What is a Professional Home Inspection? Answers to Your Questions
A professional home inspection is a visual examination of the readily accessible systems and components of a home and describes those systems and components. CJR uses the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Standards of Practice as a guideline.
If a problem or a symptom of a problem is found the home inspector will include a description of the problem in a written report and may recommend further evaluation.
Why is a home inspection important?
For home buyers, emotion often effects the buyer and makes it hard to imagine any problems with their new home. A buyer needs a professional home inspection to find the problems with the home before moving in. Good home inspectors also spend a good amount of time with their clients explaining how to properly maintain their home.
But I’m buying it “as is” or I’m waiving the home inspection contingency. I’m being advised a home inspection won’t help me.
If this is you, you’re getting bad advice. If you are selling your home, it makes good sense to have a thorough inspection (called a pre-sale inspection) before or when you first list your home. You will save money and hassle by knowing now what your defects are, not after you have already negotiated a price and are faced with costly repairs discovered on the buyer’s inspection.
New Construction Home Inspection
Many new home buyers get a new home inspection before the end of the builder’s twelve month warranty. Don’t be misled into thinking your new home is fine because you have a reputable builder and the county inspected it during construction. A home is a complex system of systems and even the best builders have oversights. County code inspectors generally do a good job, but they are very busy and generally spend less than an hour at each inspection. Also, some problems do not manifest themselves until the house has been built for a few months. Here are the types of things we have found in the past during these type of inspections:
- GFCI breakers not wired properly
- Improperly wired or improperly installed electrical fixtures
- Window leaks
- Inadequate attic insulation
- Plumbing leaks
- Inadequate drainage
- Foundation movement
- Water intrusion
- Structural Defects
- HVAC ducting not connected
- A/C condensate leaks
A home cannot fail an inspection. A professional home inspection gives you an independent, unbiased view of any problems and their solutions, so that you will have all the facts you need to make a sound, informed decision.
Depending on the size and condition of the home, a thorough residential home inspection will take two to five hours. Ideally, you will accompany your inspector during the consultation, so that you will have visual reinforcement of your written report.
What if the report reveals problems?
All homes (even new construction) have problems. Every problem has a solution. Solutions vary from a simple, inexpensive fix of the component to more drastic and pricier repairs. Having a home inspection allows the problem to be assessed before the sale closes. You should confer with your Real Estate Agent about items found in the home inspection that warrant contract re-negotiation.
What does a professional home inspection include?
A home inspector’s report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure. Many inspectors will also offer additional services not included in a typical home inspection, such as mold, radon and water testing.
What should I NOT expect from a home inspection?
A home inspection is not protection against future failures. Stuff happens! Components like air conditioners and Heat Systems can and will break down. A home inspection tells you the condition of the component at the time the component was inspected. For protection from future failure you may want to consider a home warranty.
A home inspection is not an appraisal that determines the value of a home. Nor will a home inspector tell you if you should buy this home or what to pay for this home.
A home inspection is not a code inspection, which verifies local building code compliance. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. Homes built before code revisions are not obligated to comply with the code for homes built today. Home inspectors will report findings when it comes to safety concerns that may be in the current code such as ungrounded outlets above sinks. A home inspector thinks “Safety” not “Code” when performing a home inspection.
Should I attend the home inspection?
Yes, if it is at all possible you should attend. It is often helpful to be there so the home inspector can explain in person and answer any questions you may have. This is an excellent way to learn about your new home even if no problems are found.
To Book a CJR Professional Home Inspection call 540-273-1059 or book a Professional Home Inspection online.
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John, Thanks so much for the thorough inspection and amazingly clear debrief. I can’t... Read more
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