Home Inspection Questions
Answers from certified home inspectors
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a professional, complete visual examination of the all the systems and physical structural elements of a home performed by a home inspector. Our emphasis is on identifying existing or potential problems that would affect a purchasers buying decision.
Why do I need a Home Inspection?
A home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. It only makes sense to find out as much as you can about the house, condo or townhome you are interested in before you buy. That way you can avoid costly surprise repairs and problems with your new home. Our report will also advise you of what maintenance is required to keep your home in top condition. A professional inspection will give you a clear picture of the many systems and structural elements that make up the property. If you are selling your home or condominium, an inspection will point out any potential problems that might be uncovered later by the buyers inspector. Finding problems early through a pre-sale home inspection will allow you to address them before listing your home, making for a faster and smoother sale.
Read more about why home buyers need a home inspection.
What does a Home Inspection include?
Our inspection reports cover all the major systems and structural elements of the house. This includes the condition of the homes heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, foundation, attic and visible insulation, walls, doors, windows and all visible structures. Some common areas in a shared community setting such as a condo or town home may be excluded as they would be the concern of the communities association.
Do I need to be there during the Inspection?
No, you aren't required to be there for the inspection. But we highly recommend that you be present. It's a valuable learning experience for most people and will help you get the most benefit from the inspection. By following the inspector you can ask questions directly and the inspector can explain maintenance tips for specific areas. We feel you'll be able to best understand the finished report and get the most benefit from it by having been there during the inspection.
How long will the Inspection take?
The time will vary depending on both the size and condition of the home. A 2 bedroom condo or townhome takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. For most single family homes, 3 hours is pretty typical. But for larger homes, or homes in poor condition, it may take longer.
Does a newly constructed home need an Inspection?
Absolutely. A professional inspection of a new home, condominium or town home is important. We can spot potential problems early, while they are still easy to correct. It's especially valuable to arrange an inspection before the interior walls are finished. As building professionals, we may find problem areas where the builder has taken shortcuts or not done good work.
Why can't I do the Inspection myself?
Chances are that even if you are very familiar with home construction, you still don't have the knowledge, training and experience of a professional Home Inspector. We've performed thousands of home and condo inspections. We are not only familiar with all the systems of a home or condominium building, and how they work and need to be maintained, but we also know what to look for to tell us that they are getting ready to fail. But beyond the technical expertise and experience a professional inspector brings, it is important to remember that the inspector remains an impartial third party. If you are involved in buying or selling a house or condo, it's impossible for you to remain completely unemotional about the property, and this may cloud your judgment. The professional inspector will provide an objective outside reporting of the facts.
What if the Inspection uncovers problems?
You need to know what to do after the home inspection. Our inspection report will tell you the condition of the house, including needed repairs and expenses. No house or condo is going to be perfect. It is up to you to decide how any problems the inspection uncovers might affect your decision to purchase. If major problems are discovered, you may want to try negotiating with the seller to have them repaired before closing the deal. Or perhaps the seller will lower the price, or offer more favorable contract terms. In the end, the decision rests with you, but knowing about potential problems, before you buy, gives you the power to negotiate and make the best decisions.
Will you fix the problems you find during the Inspection?
No. The code of ethics of The Independent Home Inspectors of North America (IHINA) prohibits its members from doing repair work on properties they inspect. This assures that there will never be any conflict of interest by the inspector. Our purpose is to provide an unbiased, objective third party report on the condition of the home.