A new house in America can cost about $247,084 on average in 2020. Buying your dream property is, both, a memorable milestone and an expensive affair. Thus, it is vital for potential owners to make a well informed decision. This is when a home inspection comes into play!
What is a Home Inspection?
A Home inspection is the assessment of the physical structure and mechanical framework of a building with the aim to:
- Reveal hidden functional defects
- Uncover structural damage or defects
- Inform the buyer of any health or safety hazards
Tips to pick the right Home Inspector
An accurate home inspection depends completely on the expertise of the home inspector. When deciding which home inspector to pick, look for:
- A valid inspection license
- Years of experience in the field
- Good online reviews
The Home Inspection Process
A home inspection generally takes around 3 hours depending on the size of the house, issues found, and expertise of the inspector. During the assessment the home inspector usually examines the following:
- Exterior components: the inspector checks everything from the quality of materials used to build the walls to the vegetation surrounding the home. Special attention is given to the spacing of railings and the leveling of the sidewalks & driveways which could become potential safety hazards.
- Roof: the integrity of the roof is checked first, then, it is checked for any cracks and water damage. Home inspectors often make use of telescopic ladders, high traction roof boots or spectroscopes to have a thorough look at the roof.
- Structural components: apart from walls, floors and ceilings, the foundation and framework are also assessed thoroughly for defects and damages.
- Electrical system: protection devices are checked with AFCI/GFCI testers to ensure that the circuits are completely safe. Simple electrical testers and voltage indicators are also used to check the proper functioning of the electrical circuit. Electrical appliances that come with the purchase are also inspected.
- Insulation: the quality of insulation directly impacts your electricity cost. So, inspectors pay extra attention to the insulation of the house and might recommend installation of additional insulation, if needed.
- Ventilation: Good ventilation is crucial for the quality of air you breathe. Every vent in the house is checked for leaks, dirty filters, duct vapor barriers, insulation and a lot more. Windows also play a significant role in maintaining good ventilation. So, they are not at all exempted from the inspection.
- Plumbing: the inspector checks for leaks wherever water runs in the house. Dampness from such leaks can cause multiple safety and health hazards. Thus, tools like moisture meters and infrared imaging are used to get an accurate assessment. Smooth function of fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms are tested. And, pipes are checked for anti-freeze protection.
- Wood destroying insects: the inspector looks for signs of infestation, past attacks, and potential trouble spots.
- Gas leaks: sophisticated tools such as radon testing kits, carbon monoxide testers and combustible gas detectors are used to check for leaks which can prove to be detrimental if left unattended.
Home inspections give you a clear idea of what you are investing your money on. And, the report can come handy when you are negotiating the price of your property with the seller. Moreover, a detailed report of the inspection comes with vital recommendations which can transform any building into a safe haven for you. Give us a call to schedule a home inspection right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a home inspection?
Home inspection is the thorough assessment of the physical structure and the mechanical system of a house. The non-invasive inspection aims to detect various defects and damages in a house, especially, before you invest your money on it.
How much does a home inspection cost?
The cost of home inspections depend on the expertise of the home inspector and the size of the house. Usually, it can cost you $300 to $500 to get a house inspected by a seasoned expert. The price might be higher if you want to opt for some special inspections in addition to the standard ones. However, it is money well spent.
What is checked during a home inspection?
During a home inspection the inspector makes use of tools, technology and his expertise to assess:
- The structural integrity which includes the framework and foundation
- Exterior components including sidewalks, driveways and vegetation
- Electrical system
- Functioning of Vital electrical appliances
- Pest infestation
- Gas leaks
What to look for when hiring a home inspector?
The most important things to look for while hiring a home inspector are:
- A valid license from the State or Province
- Certification from a professional organization like The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
- Years of experience
- Online reviews
- A portfolio of sample inspection reports