What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you'll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.
If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.
If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
What does a home inspection include?
The report will cover the condition of:
- Roof, including the roof covering, flashings, valleys, chimneys, gutters and downspouts
- The exterior siding, trim, windows and storm windows
- Sidewalks, driveways, patios, porches and decks
- Exterior grading and drainage
- Interior walls, floors, ceilings and windows
- Plumbing systems, including testing of toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, faucets and water heaters
- Electrical system, including service entrance, main panel, sub-panels, wiring and fixtures
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems
- Attic, including structure, ventilation and insulation
- Basement or crawl space areas for foundation soundness, structure and moisture penetration
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) publishes a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report.
What will it cost?
AT HOME is a locally owned company that does not have corporate overhead cost burdens. We recognize that our continued growth depends on our ability to offer quality services at competitive prices. We believe our standard rates are competitive with other home inspectors in our area. Click here for the rate schedule. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.
When do I call a home inspector?
Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
Do I have to be there?
While it's not necessary for you to be present during the inspection, most clients choose to arrive toward the end of the inspection at which time we will summarize the findings for you and answer any questions you might have.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn't mean you should or shouldn't buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You'll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector's written report, and will have that information for future reference.