Home Inspections

The goal

The goal of a home inspection is to give the client a much better understanding of the physical condition of the structure than would otherwise be known. To achieve this an inspector conducts a visual inspection of the home and its systems.


 Typical homes take 2-3 hours to inspect. When the client arrives the inspector often presents a pre-inspection agreement to be signed followed by payment. A good inspector then gives the client an overview of the inspection process and invites the client to accompany him.

Items covered

Though the order may vary the inspector should at least visually inspect the following:

  • interior (non-cosmetic)
  • foundation / basement
  • framing / structure
  • roof / attic
  • chimney
  • kitchen / appliances / laundry bathrooms
  • plumbing system
  • electrical system
  • heating system
  • air conditioning system
  • garage

Additional services

Additional items such as pools, spas, barns & other outer structures, docks & sea walls, well flow, wood destroying insects, lawn sprinkler systems, fences & gates and EIFS (exterior insulation & finish systems) may be offered by the inspection company but may add to the fee. The inspection company may also offer environmental services such as:

  • water testing
  • radon testing
  • lead testing
  • asbestos testing
  • formaldehyde testing
  • carbon monoxide testing
  • septic inspection


¬†Upon completion of the inspection the inspector should give the client a summary of what was discovered and an opportunity to ask questions. The client then receives a signed written report of the findings. The report is the client’s property; no other party is entitled to see it.


The inspector’s job is to inform the client of the condition of the home. He can describe any problems discovered, explain how and why they occurred, and even make repair recommendations. The inspector should not recommend contractors, estimate repair costs (unless the inspector is an active contractor in the particular field), recommend whether or not the client should purchase the home, comment on its market value, or benefit in any way from the repair or sale of the home.