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Frequently Asked Questions

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A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from roof to foundation. An inspector typically spends between two to three hours evaluating a home, and may recommend further evaluation if problems or symptoms are discovered.

One of the best ways to understand about a home’s condition, habitability and safety is to hire a professional home inspector. A properly trained home inspector will review your house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect the operability or lifespan of another. Home inspectors will go through the property and perform a comprehensive visual inspection to assess the condition of the house and all of its systems. They will determine the components that are not performing properly as well as items that are beyond their useful life or are unsafe. They will also identify areas where repairs may be needed or where there may have been problems in the past. Inspections are intended to provide the client with a better understanding of property conditions, as observed at the time of the inspection.

A standard home inspection summarizes findings from a visual inspection of the condition of the subject homes heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; foundation, basement, and the visible structures of the home.

For many people, their home will be the greatest investment they ever make. The decision to purchase a home is made with many factors in mind: Schools, proximity to work place, neighborhood, size and style of home etc. The average person is unable to determine on their own the existence of unknown problems that may exist in the home. These problems can cost a significant amount of money that the buyer maybe unprepared to spend. A professional home inspector is trained to observe these potential problems and report them so the buyer can make a more educated decision in the purchase of the home. This type of inspection is your best protection against buying a home needing repairs which you are unable to afford.

Inspection fees for a typical single family home vary by size and features of the property, and age of the home. Additionally, services such as septic inspections and radon testing may be warranted depending upon the individual property. To view our rates pleaseĀ click here.

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. A professional home inspector has the experience, depth of knowledge and training to make an unbiased and informed report of the condition of a property. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation and maintenance. An inspector understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail and knows what to look for and is uniquely suited to interpret what their findings reveal about the condition of the property.

Most buyers find it difficult to remain objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information about the condition of a home, always obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.

No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local codes and standards. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. A home inspection describes the physical condition of a property and indicates what may need repair or replacement.

Any professional inspection firm will have an agreement for you to read and sign. This agreement will spell out the company’s capabilities and their limitations. Do not assume you know what the inspector can do for you based on what you hope or want him to do for you. There are limitations. Inspectors are there to limit your risk in the purchase of a home However, they cannot eliminate that risk. Keep in mind that the inspection is limited to what can be visually observed at the time of the inspection. Generally, their function is to observe and evaluate the major systems of the home and report to you the conditions they observe that exist on the day of the inspection. When problems are found the inspector will either offer recommendations of how to repair or recommend you get further evaluation by someone who specializes in that field.

An inspector cannot predict the condition of a system five years from now, or even what condition it will be in the next day. To put it simply, anything that breaks was working the day before it broke; a furnace working the day of the inspection may develop a problem between then and the date you move in . There are also limitations to the depth of evaluation a home inspector can perform. There are components to systems that are not visible without dismantling the system. Home inspectors do not perform this kind of testing. The inspector can evaluate only what is visible.

There are generally over 200 items observed throughout an inspection, it would be too lengthy to try to mention them all. Below is a summary version of what is inspected.

Interior:

  • Foundations
  • Water seepage into basements
  • Framing
  • Crawl
  • Spaces (when safely accessible)
  • Electrical
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Plumbing (water, waste and water heating)
  • Visible well equipment
  • Laundry
  • Kitchens/baths
  • Interior surfaces (doors, walls, ceilings, etc.)
  • Fireplaces
  • Attic framing including ventilation and insulation

Exterior:

  • Siding and trim
  • Roof (We will walk on most roofs depending on slope height and weather)
  • Gutters/leader
  • Windows/skylights/doors
  • Chimneys/flashing
  • Steps and walks
  • Decks, patios, and porches
  • Retaining walls
  • Vegetation
  • Driveways/garages
  • Grade

The report will include the findings of what condition the major systems of the home were found in. Reports themselves can vary. Typically 48 hours of preparation time is required plus a couple of days to get to you through the mail. Using our automated software combined with field computer and printer we can generate your report promptly onsite. The report is organized with an inspection check list, summery report of deficiencies found, along with digital picture to support the summarized deficiencies and recommendations.

Before you sign the contract or purchase agreement, make your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated. Contact a home inspector immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Home inspectors are aware of the time constraints involved in purchase agreements and most are available to conduct the required inspection within a few days.