Why Get An Inspection?
Itís often said that one of the most expensive and important purchases you will ever make will be your home.
However, unlike the guarantee a buyer receives with most purchases, thereís no money-back guarantee or return
policy if youíre not satisfied with your recently purchased home. Once you buy a home, youíre on your own to maintain it, repair it,
anticipate problems and pay the bills. This is why itís best to know as much as you can about potential problems
before you make the commitment to buy.
What Home and Property Inspectors do
One of the best ways to understand about a homeís condition, habitability and safety is to hire a professional home inspector.
A properly trained home inspector will review your house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect
the operability or lifespan of another. Home inspectors will go through the property and perform a comprehensive visual inspection
to assess the condition of the house and all of its systems. They will determine the components that are not performing properly as
well as items that are beyond their useful life or are unsafe. They will also identify areas where repairs may be needed or where
there may have been problems in the past. Inspections are intended to provide the client with a better understanding of property
conditions, as observed at the time of the inspection.
A pre-purchase inspection for a standard sized home typically takes about three hours.
Following the inspection, the buyer is presented with a written report, consolidating the details of the inspection.
The home inspector should be willing to answer any questions a buyer might have and to clarify the limitations of the inspection to avoid misunderstandings.
It is recommended that the potential buyer(s) accompany the inspector as the inspection takes place. It can be a valuable learning experience.
Scope of the Inspection
Home inspections are intended to provide information regarding the condition of systems and components of the home at the time of the inspection.
It will help you make an informed purchase decision.
The home inspector will provide a visual inspection by looking at the homeís 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 snow or ice covered roofs.
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 or symptoms beyond the scope of the inspection are found, the home inspector may recommend further evaluation.
Interior systems the home inspector will check include electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, insulation, flooring,
ceiling and walls, windows and doors. Note that a home inspector is not qualified to inspect a wood-burning appliance such as a fireplace
or wood stove unless they are WETT (Wood Energy Technology Training) certified. To be properly inspected, a chimney must first be cleaned.
As with the outside of the home, the inspection of the interior systems is visual, meaning that the inspector will be unable to
see behind walls or under the floor.
Unless otherwise arranged, a home inspection does not include appraisals, exact quotes for repairs, or determine compliance
with regulatory requirements. A home inspection is also not intended to provide warranties or guarantees.