Frequently Asked Questions

  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.

What does a home inspection include?
 The standard home inspector’s report will cover 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 structural components.  

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 will it cost?
 Do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home  inspection or in the selection of your home inspector. The sense of  security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost.

Why can't I do it myself?
 Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise  of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the  elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home  safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are  intended to function together, as well as why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it difficult to  remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really  want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate  information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a  professional in the field of home inspection.

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 required that you be present for the inspection, it is  highly recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask  questions as you learn about the condition of the home and how to  maintain it.

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 your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to  become involved in future repair work, this information will be  important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to  make repairs.

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.