Many of us have lived in a home for the better part of our lives. We’re used to living in them, used to using their components and even used to repairing them when we see problems. So why would anyone need to hire a home inspector? I mean, really, how hard is it to see a defect in a home? Can’t everyone tell if a faucet is leaking or an automatic garage door opener doesn’t work?
To answer that, let’s ask the question, what is a home inspection? That’s the easy part – A home inspection is a visual examination of the readily accessible components of a house.
That’s the simple answer. But looking a little closer, there are many components of a home. They include the structural systems, the foundation, the roof, the mechanical systems, the electrical system, and the plumbing system, among others. All systems are independent, but are designed to work in conjunction with one another. A home inspection will give valuable insight into the condition of all of these components, and help to identify those that may be in need of repair or replacement. This is especially valuable information for those that are ready to buy or sell a home.
Consider this analogy: If you have a pain in your neck (other than your boss), you might consider going to your family doctor, or general practitioner. Your doctor might then refer you to a specialist for a more thorough evaluation of the specific problem in your neck. Your doctor may be a very good doctor, but he or she is not a specialist in every aspect of the human body. In much the same way, you can consider a home inspector as a general practitioner regarding a home. Your inspector can point out the obvious, and can even give you an indication of the condition of the systems or components of the home. Your inspector might even suggest that you consider hiring a specialist to look at a specific component (such as a HVAC specialist for the furnace, or a plumber for the water heater).
A good home inspector has been trained in all aspects of the components of the home. He or she can readily identify and describe the condition of each component. Inspectors understand how the components interact with each other are trained to identify material defects, operational defects, and other indications of problems that may exist in a home.
A thorough home inspection will take between 2-4 hours for the average home of approximately 2000 square feet and will cost between $250-400 on average. In this time, a home inspector will operate and visually inspect all the readily accessible components of a home. A thorough home inspector will evaluate the major systems of the home, including those listed above. The inspector will give you a list of the items of in the house that need some type of attention or repair, and will even let you know when a specialist is warranted for a particular component of the home. During this evaluation, most inspectors will encourage you to follow along and ask questions.
The inspector is there for you. It their expertise and time you’re buying. Make the most of it, attend the inspection, and ask questions. It is an excellent opportunity to learn a lot about the home.
Until next time….
John Clason, ASHI Certified InspectorCrown Home Inspections
Ask the Inspector
Approximately once a week, I’ll post a blog regarding some aspect of home inspections, and the home inspection process. In the mean time, feel free to email me directly if you have questions, or if you have a topic that you’d like to see discussed. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell phone at 816-305-4624.
John Clason, ASHI Certified Inspector
Crown Home Inspections