What is a standard home inspection?
Our Standard Home Inspection is anything but standard. We review all major system of the home top to bottom. Our inspections include but are not limited to inspecting the roof, exterior, windows, electric system, plumbing, HVAC units, garages, attics, basements, crow spaces, chimneys,fireplaces, foundation and structure, heating and cooling event the pool if there is one.
Surprise, surprise...different home inspection companies have different standards. Sure, the basics are the same as we all follow the corresponding state's Standard of Practice (SOPs.) At Condo Home Inspections LLC our standard is far beyond the basic requirements and you should not have to settle for the base minimum.There are a few key questions you must explore to ensure you are getting a top notch services beyond the obvious pleasantries. Just remember that inspectors do not have to go out of their way to inspect every inch of your property or access difficult or unpleasant areas of your home. Here's the service you should be getting:
When you are shopping around for an inspector (and you should as we are not all the same) make sure to ask the important questions. How is my roof going to be inspected? Most inspectors would observe from the ground as best as they can, but that's frequently not enough. Our standard includes walking on the roof if the weather and slope permit, using tall ladders to properly access the eves of the roof and flying our drone to ensure every shingle is right where it needs to be. Do I need a roof inspection if I'm buying a Condo? It depends! While the inspector is not going to inspect the exterior in detail as that is not part of the property you are purchasing, taking a look at the roof (if accessible) will give you an idea about any potential major costs to the association reserves or worse yet any possible leaks directly into your property if you are on a top floor. Sometimes HVAC units may also be installed on the roof and it would be important for the inspector to check out. Because we recognize how important it is to have a roof over your head our standard inspection also includes a 1 year roof leak protection.
Foundation/ Basement/ Crawl Space
Thoroughly inspecting the foundation, basement and any available crawlspaces is paramount to your safety and the health of the home. Most inspectors come and leave the inspection day in their clean and neatly pressed clothes, not ours. Our home inspectors make an impression when they arrive at inspection day, but leave much less impressive as they actually get into your crawlspace, your attic, the roof and anywhere else they are likely to find an issue. Making sure that your inspector is willing to do that is going to make a huge difference in your understanding of the home and avoiding a money pit.
Electrical and Plumbing
These two systems are like the arteries and veins of the home. Light and water at you fingertips in your own home brought in a huge leap in the human evolution. Imagine having to live 3-4 days without water or electricity...in this day and age it sounds impossible. Do not let that happen to you and your family. Most inspectors will check a few outlets and run your water in the home and conclude their inspection of these systems. Our standard includes opening and checking your electrical panel, water tanks for proper installation, availability of GFCI outlets in areas where water may be frequently present, and performing a thermal imaging scan to find moisture problems hidden behind walls.
Your windows, doors, fireplaces, chimneys you name it we inspect it. We bring our borescope camera to every inspection and take a peek into any area inaccessible to the naked eye.
Let us ask you this, what's more important for your family than their safety, health and peace of mind? When it comes to your home and your family, don't settle for standard, go for the industry's best and you will be glad you did when your neighbors are spending their weekends bringing in contractors to fix the picture perfect home they just purchased. No home is perfect, but we educate you on issues that need immediate attention and pose a safety concern. During your inspection you will also learn how to maintain your property in top shape to avoid major issues in the future.
We understand that Ferrari you are gonna be keeping in your garage better be safe! But more importantly, we inspect the garage for any improper installations that can lead to fire propagation, physical dangers to children, pets and adults. We are also inspecting to observe if any combustion gases could be drawn up into habitable areas as they can be hazardous to anybody inhaling CO2.
Insulation and ventilation
We do our best to inspect for presence of insulation and vapor barriers
See our detailed list of items inspected:
Roof and Attic
We walk roofs to inspect them. Some common-sense exceptions would be unsafe roofs, roofs not accessible with ladders, snow-covered, etc. If we cannot walk the roof, we will attempt to use our drones
Gutters and roof drainage systems. Gutters can literally take your money down the drain
Roof Flashing and Valley flashing- we check for physical damage, corrosion and proper installation
Skylights, roof caps, roof vents, plumbing vents, and other roof penetrations are inspected
Framing and sheathing
Proper and safe installation of exhaust fans and air ducts
Appropriate Insulation and ventilation looking for signs of moisture intrusion
Interior/Exterior (Thermal Inspection as a Standard)
Ceilings, Walls, Floors, Doors
Windows and Skylights, decks, balconies, patios and porches
Stairs, handrails, and guards indoors and outdoors
Counters and cabinets
Vents, fans, kitchen exhaust hoods
Drainage and grading that is likely to affect the building
Retaining walls and foundation walls
Outdoor vegetation that can impact the structure
Walkways and Driveways
Exterior and interior faucets
Chimney crowns, walls and flashing
Gas and Wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, and fireplace inserts
Gas and Wood-burning accessories installed in fireplaces, such as gas logs
Basement / Foundation / Structure
Foundation walls and Basement floor and structural components
Sump Systems, including the sump basket, sump pump, sump cover, and extension piping as well as any back up sump pumps available
Basement insulation and signs of moisture intrusion utilizing our thermal imaging tools and moisture meters
Electrical and Plumbing
Exterior electrical components, including the service drop, service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways
The main panel and any sub panels for proper wiring and signs of potential issues
Interior electrical components, including the majority of outlets, switches, and lights and Ground fault circuit interrupters
Arc fault circuit interrupters
Smoke and CO alarms are recommended when not present (Safety 1st!)
Water distribution pipes, drain, waste, and vent pipes
Water heaters and tank-less water heaters
Water heater vents and floor drains where present
Washers and dryers installation
Sinks, Toilets, Tubs (including jet tubs and Jacuzzi) and Showers
We will also educate you on how your electrical and plumbing system work and show you the main shut off valves in the event of emergency
Heating and cooling
Heating and cooling equipment such as furnaces, split furnaces, boilers, water heaters and space heaters. We inspect both the indoor and outdoor components, including units mounted on the roof
Furnace and vent filters. We show you how to change them. We thoroughly inspect all vent
Simple energy audit is also performed
Garages and Outbuildings
Garage/outbuilding door openers, including auto-reverse features
Detailed indoor and outdoor inspection of all major components and systems such as doors, windows, roof, walls, floor, electrical, etc.
Wait do I really need a home inspection?
If you are not willing to walk into a money pit and spend thousands of dollars within the first couple of years on roofs, repairing leaks or the foundation- you need to hire a home inspector. Now that you have put your money on the table, it's time to protect your investment. While having a home inspection performed is not mandatory, it has become an integral step of the home buying process for many good reasons and all of them very important to your pocket. We will discuss in detail a few of the main reasons why indeed you should hire a home inspector to help you ensure your money is well spent.
You should not trust the seller to disclose issues with the property as most claim ignorance when putting their property on the market. Most sellers do not disclose known issues such as previous leaks, repairs of the roof that may not have been executed correctly and even recurring plumbing issues among many others. Would you risk your investment to a seller whose primary objective is to sell you their product (house)? Of course they will be advertising and hiding the fine print, how else would they get you to buy it? In the recent years, some of the more honest sellers have began completing sellers' inspections in an effort to be upfront with the buyers and resolve any issues prior to the negotiation process. Once negotiations begin, emotions run high and it becomes all the more difficult to feel like the process is going in your favor.
Repairs/ Credit at Closing
Another good reason to get a home inspection is that you can most likely negotiate with the seller and have them complete some of the repairs needed prior to moving in so your move is hassle free. Usually, this is the preferred option for most buyers but the least favorable option for the seller. Sellers usually are not willing to go through the trouble of getting quotes and completing repairs while they are still living in the property. If that happens in your case, you can still get money from the seller in the form of credit at closing so you can make those repairs yourself.
Change your mind
Once you have a home inspection completed on the property, you are able to walk away if your seller did not disclose major issues or is not willing to complete repairs or give you enough of credit at closing that will make the deal favorable for you. Once you are under contract there are very few reasons that allow you to back out from the deal and the home inspection is one of them. There is a lot to think about in a high emotions situation and having to worry about your likely biggest investment yet should not be one of them.
Quality home Inspections are not cheap but now it's not the time to be cheap just make sure you are getting the most paying for your buck. To perform a thorough and detailed inspection and provide you the protections you need, our home inspectors usually spend an average 2-4 hours on your inspection and report writing which can give you an idea why the average inspection charge is around $400 dollars depending on the size of the property, age, type and location. Getting an inspection is as important as getting a yearly physical, you never know what you will find but any issue uncovered needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Should you need a list of home inspection companies that charge less than us? We can pass along their information.
What is thermal imaging and can it see through walls?
No it can't see through walls! Thermal imaging is a simple but effective method of measuring surface temperatures; it is not an X-ray and does not allow you to see through walls. Why do you need it then? The thermal imaging camera allows the skillful and trained inspector to see areas of temperature discrepancies not visible to the naked eye which can be indicative of moisture intrusion or other anomalies. We believe every home owner should be aware of unwanted intruders such as water, critters etc. behind their walls.
We are not the kind of home inspectors that show up to the property turn on the infrared camera and begin to walk around pretending to know how to use this instrument. There are many inspectors out there who have not undergone proper training and this can greatly affect the integrity of the home inspection. It's sort of like asking a pharmacist to perform your annual physical. Do not risk your home and safety to amateurs as it will cost you in the long run.
We are trained and certified, and can prove it. We have gone through rigorous training with the industry's best course materials and this is what sets us apart from the competition. Understanding how to utilize the infrared camera requires understanding of building science. These cameras not only require making objective observations, but it also requires making connections between what we know about the building structure and what the camera is displaying on the screen. The camera is not the one finding moisture intrusion, the inspector does. The camera can't detect moisture, nor does it guarantee that an anomaly indicates that water intrusion is present. It is simply an instrument to be controlled and utilized by a qualified professional in order for it to serve our purpose.
Thermal imaging is an integral part of our standard inspection because it gives you a step up in your understanding of the property in which you are about to invest emotions, money and the family's future. Our standards are high and so should be yours.
What happens after the inspection is completed?
After the inspection has been completed usually you receive your report and never see your home inspector again.We are different! We would like to continue the relationship and help you out in the future.
Your inner peace is important to us and we like to keep it where it belongs- with your loved ones! If you need a re-inspection of repaired items we will be happy to help you out for a minimal fee. You can also call us, text us or otherwise get our attention and we will always be a resource to you and your new home.
Let's get down to business! How much are we talking?
"Don't cry about money, it never cries for you." Kevin O' Leary
We love what we do and we do it right for you! We can also tell you we are not a cheap home inspection company. Would you trust your investments to a professional that values his services less than others in the industry? We all know there is a correlation between price point and quality. At the end of the day, if we go back to basic economics; supply and demand truly makes sense- better quality brings higher demand. Now look, we are not trying to beat anybody here. There may be home inspection companies out there as we speak that offer cheaper prices and still do a satisfactory job. The probabilities of that being true are, however, minimal.
CONDOMINIUM average price $350
TOWN HOMES average price $400
SINGLE FAMILY HOMES average price $450
MULTI UNITS Up to 2 units start at $475
RADON TESTING - $250
WALK AND TALK - $125
If you are not satisfied with our inspection service, we will REFUND your fee!
We are more than happy to assist you via phone call, text message, or email, whichever you prefer. Some weeks are going to be busier than others but generally speaking we always work our schedule around yours. Also, don't be afraid to reach out to us even if you need a last minute home inspection. Remember that we always look out for our client's and we understand there are situations in life where we just need services ASAP. Our friendly staff will assist you and answer all of your questions. To us, customer satisfaction is success and we won't let you down!