What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house or building, from the roof to the foundation.

What is included in the home inspection?

The standard home inspector's report will cover the condition of the home's heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing system; electrical system; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; and the foundation, basement and structural components. See home inspection Infographic.

How long is a home inspection?

On average, a single-family home inspection usually takes 2-4 hours to complete, though this is heavily dependent on the size and condition of the home.

Do the homebuyers/sellers have to be there?

It is not required that the client be present for the inspection. However, Trusted Inspections (along with ASHI) strongly recommend that their clients attend the home inspection so the client can receive the most value from their inspection. This allows the client to observe the inspector and ask questions throughout the process. Many clients find that being present with their inspector gives them a better understanding of the current condition of the home, areas/items to continue to monitor, and how to maintain the home being inspected.

Why do homebuyers/sellers need a home inspection?

Buying a home could be the largest single investment the homebuyer will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, homebuyers/sellers should strive to learn as much as they can about the house before they buy/sell it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. Through the home inspection process, homebuyers/sellers will have a better understanding about their prospective house, which will allow them to make decisions with confidence. If a homeowner is planning to sell their home, a home inspection can give them the opportunity to make repairs that will put their house in better selling condition.

What Is the Cost of a Home Inspection?

The costs of a home inspection can vary depending on several things including: the size of the home, the region in which you live, the age of the property, and the type of foundation and HVAC system of the property. Many inspectors ask to see the property listing or will ask specific questions to better understand the time commitment that the inspection will require. This is the driving factor for most home inspector’s fee. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a typical range for a home inspection is between $300 and $500.

How do I know the findings of the Home Inspector?

After the inspection process, the Inspector will send the client an inspection report (often within 24-48 hours) that covers their findings, complete with pictures, analysis and recommendations. Trusted Inspections is committed to sending all inspection reports to our clients the same day as the inspection is completed, unless discussed otherwise prior to the inspection.

Who does the Inspector work for?

Many people believe that a Home Inspectors works for the realtor that refers their clients to the Inspector. This is not accurate. The Home Inspector works for the person that is paying for the home or property inspection, otherwise known as their “client”. The client is typically a homebuyer or seller but also can be a potential renter, landlord, building manager, HOA board etc. The Inspector should not share information with anyone other than their client unless given direct permission from their client to do so.

Can a house fail a home inspection?

A professional home inspection is an examination and objective assessment of the current condition of a house. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.

Is a home inspection the same as a code inspection or appraisal?

A home inspection is not an appraisal and will not determine the home's market value. It is also not a municipal inspection and does not verify local code compliance.

What if the inspection report reveals problems?

It is important to note that no house is perfect. Every home inspection will identify issues with the property and the inspector will communicate the severity of the issues found. The home inspector's goal is to leave their client with a deeper understanding of their prospective home, so the client can make a sound decision as they continue their home buying process. The client should be fully aware of any issues, risks, or health concerns that may impact the client's decision. The inspector's role is not to tell the client if they should buy the house or not, but to help the client understand the full cost of ownership.

If major problems are found, the seller of the home is not automatically required to repair any problems that the inspector identified. The buyer will work with their realtor to understand all of the options and next steps. Some may negotiate for the repairs to be made before buying the home. If the seller is not willing to do the repairs, the client will need to make other arrangements or terminate the contract. If the client still wants to purchase the house but is unable to get the financial lender to approve the loan until the repairs are made, they may have to make the repairs at their own expense.

What if an issue arises with the home inspection or report?

If a client is displeased with the service of their home inspection, Trusted Inspections asks that they contact them as soon as possible and explain the concerns they have with the home inspection/inspection report. Sometimes, it may turn out to be a simple misunderstanding, with the inspector providing further explanation to clarify the issue that was perceived. If there was an error made in the inspection process, Trusted Inspections will remedy the client as stated in our pre-inspection agreement. Our goal is that every client is fully satisfied with all inspectors, inspections, and inspection reports.

Do Home Inspectors have a standard or code of conduct?

Yes, all reputable Home Inspectors should follow either ASHI or InterNACHI’s standard of practice and code of ethics. At Trusted Inspections, we follow the ASHI standards. ASHI publishes their Standard of Practice (SOP) and Code of Ethics that outline what is to be covered in the home inspection and home inspection report. It is important to note that there may be some exceptions to the SOP. Examples of this are: If certain areas are inaccessible (locked door, tenant's belongings in the way) or unsafe conditions (severely steep roofs, poor structural integrity) the inspector will explain the situation and note that they were not able to assess that specific area(s) or system(s) in the home inspection report.