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Client Referrals

      It is with pleasure that I endorse and recommend the services of Neil Card of "Barrhaven Home Inspectors Inc.". Mr. Card provided a thorough             inspection of my  new home and helped me to complete and  submit an accurate listing of  areas requiring attention for my home. His diligence and attention to task, as well as the timely manner in which it  was conducted, helped to ensure that I have met the warranty inspection requirements and as a direct result, the required repairs have been  made to my home.  I have no hesitancy in recommending Neil Card ... he is honest, diligent, ethical and very organized in his approach and attention to customer satisfaction.  
                                                                              Patricia H., Stonebridge
 Hi Neil ...
    I wanted to let you know that I've concluded my negotiations with the seller on the Lanark Road property and there was simply no meeting of the minds in terms of the cost of the necessary repairs.
   I want to thank you for your good work during the inspection.  I was very impressed with the thoroughness and professionalism you brought to the inspection of this property and would be happy both to request your services in the future and recommend, without hesitation, your services to anyone needing this valuable service.
   I will be taking a first look at another Perth home this coming Saturday and may be contacting you again should I have a real interest in the property.
Thanks again Neil ...
                                                                                      Ron C., Perth, ON.

Dear Neil,
 Thank you very much for all your help and advice. Indeed the money that  I    have spent for your services has been the best investment ever related to my home.
Thank you again                                                                                                                                                                                  Henry C., Gloucester

Thanks for your work Neil. I won't hesitate to to recommend your services in the future. You provide a top notch service. If you would ever like me to provide a written recommendation in the future feel free to ask.

                                                                           Neil  F., Dunrobin, ON.

  City: Nepean, ON
  Project: Inspection - General Home (Home Inspector)
  "Nice treat, professional, good overall" 
                                                                                   Oscar A., Barrhaven

 Hi Neil,
I just wanted to tell you i got an additional $3k off the agreed selling price for Ainsley because you discovered the older furnace.
 Thank you so much. I`m really, really pleased. :)
 Thanks,  julia                                                       Julia M., Nepean  Jan 14/2014 

 Hello Neil,
 I got the pictures, and you have done a nice job. will pass it on to the people.
 Thank you,
                                                                                    Phong V., Orleans

  I have received the pdf file and the images
Thank you very much for the Home Inspection.
                                                                                    Ameet  N., Kanata

 Hi Neil,
 Thank you very much for coming over to do a thorough inspection. I sincerely    appreciate your business and your reports to help me fill out the Tarion forms.
                                                                                   Anna M., Barrhaven

  Dear Neil - thanks so much for this (haven't read yet) and for coming out at such short notice.  I really appreciate it.
                                                                                   Kora M., Stonebridge

 Hello Neil,
 Thank you for the work you did and in the timely manner.
                                                                                    James D., Nepean

thanks Neil 
Claridge was in today to check out that window on the main floor and looks like firing the old duct company and bringing in a new one 
 thanks for your help 
                                                                                      Channing H., Orleans

 Tks for all your help Neil, 
I appreciate your work and your time. I will review and if I have any questions I will call you, 
thanks again               
                                                                                        Steve B., Embrum

 Thanks Neil - I'll start a check list of things to be done - some of those I can certainly do myself and others will obviously require a bit more "expertise".
  It was a pleasure doing business with you and I will certainly recommend you to anyone that I hear is looking to have a home inspection done.
Thanks again.                                                                 Allan W., Orleans

 Thank you very much Neil. The inspection and primary report were very  
informative and we look forward to reviewing the written report so we  
can start working on your recommendations immediately after we take  
possession of the house/land. Many thanks again!

                                                                             Anita and Simon, Ottawa

Hi Neil:
 Thanks so much for doing such a thorough job on our home inspection this    week. Without your inspection I would not have realized how much damage trees can do when they are close to a roof or brick.  That lesson, and "caulk all cracks", will serve us well in our new home. Thanks again. I will not hesitate to recommend you to any friends searching for a home inspector.
Best wishes,
                                                                 Sarah and Dominique, Ottawa 

Hi Neil,

 I want to tell you that my wife and I were very pleased with your service.  We were not looking for an inspection on a home we planned to buy, but rather an inspection on our 20 year old home to ensure that there were no serious issues (other than one issue we knew about) as well as to identify any minor issues that could/should be repaired before they became major. Your detailed inspection surpassed our expectations and we appreciated the tips and suggestions you made as well as the material you left with us to help us maintain our home.
 In addition, we felt better knowing that in our case there were only minor
repairs to be done (other than our one big issue).  I have already been able
to tackle a few of these minor repairs and am sleeping better knowing that
the house will be in great shape by the end of the summer.  Regarding our
major issue, we actually went with a company you endorsed on your website
and they also provided an excellent service.  Prior to finding your website
and meeting with you, we really had no idea who to contact to address the
repairs we required.  Thanks to you, we had a company in here the next day
and the repairs started a few days later.We plan to use your services again in the future and recommend that any
homeowner do the same.
Thanks again.  It was a real pleasure doing business with you.

                                                                                  Jim S., Barrhaven

Links to what others are saying about Barrhaven Home Inspectors 

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How to Spot the House-from-Hell From the Very Beginning: Helpful Hints from Two Professional Home Inspectors 
Posted by Daniel Smith | 11:49 AM | contractors, DIY, Find Your Dream Home, home inspection comments 

When looking to buy a new home, most people know the importance of hiring a good home inspector to make sure all is as it seems before they put all your money on the line. 

(If you are looking for a reputable inspector in Canada, you can try the directory at, or the home inspector section of In the US, the American Society of Home Inspectors online directory is a great starting point.) 

But of course, when prospective homebuyers are looking at many different homes, trying to decide on the best one, even if they want to be look out for red flags, it's just not practical to bring in an inspector for every property they fancy. 

So for this reason, we thought we would pick the brains of some experienced industry professionals to try and suss out the best ways that these home shoppers can watch out for trouble homes. Enjoy!

                                            Advice from the Pros

We spoke with two established home inspectors in Ottawa, Ontario: Neil Card from Barrhaven Home Inspectors Inc. (pictured above left), and Francis Caza of Closer View Home Inspection Services (above right), and both had some really great tips to share.

When asked what prospective home buyers should watch out for when touring a home for sale, Card says they should always keep moisture and vegetation in mind.

"The biggest issues with homes are always water and tree damage," he says, "Get the water and trees away from the home and you'd have no problems. Homeowners should look out for hedges and plants up against the house, as well as big trees that are close to the home. As a rule, the circumference of the root system of a tree is double that of its branches, so they should keep that in mind always." 
Card also says that improperly installed eavestroughing is a common problem with homes. 

"One of the biggest and most common problems I come across in my inspections is a minor one that has to do with downspouts," he says, "often they drop directly down onto the driveway, which in the winter can lead to snow and ice buildup and dangerous slippery conditions. It can also cause damage to the foundation of the home.  It's a minor thing to fix and very inexpensive, and it's better to fix it now rather than waiting 5 years, and then you need foundation repairs or a new roof."
Both Card and Caza recommend that every potential home buyer take a trip or two down to the basement to look for evidence of foundation problems and flooding. 

"Using all your senses, you should walk around the entire home outside and then in the basement and look at all the parts of the foundation," says Card. "Look for cracks in the walls, especially around the windows. Smell for must and mildew that might indicate flooding has occurred. Be wary if there are two dehumidifiers in the basement."

Caza agrees 100%. 

"The main concerns in basements is obviously moisture. You should always check all walls for any visible discoloration or evidence of water damage."

 Reno's Gone Awry

Another red flag that you should be aware of, according to both inspectors, is home renovations that look as though they may have been done by a ... less than professional individual. (Obviously these must be DIYers who didn't take advantage of our exhaustive guide to reno resources!)

"One thing that concerns (inspectors) is that in a lot of areas we'll find renovation work in homes that must have been done by the home owner or some other non-professional," says Caza. "This is especially worrisome when the renos involve plumbing and electrical work."

Card agrees that this can be a real problem. 

"I always look out for 'handyman' work. I can tell when a job is professionally done, and when we've got a 'handyman house' on our hands... which can be very scary," he says. "The home owner maybe didn't know what they're doing or what's going on, they do what they think is right, but it's often all wrong."

Both inspectors say that with their experience, they can usually spot such unprofessional renovation work in a single pass, but that home buyers can probably get an idea as well if they pay attention to things like crooked walls and doorways, poorly fitted doors or (more scarily) electrical outlets and switches in unusual places.

No Substitute for a Professional Inspection

Even though these tips from the pros may help you spot problem homes earlier in the process, both Card and Caza made a point of urging all prospective buyers to take the time to find and hire a reputable inspector when they find a home they love. 

"At the end of the day, there is a lot to see in a home and you don't know what you're looking for unless you're trained specifically for that purpose," says Card. "Something may look fine to the untrained eye, but on closer inspection may not be working, for example."
"Home inspection is very cheap when you look at the cost of buying a home - the few dollars you're paying is peanuts when you consider how much it could save you."

While this opinion is obviously slightly biased, I have to agree with the logic. If you're going to be making one of the biggest investments of your life, it obviously makes sense to spend the money (usually $200-$300) to ensure that you're not buying a money pit!

At least with these helpful hints, you'll be able to better narrow your choices and avoid those homes-from-hell earlier on. Then when you've decided to put in an offer on the home of your dreams, be sure to hire a professional to really scour the place. 

For what it's worth, if you're located in Ottawa, I would definitely recommend either of the gentlemen I spoke with for this post, as both really impressed me with their knowledge and helpfulness. You can reach Neil Card of Barrhaven Home Inspectors by phone at 613 823-8844 or by email here. Francis Caza of Closer View Home Inspection Services can be reached by phone at 
(613) 913 9020.
Do you have any more helpful hints on how to spot a bad egg home during a quick walk around? We'd love to hear your ideas in the comments as usual!

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