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Home Inspector vs Building Inspector

What is the difference?

illustration of house on wood with magnifying glass

A common misconception in the world of real estate is that building inspectors and home inspectors are one and the same. This is far from the truth.

Unlike home inspectors, building inspectors are employed by a government agency, most typically a city or county building department.

The building inspector examines the "insides” of a building, as it is being built; the parts that will be covered up once construction is done.

Home inspectors judge the home on the basis of “how is it aging”, both in its parts and as a whole.

Home Inspectors do not comment on Code issues because they can’t be fully seen once construction is complete.  Home Inspectors assess the present condition of an aging building and do not comment on codes.

man with clipboard building inspector

Unlike home inspectors, building inspectors are employed by a government agency,
most typically a city or county building department.

Building inspectors evaluate compliance with local codes and ordinances during construction. Primarily, items related to safety issues like smoke alarms, the installation of appliances, the strength of structural members, and emergency exits. Unlike home inspectors, these individuals are not concerned with whether or not the building is in “good” condition, or in other words, whether the appliances are working and the quality of workmanship is high. Instead, the job of a building inspector is to examine the "insides” of a building, or what will be covered up once construction is done. They are there to ensure the skeleton of the structure is safe and up to building codes.  Remember, codes change all the time and no older house continues to be “up to code”.
These inspections can be done during construction of a building or during a renovation.

Home Inspectors describe the visible and aging condition of an existing home.  
A complete Code inspection is not available to a home buyer because it is impossible to perform once the house is covered with finishing materials.

To perform a Code inspection on an existing home, it would have to be dismantled.  And it would not pass!!

APPRAISAL VS INSPECTION: What is the difference?

The appraiser formulates an opinion of the property's value for the lender, while the inspector educates the buyer about the condition of the home and its major components.

Call or Text Martin Kent at 250 661-7363 to make a booking.

Fairhome Building Inspections serves Victoria B.C., Saanich, Sooke, Metchosin, Langford, Sooke, Colwood, Sidney, Millstream, Shawnigan Lake, MillBay, Cobble Hill and other parts of Lower Vancouver Island

Expert Home Inspections With Your Best Interest at Heart!