Top 5 Reasons for Getting an Inspection Before Renovating Your Home

At Mose Home Inspection Services, whether you are in Montreal, Laval or the South Shore, we are always trying to make home buying and ownership easier, that’s why we have compiled our list of Top 5 Reasons for Getting an Inspection Before Renovating Your Home.

In the Montreal, Laval and South Shore areas of Québec our never-ending winter is finally over. We are enjoying sunny skies and very pleasant temperatures. As I was sitting in the back yard Saturday morning reading the paper, I heard the unmistakable sound of summer. It wasn’t a Robin singing, it was a circular saw screaming. Because I am a handyman at heart, the noise did not bother me, but it did get me thinking. How many home owners, after watching home reno TV shows, get the itch to start doing projects without getting proper advice first?

Why Hire an Inspector for a Renovation?

We all know you should get a qualified and certified home inspection company to thoroughly check a home before you buy it, but what about when you renovate? Although it may seem strange hiring a home inspector before a major renovation project, not doing so can cost you a lot of money and grief later on.

At Mose Home Inspection Services, we’ve inspected over 6,000 homes in the greater Montreal area. We have seen the unpleasant results of poorly planned and executed renovation projects. In the MOSE Report, we often write about defects in the home and how to spot them. In this article we will help you to avoid some of the common mistakes people make when doing home renovation projects.

The Mose Home Inspection Services team has the training and experience to look at your home as a complete system. Most people know that when you start a renovation project you should plan for unexpected surprises, and what we mean by surprises is costly unexpected expenses. What many don’t realize is that a lot of these “surprises” could have been avoided with proper advice from a qualified inspector. Often these surprises are caused by not having sufficient foresight, experience and knowledge of building codes and standards.

Unlike a contractor, a Mose Home Inspection Services inspector has nothing invested in your renovation project other than ensuring that you are making a fully informed decision. We can explain the proper order and priority in which your renovations should take place. Often expensive cosmetic changes to a home (a new kitchen or bathroom, for example) will do little to change a home’s value if there are serious underlying problems that come out in an inspection when it comes time to sell your home.

Over the years the Mose Home Inspection Services team has seen its share of “questionable” home renovations. We want you to be able to sit back in your new sun room, deck or finished basement knowing you made the best possible home renovation choice.

While Mose Home Inspection Services inspectors are not contractors, our training, experience and unbiased opinion can mean the difference between a great home renovation and a disastrous one. In the interests of helping our readers get the most out of their renovation budget and avoid common pitfalls, this article lists the top 5 reasons for getting an inspection before renovating your home.

Top 5 Reasons

The following list is not exhaustive but covers some of the basics that are often avoided. They fall into five categories:

  1. Electrical System
  2. Basement Drainage
  3. Decks
  4. Plumbing
  5. Structure

Reason #5 – Electrical System

Many older homes were designed before many of the modern conveniences we enjoy were invented. In today’s kitchens, basements and even decks, we need adequate power for our appliances and electrical devices.

Adding all those extra outlets may be worthless if your electric panel can’t handle them. Check your electrical panel.  It may need an upgrade to handle the extra circuits you need. Code violations often occur because of lack of capacity. We recommend doing any electrical upgrades before starting your renovations.

Reason #4 – Basement Drainage

Renovating your basement to have a fun family area or a guest room area is great way to use the space. The last thing you want after laying wood flooring or beautiful tiles is to see them ruined by water damage. Basements should be designed to handle a small amount of water infiltration from time to time. After all, it is underground, you can expect it to leak!

A small leak can do a lot of damage in a poorly designed finished basement. It does not cost much to direct the water to safely run away and not damage the expensive finishes.

Reason #3  – Decks

Few things are more enjoyable than relaxing on your deck in the sunshine, enjoying a cold beverage and perhaps entertaining guests on it. The home renovation shows make building them so easy that many are built by the homeowner or an unqualified handyman (brother in -law perhaps).

Many decks are structurally unsound. I often say to a buyer “When you have your housewarming party do not all stand on the deck at once.” Generally, it does not cost any more to build a structurally sound deck, all it needs is some knowledge.

Reason #2 – Plumbing

You saw that beautiful vanity at the Home Reno shop and just had to bring it home. The guy at the store made it sound so easy to install. A few hours later, it’s up and running, no leaks so you think you are done. The only problem is now it drains slowly and often plugs up. What happened?

Sometimes, when renovations are done by the homeowner, changes are made to the plumbing that can end up causing drainage problems. Adequate venting of pipes plays a vital role in their proper functioning. These types of problems can be avoided with proper renovation planning.

Reason #1 – Structure

Everyone enjoys big, open spaces. It brings the family closer together and makes entertaining more enjoyable. Older homes were not designed for open spaces, so by knocking down a few walls you think you can really make a home look more modern and inviting.

A handyman or even a contractor may not fully understand the consequences of not properly planning the removal of a structural wall. A Mose Home Inspection Services inspector can help guide you by letting you know which walls are load-bearing and which are not.

“As a home inspector I am often asked, ‘can I remove this wall?’ while I’m doing a home inspection,” says Ivan Mose. The answer is always yes, but you will need to consult a structural engineer first.

Are you planning a renovation project?

As we mentioned above, this is not an exhaustive list of the all the reasons to get a home inspection before performing a home renovation project. To get a comprehensive evaluation of your home before a renovation project, contact Mose Home Inspection Services at 1-855-426-1095 or visit to book your appointment.

With proper planning and preparation you will save time and money and be able to sit back and enjoy your summer renovation project with your friends and family.

In our next blog we will be covering “How to Stage Your Home to Sell Quickly!”

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