What is an Inspection?

outlet checkAn inspection is a visual process where all of the items within the home are tested and/or operated to verify proper operation or installation. Doors and windows are opened and closed, outlets checked, roofing materials inspected, air-conditioning and heating systems operated. Sinks and tub(s) are filled, shower(s) are run, and toilets are run. Notes are made on the condition and operation of the components tested. Usually within 24-48 hours after completion of the inspection a report will be distributed to you.

What should I NOT expect from a Home Inspection?

  • A home inspection is not a guarantee that the systems in your house will not fail. Components like water heaters, HVAC systems, plumbing, or other systems may break down.  An inspection will inform you as to the condition of the house and the systems inside it at the time of the inspection. To ensure against expensive repairs or failures, you may consider purchasing a home warranty.
  • A home inspection does not replace an appraisal of a home, and your inspector will not tell you if you should or should not buy the house, or what you should pay for it.

  • A home inspection is not a code inspection, which would verify compliance with local building codes.  A home inspection does not have a pass or fail grade.  Building codes are revised on a periodic basis, so a home built in the 1970s or  1980s would have been  constructed with a different code set than one built today. A home inspection will identify safety concerns and report those to you in person and the report.

How long is an Inspection, and can I attend?

A home inspection of an average house (2000SF) normally takes about 3 hours.  That time may vary depending on the type of construction (slab or crawlspace) or other variables.  You are most certainly welcome to attend the inspection, as it will give the inspector an opportunity to show you service shut-offs, maintenance items, or problems that are found during the inspection, and allow the inspector to address any concerns you might have.

Any Tips for Before the Inspection?

  1. Please ensure that the inspector has unrestricted access to the electrical panels, attic spaces, and crawlspaces.  These areas must be inspected.
  2. If you have records or invoices for major components like furnaces, air conditioners, or water heaters, or engineering reports for structural repairs, please make them available to the inspector.  These may lessen the possibility that the inspector will suggest further evaluation of a system by a technician.
  3. Please provide a copy of a permit and Certificate of Occupancy if you’ve had any major renovations or additions to the property.IMG_1504
  4. If there is any wood or paper waste or scraps in the crawlspace, please remove it.  If you have firewood stacked next to the residence remove it as well.  This will reduce the possibility of pest inspectors finding termites, which can result in pricey treatments.
  5. Replace your smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm batteries.  Ensure they sound when tested.
  6. Change your furnace filters.
  7. Ensure gutters are clean and drain pipes are clear, with splash blocks or underground piping in place.  Make sure there is sloping ground away from the foundation. This will reduce the likelihood of crawlspace and basement water leakage and settlement.
  8. Check that the GCFI outlets around your house trip when tested.  This is an easily remedied common electrical defect.