A Home Inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from roof to foundation. One of the best ways to understand a home's condition, habitability and safety is to hire a professional home inspector. As a properly trained home inspector, I will review your house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect the operability or lifespan of another. I will also identify areas where repairs may be needed or where there may have been problems in the past.
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; grading and conditions; 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 may be 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.
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. I will not pass or fail a house. A home inspection describes the physical condition of a property at the time of the inspection and indicates what may need repair or replacement. I give you the information, then you decide how to use it.
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, my function is to observe and evaluate the major systems of the home and report to you the conditions I observe that exist on the day of the inspection. When problems are found I will either offer recommendations of how to repair or recommend you get further evaluation by someone who specializes in that field. I 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. I can evaluate only what is visible.
There are hundreds of items observed throughout an inspection and 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.
While it is not necessary for you to be present, it is always recommended that you make time to join me during the inspection. This allows you to ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain them. After you have seen the property me, you will find the written report easier to understand.
No house is perfect. When I find problems, it does not indicate you should not buy the house. My findings serve to educate you in advance of the purchase about the condition of the property. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during the inspection. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to be involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.