Two Certified Home Inspectors on every Orillia, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Muskoka inspection. 705 205 4663  We reduce wait times on site for busy clients while ensuring a through inspection.  Older home inspector white bearded with glases doing home inspection in Muskoka, Barrie, Orillia,Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Midland, Port Carling,, Bala, Coldwater  and nearby areas.
 Bruce Grant   CMI ®     

 Certified Master Inspector

Providing Residential and Commercial Property Inspections for Muskoka
8 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 Days a Week
Call 705 205 4663

Stairs, Decks and Dock Inspections

  Separate Stairs, Decks, and Dock inspections
stair decking and dock system from lake to hilltop homeThis type of inspection is required when these are items are not attached to, or not typically meant to, access the home.

  These are usually items found on waterfront and cottage properties often some distance from the home leading to waterfront areas rather than stairs leading into the home. As such they are not included in the home inspection standards of practice and so must be inspected under a separate contract.
Note The inspection of a boatlift attached to a dock is included in a stair deck and dock inspection.
steep hillside  with well built and maintained stair set Very typical rocky steep lot in Muskoka, Port Carlng and Bala. All stairs should be subject to a home inspection.  Stairs decks and docks are most often the main components leading to the waterfront and yet in our enjoyment of summer, maintenance on these items is often overlooked. We can risk serious injury using them if they are not in good condition. Just as often as I find well built and matained stairsets, like the ones on the steep hill in right side photo, I frequently find that stairs decks and docks have been built by homeowners and friends who overlooked or were unaware of safety and proper building techniques.

these uneven  homebuilt stairs down a hillside are<br />
just plain dangerous.

  This set of homebuilt stairs is uneven, with different heights between steps and it is just plain unsafe. No matter how well intentioned the builders it has to go.

  In my inspections I commonly find stairs that have serious issues and need replacing or extensive repairs . It is not unusual to find no handrails on stairs at all even though the rise may be fifteen feet and more. This is a serious personal safety issue. Exterior stairs are subject to all the issues that can be found in a home inspection as well as damage from direct exposure to the elements. Outside decks and docks have the same exposure to the elements and need their integrity checked as well.
sunset over a dock with a sloping ramp from shore   Docks in particular, because of their close proximity to water need inspected for integrity and condition. Crib based docks are like crib based boathouses in that the underwater portions and underside of joists framing, the things hardest to see, are the most important to the longevity of the construction.

  All my Dock Inspections include inspection via underwater camera where applicable and provided water clarity allows it. I also use a glass bottom viewer where necessary to give me a better picture of the underpinnings of docks boathouses and lifts.

new wood deck l shaped floating dock; These type

  I have found on several occasions heavily rotted piers and cribbing on older structures well under the waterline. As wood usually rots very little underwater it took some research to find out why this was happening. It turned out that this was occurring on lakes and water bodies that had water control for navigation and hydro usages. The control systems lowered their water levels in the fall exposing water soaked sections to the air and to rot, and then raised water levels in the summer thereby covering up the damage.

  Nowadays on most lakes when driven piers or sunken cribbing does go it can be impossible to get permits to replace them for permanent docks. The commonly available option is investing in a floating unit and a good quality moderate sized one starts in the tens of thousands of dollars.

  If you've just paid a premium to buy a home or cottage with what looked like a beautiful dock with it, only to find the dock needs replaced in the first a year or two, understandably you would be very upset.