Information for Edmonton’s Prospective Property Buyers and Sellers

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Alberta Property Inspection Ltd. in Edmonton. You’ll also find links of interest to homebuyers and sellers.

Q: How much is the house worth?

A: Home inspectors are not qualified to comment on the value of the house. For finding the value of a property, it is best to consult with a professional home appraiser.

Q: Do you make repairs?

A: Home inspectors are not permitted to perform home repairs.

Q: Can you refer someone to make repairs?

A: No, home inspectors generally do not refer contractors.

Q: I would like to renovate when I move in. Can I remove this wall?

A: Home inspection is not an engineering evaluation. Consult with a structural engineer before conducting modifications.

Q: How much are the repairs going to cost?

A: Under Alberta Government Regulations, home inspectors are not allowed to provide estimates on repair costs. We recommend getting a minimum of 3 quotes from reputable contractors.

Q: Do you inspect appliances?

A: No, appliances are not part of a home inspection report. However, as a courtesy, Alberta Property Inspection will put appliances through a cycle.

Q: What are the safe clearances for a kitchen range?

A: Please read the PDF on range clearances.

Q: I am adding a basement bedroom, what would be the required window size for a safe egress/emergency exit.

A: Please download our guide on window sizes.

Q: I am building an uncovered deck, what are the handrail, railing and guard requirements?

A: Please refer to our PDF on deck and railing requirements.

Q: I am developing my basement and I am wondering what the requirements are for bedroom windows?

A: People asleep in a bedroom are not as aware of the occurrence of a fire in their dwelling unit as when they are awake. By the time they are able to respond to a smoke alarm the suite may be filled with smoke and their escape route from the bedroom blocked. For reasons of life safety the code requires that either an alternate escape route be provided or that the fire be automatically controlled by the use of sprinklers.

Unless a bedroom has a door that leads directly to the building exterior, or the suite has a sprinkler, each bedroom must have at least one window that can be opened from the inside without the use of tools or special knowledge. This window must provide an unobstructed opening with a minimum area of 0.35 m2 (3.77 ft2 or 543 sq inches), and no dimension less than 380 mm (15”).

Basement egress windows present an added challenge. Besides the height, width and overall area requirements that the window must meet, there are certain requirements for the window well surrounding the window.

It is important to note that if a window opens into a window well a clearance of at least 550 mm (about 22") between window and wall of the well is required. An awning style window opening into a window well may pose a challenge in maintaining this clearance and could interfere with the occupant’s ability to exit through the window well. The required clearances must be maintained when the window is in the open position.

The 1997 Alberta Building Code (ABC) states the following for bedroom windows and window wells: Bedroom Windows

1) Except where a bedroom door provides access directly to the exterior or the suite is sprinklered, each bedroom shall have at least one outside window openable from the inside without the use of tools or special knowledge. (See Appendix A.)

2) Windows referred to in Sentence (1) shall provide unobstructed openings with areas not less than 0.35 m2 and with no dimension less than 380 mm. (See Article and Appendix A.)

3) If the window referred to in Sentence (1) is provided with security bars, the security bars shall be openable from the inside without the use of any tools or special knowledge. Window Opening into a Window-Well

1) Where a window required in Article opens into a window-well, a clearance of not less than 550 mm shall be provided in front of the window.

2) Where the sash of a window referred to in Sentence (1) swings towards the window-well, the operation of the sash shall not reduce the clearance in a manner that would restrict escape in an emergency.

Q. Who is a Registered Home Inspector?

A. In Alberta, qualified members of CAHPI Alberta have the exclusive right to call themselves RHI's. To become a full member of CAHPI requires extensive training and experience.

Members begin as "Applicants" (who come from a variety of technical backgrounds including those with prior inspection experience). When they have completed the education and exams they become "Associate Inspectors".

A "Registered Home Inspector" has completed all of these requirements plus has conducted at least 250 professional home inspections. All members are required to keep their knowledge current through ongoing education and attendance at seminars. Download the PDF on Hiring a Home Inspector, courtesy of Service Alberta!

Q. What does this mean for the home buyer?

A. More protection for the home buyer: all Registered Home Inspectors (RHI's) have proven ability, experience and professionalism.

Documents for Edmonton Homeowners

These documents can possibly assist you when purchasing a new home or considering renovations:

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