About Home Inspections
What is a Home Inspection
A certified home inspector is a “generalist” who is professionally trained to inspect all areas of residential homes. A home inspector provides the client with information about the condition of the systems and components of the property based on a “visual inspection of the readily accessible areas,” as the property exists “on the day of the inspection.”
National home inspection standards of practice outline the minimum and uniform standards and describe what a home inspector inspects, what a home inspector does not inspect and describes the limitations and exclusions involved in the inspection of a home.
The purpose of this document, “About Home Inspections,” is to provide my clients with information about my home inspection process. In addition, I want to provide my clients with the information contained in the document listed below (SOP) to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding about what a home inspection is and what a home inspection it is not. I want to ensure that the perceived expectations of my clients match what they will actually receive from their home inspection. Please visit www.goffhomeinspections.com/nachisop.html or www.nachi.org/sop.htm for a copy of the NACHI Standards of Practice which includes the limitations and exclusions of a home inspection.
The Goff Home Inspection Process
My clients should arrive at the scheduled inspection time. When my clients arrive at the inspection, I present an inspection agreement for my clients to review and sign. I then give the clients a verbal overview of the inspection process to help clarify client expectations, clarify the scope of a home inspection and answer any pre-inspection questions. Once the client completes the paperwork and writes the checks and after I have completed the interior inspection (phase I), we start the walk-through at one corner of the home.
The inspector/client walk-through of all the interior floors and exterior areas helps to achieve a high level of communication and understanding with my clients about the inspection. Face-to-face discussion provides for feedback and allows me an opportunity to repeat or modify my comments to ensure a good understanding about the topics being discussed. During my inspection “cosmetic” items are not my focus (a small hole in a wall, a busted piece of trim, stained carpeting, etc.). My focus is looking for and reviewing safety related items, major defects that need to be repaired or replaced and items that require routine maintenance. Client participation allows for an opportunity to discuss system maintenance issues, show my clients how to operate the home systems, educate my clients on home maintenance items and review other items my clients need to be aware of as the home ages.
The end result I strive to achieve as a home inspector is for my clients to know everything about the homes structure and systems they need to know and should know about the home prior to purchase. The process I use to provide this desired end result includes my very best effort to conduct a very thorough and comprehensive inspection of the property. Just as important as the actual inspection, an area where many inspectors fall short, is my ability to effectively describe in clear terms the results of my inspection findings, regardless of my client’s background. I also put everything about the property in perspective by striking a fair and unbiased balance between both the positive and the negative aspects of the property. I also highlight urgent and/or safety items, review any deferred maintenance items, provide helpful information about any client plans related to home upgrades and make sure all client questions are answered. When the inspection is concluded, my clients will know everything they need to know about the house so they can address their inspection contingency.
In addition to a very thorough inspection, all of my clients receive a very comprehensive state of the art inspection report that is easy to read and is custom generated for each inspected house. The report includes color pictures for easy recall and understanding, the report can be forwarded to any party by the client for their convenience and the report can be viewed as often as desired (on-line) for one (1) year and the report can be printed and/or saved as a PDF within the first year.
Payment for the inspection is collected at the time of the inspection and I conclude every inspection by asking my clients if they have any questions about the inspection and if there is anything else I can do for them as their home inspector. When I leave the inspection my clients receive my cell phone number and I encourage my clients to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.
The inspector’s job is to inform the client about the condition of the home as it exists on the date of the inspection. The Inspector describes the issues discovered and provides general information on the necessary repairs/maintenance and/or upgrades to resolve identified issues. The inspector should not recommend whether or not the clients should purchase the home, comment on its market value or benefit in any way from the repair or sale of the home.
My company will schedule on your behalf (if desired) the following fee paid services offered by other contractors to perform the following services which are not included as part of the home inspection:
- wood destroying insects (pest inspection) $75+
- radon gas testing $95 – $125
- out-buildings such as pole building $100+
If clients want to hire any of the services listed below, which are not part of a home inspection, a Google search is recommended for contractors who work in the area:
- lead testing
- asbestos testing
- indoor air quality and other environmental inspections
- water testing, water softeners and water filters
- alarm systems
- lawn sprinkler systems
- swimming pools
- hot tubs
- telephone and cable (contact the local provider)
Glossary of Terms
A part of a system or house.
To take apart or remove any component, device, or piece of equipment that would not be taken apart of removed by a home owner in the course of normal and routine home owner maintenance.
The process by which an inspector visually examines the readily accessible systems and components of a home and which describes those systems and components in accordance with home inspection industry standards of practice.
A person hired to examine any system or component of a building in accordance with home inspection industry standards of practice.
To examine readily accessible systems and components of a building in accordance with industry standards of practice, using normal operating controls.
Normal Operating Controls
Devices such as thermostats, switches or valves intended to be operated by the home owner.
Available for visual inspection without moving personal property, dismantling, destructive measures, or any action which could involve risk to persons or property.
A combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry out one or more functions.