Buying a home?
The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind but, depending on the findings, it may have the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information over a short period of time. Your inspection will entail a written report, including checklists and photos, and what the inspector tells you during the inspection. All of this combined with the seller’s disclosure and what you notice yourself can make the experience overwhelming. What should you do?
Home inspectors are professionals, and you can trust that ours are the most highly trained in the industry. Most of your inspection will be related to maintenance recommendations and minor imperfections. These are good to know about.
However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
- major defects, such as a structural failure;
- conditions that can lead to major defects, such as a roof leak;
- issues that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home if not rectified immediately; and
- safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electrical panel.
Anything in these categories should be addressed as soon as possible. Often, a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. It’s important to realize that a seller is under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in your inspection report. No house is perfect. Keep things in perspective. And remember that homeownership is both a joyful experience and an important responsibility.
The Home Inspection Process
The home inspector will do a visual inspection by looking at the home’s various systems, including interior and exterior components. The inspector will check exterior components including roofing, flashing, chimneys, gutters, downspouts, wall surfaces, windows, doors, the foundation and the grading around it.
Note that, if the inspection takes place in the winter, the roof and the foundation may not be fully visible for inspection if they are covered with snow and ice. For safety and insurance reasons, the home inspector would not typically climb up on a roof covered with snow or ice. However, the home inspector will inspect the roof from the ground or other vantage point. This also applies to the chimney and downspouts.
If problems beyond the scope of the inspection are found, the home inspector may recommend further evaluation.
The interior systems that the home inspector will check include electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, insulation, flooring, ceiling and walls, windows and doors. Our home inspectors are WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) certified to inspect a wood-burning appliance, such as a fireplace or wood stove, but they will not carry out a WETT inspection as part of the standard home inspection unless it is requested. A WETT inspection will add at time and cost to the inspection (See our WETT Inspection section).
As with the outside of the home, the inspection of the interior systems is visual, meaning that the inspector will not make openings to inspect behind walls or under the floor. It is not a good idea to conduct an inspection at night or dusk, since a number of the very important components of the exterior of the house cannot be seen properly.
Typically, a home inspection does not include appraisals or quotes for repairs and does not determine compliance with regulatory requirements. A home inspection is not intended to provide warranties or guarantees about the condition of the house or how well it works.
Our home inspectors’ associations have a code of ethics that prevents home inspectors from offering services to repair or improve homes they have inspected. While they may provide you with a personal opinion on the repairs and a range of costs involved based on past experience, it is recommended that you obtain three independent quotes from qualified contractors for the repair of any defects or deficiencies identified during the inspection.
Our home inspector will provide a written report that documents the condition of every major system and component of the home within 24 hours of the inspection.
Contact us now for more information, or to book your Home Inspection!