Frequently Asked Questions
First of all, what is a Home Inspection ?
A Home Inspection is a non-invasive visual examination of a residential dwelling, performed for a fee, which is designed to identify observed material defects within specific components of said dwelling. Components may include any combination of mechanical, structural, electrical, plumbing, or other essential systems or portions of the home, as identified and agreed to by the Client and Inspector, prior to the inspection process.
A home inspection is intended to assist in evaluation of the overall condition of the dwelling. The inspection is based on observation of the visible and apparent condition of the structure and its components on the date of the inspection and not the prediction of future conditions.
A home inspection will not reveal every concern that exists or ever could exist, but only those material defects observed on the day of the inspection.
A material defect is a condition with a residential real property or any portion of it that would have a significant adverse impact on the value of the real property or that involves an unreasonable risk to people on the property. The fact that a structural element, system or subsystem is near, at or beyond the end of the normal useful life of such a structural element, system or subsystem is not by itself a material defect.
An Inspection report shall describe and identify in written format the inspected systems, structures, and components of the dwelling and shall identify material defects observed. Inspection reports may contain recommendations regarding conditions reported or recommendations for correction, monitoring or further evaluation by professionals, but this is not required.
Top Ten Questions
1. What does your inspection cover?
As an InterNACHI® member I must adhere to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice. Below are the basics of what an inspection should cover;
3. Basement, foundation, crawlspace & structure,
9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation,
10. Doors, Windows & Interior
Every inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable state requirements. Joe Pro Home Inspections adheres to applicable Tennessee Law / Code and the
InterNACHI Standards of Practice, and InterNACHI Code of Ethics.
If there are any areas you are particularly concerned about, please let the me know upfront.
2. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?
Yes, my ‘formal Inspection Training’ is for residential buildings. I have been working in and around residential structures most of my life working for a plumber and later working for a general contractor.
3. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?
No. As an InterNACHI® member and a Certified Professional Inspector, I am required to the InterNACHI® Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics. These guidelines are specific on this subject. Following is a quote from the Code of Ethics, Section I.11; “The InterNACHI® member shall not perform or offer to perform, for any additional fee, any repairs or associated services to the structure for which the member’s company has prepared a home inspection report for a period of 12 months”.
Additionally, repairs and improvements often require different licensing and insurance.
4. How long will the inspection take?
The average on-site portion of the inspection for a single inspector is about 2 to 3 hours depending on the condition and size of the property. Anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings. So as to not take up any extra client or realtor time at the inspection site, I ordinarily complete my reports later that day or in the evening.
5. How much will a Home Inspection cost?
Costs vary dramatically, depending on the level and type of inspection, the square footage of the house, property geographical location and the client’s request(s) for ancillary services such as water, mold, radon, septic, etc. A typical range might be $275–$500 but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Inspection cost does not necessarily reflect quality.
6. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?
I use a hand-held device to begin the report writing process. With the ability to take photos and make notes during the inspection, the report is almost complete. This information is uploaded to a desktop computer to review the inspection and make further comments as needed. I then make the inspection available for the client online and is in PDF format. Normally, the report will be ready within 24 hours but in most cases it’s available later in the same day. If a printed copy is needed then I can provide that as well, but it will take longer to receive it.
7. Will I be able to attend the inspection?
Yes. This is a valuable educational opportunity for the client. If possible, please do attend. The two ways that clients generally prefer to accomplish this are;
1. Accompany the inspector through the inspection or,
2. Meet the inspector near the end of the inspection and go over the inspection verbally and with a tour of the highlights, whether good or bad.
An inspector's refusal to allow the client to attend should raise a red flag.
8. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?
Yes, I am a Certified Professional Inspector (CPI) and a member of InterNACHI®, The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Click here or click the following link to verify my membership and certification.
9. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?
Yes. Most Home Inspectors enjoy learning new things as technology and home building science changes. Most inspectors will voluntarily and continually take courses. The State of Tennessee also has requirements for ongoing training in order to renew the home inspector’s license.
10. What problems should raise flags?
ASBESTOS: There are a number of issues that should raise a flag for homeowners. One is asbestos. Your best approach here is to ask questions: “Does the asbestos need to be removed immediately to prevent harm?” and “Is it a problem if I leave it untouched?” are two questions you need answers to. Often, old pipes will be wrapped with asbestos; while this will mean remediation at some point, it may not be an immediate issue. The savvy home buyer can use this as a negotiation tool: Asking the sellers to reduce the price to account for the cost of remediation
MOLD: Another issue to pay attention to is mold. Ask your inspector if he or she sees stains or spots on ceilings, in closets and around attic beams. Then ask if remediation is required. Sometimes, the best way to deal with surface mold is to clean it properly and then add a vent—at a much cheaper cost than mold air quality testing and full remediation.
LEAD-BASED PAINT: Many homes and condominiums built before 1978 have lead-based paint. Paint that has chipped or is deteriorating, or on surfaces that rub together such as windows and doors, creates lead dust which can pose serious health hazards to occupants and visitors. Homebuyers and renters have important rights to know about whether lead is present -- before signing contracts or leases. Realtors are ordinarily well versed on this subject and can often answer most of your questions on lead paint before even speaking with an inspector.