Condominium Inspection: Think Outside The Box
When it comes to condominiums, it is important to realize that ownership is unique compared to detached houses. In fact, condominium owners have to be concerned with not only the condition their own unit, but also the entire building. As a result, my condominium inspection focuses on the unique situations and problems found in condominiums. In other words, I “think outside the box” by looking at the entire building as an integrated investment, not just the actual unit.
Unique Problems That I See In Condominiums
First, some issues I evaluate outside the unit:
- Building Envelope – Building design flaws, such as pre-1998 exteriors with EIFS or stucco wall cladding “leaky condo” syndrome, condition of decks, window and door water leakage, etc.
- Underground Parking – Evidence of premature moisture leakage through concrete, as well as the ventilation adequacy for carbon monoxide control, etc.
- Mechanical System – I give a general opinion on the life expectancy of the domestic water/heating systems.
- Roof Area – Provide an approximate life expectancy of covering, design flaws, previous repair issues, metal flashing fatigue, etc.
Second, some issues found inside the unit:
- Shower/Bathtub enclosure leakage, floor water damage.
- Water heater safety problems (common in older buildings with individual water heaters).
- Disconnected kitchen/bath fans & inoperative appliances.
- Electrical – old, possible aluminum wiring (safety & insurance issue).
- Sub-standard workmanship from renovations.
Review the History of the Building
In order to get the “full picture” it is important for clients to review all the strata documents and depreciation reports that are given. Since these are complex documents, as a courtesy when asked I help to interpret these documents.
Types of Condominium Inspections
Complete Condominium Inspection. Up to 1500 square feet — $349.00 — Includes the following:
3 Hours Minimum
- Visual examination of the building exterior envelope and roof.
- Check if the building been rain screened.
- The visible structure, for example the deck of the unit
- The interior areas including the plumbing, heating, and electrical systems of the condo. I focus on functionality and long-term maintenance.
- Basic appliance testing and moisture scans of wet rooms, for example the bathrooms.
- If accessible: the building’s mechanical room and electrical room.
- Observation of the buildings underground structure and check the performance of the garage for water intrusion.
- General thermal (IR camera) scan of the unit.
- Finally, as a courtesy: I help with interpreting strata minutes and similar documents.
Interior Only (unit only) Condominium Inspection. Up to 1500 square feet — $299.00 — Includes the following:
1.5 Hours Minimum
- The interior areas of the condo including the plumbing, heating and electrical systems. I will focus on functionality and long-term maintenance.
- The visible structure of the unit, as well I check the structure and safety of the balcony.
- Windows and doors, including proper emergency egress routes.
- When requested, I help with interpreting strata minutes and similar documents as a courtesy.
- Basic appliance testing and moisture scans of wet rooms, such as the bathrooms are completed.
- I provide a general thermal (IR camera) scan of the unit.
Narrative Digital Report
With your best interest in mind, I provide you with an inspection report that is concise and straightforward. Likewise I write it using clear and easy to read sentences, not check boxes. To help explain my observations the report will also have photographs and diagrams. Also, I custom design each report based on our unique climate. As an illustration, click the link below to see my sample report:
Bottom Line: Peace of Mind
Take comfort that I am insured, bonded and a licensed home inspector by the Province of British Columbia. Furthermore, I am a member of the Home Inspectors Association of British Columbia (HIABC).
In conclusion, you will gain the peace of mind that the decisions you make for your condominium are informed ones.