When purchasing a new house, it is always worth getting it inspected by a home inspector, who would thoroughly examine the property and give you his unbiased opinion about its technical status. Generally, home inspection takes about 2-4 hours, depending on the property. A home inspection can result into substantial savings by avoiding expensive repairs in future. Unless the home is inspected by a professional home inspector, you wouldn’t know the real structural status of home. The inspector carries only a visual inspection of the property and its structure.
The inspection of a normal home takes just about anywhere between 2 and 4 hours. The inspector offers an agreement before inspection, which is signed before accepting payment. Then the inspector gives his client a general idea of the inspection and visits the site along with the client.
The inspector carries a visual inspection of the following, though not necessarily in that order:
- Interiors (non-aesthetic)
- Foundation and basement
- Roof and attic
- Framing structure
- Air conditioning system
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing system
- Heating system
- Kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms
The inspection of supplementary items like pools, barns or any outer structures, spas, docks & sea walls, wood annihilating insects, well flow, lawn sprinkler systems, gates, fences and EIFS (exterior insulation & finish systems) may be carried out at extra expense. The inspection agency can also conduct environment related inspection like:
- Water testing
- Lead testing
- Radon testing
- Formaldehyde testing
- Asbestos testing
- Septic inspection
- Carbon monoxide testing
After the completion of the operation, the inspector gives a summarized report of his findings. The client may ask questions, if any, and gets a signed, written report about the inspection. The client has exclusive rights on this report.
It is mandatory for the inspector to notify the client about the state of the inspected home. While pointing out any defects, he can offer likely reasons for them and he may suggest how to get them repaired. The inspector is not expected to recommend any contractor or provide an assessment of the likely expenses for repairs/modifications, unless he happens to be a contractor himself. He should not recommend if his client should invest in that property or not, or comment on the market price of the inspected property. In no way should he benefit by the repairs that the house may need.
The inspection is carried visually and only for the state of house as it exists at the time of its inspection. The inspection should not be interpreted as any kind of warranty. As already pointed out, the inspector would spend just 2,3 hours for a visual inspection of the premises, obviously not enough time for him to check all the elements and components that make a complete house. He must utilize his expertise to check the most significant factors in that limited time. The report of the same property, inspected by two different inspectors, is bound to be different.
It is in the interest of the customer to thoroughly examine and make inquiries regarding the professional qualifications and experience of the prospective home inspector. Keep in mind that the services of a competent, experienced home inspector are not cheap. So, do not get carried over by an inspector charging low fees, as he may lack the qualifications and experience needed for carrying the inspection efficiently.
It always pays to hire a superior inspector. The expense incurred for carrying the inspection through a professional home inspector is justified by the defects or needed repairs pointed out by the home inspector.