Questions & Answers
Q. When should you hire a home inspector?
A. When selling a home, order a home inspection before putting the house on the market. Allow time for any necessary or advised repairs.
When buying a home, order a home inspection soon after your offer has been accepted and before closing. Some repairs can be added into the purchase price of the home or deducted from the sale depending on the circumstances.
Q. What are the most common problems identified after a home inspection?
A. Faulty wiring like wires without nuts or open junction boxes. Faulty plumbing such as low water pressure or signs of water damage to ceilings or walls. Soggy yards or leaks in the basement from poor drainage. Clogged gutters. Cracks in the foundation or doors or windows that stick. Chipped paint, warn shingles, or a cracked driveway.
These problems can be fixed with the right contractor and shouldn't deter you from buying or selling a home. Some areas to consider having fixed or replaced prior to buying or selling that can cost significantly include, the roof needs replaced, the home is in a flood zone, there is aluminum wiring, or major foundation problems.
Q. How do I know I chose a good home inspector?
A. All home inspectors should be properly trained and certified to perform an inspection on your home. Look for certifications and memberships to any national institutes as well as any credentials. Also make sure your home inspector is willing to offer professional advice or recommendations after the inspection report has been completed and that they can and are willing to answer any questions.
Q. Do I need to be present for the home inspection and follow the inspector around while they complete their report?
A. While you do not need to be present for the outside inspection (and likely won't be present for the whole inspection if looking to purchase the property), you will need to allow the home inspector access to the interior of the home. If looking to buy a home, your realtor can arrange entrance to the property. The home inspector will likely inspect the roof of the home while the homeowner is away. This avoids the potential for the homeowner to climb onto the roof with the inspector and potentially fall. If you are the homeowner, you are more than welcome to walk through the home as the inspector completes their report, just be kind and courteous of their process and give them the space needed to complete each task. Don't be afraid to ask questions. This is your opportunity to gain insight into your home.
Q. What should be done if the inspector recommends further evaluation?
A. Sometimes there will be areas in or out of the home that require a closer look by another professional. Your home inspector may recommend an outside contractor look at the problem area to help you make a uniformed decision on whether to repair or replace. If your home inspector advises on an outside contractor, take that into consideration. There could be bigger problems another professional in that field will be needed to fix. You are under no obligation to follow the recommendation, but it could be in the best interest of your home. If you do hire an outside contractor, have them look at the problem before closing on a new home or selling an existing home.
Q. What does a home inspection cover?
A. During a home inspection your inspector will look at the roof for signs of wear or needing replaced, the foundation for cracks or settling, the yard for signs of sewer leaks, poor drainage, or flood hazards, the interior such as walls, appliances, floors, ceilings, windows, trim, plumbing, and electrical, as well as the heating and cooling systems. No part of your home or future home is left unchecked.
Q. What is Radon and how can it affect your home?
A. Radon is a colorless and odorless gas found in soil. It can seep into your home causing health issues to you or your family. Effects of radon can include shortness of breath, pneumonia or bronchitis, and even cancer.