Important Questions to ask when choosing a home inspector
Your decision to purchase that special home is an exciting and happy time for you. Quite often though, it is a time of stress and anxiety, which is understandable. In making such an important investment, it is up to you to determine if it is, in fact, a sound one. Pro-Tech Consultants will give you the peace of mind you need to make that important decision.
How do I go about choosing the right inspector?
Answering that question requires that you do a little investigating. Below are a few of the questions you will want to ask and the type of responses you will want to receive.
Are you an ASHI Member?
An inspector who is a member of The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is desirable for the following reasons:
- These inspectors are held to a higher standard of practice.
- They must adhere to a strict code of ethics.
- To maintain their membership, they must continue to receive formal training.
Wayne has been an ASHI member and ASHI New England member for 9 years.
The next three questions may not seem relevant, but the answers you receive will provide vital information that is needed in order to choose the appropriate inspector.
What is the true condition of the home?
A qualified home inspector is your best choice to determine this. Usually, it is best to find an inspector on your own. Be cautious when an inspector is referred to you, as a conflict of interest can arise.
What experience do you have?
You will want to know that your inspector has had sufficient experience in the building trades to warrant your trust by demonstrating that he or she understands how homes are constructed and is, therefore, in a better position to evaluate acceptable building practices.
What formal training have you had?
Formal training is also a necessary prerequisite in being qualified as a professional home inspector. Because someone is or was a builder does not mean they are necessarily knowledgeable in the other essential areas of home inspection, such as electrical, plumbing, heating, etc. Formal training prepares an inspector by providing a well-rounded education in all areas that must be addressed and evaluated as part of the home inspection. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to choose an inspector who has successfully completed a university course of studies specializing in home inspections.
How long will the inspection take?
The answer to this question will clearly indicate how thorough the inspection will be performed. No matter how small, new, or well kept a home is, an inspection should take no less than 3 hours to perform.
Will I receive my report at the time of the inspection?
A quality report explains pertinent information about the home. An inspector must gather this information by viewing all areas of the home. The aim of the inspection is to convey what has been observed, along with conclusions in a clear and concise manner. It requires time, and therefore, an inspection report should never be given at the time of the inspection.
Tip: There are many companies that provide reports at the time of the inspection. These are usually little more than glossy checklists with little, if any, explanatory information. This is a large investment you are making—you deserve a quality report.
Beware the Inspector Who Repairs
If problems are found, can you or someone you know repair them?
Pay particular attention to the response given to this question. It is clearly a violation of industry ethics for an inspector to perform or recommend someone to perform work on a home that he or she has inspected.
Tip: Quite a number of contractors advertise as home inspectors. The conflict of interest is obvious. BEWARE!
How much will an inspection cost?
The amount you pay for an inspection can range anywhere from $250 to $800+. For an average single family home, you should expect to pay between $600 – $800 for a qualified inspector. The cost is well worth the money. After all, your home is your investment. You owe it to yourself not to skimp.