Home inspectors examine residential buildings for any problems – especially problems that homeowners may not notice inside heating systems, crawlspaces, and much more. An inspection is often a required part of the home buying process and is useful for many other activities as well. If you are able to choose or talk with your home inspector before the inspection, here are the five questions you need to ask!
1. What certifications, insurance and warranties do you have? This a great question to ask any contractor! Certifications such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) shows that inspectors are experienced, held up to a specific standard, and able to provide inspections for specific legal requirements. Insurance helps cover inspectors and expenses in case of any issues. Meanwhile, warranties cover any problems that may unexpectedly appear in the months following the inspection. All three are useful signs of an inspector who knows what they're doing.
2. How comprehensive will your inspection be? This simple question actually hides a lot of information. Some home inspectors are only hired to inspect certain systems – AC, heating, electrical, plumbing, etc. Others are hired for a more comprehensive look at home materials, structure, foundation, siding, and so on. Inspect-All Services, for example, provides infrared scans of the walls to look for any signs of pests or damage and uses drones to see overhead views of the roof for complicated roof inspections.
3. Can you show me in person? While you and your home inspector may not have the same schedule, it's very important for you to be there for the inspection if possible. First, if the inspector finds any problems they can show you exactly what they are and why they are dangerous or not up to code. Second, it is useful to see how inspectors access crawlspaces, use protective gear, and generally move around your house – lessons to remember for your owning cleaning and inspections, if necessary. Inspect-All Services prefers that the buyer and realtor attend the home inspection if their schedules allow it.
4. What does this mean? This innocuous little question is often a treasure trove of information. If the inspection report (here are a few samples of what they may look like) contains names or terms that you don't understand, you need to ask. Most home inspectors will gladly show people how to be better homeowners and offer a few crash courses in subjects like insulation, roofing, furnace efficiency, and more. If you have a question or want to know why something is a problem, ask away!
5. Where I can go for repairs if necessary? Some inspection agencies do offer repairs for various problems. Others will be glad to refer you to a specialist for particular problems. A good home inspector will provide quality advice on where to turn for an accurate estimate and expert work, allowing you to make better decisions about repairs, bids, and more.
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