As qualified house inspectors we inspect the following areas; exterior, roof, structure, electrical system, heating system, insulation, plumbing system and the interior of the house. We look at these parts of the house not as isolated areas but keeping in mind what they may tell us about the other areas in the house. For example cracks in the plaster may indicate structural problems and water damage may indicate plumbing or roofing issues. These examples are straightforward but some issues get much more complex. As professional inspectors, we are trained to look at the house as a system in order to give you the best insight as to its present condition. As well as what major repairs it may need in the future. The following is only a brief description of what an inspection will include.
We encourage; the purchaser be present at the time of the inspection, if possible. Of course, we do not allow the purchaser to follow us in certain locations for safety reasons.
1. The Exterior:
The inspection begins at first glance. We are looking for signs of water penetration, structural distress of the building, lot topography, as well as proper ventilation equipment. We inspect the foundation, walks, patios or decks.
2. The Roof :
We will go on the roof whenever possible. Occasionally snow, ice or the condition of a roof may prevent walking us from walking on the roof. We inspect chimney structure, flashings, gutters and vents as well as soffit and fascia. The attic inspection will sometimes show signs of roof deficiencies also.
3. The Structure:
We are looking for any serious signs of structural deficiencies throughout the house, from the foundation right up through the roof. New homes are no less vulnerable to oversights during construction.
4. The Electrical System:
We open the electrical panel to verify the correct amperage breaker or fuse is correctly linked with the proper gauge wire. We note the type of wire and report any deficiencies.
5. The Heating System:
We evaluate the condition and age of the heating system. If it is an old boiler or furnace we sometimes recommend updating the furnace as the costs of operation may exceed the cost of a new system. We check to see that heat is distributed evenly throughout the house.
We look for signs of insulation throughout the house. We note the type and the approximate R-value. Typically most heat loss is through the attic. We enter the attic, if possible, to determine its approximate R-Value. Suggestions may be offered to improve the homes’ energy efficiency.
7. The Plumbing System:
We inspect all accessible plumbing to look for leaks, poor connections, improper support, damage, and venting issues. The water pressure as well as size and type of water entrance are also noted.
8. The Interior:
Inside the house, all of the walls and ceilings will be carefully evaluated for cracks or other problems. The doors and windows will be scrutinized for any problems with fit or function and air leakage. Basements and crawlspaces are inspected for signs of water infiltration.
At the end of the inspection, the inspector will give a verbal report of the major deficiencies seen in the house. Shortly after a carefully written report will be sent as a PDF to the buyers email address. For those still wishing to have a hard copy with the reference manual instead of the PDF version please make the request at the time of the booking. One advantage of the reference manual report is that very often it can be given to the buyers at the end of the inspection the very same day which can give the buyer the maximum amount of time before the closing date to make their decision. The detailed reference manual has information on nearly all the components of a home not just the components with issues found at the time of the inspection. The manual is intended to help the purchaser to get a better understanding of their new home and help to maintain the structure correctly. The disadvantage of this report is that it is a hard copy and the buyer must scan the eleven page report if he or she wishes to store the report pages on a computer.
Every house has yearly maintenance costs attached to them. The typical average is 1-1.5% of the value of your home and a 3% repair costs at the time of purchase is common.