We first met Ted about 15 years ago. We were deciding whether to stay in our home or move. In order to stay, we needed extensive renos. So we called Ted (we read about him in a newspaper I think) to go over our house and let us know if renovating the place would be money well spent or if we should pack up and move.
Ted spent several hours going over our home from top to bottom. His report was amazing in the detail and advice he offered. Turned out our house was worth renovating, so we did and there were no regrets.
Years pass, and I am asked by a coworker who was in the market to buy a first home whether I knew a reliable home inspector, I gave her Ted's number. Her husband was reluctant to use him (or anyone for that matter) but she insisted and Ted went over the house they were looking at and found a massive structural problem. Saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Her husband ended up thanking Ted. They found a second home, asked Ted to look at it and they got the green light from him.
Fast forward to two days ago. We contacted Ted and asked him to go over a townhome we wanted to buy. We met him there and spent the next 5 hours combing the place. We learned lots. First of all, the trick of realtors to employ tons of scent when showing a house means they are hidng something. The owner has a cat. Frankly I could care less, I have cats I know what they smell like, but I imagine lots of people would not like it, but masking it with over powering vanilla scent is a bad idea. I was suspicious about why so much scent was used and got my answer when we inspected the house. The vanilla was gone when we arrived but the stink in the fridge was not. this is not a deal breaker, but is an indicator that the homeowner either hasn't got a sense of smell or doesnt care. The rest of the house was fine, we closed windows and let the air settle while we did the rest of the inspection. No smell of mould or mildew was present thank heavens, just the dirty fridge and the dirty broiler tray in the oven. To me a house shoudnt reek of vanilla, a clean house smells like a clean person, there is no smell.
The other thing is, Ted looks at the minutiae as well as the large. Sometimes the small things are the most troublesome. Bathroom fans for example. Dirty, clogged up fans will breakdown. A quick regular clean will keep things running smoothly for years. Most of us ignore our bathroom fans until they start making that 'wup wup' sound, then we realize we should have been looking at them ages ago. Grouting around bathroom tiles needs close examination as well, otherwise how do you know if there are cracks, which means water penetration? Ted does all this. He can spot a water stain on a bathroom floor or failed caulking around the tub, something the average person just doesnt see.
Ted took over 100 pictures for his report which is fantastic because after awhile your mind can be overrun with images and its great to have pictoral references to problem areas to jog your memory. Also, hard cold proof of a problem in a photo is pretty hard to dispute.
He also makes sure that the buyers are right in there like he is, after all, you are buying the place so you need to be engaged in the inspection process, hes not there for his benefit, but ours. He never speaks condescendingly, and makes sure you know what he's talking about. I like that. So many 'experts' have their noses in the air and their hands in your pockets. It can be quite insulting. Ted is not like that at all.
Ted's fees may shock you at first, but really, think about this. If you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions on a home, why the heck would you cheap out on the inspection? It makes no sense whatsoever, after all, what is a thousand dollars compared to 600,000? barely a drop in the bucket.
Ted worked in the construction industry for years, hes done drywalling, framing, plumbing, electrical, cabinet making. I imagine he wields a mean paint brush as well. His advice is worth following and we really appreciate the cost estimates for the repairs, and the offer of a referal to get the help for the work to be done.
His report is nothing short of amazing. Detailed doesnt begin to describe it. I can't begine to say how fantastic the report is, you have to see one to beleive it.
Ted is more than just a house inspector, he will give you a repair plan for your home, a cost estimate and who to go to for the work. I trust his eye, his judgement and his conclusions. I would never buy another house without him. If, when we go to move next time, and he's retired, I'll be asking him to recommend someone to inspect. We wouldn't make a move without him.