Finding the right home inspector.

Ask the Home Inspector

Steve Ott is a Registered Home Inspector and a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors ( and a full-time Home Inspector by trade. Steve is the sole owner and operator of Ottawa Valley Home Inspections Ltd ( which provides home & septic system inspection services throughout the valley and Ottawa area.

Did you know that unlike a plumber or electrician, the home inspection industry in Ontario is not regulated? So, what does this mean to the consumer? It means that anyone can go out with a flashlight and a business card and say that they’re a home inspector. Thus, to ensure that one is getting an HI that is a professional, they should check up on their credentials before hiring them. What one should check is that the HI is a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors because the OAHI is the only professional association recognized by the provincial government. And the OAHI requires all members to keep up their education and to maintain their professional standings annually.

Ask questions such as how long have they been in business? Is it their sole occupation or do they do other work (quite common)? How long does a typical home inspection take? It should be around 3 hours. What kind of report will they receive? It should be electronic or written, not verbal. Ask questions and be comfortable with who you are hiring. In addition, any OAHI inspector can be looked up on to see if they are a current member in good standing.

If you have any questions please feel free to email them to Steve Ott at

I have personally used Steve on many of our investment property home inspections, and many of my clients have also used him, with great satisfaction.  He isn’t a “Mike Holmes Drama Queen” who tells you that the light bulb is burned so you are going to have to rewire the entire house (OK – a dramatic example, but those HGTV Home Inspection shows are also dramatic)!  He offers sound, practical advice, and is often able to offer suggestions of how to remedy a situation or who to turn to for advice.  If you decide to engage the services of Steve, let him know I sent you!


Why do you need a home inspection?

Why Do You Need a Home Inspection?

A home is the single largest investment most individuals will ever make. Oftentimes a Buyer will look for ways to save costs on their purchase; however, home inspections have proven to be a positive and educational experience for prospective home buyers. An impartial inspection by a professional will provide a large measure of protection from unpleasant surprises and allow you to make an informed decision about your purchase.

Having a professional home inspection may also reveal serious issues with a property you intend on purchasing. Is the homes electrical wiring up to code? Is there evidence of water leaks in the basement? Would you know what to look for? These are all issues that a professional home inspector will make you aware of during your home inspection. Miss them, and your family’s health and safety may be at risk, not to mention what it may cost to resolve the issues.

The purpose of an inspection is to determine the condition of a property at the time of purchase. Knowledge is power so why wouldn’t you want to know everything possible before making your final decision.

Typically a home inspection will take between 3 and 4 hours, occasionally longer, and includes an examination of all the major areas of a home such as roofing, structural, exterior and interior finishes, electrical, heating/air conditioning, insulation, and plumbing.

A professional home inspector does not provide appraisals, quotes for repairs, noncompliance with building code requirements, and does not provide guarantees or warranties.  Well water analysis and septic inspections are not part of a standard home inspection, but they are very important and your favourite Realtor will often help with these. Air Conditioners cannot be inspected except during the summer months. Pools and spas are not included as inspection items. Wood burning appliances such as fireplaces and wood stoves require a separate inspection by a WETT certified inspector (Wood Energy Technology Transfer), and if you choose the right Inspector, they can do this for you at the same time as the home inspection.

Knowing what to expect will help you make an informed decision about the value of the home as well as the costs of future upkeep.  Depending on how old your home is, or how long you have lived in it, you may even want to consider having a pre-home inspection done before you list your home!  It can help you determine things that need to be repaired and can prevent that “we need to ask for a price reduction based on the home inspection” call that all Sellers hate to receive.

From Joanne’s Kitchen

From the Kitchen…..



  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1½ cups chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse them first)
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup green onion, chopped small
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice (2 large or 3 medium lemons)
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



  1. Put the cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add the chickpeas, cucumbers, minced garlic, cherry tomatoes, green onion, parsley and mint. Toss well to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Pour the dressing over the quinoa & chickpea mixture and mix well. Adjust seasonings again, if necessary.
  4. Serve cold or at room temperature. *

*This dish lasts 2-3 days in the refrigerator, so feel free to make it ahead of time to save even more time in the kitchen.