evaluate heritage buildings to the depth that is often required.
Cam has taken the CAN-CSA Standards and modified them for us to use to better assess these homes. Often the inclusion of master trades are required to complete this upgraded evaluation. Knob and Tube wiring and the costs for upgrade are best handled by a master electrician, or example. HVAC, plumbing and roofing are areas where we can bring in these highly skilled trades.
All houses have stories to tell and heritage homes speak volumes. It takes a certain insight to see into the past. It is written in the structure, carved in the beams and displayed in the architecture of the home.
Evaluation of the structure of a heritage home often requires a more in-dept review. Stone foundations, all brick assembly, timber frame, balloon frame, braced frame are all methods of assembly not recognized by conventional inspection methods and the majority of home inspectors, who lack experience. Understanding the different methods of assembly is critical in conducting an assessment on a heritage residence.
There are no degrees in heritage home inspections. While there are some brief courses available; actual hands on experience is invaluable.
Assessment of older wiring, heating and plumbing can only be understood when the inspector and his team of professional trades have years of hands-on experience. Renovations and upgrades can sometimes present a particular challenge, as they are often not done professionally.
Home insurance today make buying a heritage home a challenge. Being able to talk to the professionals on-site, who can evaluate the costs and remediation of issues such as asbestos, galvanized plumbing, knob and tube wiring and any indoor air quality concerns that are visibly accessible, will provide access to invaluable information.
This in-depth assessment, depending upon the number of additional trades involved, can take 4 to 6 hours to complete. Fees for this service range from $750.00 to $1,500.00. When a client contacts our office for this assessment, by asking questions particular to your needs, we will be able to more closely define the actual cost.
For years, Cam has been writing a weekly column for the Kingston Whig Standard and other Sun Media papers. Throughout this time he has addressed a number of issues pertaining to heritage homes.
See the heritage section in "Ask The Inspector" to read some of the articles written in the past few years. As well, for the past eight years he has written Green-Tech; the series. This column is based upon new and advancing technology for today's environmentally responsible, energy efficient homes. On a personal note, Cam and his life partner, Donna, have turned a rural church, circa 1894, into a sustainable residence. Read Cam's column in the Kingston Whig and/or check in at http://www.alltechgreenchurch.ca a web-site developed to detail the adventure.
"We appreciate the very thorough informative inspection you did on the property, and I would have no hesitation in recommending you." - Susan O.