Top-to-bottom, inside and out, going beyond the typical inspection
Risk recognition is essential to both purchasing and inspecting a home.
My home inspections can take 3-5 hours to conduct (1.5 to 2.5+ hours for condos), depending on the size and condition of the home, weather conditions, how many questions you may have, and unforeseen variables (more likely for rental properties/duplexes). Complexity = more time. Neglect = more defects = more time. If you read or hear someone tell you that inspections take only 2 hours, look elsewhere. My reports are available within 24 hours after the inspection (more info below). See this SAMPLE REPORT and this INFOGRAPHIC.
While the typical business model for home inspectors is to do two (and sometimes three!) home inspections in a day, that is not my business model/approach to providing the highest quality inspection that I can provide. I only do one inspection in one day so as not to rush for any upcoming appointments, and to focus solely on the home that you, your family and friends may be spending countless hours inhabiting.
WOOD-DESTROYING INSECT INSPECTION + RADON TESTING
These are add-on services that can be conveniently added as a courtesy when you hire me for a home inspection. CLICK HERE for more info about this.
INSPECTION REPORT (Spectora software):
See this SAMPLE REPORT, and this video (4:46 min) showing some of what you can expect from a report written by me using industry-leading Spectora software. I don’t think you’ll find better report-writing software. An extensive amount of digital photos will be included in the inspection report, along with other helpful info, which is dependent on what’s discovered. Following the inspection, your report will be available within 24-48 hours in two forms: as a private online web page, and also available for download as a PDF/portable document file from that web page.
Please make sure that all utilities (gas, water, electric) are on prior to the inspection. If oil is being used for the heating system, ask if oil is in the oil tank in order for the heating system to be operated for inspection. If this isn’t possible for some reason, I’ll do my best under those circumstances, but realize that there will be many lingering questions even when the inspection is finished. It makes your investment more of a gamble, unless you plan on doing significant renovations.
Inspection Services / What’s Inspected
As a member of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors, inspections are conducted by the ASHI Code of Ethics (integrity, honesty, objectivity), as well as the ASHI Standards of Practice, which sets forth the minimum requirements for a home inspection.
See THIS INFOGRAPHIC for an overview.
For first time buyers, you should take advantage of the home inspection process and use it as an education on home ownership and home maintenance (who’s taken a college course on this?). Property preservation/maintenance is an essential aspect to home ownership. Consider us as partners in discovery. If you plan on attending the inspection, it’s best to arrive around three hours after I begin the inspection, so that I have something to show and tell you! Too often people will show up at the scheduled time, they don’t bring anything to eat, and they find themselves waiting around. If you’re going to come early, be prepared for a long (thorough) inspection.
- Roofs are walked on when the conditions are deemed safe. Materials such as slate, clay & concrete tiles, wood shingles and smooth, steep-sloped metal roofs are not walked.
- Gutters and roof drainage systems
- Flashing / lack of flashing
- Skylights, roof caps, roof vents, plumbing vents, and other roof penetrations
- Flues that are visible
- Fuel-burning fireplaces, stoves, and fireplace inserts such as wood-burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces and gas logs. And gas shut off valves (or lack of) that are associated with the gas appliances.
- Interior cleanout (or lack of one) located in the basement
- Wall cladding/covering/siding
- Drainage and grading that is likely to affect the building
- Handrails and guardrails
- Retaining walls
- Vegetation that is likely to affect the building
- Foundation walls that are visible
- Exterior faucets/hose bibs
BASEMENT / FOUNDATION / STRUCTURE
- Foundation walls
- Basement floor
- Sump System: sump crock, sump pump, sump cover, and extension piping.
- Floor structure (posts, beams, joists, sub-flooring)
- Basement insulation/lack of
- Signs of basement moisture/water intrusion are always a potential concern, and this is a priority throughout the inspection process.
- Exterior electrical components, including the service drop, service entrance conductors, cables, electric meter and raceways.
- The main service panel and any sub-panels. Panel covers are removed to inspect the wiring inside.
- Service grounding
- Bonding of various components such as gas piping and water heater piping.
- Interior electrical components: majority/all of receptacles, switches, and lights.
- Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs/GFIs) and arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs)
- Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are recommended when not present.
- Drain, waste, and vent pipes
- Location of the main waste cleanout
- Water supply/distribution pipes
- The visible portion of the water main, which is the water supply pipe that brings water into the home.
- Water heater(s)
- Water heater exhaust venting
- Clothes washer, dryer and dryer venting
- Showers – tiled showers are inspected with a thermal/infrared camera to determine if any thermal anomalies are present, which may indicate moisture seepage outside the shower.
- Gas piping: An electronic gas leak detector is used when a leak may be suspected, but gas leaks are only reported when using a liquid gas detection solution. This prevents reporting any false gas leaks.
- Locations of the main gas and water valves
- Installed heating equipment such as furnaces, boilers, and electric baseboard heaters. A $200+ carbon monoxide detector is clipped-on to my person during the inspection of combustion-fueled components.
- Exhaust venting/flues and cleanout
- Furnace filter mounts are inspected and clients are shown how and where to change the filter.
- Registers and radiators are checked for operation with a thermal/infrared camera.
- Central and permanently installed cooling equipment
- Temperature difference testing (“Delta-T”) is used to determine if cooling equipment is operational
- Condensate disposal
- Exterior condenser
- Stairs, handrails, and guardrails
- Counters and cabinets
- Vent fans
- Kitchen appliances and any gas shut off valves for gas appliances
- Attics with unblocked access are entered. Common limitations once entered may include an attic without a safe walkway.
- Framing and sheathing
- Exhaust fans and ducts
- Signs of moisture/water intrusion are always a potential concern
- Overhead doors
- Garage door openers
- Fire-rated door to livingspace
- Ceiling, walls, floors and reporting any openings in the ceiling and walls that would allow fire to migrate to living spaces.
- Any electrical and plumbing