Frequently Asked Questions
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. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.
WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?
The standard home inspector’s report will review the condition of: the heating system, the electrical system, the cooling system, the interior plumbing, the roof surface, attic, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, appliances, foundation, basement, exterior, drainage and structure.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE A HOME INSPECTION?
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase. If you are already a home owner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market (Pre-Listing Inspection). This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
DOES A STANDARD INSPECTION COVER A RADON TEST?
No. A radon test is a separate service provided by companies certified by the EPA. If radon testing is desired, Continental Home Inspections LLC. will provide this service at an additional cost.
WHY IS A RADON TEST IMPORTANT?
Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. By testing for this colorless, odorless gas houses can be re-mediated for protection.
HOW LONG DOES AN INSPECTION TAKE?
Home inspections take between two and three hours for the standard size home. However, for homes above 5,000 square feet, older homes or homes with additions, the inspection may take longer.
HOW MUCH DOES A HOME INSPECTION COST?
The cost of a home inspection will vary with the size, age, number of HVAC systems, out buildings, etc. This information will be asked of you when you complete our Request An Appointment Form.
SHOULD I BE PRESENT FOR THE INSPECTION?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you’ve seen the property first-hand through the inspector’s eyes.
CAN I PERFORM AN INSPECTION MYSELF?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. He or she understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail. Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.
WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS PROBLEMS?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR MY HOUSE TO FAIL AN INSPECTION?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?
A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
WHAT IS THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HOME INSPECTORS?
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest and leading nonprofit professional association for independent home inspectors. Since its formation in 1976, ASHI’s “Standards of Practice” have served as the home inspector’s performance guideline, universally recognized and accepted by professional and government authorities alike.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF SELECTING AN INSPECTOR WHO IS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNACHI ?
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) promotes a high standard of professionalism, business ethics and inspection procedures. InterNACHI members subscribe to a strong Code of Ethics in the course of their business and standards of practice.
IF THE HOUSE PROVES TO BE IN GOOD CONDITION, DID I REALLY NEED AN INSPECTION?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will want to keep that information for future reference.