A home inspection is a visual and mechanical examination of the physical structure, vital major mechanical systems and appliances of a property. The inspection will help you gain a better understanding of the overall condition of the property from an objective point of view. Most professional inspectors should be fully trained in the proper operation of commonly found systems in the home. Specific household systems can include, but are not limited to the following:
- Structural Components (foundations, floors and walls),
- Exterior Components (siding paint, windows, decks, garage doors, etc).
- Roofing (coverings, flashings, chimneys, etc.),
- Plumbing (piping, fixtures, faucets, water heating and fuel storage systems, etc.),
- Electrical (wiring, main service panels, conductors, switches, receptacles, etc.),
- Heating (equipment, safety controls, distribution systems, chimneys, etc.),
- Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps (cooling and air-handling equipment, controls and ducting, etc.)
- Interior (partitions, ceilings, floors, railings, doors and windows, etc.),
- Insulation and Ventilation (attics, walls, floors, foundations, kitchen and bathrooms, etc.)
Home inspectors in the state of Colorado are not certified or licensed by any entity, but they should be members of the following organizations that provide requirements and education for inspectors:
What you need to ask when interviewing an Inspector
1 Is Home Inspection your only business?
Make certain it is! That’s the only way to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Many independent inspectors only work on a part-time basis to supplement their real businesses as contractors, roofers, etc., and their report findings might be suspect. Plus, you can find a good inspector by getting a referral from a satisfied customer. When considering a particular inspector, ask for at least three references and check them out.
2 Are they bonded and insured? Do they carry all the necessary insurance, including professional liability (Errors & Omissions or “E&O”), general liability, and worker’s compensation?
Make sure they have Errors and Omissions Insurance. “This malpractice-type insurance protects the inspector (and indirectly the home buyer and those referring the inspector) against post-inspection legal problems.” General liability covers personal liability not covered by the basic E&O policy; and worker’s compensation covers the safety of the inspector during the inspection.
3 Does your firm offer a written guarantee on the inspection?
It’s best to hire an inspection company or professional inspector that offers a formal written assessment and explanation as what they have found and seen during the inspection. Most inspection reports will include pictures of the items discussed.
4 Ask about the day of inspection. How long the inspection will take, can you accompany the inspector, what type of equipment they use, and are they updated in the inspection business?
A professional inspection of the average home will take about 2-3 hours. Be skeptical of any home inspector who does not want you present during the inspection. Inspectors who invite the home buyer along will often offer valuable information and good maintenance tips. Ask about all matters regarding the home that might concern you. Different buyers have different specific concerns; let your home inspector know about yours. A qualified inspector will have the most updated equipment available to him or her and be proficient in its use.
5 What type of a report will I receive and when will I receive it?
There are various types of reports given by professional inspectors, including typed narrative (sent to the home buyer within a week) and on the spot written reports for those who need or want the information as soon as possible. Don’t accept a verbal report without a written backup, since you will have no record of the inspector’s findings for future referral.
6 Is the inspector trained or certified in home inspection by a recognizable organization, such as the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI), or the American Home Inspectors Institute (AHII), or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI)?
With no official government regulation of the home inspection industry, certification by one of these organizations ensures that the inspector meets strict guidelines set forth by the largest and most reputable home inspection organizations in the country.
P.S. Ask several questions to your home inspector but remember to limit them to those he can answer. Stick to questions that have to do with the condition of the house; refrain from asking questions about the price or whether you should buy the property or not. A professional home inspector can only help you understand the condition of the property at that moment.
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty recommends these
Don’t Forget! Blue Ribbon Home Warranty offers a Complimentary Inspection for Sellers*
*see contract for details
Learn about our complimentary pre-inspection HERE