Alex (pronouced Alec for those in the know) Welsh of York Associates is the most incredible inspector in the GTA, in my opinion. He is so thorough, it makes real estate agents quake in their boots. (Agents will also complain about the length of the inspection because they have to sit around personally and wait while the work is being done, but on completion mine said Alex would be the guy he would call for HIS next purchase!).
So bottom line, if you're investing in buying a house, you owe it to yourself to have a proper inspection done. The previous time, we used one of the major inspection companies, who took all of 1.5 hours to breeze through the house with a bunch of disclaimers. Alex, on the other hand, patiently removes all panels (electrical, crawlspace etc.) to see what's behind. He runs all of the systems to check safety and operation. He found things like a coolant leak on an air conditioner, a weak membrane hiding beneath a gravel roof, even a faulty safety switch on a garage door opener. He also posesses excellent judgement on the many unusual situations he encounters on a job, especially for very old homes and even new builds.
Last but not least, Alex gives you a killer report on the house, with photos documenting all the issues, recommended follow-ups, highly relevant links to handy references with more information and preventive maintenance, and finally his famour 'contractor list' of guys that have proven themselves to his clients over the years on everything from buried oil tank investigations to drain plumbing and flat roof replacements. As some of these companies handle very specialized requests, it's a great supplement to what you might find on Homestars. We also found Alex accessible for the inevitable tricky situations that come up post-purchase - he even remembers the details of the house (photographic memory). So overall, he's a fantastic ally for home owners from start to finish!