Home inspection questions shouldn’t hold you up. We’ve compiled the 10 most common questions here.
- What is a home inspection?
- What does a home inspection include?
- Why do I need a home inspection?
- Do I need to be there for the inspection?
- How long will the inspection take?
- My house is being built new. Why should it be inspected?
- How much will a home inspection cost?
- Can’t I do the inspection myself?
- What if the report reveals some problems?
- Can my house fail its inspection?
1. 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 inspection is like giving it a physical. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.
2. What does a home inspection include?
A standard home inspection will include a visual inspection of the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows; the foundation, basement and visible structure.
THI inspections utilize a checklist that was created by combining the Standards of Practice adhered to by the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) and State Standards for the Tennessee Home Inspector Licensing Program. Therefore, your inspections will meet or exceed the Standards of any single group. Please visit the following sites to view the complete Standards of Practice for each organization.
3. Why do I need a home inspection?
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. As such, you should learn as much as you can about the home before you buy, so that you aren’t hit with any unexpected repairs or difficulty after the home is yours. In addition, the home inspection will note positive aspects of the home, as well as maintenance required to keep your home in good shape. The inspection also helps you to get a much better understanding of the property than you could get on your own. A home inspection usually will cost less than 0.001% of the purchase price of the home compared to the other costs of buying and selling of a home.
4. Do I need to be there for the inspection?
While it is not necessary for you to be at the inspection, THI recommends that you attend the end of the inspection to get its full benefits. This gives you the chance to ask questions of the inspector directly and to see your home through the inspector’s eyes. This will give you a better understanding of the inspection report as well as the property itself. During the actual inspection, your home inspector will be focused on your property and this isn’t a good time for questions. After the inspection, THI will field any questions about your home inspection results and discuss recommendations.
5. How long will the inspection take?
The time required generally depends on the size of the home. For example, an average 2,500 square foot home will take between 2 to 3 hours but may take longer depending upon the condition and complexity of the house. Another factor that may affect inspection time is the condition of the home. If the home has a number of issues, additional time may be required for the inspector to thoroughly inspect and describe those issues and discuss what options the buyer may have to repair those problems.
6. My house is being built new. Why should it be inspected?
An inspection of a new property is necessary to discover any unintentional mistakes or deliberate shortcuts made by the builder or his subcontractors. Once you buy the house, you will be responsible for those shortcuts once you have signed on the dotted line. THI inspections strive to ensure that you do not have to pay for the builder’s mistakes twice — once when you buy the house and again when future buyers have the home inspected and require you to correct those mistakes. A trained home inspector will be able to spot certain telltale signs that might otherwise go unnoticed to an untrained eye.
7. How much will a home inspection cost?
The cost of a home inspection varies based upon a number of factors, including size, age, special services requested, etc. Typically, the cost is in the range of $300 to $450, although the fees can sometimes go higher. Re-inspection fees range from $75 to $150. Cost should not be a factor in deciding whether or not you get your home inspected or in determining which home inspector you choose. Consider the home inspection as an investment that will pay for itself many times over.
8. Can’t I do the inspection myself?
The most difficult part of an inspection is not finding something that is incorrect; it is knowing what should be there but is not present. The only way to develop the skills required is through dedicated training and experience. Even the most savvy do-it-yourselfer who may have the knowledge, will not have developed the “inspectors eye” necessary to discover defects. A professional home inspector has looked at hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the complex elements of home construction and understands how the home’s systems are intended to function, as well as how and why they fail. Most importantly, the inspector is a disinterested third party that can be totally objective about the condition of the home.
9. What if the report reveals some problems?
No house is perfect. If there are problems, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy the house. However, if there are major problems, you may want to go back to the seller to either get the problems corrected or to negotiate the contract price to reflect the inspector’s findings.
10. Can a house fail its inspection?
No. A private home inspection is not the same as a code enforcement agency code inspection. While the inspector will be familiar with the local building codes, his or her objectives are to describe the physical condition of the house at the time of the inspection and indicate what may need repair or replacement.
Have a home inspection question that’s not on the list? Ask it here.