What does a home inspection include?
A standard home inspection summarizes findings from a visual inspection of the condition of the home’s 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.
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 property’s condition. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction and 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. In addition an inspector knows what to look for and is uniquely suited to interpret what their findings reveal about the condition of the property.
Should I be present during an inspection? How long will it take?
While it is not a requirement for you to be present, it is strongly recommended that you make time to join the inspector. This allows you to observe the inspector, 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 with the inspector, you will find the written report easier to understand. A typical home inspection takes approximately three hours.
How do I choose a home inspector?
Word of mouth, the experiences and referrals from friends and neighbors, is one of the best ways to find a home inspector. Someone who has used a home inspection service and is satisfied with the level of customer service and professionalism of that service will likely recommend a qualified professional.
Can a house fail 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.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. When an inspector identifies problems, it does not indicate you should not buy the house. Their 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 an inspection. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to be involved in near future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.