10 Common Home Inspection Related Questions Answered By The Experts

meet-the-expertsASK THE EXPERTS will be an occasional feature where I interview industry professionals and get their insight to the most commonly asked questions in their field.

This post features Brodie Brown with Browntree Inspections and Scott Berlyoung with Alpha Home Services.  I asked both of them to provide answers to these questions.  Click on read the rest of the story for the full interview.

1)      What does an inspector do?

Scott: An ASHI Residential inspector completes a visual review of the general house, lot and all systems keeping safety and health in mind. A New Home Code inspection has the added value of checking state building codes using the ICC, NEC and others as the Georgia qualification for minimum building standards.

Brodie:  He does a visual, point in time inspection of a property and then conveys the information to a home buyer or seller.  The inspection is meant to give the buyer the information they need to make a more informed purchase decision.

2)      How long does an inspection take?

Scott: Most inspections take a half day, or about 4 hours depending on house size and the number of systems to run, e.g. more than one kitchen or 3 HVAC units may require 4-6 hours. A new home framing inspection may take only 2-3 hours again depending on the size of the construction.

Brodie: The average inspection will take between 2 to 4 hours.

3)      Do you guarantee your work?

Scott: Yes, we guarantee all our work and customer satisfaction.

Brodie:  I guarantee customer satisfaction.  If a customer attends the inspection and decides that they are not satisfied, I will refund 100% of the fee they paid.  My inspection is not a guarantee on the house or items in the house.

4)      What do you inspect in a home?

Scott: The home is reviewed from outside in, top to bottom so that all plumbing and moisture concerns can be properly checked. All systems are run and normal controls are opened including electric panels, water mains, and furnace controls.

We request all buyers to accompany the inspector and learn about the home, asking questions along the way. Our camera brings pictures from roof tops and the bottom of crawl spaces where most people don’t visit.

Brodie: I inspect everything that affects the normal, safe operation of the house.  i.e. structure, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.

5) Should I get a Radon test?

Scott: Radon should always be considered and tested if a previous test is not available. Radon is on the property disclosure for family health and value of all Georgia property. The test is simple; we use quick turn around electronic monitors to speed the process.

Brodie: The EPA recommends that a Radon test be done on all new purchases.  You don’t know if you have a Radon problem unless you test.

6) What’s an ASHI certification?

Scott: ASHI, or the American Society of Home Inspectors is the leading national certification group for professional residential inspectors. An ASHI inspector has passed some of the highest qualifications and must maintain over 20 hours of yearly study to maintain membership.

Brodie: ASHI certified inspectors meet the following requirements:

1. pass a test on the ASHI code of ethics and standards
2. the inspector agrees to follow those ethics and standards
3. pass the national home inspectors exam
4. submit their reports to be review by ASHI to ensure they contain the proper information
5. submit an affidavit of at least 250 fee paid inspections
6. complete 20 hrs of continuing education per year.

7) Can you also repair any problems you find?

Scott: The standards of practice for an ASHI inspector do not allow this conflict of interest. We may not directly refer or conduct a business that is contingent on the outcome or sale of the home.

Brodie: No, that can be seen as a conflict of interest.

8) How much does an inspection cost?

Scott: An average ASHI half day inspection costs $375 and has many benefits, always well worth the time and money for an individuals largest life investment.

Brodie: It depends on the details of the house.  The average cost is around $300.00

9) Can I pay you at the closing?

Scott:  Typically, we get paid at the end of the inspection.  However, in special situations, we will retain a credit card number but get paid at the closing. In these case, we do charge a service fee in addition to the inspection fee.

Brodie: No, the inspection needs to be paid at the time of the inspection.  Paying at the closing may give the appearance that the inspector being paid depended on the closing being finalized.

10) Do I have to have an inspection?

Scott: No one is required to inspect their homes for safety and value, but it is always strongly advised for all the above reasons.

Brodie: You do not, but it is highly recommended.  You need to know what you are buying, both the good and the not so good.

Do you have more questions? Simply post your comments and questions below.

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