WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?
A home inspection is a visual inspection of a representative number of readily accessible components or systems where the inspector reports on defects that were observed and deemed material at the time of the inspection. A material defect is a specific issue with a system or component that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the home, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people. Finding these defects is my primary duty, but I do much more!
What systems are covered?
The inspection covers the nine systems which include, on average, over 500 components.
- Insulation and Ventilation
What is my process?
I use binoculars to check out the upper floors of the exterior and to get a view of the roof covering from the ground. I also use a 22ft ladder to access the roof when the height and pitch (slope) are reasonable and unlike most home inspections, mine includes the use of a 42 foot carbon fiber extension pole with a high-resolution camera to take copious photos of the roofing and flashings when conditions are otherwise not reasonable.
Don't settle for a ground only inspection of your roof!
From there, we'll head back inside through the garage where we will often find the electrical panel and sometimes the HVAC system. Since these are two of the more expensive and trouble-prone systems, I exceed the minimum requirements dictated by the Standards of Practice by taking off the covers of both systems and inspecting inside. Heating and cooling temperatures are also taken, which provide measurable results to rely on.
From there, we move on to the basement where I look over any exposed structural components and then begin the interior inspection by testing doors, windows, plumbing fixtures, lighting and outlets, smoke detectors, stairs and handrails, floor/walls/ceilings and more. Heading up to the third floor, we continue the same routine and then I venture into the attic alone before finalizing the inspection on the main floor and wrapping up in the kitchen.
Appliances are inspected for their basic functionality. Does the oven heat? Does the freezer freeze? Does the dishwasher keep water inside?! As you can imagine though, there's more to it than that. There are many safety issues to look out for throughout the home, and especially in the kitchen. Are the outlets GFCI protected? Is the electrical cable correctly secured to the disposal? Is the anti-tip device present on the oven? (Did you even know there should be an anti-tip device?) These are some of the more important items to inspect and frankly, they are frequently the source of defects.
We'll end with a brief conversation about the overall condition of the home and a bit of a Q&A session for any outstanding clarifications you might want. I'll accept payment at that time and you'll be free to resume your day!
What is not included in a home inspection
There are Standards of Practice that provide guidelines of what a should be inspected and what inspectors are not required to do. There are many reasons why certain things are not required and typically it comes down to:
- An exhaustive inspection of everything would take days
- Becoming an expert in everything would take decades
- Time is money
- Yes, that means your money!