A home inspection is a limited, visual inspection, commonly completed for a buyer when planning on purchasing a new home.
When do I need to have a home inspection?
Home inspections are customarily performed once you have made an offer to buy a home, and that offer has been accepted, and during your specified 7-10 day inspection period. While it's not legally required to have a home inspection done, one could be required by your lender.
We also recommend a pre-market inspection for homeowners selling their home. We suggest this because it can help to sell your home more quickly, and for more money, by addressing issues that can add to the value and appeal. With a pre-market inspection, our inspectors will find issues that need to be addressed before the buyer's inspector does.
How much will my home inspection cost?
It depends on a few factors. The inspection fee is calculated by considering the size and foundation type. If the home has been vacant for a while, it is especially important to have it inspected because an empty home can often be a neglected home. Every inspection company charges different rates. Give us a call today to get an accurate estimate on your home's inspection.
What is included with my home inspection?
Every home inspection includes examining the structural and mechanical components of the home, such as the roof, siding, windows, doors, grading, foundation, hvac equipment, plumbing, electrical, attic, and crawlspace. Each inspection includes a complimentary building envelope leakage (blower door) test, a scan of the home using thermal imaging, a home maintenance book, InterNACHIs "We'll Buy Your Home" guarantee, and monthly newsletter.
How long will a home inspection take?
This will vary on the size, age, and condition of the home. A 1000 square foot townhouse, with a slab foundation and recently built, will take significantly less time than a 2500 square foot home built in the 1950's with a cluttered crawlspace. The average home inspection is approximately 3-4 hours long.
Should I be at the home inspection?
While not always possible, it is strongly recommended for you to attend the inspection. With you present, any concerns you have can be discussed and answered in person at the inspection. We can show you where the electrical, water, and gas disconnects are located and how to operate them. For clients with odd hours or who currently live out of state, we do our best to accommodate you and schedule the inspection around your needs.
Can my house fail an inspection?
We never pass or fail a home we inspect. We will always be looking for safety issues, things that are not functioning as they should, and systems that are nearing the end of their service life. We will always recommend bringing in a specialist for further investigation or to give cost estimates for work needing to be done.
Will my home be up to code once my inspection is completed?
Building codes are different in every city and town and often change from year to year. Our inspections are for safety and structure, and mechanicals, not code compliance.
Why inspect for energy efficiency during a home inspection?
A house is the most expensive purchase you will make in your lifetime. For a home that is not energy efficient, you will either be uncomfortable due to the temperature of the house or you will have larger-than-necessary energy bills every month. Examining the energy components of the home and advising you of their possible defects or shortcomings helps you make an informed purchasing decision.
What If The Report Reveals Problems?
If the inspector finds problems in a building, it does not necessarily mean you shouldn't buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to make repairs because of significant problems discovered by the inspector. If your budget is tight, or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, you may decide that this is not the property for you. The choice is yours.
Why get an infrared inspection?
Infrared (thermal imaging) is an advanced, non-invasive technology that allows the inspector to show clients things about their homes or buildings that can't be revealed using conventional inspection methods. This can include air leaks, inadequate insulation, moisture infiltration or plumbing leaks, or defective electrical components.
How does an infrared camera work?
Normally, our vision is limited to a very small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Thermal energy has a much longer wavelength than visible light. So long, in fact, that the human eye can't even see it, just like we can't see radio waves. With thermal imaging, the portion of the spectrum we perceive is dramatically expanded, helping us "see" and "measure" thermal energy emitted from an object. Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared. And visible light doesn't affect the thermal world, so you can see equally well in highly lit and totally dark environments.
How does a blower door test work?
The blower door test is a diagnostic tool used to measure the airtightness of a structure. A powerful fan is mounted in a temporary airtight frame of an exterior door. During a depressurization test, the fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the interior pressure and pulling air in from the outside through unsealed cracks and openings. A pressure gauge measures the amount of air pulled out of the house by the fan and coming in through unsealed cracks and openings.
Why get a blower door test?
Results of the test can determine if there are unsealed cracks and openings in the house's shell that should be sealed. Infrared cameras are used to locate every leak which can then be amended. Properly sealing a house will increase comfort, reduce energy costs, and improve indoor air quality.
What is the Home Energy Score?
Imagine you are in the market to buy a car and comparing your options. You are weighing a number of factors in your purchasing decision, including performance, cost, size, and appearance. When you ask the salesperson what the miles-per-gallon rating for each car is, they shrug and say, "I don't know." Even if fuel efficiency is not the only factor you are considering, this would probably concern you as a prospective buyer.
And yet, this is how most people make decisions when buying or renting a home: without any information about how much energy the home is expected to use, how much this will cost them, or how to cost-effectively lower energy expenses. Developed by DOE and its national laboratories, the Home Energy Score provides home owners, buyers, and renters directly comparable and credible information about a home's energy use. Like a miles-per-gallon rating for a car, the Home Energy Score is based on a standard assessment of energy-related assets to easily compare energy use across the housing market.
The Home Energy Score Report estimates home energy use, associated costs, and provides energy solutions to cost-effectively improve the home's efficiency. Each Home Energy Score is shown on a simple one-to-ten scale, where a ten represents the most efficient homes.
What is a home energy audit?
A home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment, can help you understand the whole picture of your home's energy use. An audit can help you determine how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy, and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable. A home energy audit should be your first step before making energy-saving home improvements, as well as before adding a renewable energy system to your home.
A professional home energy audit will provide a thorough assessment of your home's energy use. In addition to a room-by-room examination of the home, an auditor may employ equipment such as blower doors and infrared camera.
What is a duct leakage test?
A duct leakage performance test involves pressurizing the duct system with a calibrated fan and simultaneously measuring the air flow through the fan and its effect on the pressure within the duct system. The tighter the duct system, the less air you need from the fan to create a change in duct system pressure. Testing procedures can be set up to measure only duct leaks which are connected to the outside, or to measure total duct leakage (i.e. leaks connected to the outside and inside of the house). Duct leakage measurements are used to diagnose and demonstrate leakage problems, estimate efficiency losses from duct leakage, and certify the quality of duct system installation.
When should I schedule a duct leakage test?
New homes, both in GA and SC, are required to have a duct leakage test performed to meet newer energy efficiency standards. According to Energy Star, "about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts." Ductwork leaks cause your HVAC system to work harder. In addition to losing conditioned air, if the ducts aren't tight enough, negative air pressure can suck in dirty air. Air duct leaks are especially problematic in basements, crawlspaces, garages, and attics. Unfortunately, it's common for an hvac unit to be replaced and the older ducts are ignored. If your air duct system is older than 20 years, certain rooms do not appear to heat and cool properly, or you have increased respiratory problems when the hvac unit is operating, you may benefit from a visual inspection and air duct leakage test.
What is a complete mold inspection?
During a complete mold inspection, the inspector shall perform a non-invasive visual examination of the readily accessible, visible, and installed systems and components of the building, moisture, temperature and humidity measurements, and mold samples according to the IAC2 Mold Sampling Procedures. The inspector shall report: moisture intrusion, water damage, musty odors, apparent mold growth, or conditions conducive to mold growth; results of a laboratory analysis of all mold samplings taken at the building; and any system or component listed in Section 4.0 Standards of Practice that were not inspected and the reason(s) they were not inspected.
What is a limited mold inspection?
The limited mold inspection does not include a visual examination of the entire building, but is limited to a specific area of the building identified and described by the inspector. As a result, moisture intrusion, water damage, musty odors, apparent mold growth, or conditions conducive to mold growth in other areas of the building may not be inspected.
When do I need a mold inspection?
The best way to avoid expensive mold remediation is to prevent its growth. If moisture is not present, mold will not grow. Problems such as leaky plumbing pipes, roof leaks, bathrooms with an inadequate or broken exhaust fan, and high humidity, can all lead to mold growth. By locating these deficiencies early, repairs and damage will be relatively less expensive. Using a gas stove without an exhaust fan, boiling water, hot showers, and even home occupants adds moisture to the air. The ideal time to have a mold inspection is before you have mold. By monitoring sources for moisture and proper preventative maintenance, you may never experience mold growth in the home. If you smell a musty odor, see visible apparent mold, have had a recent moisture-related event, or have respiratory issues in your home, you may need a mold inspection. For health effects, you should see a qualified health specialist.