Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Not so, it is true that home inspectors follow a SOP (standards of performance) by ASHI, NACHI, or OREIA. These are nothing more than a list of minimum areas/systems to be inspected. These are good minimum standards, however some inspectors only do the minimum, and some exceed those standards.
Although we like to walk roofs, not every roof can be walked. Some roof surfaces cannot be walked on, such as slate, wood, ceramic tile, and some metal roofs. Roofs with certain suspected deficiencies should not be walked on. Roof pitches over 8 in 12 can be dangerous to walk on, therefore no inspector will walk all surface types, only easy areas of access that will keep the inspector safe. When walking a roof, the inspector is inspecting his feet as much as the roof, to prevent from falling. WE USE DRONE TECHNOLOGY. This allows us, through high resolution digital technology, to see ALL of the roof surface, as well as all of the hard to access areas. Using a drone, we can concentrate on inspecting, not falling. Finally, due to the science of light, and the reflectivity of the roof surface, the drone can see at a 90° angle which is the least amount of reflectivity on the roof. When walking a roof, you view the surface at a 30° angle. A 30° angle is the maximum reflectivity of any surface, so you don’t see it all. WE SEE IT ALL WITH OUR DRONE.
Some inspections only cover the bare minimum. inexperienced inspectors, often the cheap ones, miss deficiencies that should have been reported. A good inspector will excel in the trade of home inspection, always gaining knowledge and additional certifications in the industry. Advanced tools, such as drones, thermal imaging, and hi-tech moisture meters helps a good inspector to qualify defects hard to see. The cost of these tools, and higher education, is very expensive, and is normally reflected in a slightly higher inspection fee.
When you look at the price of a home inspection, against the cost of your investment, it is very small. The purchase of a home is the most expensive single purchase that many people make in their lifetime. Take an average 1700 square-foot home, selling for $125,000 with the inspection costing $625 for the Home Inspection, Pest Inspection, & Radon Test. That cost is .5% (1/2 of 1 percent) of the purchase price, A very small cost to assist you in making an informed decision about the home. The home inspection is the ultimate disclosure. Not what someone may or may may not be required to tell you, but what is actually there. It does not take many deficiencies to total $2000+.
Although there is some controversy about radon gas, there should not be, due to the scientific data we have about radon. Radon is a radioactive noble gas that comes from the decay of radium in the soil. Radium is also a product of uranium decay. Radon is a colorless, odorless, invisible gas that can only be detected through the use of proper equipment and protocols. It comes from uranium in the rock and if there is a source of uranium in the rock deep below a home, the radon then percolates up the soil, and collects in the home. There is no such thing as zero Radon, just levels from very low to very high. It is the number one cause of lung cancer in NON-smokers. It is one of the easiest environmental issues to mitigate in a home. There are two reasons you may consider to have your home tested for Radon. 1) for health reasons for you and your family. 2) if radon levels require mitigation, to have the mitigation costs factored into your negotiations… This can also be an issue upon resale of your home, which then becomes your issue. The cost to mitigate and range between $1000 and $1500, sometimes higher, depending on the circumstances of mitigation. The cost to test for radon normally falls between $100-$180. Testing is normally cheaper if ordered with a home inspection.
Yes, and it’s much cheaper. You can get test kits online ranging from $25-$50. Some of these kits include the lab fees. The results are normally available within about seven days. The reason it’s more expensive during a home inspection is because the results are needed fast, within 48 hours. This requires expensive testing equipment, and a Radon license to test.
The pest inspector inspects specifically for wood destroying insects, and provides a WDI report for their findings. The inspector inspects for 4 different kinds of insects: termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and powder post beetles. A pest inspector does not inspect for nuisance types of insects such as pavement ants, spiders, etc. They also do not inspect for rodents such as mice, rats, and other vermin. Yes, your home inspector can do your pest inspection, if licensed as a pest inspector. We feel it is important that the pest inspector also be licensed to treat a property, should treatment be warranted. If your pest inspection reveals concerns, if the pest inspector is not licensed to treat the issue, you will need to find another pest company licensed to treat the property. This normally requires the second company to re- inspect the property before treating it. We use Quality Pest Management for all of our clients needing a pest inspection. Quality Pest, owned & operated by Kevin Haught, is dedicated to perform the pest inspection the same day/time as the scheduled home inspection. Quality Pest Management is also licensed to treat a property, as well as offer ongoing treatments to the new homeowners.
Remember this, you do not get what you expect, you get what you inspect! You are purchasing the largest financial purchase of your life, and to not know what you are purchasing leaves you open for potentially having very expensive future repairs in your home. If you have to negotiate without an inspection contingency, I recommend, instead of waiving your inspection, negotiate that your inspection is for your information only and that you will not ask for repairs, but have the right to walk away due to negative inspection results. Clients I have had walked away from homes, thank me, telling me that they would not have known, and the cost of the repairs were not financially feasible in their budget. The following call I receive from them is to inspect their next house.
Thermal imaging uses a special camera that can see the infrared energy spectrum of light. We cannot see the infrared spectrum, however, a thermal imaging camera can. A thermal imaging camera can detect thermal anomalies associated with how much heat a certain material is emitting. A trained and certified residential thermographer (CRT) can determine from these anomalies what they represent, and interpret the findings. Things such as missing, or non-performing insulation, air leaks, water leaks, or faulty electrical.
Although a new house has its perks, it also needs inspected. Contractors bid for jobs, picking in some cases, the lowest bid. Not every tradesmen produces quality work. Cheap contractors that bid low, sometimes skimp on materials, and quality. Thermal imaging can reveal wall cavities where insulation was missing or improperly installed. Foundation cracks can develop from improper backfill, and improper surface drainage. Roof & chimney flashing should be inspected before water intrusion is found in the walls. Interior cracks may indicate settlement issues. Improper attic ventilation can result in future moisture issues. A detailed inspection report can also provide you with a list of improvements and deficiencies needing corrected by your contractor. We can also follow up with an 11 month warranty inspection for any additional deficiencies needing corrected by your contractor’s 12 month warranty.
You don’t want to discover “what’s wrong” with your home after you move in. We look in places you may never see in your home: Electric panels inspected for unsafe wiring; Attics inspected for roof leaks, & faulty wiring among other things; Foundations inspected for structural deficiencies; Appliances checked for proper operation; plumbing inspected for leaks, to name a few. In most cases, you can negotiate repairs with the seller, making the home inspection pay for itself.
We encourage you to attend the inspection, inviting you to attend at the tail end, however we realize not everyone can attend. If you cannot attend, don’t worry, you will receive your detailed home inspection report via email within 24 hours of the completed inspection time, usually delivered the same day. Our reports include very detailed photographs, and specific comments, easy to understand. Should you feel the need to see the home after receiving your report, we will make every effort to coordinate our schedules to make that happen.
If you attend the inspection, we will walk you through the inspection report, and the home to discuss the issues, as well as answer any questions you may have about any of the components of the home. For first time homebuyers, we normally take a little extra time going over some general things such as operating the furnace or heat pump, changing furnace filters, adjusting hot water temperature, the location of the main water valve, and other general maintenance issues relative to the home.
The purpose of an appraisal is to determine the fair market value of the property, while an inspection is a visual, non evasive, detailed evaluation of each component of the home that determines the overall condition of the home and identifies any items in need of repair.