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Your Home Inspection
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Your Home Inspection
TRHIS is here to educate you about your prospective home, not to scare you. What makes home inspections scary for some people is past experiences and disappointments or just plain nerves. You might see the house differently than ever before on inspection day. The home inspection is often the first time you will look at the house more “analytically” instead of “emotionally.” It can be difficult if you are not prepared for the step-by-step evaluation of the house. But, if you are prepared for the slight change of perspective that the home inspection may bring, the process becomes much easier.
Ok, but rest assured, there is no such thing as a perfect house. Prepare for the fact that some defects will likely be found in the house, but keep in mind that every house, even a new house, will have some issues. The inspection report and the inspector will help distinguish between big problems and small ones. Ask questions during the inspection. Think about your concerns and needs prior to that day and make sure you get the answers you require. There will always be maintenance and some unexpected repairs. No inspection can completely eliminate all risks, and all homes require maintenance, repair, and care. It is important to be comfortable with this concept prior to the inspection experience—especially those of you who have never owned a home before. Unfortunately, home price and home condition do not go hand-in-hand. Price has much more to do with location and the current market conditions than anything else. After all, even million dollar homes have defects. So, no matter what the purchase price, avoid falling into the trap of expecting a flawless house.
Whether you are buying a home, selling a home, or looking to protect the quality, safety, and longevity of your home investment you will find our home inspection service clear, thorough, and unbiased. We provide you with an effective tool to help you make the best decisions to meet your goal.
We expect a home to keep us sheltered, safe, and comfortable every day for years. The materials, systems and their components, and structural design of a home are continuously interacting with external surroundings such as gravity, land and soil, water and plants, atmosphere and sun, and with internal conditions such as temperature, moisture and humidity, and of course its occupants. This constant interactivity is why a home requires regular upkeep and periodic evaluation to maintain its full functioning and value.
No home is in perfect condition and even a new home will have some discoverable defects. With our trained eye defects are discovered, documented with digital photography, and collected into an overall picture of the current state of the home. Our home inspection is given the full time needed to be thorough, usually three to four hours. Highlights are presented during a walk through tour and complete findings are delivered in the home inspection written report usually within twenty-four hours.
Our home inspection may reveal conditions you want to include in your home purchase price negotiations or issues you may want to correct to smooth and speed your home’s sale, and items that may need attention now to prevent from developing into larger problems later.
Any questions you may have about our home inspection findings or service are welcome.
Our home inspection procedure is guided by, but not limited to, the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board (NCHILB) standards of practice.
What We Inspect:
- Foundation, basement, crawl space
Your home inspection report will describe the type of foundation, the location of the access to the crawl space. It shall also report any damage or items in need of repair including:
- Observed indications of wood in contact with or near soil
- Observed indications of active water penetration
- Observed indications of possible foundation movement, such as sheetrock cracks, brick cracks, out of square door frames and unlevel floors.
- Observed cutting, notching and boring of framing members that may, in the inspector’s opinion, present a structural or safety concern
Exterior Of Structure
- Wall cladding, flashing and trim
- Entryway doors
- Steps, stoops, ramps
- Eaves, soffits, and fascia
- Vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and grading of the property, where they may adversely affect the structure due to moisture intrusion
Your home inspection report will describe the type of exterior wall-covering materials and report any damage or improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails.
- Roof coverings
- Roof drainage system (gutters, downspouts)
- Vents, Chimneys and other roof penetrations
- General structure of the roof from the readily accessible panels, doors or stairs
Your home inspection report will include the type of roof covering materials and any observed indications of active roof leaks or damage
- Interior water supply and distribution system
- Interior drains, waste and vent system
- Hot water system
- Accessible sump pumps
- The main water supply shut-off valve
- The main fuel supply shut-off value
- Water heating equipment, including energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure relief valve (TPRV)
- Interior water supply, including all fixtures and faucets, by running the water
- All toilets for proper operation by flushing
Your home inspection report will describe whether the water supply is public or private based on observed evidence, the location of the main water supply shut-off valve, the location of the fuel supply shut-off valve, the capacity of the water heating equipment, if labeled. It shall also report any damage or items in need of repair including:
- deficiencies in the water supply by viewing the functional flow in multiple fixtures operated simultaneously
- deficiencies in the installation of hot and cold water faucets
- mechanical drain stops that were missing or did not operate as intended
- toilets that were damaged, had loose connections to the floor, were leaking or had tank components that did not operate
- Service entrance conductors, attachment point and drip loops
- Service equipment and grounding/bonding
- Main distribution panels and disconnect
- Voltage ratings
- Ceiling fans
- Lighting fixtures
- Ground fault circuit interrupters
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Your home inspection report will describe the main service disconnect’s amperage rating, if labeled and the type of wiring observed. It shall also report any damage or items in need of repair including:
- deficiencies in the integrity of the service-entrance conductors’ insulation, drip loop and vertical clearances from grade and roofs
- any unused circuit-breaker panel openings that was not filled
- the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch-circuit wiring, if readily visible
- any tested receptacle in which the power was not present, polarity was incorrect, the cover was not in place, the GFCI devices were not properly installed or did not operate properly, evidence of arcing or excessive heat, and where the receptacle was not grounded or was not secured to the wall
- absence of smoke detectors
- Air ducts
- Automatic safety controls
- Permanently installed heating system and it’s controls
Your home inspection report will describe the heating system, the energy source and heating method. It shall also report any damage or items in need of repair.
- readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys
- lintels above the fireplace openings
- damper doors by opening and closing them, if readily accessible and manually operable
- cleanout doors and frames
Your home inspection report will describe the type of fireplace. It shall also report any damage or items in need of repair including:
- evidence of joint separation, damage or deterioration of the hearth, hearth extension or chambers
- manually operated dampers that did not open and close
- lack of a smoke detector in the same room as the fireplace
- lack of a carbon-monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace
- cleanouts not made of metal, pre-cast cement, or other non-combustible material
Central Air Conditioning
- Including normal operating controls of the central air conditioning system and the distribution system
Your home inspection report will describe the cooling system and cooling method. It will also report any damage or items in need of repair.
- a representative number of doors and windows by opening and closing them
- floors, walls and ceilings
- stairs, steps, landings, stairways and ramps
- railings, guards and handrails
- garage vehicle doors and the operation of garage vehicle door openers, using normal operating controls
Your home inspection report will describe a garage vehicle door as manually-operated or installed with a garage door opener. It shall also report any damage or items in need of repair including:
- improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails for steps, stairways, guards and railings
- photo-electric safety sensors that did not operate properly
- any window that was obviously fogged or displayed other evidence of broken seals
Insulation And Ventilation
- Insulation in unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas
- Ventilation in unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas
- Kitchen, bathroom, and laundry venting systems
- The operation of any readily accessible attic ventilation fan when temperature permits
- Insulation vapor barriers
Your home inspection report will describe the type of insulation observed and the presence or absence of insulation or ventilation in unfinished spaces
Built-In Kitchen Appliances
- Trash compactor
- Garbage disposal
- Ventilation equipment
- Permanently installed ovens
- Permanently installed microwave ovens
The inspection provides an opportunity for you to learn about the home’s physical condition, the systems that are present, whether they are functioning as intended, and routine maintenance items that go along with them.
You and your Realtor have already studied the market and comparable properties. Through that process, you were able to decide on the value and desirability of the home. Now is where we come in. As Home Inspectors, our job is to assess the condition of the home and its systems. During the inspection, we will look at many different aspects of the home, including the roof, exterior and interior condition, & the structural and mechanical condition of the home.We determine the condition of each system individually and within the context of the house as a whole.
The malfunction of one system affects the condition of the house as a whole: a misdirected downspout will affect the home’s foundation and/or create an environment in the crawlspace that is ideal for termites or fungal growth; any evidence of water damage or leakage, no matter how small, could indicate a significant problem elsewhere in the house, including the home’s structural integrity; an outlet not securely fastened to the wall can create a fire hazard; an HVAC system that does not drain properly will eventually affect the rooms below it. The Home inspector must look at the function of the systems both individually and collectively within the home.