Frequently Asked Questions About a Home Inspection
Before buying a home or building, it is critically important to identify problems that may exist and repairs that will have to be made. This enables you to plan financially, and it avoids expensive surprises, like a leaky roof or unstable foundation.
A quality home inspection can provide a basis for planning and budgeting for the next 5 to 10 years of ownership.
At the very least, a home inspection provides peace of mind. It is comforting to know that the home or building you are buying is safe and sound, and the largest investment of your life is a sensible one based on your having information of value and worth.
Does a home inspector really require expertise?
A careful examination of a building is not as easy as it sounds. What do you look for? How do you judge the quality of construction? Few of us have the expertise to make an adequate evaluation. The emotional experience of buying a home often blinds us to the facts of the conditions of the home. It takes a professional who specializes in home inspections to provide a sound and independent evaluation.
A home inspector who is well-versed in all aspects of building practices can recognize clues that signal unseen problems.
Because a home inspection is normally based only on visible evidence, the home inspector must have the best experience available.
Interpretation of visible evidence is often the only way to identify hidden problems.
Are home inspectors all the same?
Some home inspectors are well qualified, some are not! Some home inspectors have little or no prior training or experience. Be aware of the differences.
Some associations have developed standards of practice. Some associations test or certify prospective home inspectors, while others do not.
What should a home inspection include?
An examination of your home from roof-top to basement will include evaluation of the structural integrity of the home and its foundation as well as an examination of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems.
A skillful home inspector would also evaluate interior and exterior finishes and provide a basis for maintenance planning.
What services should you expect beyond the home inspection?
The home inspection is only a part of the professional service. To be of maximum benefit to you, the home inspection results must be communicated clearly and effectively in a thorough written report, prepared uniquely for the property.
In addition to complete confidentiality, the code of ethics for a home inspector also requires them avoid conflicts of interest or activities that compromise, or appear to compromise, professional independence, objectivity, or inspection integrity. Inspectors should act in good faith toward each client or other interested parties. Inspectors shall avoid activities that may harm the public, discredit themselves, or reduce public confidence to the profession.