A home inspection is one of the most important parts of a home transaction, and it’s common to have questions about the process. It helps to be prepared and know what to expect, whether you’re buying or selling a home, or getting a home inspection for another reason entirely. Here’s an overview of what a home inspection should involve.
1. An introduction
The home inspector should greet you at the property and tell you what to expect in the process, which usually takes about 3 – 3 ½ hours. They’ll walk you through the inspection components, and answer questions you may have. This is your opportunity to share your specific concerns, to make sure they’re addressed during the home inspection.
2. A visual inspection
Your inspector will look for a number of issues including:
- Structural imperfections or damage
- Appliances that have been improperly installed or have other issues
- Potential safety hazards
- Condition of the walls, ceiling, floors, windows, and doors
- Issues with the plumbing, heating, central air conditioning, or electrical system
- Roof condition (as long as it’s safe to walk on the roof)
- The condition and quality of the visible insulation
- Signs of water damage or moisture intrusion
- Proper functioning and placement of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
- Basement, attic, crawlspace, and foundation condition
- Exterior damage, deferred maintenance, or other issues
The inspector will try to be as thorough as possible, but they can’t tear anything open or be destructive! This is a visual inspection only.
3. Understanding the issues
Most home inspectors try to educate during the inspection. You may wonder if an issue uncovered is normal or not. The information your inspector provides should help you better understand whether a finding is minor or could have a much larger impact, so you can prioritize which issues to address.
While every house is different and the issues vary quite a bit, some of the most common findings include improper installation of plumbing and electrical components. Often, people are worried about meeting code requirements but note that home inspectors don’t inspect for code compliance. However, they do look for safety concerns.
Another common concern is mold. Your home inspector should be able to find moisture intrusion and, if accessible, visually document fungal residue. They will then refer you to a mold specialist or environmental contractor to professionally test the fungus and identify the type of mold in order to determine the correct steps to remedy the issue.
4. A report of the findings
Upon completion, the home inspector will provide you with a report of the findings. This should be a detailed report systematically taking you through the inspected property, including color photos and videos where appropriate. The report should give a description of any issues or concerns, and advise which professional tradesperson to contact to remedy the issue.
5. Zoom offers repair estimates
Although this is not a typical offering from home inspection companies, we have found that one of the largest challenges home buyers face is understanding the true cost of the repairs found during the inspection. That’s why Zoom Home Inspections now provides a resource for quick and reliable estimates for the repair costs.
Once you receive the completed inspection report, you can elect to receive an estimate on all repair costs within 24 hours. This detailed estimate includes all noted concerns in the inspection report, and helps our clients either budget for the repairs or negotiate with sellers. Learn more here.
Zoom Home Inspections performs quick and complete home inspections in Issaquah, Seattle, and throughout the Puget Sound region.
“Brian did a very thorough, and competent inspection that followed with a detailed report with photos, that was received promptly afterwards. He was very knowledgeable, responsive, and professional…I would highly recommend Brian, as the quality of his work proved to be worth every penny, and certainly gained my trust.” – Alyssa N.