A home inspection is NOT an inspection to determine full federal/state/local code compliance. Codes are regularly used and talked about during the inspection but remember a home inspection has more to do with functionality of systems in the home.
Home inspections are visually based. If it can’t be seen it or reasonably accessed, it may not be inspected. For example, cutting a hole in a wall to inspect for moisture damage, mold testing, indoor air quality testing is not covered in the visual inspection but can be requested. Just remember the keyword Visual and you most likely will not be surprised.
When it comes to home inspections, here are five key components that sellers, buyers and real estate professionals should be concerned with.
1. Roof: This inspection covers the roof covering, flashings, skylights, gutters and roof penetrations. If any concern exists about the roof covering life expectancy or the potential for future problems, a roofing specialist should be consulted. The home inspector is not responsible for insurability of the roof covering materials.
The building should be equipped with roof gutters to help divert roof runoff away from the foundation. Gutters are not required in every situation, but are recommended to divert roof runoff away from entry areas and mechanical equipment. This can help prevent roof drainage hitting the porch slab and splashing back onto the doors and wall coverings and help prevent moisture penetration in those areas. Additionally, roof gutters can help to manage soil moisture content near the foundation. This is important where expansive or collapsible clay soils exist. In areas where expansive or collapsible soils are known to exist, all dwellings shall have a controlled method of water disposal from roofs that will collect and discharge roof drainage to the ground surface at least 5 feet from foundation walls or to an approved drainage system.
If in doubt, have trusted roofing company to conduct an independent inspection, home inspectors are not experts in this area.
2. Electrical Components: The inspection covers electrical receptacles, switches and fixtures. If in doubt, hire a professional licensed electrician to conduct an independent inspection, home inspectors are not experts in this area.
3. HVAC: The home inspection covers the performance of the heating cooling systems. The home inspection also covers the condition of the visible ducts, vents, fans and filters. If in doubt, hire a professional licensed HVAC company to conduct an independent inspection, home inspectors are not experts in this area.
4. Plumbing: Bath & Kitchen Fixtures, Vents, Water Flow & Shutoff Valves, signs of leaks. If in doubt, hire a professional licensed plumber to conduct an independent inspection, home inspectors are not experts in this area.
5. Foundation: A faulty foundation can be a show-stopper or deal killer! (An opinion on performance is mandatory.): This home inspector is not a structural engineer. It is recommended that the client should have an engineer give an evaluation if any concern exists about the potential for future movement. Weather conditions, drainage, leakage and other adverse factors are able to effect structures, and differential movements are likely to occur. The home inspector’s opinion is based on visual observations of accessible and unobstructed areas of the structure at the time of the home inspection. Future performance of the structure cannot be predicted or warranted. The inspector will report on drainage around the foundation that is not performing, deficiencies in grade levels around the foundation; and deficiencies in installed gutter and downspout systems.
Although not required, but HIGHLY recommended, if you plan on having the home inspected during the option period, please contact a home inspector and schedule your home inspection. You may have as many inspections on the home as you wish (HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Foundation, Roof, Structure, etc). If the property you are buying has a pool and or spa, be it known that any and all past warranties normally DO NOT transfer to the new owner!!
Here is a list of reputable home inspectors. You are free to pick any home inspector you wish; this list is provided as a convenience and neither me, nor Keller Williams Realty-Allen guarantees their work, services and/or performance. Note: If you are getting a VA-backed loan, you must have your home inspected for wood destroying insects (WDI) and your aerobic septic system must also be inspected, you cannot pay for these items, please coordinate with your inspector for these two items. Note: ask them about other inspection services they offer.
Burgess Inspection Group Inc. (972) 694-5570, Schedule online: burgessinspection.com
Garrett Hand, Elite Inspection Group : 214-616-0123 (also does WDI and Septic/Aerobic inspections)
Super Inspector, 940-367-1708/469-993-8826 (also does WDI and Septic/Aerobic inspections)
Inspect 360, 972-652-0360
All Metro Home Inspections, Brent Schoonover, (214) 728-0805
Greg Hawkins, 214-856-9415
Providing Solutions Because…Your Move Matters!
Michael L. Brownstead
First Sergeant, U.S. Army (Retired)
Keller Williams Realty
ABR, GRI, MRP, SRS, REALTOR
1002 Raintree Cir., Ste. 100, Allen, TX 75013
E-mail: [email protected]