The Following Are Questions You Should Be Asking Your Home Inspector Prior To Your Home Inspection.
How long will the home inspection take?
A typical home inspection on an averaged sized home (about 1,200 square feet) should take anywhere from 3 plus hours to over 4 hours -depending upon various circumstances (problems the inspector encounters)
What type of inspection report can I expect to receive?
In my opinion, the absolute best inspection report is one that clearly states and defines exactly what the major issues and major concerns may be with the subject property. And in this regard not merely a checklist of defects, but rather a narrative format that is concise and in readable and understandable text.
Does the inspection report provide a summary?
A good inspection report will include detailed summary on the major areas of concerns with the subject property.
Does The Inspection Report Contain Pictures?
The inspection report should at the very minimum contain a variety of pictures of key major defects and deficiencies detected during the inspection. At the inspection the buyer/client is bombarded with a host of shown defects and deficiencies - most of which go in one ear and out the other.
It is so much easier for a client to recall a pointed out defect when it is pictured in the report. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and in the case of a home inspection - probably worth a million words!
Does the inspection report contain illustrations explaining key areas of a property?
In addition to pictures having illustrations of what a system or system component should look like is critical in visually understanding what is missing from a location.
For example, when a home inspector is telling clients that the chimney is missing a cricket or that there are missing baffles at the attic eaves, how much easier is it for the client to understand what the inspector is talking about if the clients see what a chimney cricket or an attic baffle looks like.
How soon can I get the inspection report?
Typically a well executed inspection report is available the very next day after an inspection. If a client is told that they will receive the inspection report directly after the inspection - all that they are getting is a report with standardize boiler plate comments. That type of report is not worth the paper that it is written on.
Can I contact you after the inspection?
I make it a point to tell all of my clients that they can contact me any time that they want with any questions they may have or if they need any clarification regarding the report of my inspection findings.
I always welcome calls from my clients and in my report I make it a point to inform clients that "I am their home inspector resource for life."
Will you be available to re-inspect an area if I need it?
If need be I am always available to return to a property if a client wants me to re-inspect a system that have been repaired or was inoperable or to inspect an inaccessible area that has been made accessible.
Do you go into attics?
Where there is safe access attics are always inspected since an attic like the old refrain says, "Out of sight out of mind." Since attics are not regularly visited by the owners - the end results often are some negative consequences.
Do you go into crawlspaces?
Like attics, if a safe access is available crawlspaces are always part and parcel of a good home inspection. And like attics, but more so - crawlspaces can be one of the worst areas of a property. Very often when inspecting crawlspaces I find the 3 horsemen of the apocalypse namely (mold, rot and insect damage) in these locations.
Do you inspect for insects?
I'm always on the lookout for evidence of and the potential for insect activity, such as termites, carpenter ants and powder post beetles. However, my strong recommendation is to have a licensed pest control company perform a full pest inspection in order to accurately determine the presence or absence of these types of wood destroying insects.
Do you inspect for mold?
The answer is no.
However, during my home inspection, particularly of basements, crawlspaces and attics if I see what I suspect is some form of microbial contamination I will inform my clients that those areas need to be professionally examined by a certified mold specialist.
Do you recommend contractors?
The answer is no.
By law home inspectors are not allowed to recommend contractors to perform work on houses that the inspector has inspected.
Can you give me cost estimates for repair work?
In the same vein home inspectors by law are prohibited from giving cost estimates for needed repairs and improvements on houses that they have inspected.
Can you make repairs on my house after I purchase it?
The answer is no.
Again by law home inspectors are prohibited from performing any repair/improvement work on houses that they have inspected.
Can you tell me how to make repairs?
Telling someone how to make repairs could result in some unintended litigation, especially if the repair advice fails. So the answer to that question would be to seek the advice from a licensed contractor on what needs to be done to address specific repairs and improvements.
Are you licensed and insured?
In order to perform home inspections in Massachusetts a home inspector must be both licensed and insured.
How many years have you been doing home inspections
I have over "40 years" of inspecting both residential and commercial properties.
I started going out on home inspections with my father when I was 12 years old and have been doing them ever since.
Who does the inspection?
I am the only home inspector in my company.
I do all of the home inspections and never sub out any of my work to sub contractor inspectors.
Do I need to have a newly constructed property inspected?
That's a good question and the answer is: YES and NO.
In my opinion, if you are satisfied with the builder, have a good relationship with the builder, have checked his credentials and licenses, have reviewed comments on various web sites regarding the builder and his work, have checked the municipal building department where the property is located for input they may have regarding this builder, have check references from people who have bought houses from this builder - and after all of your research find nothing but positive
responses - then my answer would be no.
However, on the other hand if during your research you find one or more negative comments regarding this builder - then by all means have a home inspection done by a competent, licensed home inspector.