See all our prevention tips

Using a home inspection report to prepare a maintenance plan

Published on May 1, 2024

img-tempete-hiver

Buying a home is a major life event, which makes getting a home inspection almost mandatory or, at the very least, highly recommended.

Understanding the home inspection process allows you to protect yourself from costly problems in the long term.

Keep reading to find out how to create a maintenance plan and minimize claims.

What’s an inspection report for?

Before we answer that question, let’s examine the inspection report itself.

Its main objective is to assess the general condition of a house and identify any urgent repairs.

It’s kind of like taking a physical. You determine the home’s condition based on visual, measurable cues:

  • Structure
  • Exterior
  • Roof
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Interior
  • Insulation and ventilation

It’s important to keep in mind that the report is only meant to give a general idea of the building’s condition because inspectors cannot see:

  • inside the walls and ceilings
  • under the floor
  • all pipes or wires in the walls
  • all past repairs

The inspection report does not serve to:

  • recommend buying the home or not
  • estimate repair/renovation costs

A pre-purchase home inspection allows you to make a well-informed decision and, hopefully, avoid unwelcome surprises.

So, you have an inspection report. What now?

It all depends on what it says.

When major repairs are deemed necessary, you can either renegotiate the price of the house, ask the seller to carry out the repairs or withdraw your purchase offer altogether. In the latter case, be sure to follow your real-estate broker’s advice.

What if your future home only requires minor repairs and maintenance? Then, use that information to prepare a maintenance plan.

Seasonal maintenance

Becoming a homeowner doesn't instantly make you a maintenance specialist. This is knowledge (and discipline) that you acquire over time.

Seasons will dictate what maintenance is required. Spring and fall tend to be particularly busy, so plan pool or spa maintenance, lawn and tree care, and snow removal accordingly.

There are two major advantages to regularly maintaining your property. Firstly, you preserve what is arguably your most valuable asset. Allowing a home to fall into disrepair definitely affects its value. Second, you mitigate the risk of future claims and higher home insurance premiums, which increase year after year anyway, even if you never submit a claim. The only difference is that your premium increase is likely to be higher with a claim on your record.

Your best defence against hidden defects

What happens when you find hidden defects in your dream home? Well, the inspection report will show that you did your due diligence before buying. This will make it easier for you to assert your rights and obtain compensation.

Did you decide to buy?

Then, contact your broker so you can take out home insurance adapted to your needs.