Here are some of the items we check during your inspection:
Exterior - We check the home’s exterior including slope of site around home, retaining walls, fences, testing gates, driveways and walkways, decks and patios, porches and porch structures (including foundations and mechanical connections), steps and stairs, walls, trim, fascia and soffit, doors, windows, and trim. We note proximity of trees and tree roots, and also look at adjoining properties for similar conditions.
Crawl Space - In houses with a first-floor that is elevated above grade, the inspectors will enter the crawl space (where accessible) and examine foundation piers, structural connections, beams and floor joists, exposed utilities, insulation, ventilation, and check for signs of moisture or insect damage.
Structure - We do a complete visual inspection of the entire structure. The inspectors look for signs of moisture intrusion at walls, windows, and eaves, and evaluate cracks and other visible structural defects. An infrared camera and moisture meter is used as part of this process.
What We Do
A typical home inspection will take about two hours, and both Richard and Greg will be doing your inspection. We prefer that you attend the inspection if possible, so you can hear and see our findings first hand, but it is not absolutely necessary. The detailed report, with reference photos and cost estimates for repairs, is delivered next business-day by email.
We recognize that many of our customers are about to commit a large chunk of their savings plus about 30% of their future income for a home mortgage, and depend on us to determine that the condition of their new house is satisfactory.
Plumbing - We check the water supply, waste, and vent pipes for signs of leaking or other defects. We check the water heater for safety issues and signs of trouble, and determine it’s age, capacity, and condition. We confirm that the water pressure is sufficient for normal use, and check kitchen and bath fixtures for proper operation or damage. A gas leak detector is used to check accessible gas lines and appliances.
Air Conditioning and Heating - We operate the system, check filters, ducts and registers, test it for proper installation and operation, and determine age, capacity, and condition of system.
Appliances - We examine and test all major laundry and kitchen appliances that are installed and convey with the sale, running them through a short cycle and checking safety features.
Roof - The condition of the roof is the #1 concern of most homebuyers. We walk the roof where possible, and report on the condition, estimated age, and any observable defects. For asphalt shingle roofs, we inspect for correct slope, granule loss, and tab adhesion. We examine flashings for proper installation at skylights, roof-to-wall junctions, chimneys, and roof edge. We determine if electric service masts and plumbing vent pipes are properly waterproofed. We check for correct panel installation on metal roofs, including edge overhang, penetration waterproofing, screw spacing, and dissimilar metals. We estimate the age of the roof and its likely additional life. Because we are licensed contractors, we can also provide a “roof letter” to certify the condition of the roof when requested by your insurance company, at no additional charge. We check for evidence of poor drainage, leakage, and debris in gutters and downspouts.
Electrical - We open the cover on the main electrical panel to check for signs of defective or amateur wiring. We also check wiring and fixtures throughout the house with a circuit analyzer and report ungrounded or reverse polarity outlets, defective or damaged wiring, and test ground-fault-circuit-interrupters, switches, smoke alarms and ceiling fans. AFCIs and GFCIs are tested.
Interior Rooms - We walk through all interior rooms and check for signs of water damage or other problems. The inspector also tests all windows and doors, and examines screens. We briefly test any major appliances that convey with the sale.
Garage - Exterior and interior inspection of the garage. We test the garage door opener for required safety controls and operation.
Attic - The inspectors enter the attic (where accessible) and check for signs of structural problems, such as damaged trusses, undersized structural components, and damaged sheathing. We document roof tie-down connections, insulation type and R-value, and ventilation system. Attic stairs are examined for proper installation and function, and any evidence of rodent infestation is noted.
Wells - We do a visual inspection of above-ground equipment, and test water sample on-site for hardness, ph, and iron.
Sprinkler Systems - We test the system in manual mode for function in each zone, looking for broken, damaged or leaking heads, and any areas of overspray onto house walls.
Mobile Homes - We evaluate the foundation and tie-downs, plus other HUD-related safety issues. Go to our website for more on how we inspect mobile homes.