Commonly Asked Questions
Below are some commonly asked questions about home inspections. To read answers to questions, either click on the question, or scroll down the page. If your question is not shown, or you want a more detailed answer, please call 904-269-2929.
1. What is a home inspection?
2. What does a home inspection include?
3. Why do I need a home inspection?
4. Do I need to be there for the inspection?
5. How long will the inspection take?
6. My house is being built for me new. Why should it be inspected?
7. How much will a home inspection cost?
8. Can't I do the inspection myself?
9. What if the report reveals some problems?
10. Can my house fail its inspection?
1. 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. The inspector seeks to determine if the home or building’s systems and their components are safe, functioning as intended, and/or whether they are at or near the end of their service life. Additionally, the inspector is looking for signs that are indicative of deficiencies or major problems.
A home inspection is like getting a physical from one’s primary doctor. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation from a specialist, maintenance or repair. All of our home inspections conform to the American Society of Home Inspectors' Standards of Practice.
2. WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?
A home inspector inspects and reports on the eight major systems of a home to determine if they are functioning as intended, at or near the end of their service life, or unsafe. The report discusses the condition of the homes major systems, which are: heating and central air conditioning system; appliances; interior plumbing; electrical system; the roof; interior; and exterior. This also consists of investigating the attic and its visible insulation; crawl spaces; sprinkler systems; the foundation; and basement. What is more while inspecting, our experts are looking for signs of mold, water intrusion, wood destroying organisms etc., in and on areas such as walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, etc.
The standard home inspector's report also informs clients about the building materials used with the construction of their specific home, and the details about each system’s components such as electrical output, type of wiring, and type of piping that is seen. Although our inspections provide a limited and visual inspection only, our team uses the latest technologies that permit investigation beyond natural human capabilities. We use equipment such as infrared imaging cameras, infrared thermometers, moisture meters, amp meters, and circuit testers.
3. WHY DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION?
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. As such, you should learn as much as you can about the home before you buy, so that you aren't hit with any unexpected repairs or difficulty after the home is yours. In addition, the home inspection will note positive aspects of the home, as well as maintenance required to keep your home in good shape. The inspection also helps you to get a much better understanding of the property than you could get on your own.
4. DO I NEED TO BE THERE FOR THE INSPECTION?
While it is not necessary for you to be at the inspection, we highly recommend that you attend the inspection to get its full benefits. The inspection gives you the chance to ask questions of the inspector directly and to see your home through the inspector's eyes. This will give you a better understanding of the inspection report as well as the property itself.
5. HOW LONG WILL THE INSPECTION TAKE?
The time required generally depends on the size of the home. For example, an average 2,500 square foot home will take between 2-3 hours to inspect. Another factor that may affect inspection time is the condition of the home. If the home has a lot of problems, additional time may be required for the inspector to describe those problems and discuss what options the buyer may have to repair those problems.
6. MY HOUSE IS BEING BUILT NEW. WHY SHOULD IT BE INSPECTED?
An inspection of a new property is important to help you spot any shortcuts the contractor or builder may have taken. A trained home inspector will be able to spot certain telltale signs that might otherwise go unnoticed to an untrained eye. Especially valuable is an inspection before the drywall is put up. This gives you the chance to identify and fix problems when they are much easier to spot and repair. Most of the new home inspection we preform are at the end of construction once the home is 100% completed.
7. HOW MUCH WILL A HOME INSPECTION COST?
The cost of a home inspection varies based upon a number of factors, including size, age, special services requested, etc. Typically, the cost is in the range of $295 - $500, although the fees can go higher on larger homes. However, cost should not be a factor in deciding whether or not you get your home inspected or in determining which home inspector you choose. Rather, you should consider the home inspection as an investment that will pay for itself many times over.
8. CAN'T I DO THE INSPECTION MYSELF?
Even the most savvy do-it-yourselfer will not have the level of training, knowledge and expertise as a professional home inspector who has looked at hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the complex elements of home construction, understands how the home's systems are intended to function, as well as how and why they fail. Most importantly, the inspector is a disinterested third party that can be totally objective about the condition of the home.
9. WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS PROBLEMS?
No house is perfect. If there are problems, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy the house. However, if there are major problems, you may want to go back to the seller to either get the problems corrected or to negotiate the contract price to reflect the inspector's findings.
10. CAN A HOUSE FAIL ITS INSPECTION?
No. A home inspection is not the same as a code inspection. While the inspector will be familiar with the local building codes, his or her objectives are to describe the physical condition of the house and indicate what may need repair or replacement.