Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
No. A license only indicates that the inspector has passed a minimum curriculum and many times passed a test. Although these programs can be rigorous, and some are not, they provide no real practical training for the practice of home inspections. Only years of experience or a strong mentoring program from and experienced inspector can provide a level of competence needed to do a good inspection. Just because an individual is licensed, it does mean they have the experience that a seasoned home inspector has. Ask for an inspectors credentials and levels of experience.
Not so. It is true that home inspectors follow a stated S.O.P. (Standard of Practice). Some of these are required by a State, and if not required by the state, then there are professional organizations that stipulate an S.O.P. that their members must follow e.g., ASHI, NACHI. The S.O.P. is nothing more than a list minimum areas or systems of a home that must be inspected. It also stipulates certain actions that an inspector must take. These are certainly a good minimum standard to ensure that a consumer at least gets a somewhat standard inspection across all inspectors. But as with all industries, there will some inspectors that do just the minimum and some that are strong buyer advocates and exceed the minimum. Again, experience is the important factor here. A good indicator is how many inspections an inspector has conducted. Just ask them..
Not so. First, walking on the roof presents a dangerous situation for and inspector because there is no fall protection. Some roof surfaces you cannot walk i.e. slate, wood and ceramic tile. Getting off and on a roof and setting the ladder of varying surfaces are the points of danger for the inspector. In addition, roof pitches over 8 in 12 can be tricky to walk, therefore, no inspector will wall all of the surface, only easy areas of access such as staying at the top ridge and looking down at a distance. In this case, the inspector is inspecting his feet as much as the roof due to the chance of fall. WE USE DRONE TECHNOLOGY. This allows us to see ALL of the roof surface as well as all of the “nook and crannies”. We can concentrate of the inspection not trying to keep from falling. Finally, due to the science of light, and the reflectivity of the roof surface, the drone can see at a 90 degree angle which is the least amount of reflectivity on the roof, vice at a 30 degree angle when you walk it. A 30-degree angle is the maximum reflectivity of any surface, so you don’t see it all. WE SEE IT ALL WITH OUR DRONE.
Our company had been inspecting homes for over 28 years with well over 10,000 home inspections. We hold advanced certifications in areas such as Indoor air Quality, Exterior cladding and Moisture analysis, FAA Part 107 drone pilot licenses as well as having a Level II Thermographer on our staff. The owner Teaches the National Home Inspector exam prep course for a regional college and is the past President of the Kentucky Real Estate Inspectors Association and the President of the Ohio Real Estate Inspectors Association. WE ARE STRONG BUYER ADVOCATES AND REPRESENT YOU, OUR CLIENT and ONLY YOU.
Actually, when you look at the price of inspections over the cost of you investment, it is actually very small. You don’t get what you expect you get what you inspect. The purchase of a home is the most expensive single purchase that many people will make in their lifetime. Take a home priced at $250,000 with a inspection fees totaling $900, that is only ¼ of percent. A very small cost to assist you in making an informed decision. The home inspection is the ultimate disclosure. Not what someone is required to tell you, but what is there. It does not take many defects to total $5,000 +. For example, one sewer scope defect in a home we inspected had a repair cost in excess of $5000. You do the math.
In the real estate transaction, radon come up a lot and there is a certain amount of mis information about this. The facts are, this is one environmental issue that should not be controversial due to the scientific data we have about this. We know this exits and has been proven over many years in the coal mining industry and the exposure miners have working deep in the ground. Here is physics of it all: Radon is a radioactive noble gas that comes from the decay of radium in the soil. Radium is also a daughter or progeny nuclide of Uranium (Uranium decay). Radon is a colorless, odorless, invisible gas that can only be detected through the use of proper equipment and protocols. Its been around since time and memorial. It comes from uranium in the rock and if there is a source of uranium in the rock deep below a home, the radon then percolates up in the soil and when a house is placed over top of this area, radon gas can collect. FACT-There is no such thing as zero radon, just levels from very low to very high. FACT- It’s the number one cause of Lung cancer in NON smokers. FACT-it’s one of the easiest environmental issue to mitigate.
Therefore, there are two reasons you may want to test for Radon when you purchase your home: 1. Because you may be concerned with the health ramifications for your family 2. To know so you can have the mitigation costs factored into your negotiations and 3. This can be an issue upon resale and then it’s your issue. The cost to mitigate is between $800 and $1200 dollars and the cost to test is somewhere between $150 and $175
Yes. It’s certainly much cheaper. You can get test kits online for about $30. This also includes the lab tests. The results are available within about 7 days. The reason it’s more expensive during an home inspection is because the results are needed with in 48 hours and this requires expensive testing equipment and in most states, a license to test.
Yes. This is an inspection using a camera on the end of long cable designed to be inserted into the main sewer line of the home. It’s designed to find any defect issues in the underground sewer lateral between the home and the street. This is an area YOU CANNOT SEE and during a normal home inspection, this is not visible. The cable can run about 200 feet so you can inspect all the way to the street.
The question many times is,” won’t my inspector be able to determine if there is an issue just by running water and if there is a clog it will manifest during the inspection”. This is not the case. Many sewer lines area about 4” in diameter and can run 50+ feet to the main sewer. If there is a clog or restriction, it will take a lot of water to fill up this pipe before you have any indication. The home inspection does not run enough water to determine this. In addition, there can be blockages that allow for slow drainage but are still restrictions. We have seen blocked pipes with roots, broken and collapsed piping, bells in the pipe (low areas in the pipe that do not drain) etc. Repairs can be costly if unknown e.g. $2000 + dollars, not to mention the yard disruptions that can occur.
No. The actual term is WDI (wood destroying insect) inspection. This inspects specifically for 4 kinds of insects: termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and powder post beetles. This is not to inspect for nuisance type insects such as pavement ants, spiders, etc. This also does not inspect for rodents e.g. mice, rats, and other vermin.
This has been called synthetic stucco and many times this is referred to as Dryvit. Dryvit is actually a name brand of one of the first manufacturers of this product. There are many manufactures of this product. The term means Exterior Insulated Finishing system. This is a system that includes a polystyrene foam board, many times 1”, with a fiberglass mesh imbedded into a cementious base coat and then a finish coat. This system is actually very energy efficient and provides an excellent home insulation. The problem with the early systems is that they were barrier system meaning, water needs to be shed from the interior of the system. This was causing wood rot and water damage because it went undetected. The newer systems are water managed and allow water to shed from the interior to the exterior. Now there are inspection protocols that allow these exterior systems to be inspected to determine the repairs needed. These are good claddings and there is no reason not to purchase a home with this cladding. However, have them inspected by a professional EIFS inspector.
A home inspection should take between 3 to 4 hours for most homes. Having inspected homes for over 28 years I believe you cannot do a competent home inspection in only 1 to 1 ½ hour. To inspect any home and comply with the Standards of Practice with this industry, it takes time and usually about 3 hours.
Remember one thing, you do not get what you expect, you get what you inspect. You are purchasing the largest financial purchase of your life, and to not know what you are purchasing leaves you open for having very expensive future repairs to your home. You do not know what you do not know. If you have to negotiate without an inspection contingency, I recommend that instead of waiving your inspection, negotiate that your inspection is for your information only and that you will not ask for repairs, but have the right to walk away due to negative inspection results. What I have found on inspections have many times surprised my clients. They have admitted to me they would not have known and the cost to repair would have financially difficult.
The candidate must take an 80-hour state approved curriculum by a state approved provider. Then they must take a 40-hour experience-based curriculum and finally, pass the National Home Inspector Exam. This exam is a 4-hour psychrometric exam that not only tests the technical knowledge of the candidate but also is a predictor of whether they can perform as an inspector i.e., think like an inspector. Every year the licensed inspector has to do 14 continuing education hours that are approved by the state. Many licensed states have similar requirements of education, national exam and experience.
Of course, that depends on the actual practitioner and their business decisions. Many times, the pricing is based on square footage of the home. The larger the home the more the cost. However, In the Cincinnati Market, you can expect to be charged approximately $350 to $425 for homes up to 3000 SF. Radon will cost between $150 and $175, Termite (wood destroying insect) inspections $60 to $80 and sewer scope $250 to $275. If Infrared inspections are offered these are usually $100 to $150, if included in your home inspection. For a normal home inspection with most of the inspection services above, expect about $800 to $850 for homes up to 3000 SF.
Infrared is the use of a special camera that can “see” on the infrared energy spectrum of light. Infrared energy is emitted by heat and so the IR camera will detect thermal anomalies associated with how much head a certain material is emitting. A trained thermographer can determine from these anomalies what they represent and interpret the findings e.g., missing, or nonperforming insulation, air infiltration and water leaks. If you are being offered an IR inspection, be sure to ask the inspector if they have training i.e., certifications to use the camera. Examples of this training would be, Level I Thermographer, Level II Thermographer, CRT- certified residential thermographer.
NO. It may appear to see items in the wall i.e., studs, pipes, etc. bit what the camera is actually seeing is the heat emitted from what is inside the wall and projecting on to the back side of the surface you are pointing the camera to. In order for an IR camera to see any thermal anomaly, the heat from that item must be touching or projecting on to the back of the surface.