Those who have hired a home inspector are familiar with the “further attention” list at the end of their inspection report. This is the space where homebuyers discover additional recommended inspections which demand structural engineers, hazmat technicians, roofers and more. It’s also the space where homebuyers discover they need to spend 10 to 12 times what they paid to have a home inspector come in – an approximate $800 fee some can barely stomach to start with.
Director Michael Arneja of Griffin Restoration champions preventative maintenance as the way to go for peace of mind and ease of budget. He and his team create preventative maintenance plans for those homeowners and buyers seeking to be unsurprised by the costs of their homes and homes-to-be. Arneja inspects buildings from foundation to roof, setting a lifetime budget with clients and combatting the high costs of repairs by maintaining household assets. Preventative maintenance answers questions many home inspections bypass, such as, “What is the maintenance plan for the longevity of this building?” and, “How am I going to financially plan for that maintenance?” says Arneja.
Unlike regular home inspection or asset replacement, preventative maintenance isn’t a one-time inspection or event. Arneja returns every three years to check on the condition of a home, where he conducts physical and financial assessments with homeowners. “We track and monitor the health of the assets, we keep the data current because a house is constantly changing and constantly depreciating, and we generate alternative funding scenarios, because sometimes you don’t have twenty thousand kicking around for a roof.”
Preventative maintenance plans are designed purely to help homeowners budget for the next 20, 50 or 75 years they will live in their homes, and keep them informed about the condition of their house. Clients are able to view the installation date and projected re-installation date of each of their assets. If sophisticated, they can make their own replacements and decide to postpone an inspection. While Griffin Restoration offers replacements, homeowners are also free to choose their own specialist.
“Our biggest thing is educating homeowners and demystifying the small things in a house,” Arneja says.
“A person lives in their house for decades. All they need to do is see one of these [assessments], and they’ll know what’s between their walls and how long it’s going to last.”
The Griffin Restoration team recently conducted a regular inspection of St. Christopher’s Montessori School. They aim to install long-lasting replacements, should those options fall within budget. “If you maintain it well, then people won’t be prone to knocking it down and putting up something new,” Arneja says. This is especially relevant to Oak Bay culture, where character homes are cherished. Griffin Restoration works with the Heritage Commission to maintain the health of old homes. “We care about preservation and we care about restoration. The first step is planning,” he says, explaining the importance of preventative maintenance. “If we can set these plans in place, then we can maintain [the building] and it’s going to last another hundred years.”