A Home Inspection Fail Story

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Home Renovation

Thursday, October 26th, 2023 @ 9:47am

Home Inspection Nightmares

I started my own home inspection company (Mike Holmes Inspections) because I noticed that many home inspectors in the field weren’t properly trained or qualified to spot issues in the house. The home inspection industry needs higher standards. The house is the biggest purchase most people will ever make. We need qualified inspectors who can note major issues with the house that may make it a nightmare purchase. 

I’ve met and worked with some excellent home inspectors across North America. These people are trained and have the right equipment and the knowledge to give you the best advice about your home. They can test your indoor quality, test your radon levels, do a mold assessment, check the plumbing, roof, and more. And they provide a detailed home inspection report. I am proud to work with many of these home inspectors in my Mike Holmes Inspections program.


mike holmes inspector

Mike Holmes Inspector Kenny (Newfoundland)

Why Hire A Home Inspector

You need to know about the condition of your house so you know how to budget for repairs. A good home inspector will help with that. Unfortunately, too many people hire unqualified inspectors who don’t know what they are doing. A lot of the time people also trust the expertise of their dad or uncle and skip an actual home inspection altogether.

This is a story from Holmes Inspections, of a house that was poorly inspected before purchase. 


A Home Inspection Fail Story 

I helped an awesome couple Keith and Caitlin on an episode of my TV series Holmes Inspections. They were first-time homeowners. Caitlin fell in love with the main floor of the house, the beautiful dark hardwood floors, and the kitchen. They were looking forward to spending time together and enjoying their new neighborhood. 

The couple knew they didn’t have enough construction knowledge and needed to hire a professional to give them the right advice. They did the right thing and hired a home inspector. What happened after was a bit of a nightmare.

Their home inspection was supposed to take around 3 hours, but the previous homeowners asked the inspector to wrap up in an hour because they had to entertain. I don’t like that at all. A good, thorough home inspection should take 2-3 hours, depending on the size of your home. I also believe it’s important for potential homebuyers to be present for the home inspection and ASK QUESTIONS. You can’t do that in an hour.


A good home inspector should have a checklist and take their time going through the house.



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During the home inspection, the inspector did notice some minor issues with the flashing and around the chimney. It was noted in his home inspection report. However, these issues were downplayed and he told Keith there was nothing wrong with the house. Great news for the couple, right? That’s not how it worked out.


thermal imaging in home inspections

Thermal imaging can also help identify insulation gaps and improper or no airflow in heat registers, walls, floors, ceilings, and around windows and doors. Hot spots, improper venting, and mouse holes in the attic can also be detected.


Problems With The House Found During The Inspection

After the couple’s honeymoon, they had their satellite installer come to their place. The installer noted that he wasn’t able to mount the dish on their roof because the sheeting on the roof was completely rotted. This is not something the couple had budgeted for or were even AWARE of.


A good, thorough home inspection should take 2-3 hours!


Layers of Shingles On The Roof

In their home inspection report, the inspector noted that the pitch of the roof was too steep for him to walk around on and properly inspect it. However, Keither SAW him walking around on the roof. Hmm.

The home inspector also didn’t mention the roof had several layers of shingles on it. Although he was asked to do a thorough roof inspection. What did I find? Rotten wood and at least three layers of shingles on there.

Your roof is built to withstand a specific amount of weight. A smaller roof just can’t handle the added weight. If your area gets a lot of snow, layers of shingles can increase your chances of leaks. Shingles should protect your home.



The 5 Most Common Issues Found During a Home Inspection



The Addition

I walked around to the back of the property. The house has an addition on the back. The roof on the addition only had the underlayment on, no shingles. Can you believe that? The inspector should have caught that. 


Roof Vents

And what didn’t I see on the roof? A vent. You need roof vents to create proper airflow. This reduces moisture that can build up inside an attic. Another important thing to note is that a roof not vented properly will cause the shingles to wear out prematurely.

Issues, Issues, and More Issues

Walking inside the house, I immediately noticed some cut floor joists. Structural issues! I can go on and on about the other issues I found in the house. But the moral of the story is, that when you hire a home inspector, make sure they have the right training and equipment to do a thorough job.

Hire A Qualified Home Inspector

You SHOULD expect a home inspector to give you a thorough assessment of every single part of your home and help you understand what it means. The cost of this type of inspection may be higher but a bad home inspection can lead to surprises that you will pay for over many years. If you are lucky, you will get a home inspector who used to be a building inspector or worked in construction. Don’t let yourself become a home inspection fail story!


You can watch this episode of Holmes Inspections on the Homeful YouTube channel to see more of what I found:




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