Q. What is a “Home Inspection”?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the home inspector may recommend further evaluation. Home inspectors do not perform any destructive testing. Consumers should not expect their reports to include the condition of every nail, wire or pipe in the home. Although our inspectors are thorough, we are primarily concerned with pointing out major concerns and/or safety related items rather than cosmetic items, which are considered readily apparent to the consumer themselves.
Q. Why do I need a home inspection?
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, well as the maintenance necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the house you are about to purchase. If you are already a homeowner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures, which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing you home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
Q. Can I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. He or she understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.
Q. When do I call in the Home Inspector?
A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. The clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
Q. Can a house fail inspection?
NO. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or 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 may need major repair or replacement.
Q. What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or make repairs if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be very important to you.
Q. If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely! Now you can complete your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will want to keep that information for further reference.
Q. How long does a home inspection take?
A home inspection typically takes between 2 to 3 hours. We suggest that you leave small children with a sitter if possible as you will want to follow the inspector closely as he inspects your new home and explains his findings.
Q. Do I have to attend the inspection?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but is recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you have seen the property first-hand through the inspector’s eyes.
Q. What if I have questions after the inspection takes place?
We encourage you to ask all the questions you want at the inspection. However, should you have additional questions or concerns after the inspection, please feel free to call or email our office. Some of our clients call our office with specific and general questions well after the inspection takes place. The inspector is also available for a complete phone consultation to go over your report in detail if you are unable to attend the inspection. We believe client support during the inspection and beyond is one of the many reasons that our company is so successful.
Q. What if I need the inspector to come back and inspect repairs that have been made?
We offer a re-inspection after each inspection that is performed. The inspector will have a copy of the original report and will verify that all requested repairs have been made properly. We will also issue another report based on our findings of the re-inspection. However, there is an additional charge for this inspection. Please call our office with enough advanced notice (usually 3-4 days) to schedule a re-inspection.
Q. Are you insured?
Yes, I carry Business Liability Insurance (coverage up to $1,000,000) and Professional Liability Insurance (coverage up to $500,000.) Certificates of the insurance can be provided.
Q. Do I need a Radon Test?
In most cases, Yes, especially here in Colorado. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. It’s estimated that nearly 21,000 people a year die due to Radon gas exposure in their homes. Radon gas is manageable and there are means to remove it from your home. Its important to test for it when purchasing a home.