Axios Home Inspection is a critical step in the home-buying process. It is important to do your research to find a qualified home inspector.
Many issues will be found during the inspection and can be costly for a buyer. However, some problems can be minor and not deal breakers.
When conducting a home inspection, a professional plumber will examine the pipes to ensure they are not leaking, are providing enough water for the house, and are draining properly. This is especially important if the home was built before 1990 when builders often used pipes made from materials that are now considered less durable.
A plumbing inspection costs about $150 and is typically added to the cost of a standard home inspection. A home inspector will review all of the connections under sinks, check the shut off supplies and verify that the water heater is functioning correctly. They may also use a camera to examine the condition of the pipes.
Some states and provinces require home inspectors to be licensed or certified, and professional organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) maintain home inspection standards for their members. Before hiring a home inspector, ask for references and read reviews. Also, make sure the inspector you hire is a member of ASHI and follows its code of ethics.
Some home inspectors offer ancillary services, such as inspections of pools and sprinkler systems, wood destroying insect reports and radon testing. While these can be valuable, it’s best to find an inspector who specializes in home inspections and is duly qualified to provide them.
Electricity runs behind the scenes in our homes, but that doesn’t mean it won’t need maintenance or repairs from time to time. While many electrical issues can be found with a visual inspection, some may require the help of an electrician to assess and make recommendations.
A home inspector will look at a variety of things, including: outlets (receptacles) and switches; types of wiring, such as aluminum or knob-and-tube; and the condition of the wiring, which includes whether it’s exposed or in need of replacement. They’ll also look at the location, size, and condition of the main breaker panel as well as the additional breaker panels in crawl spaces and attics.
An inspector will check for proper grounding of the wiring, as well as the presence of GFCIs in kitchens and bathrooms. They’ll also test for proper voltage to ensure there aren’t any faulty circuits.
While it’s true that some electrical issues can be easily fixed, such as replacing 2-prong outlets with 3-prong ones, other problems are more serious and could pose a safety risk. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment is involved in 57% of all home structure fires.
A home inspector will look at a house’s air conditioning and heating systems. They will check for leaks, cracks, and general wear and tear. They will also be looking for a suitable temperature in every room of the house, whether or not there are enough vents to provide adequate ventilation, and how efficiently the system works overall.
Many home inspectors offer ancillary services like testing for mold and checking radon levels in the house. These are usually not included in a standard home inspection, but they may be added to the package for an additional cost.
Another service that is often offered is assessing whether or not a home has toxic materials such as lead paint or asbestos. Home inspectors may be able to give a general idea of whether these materials are present, but a lab needs to do more extensive testing to be absolutely sure.
The best way to find a qualified home inspector is to ask a real estate professional for a recommendation. They should be able to recommend someone that they have worked with in the past and trust. You can also ask friends and family who have bought homes recently if they would recommend any particular inspector.
A home inspector should look at the basic “envelope” that shields the house from weather and water. This includes the roof, gutters and flashings. They should be free of leaks, rust and pest infiltration, and the inspector should examine the way walls intersect with the roof. They may also look at windows, skylights and vents.
A good home inspector should be able to recognize the different types of roofing material and determine their age. They should be able to inspect the gutters and downspouts, chimneys and fireplaces. If they find any issues with the roof, they will probably recommend a specialist.
If you are purchasing a new house, a home inspection can help you decide how much to offer. It can also help you decide whether to ask the seller to cover repair costs before you move in. Getting small things like a leaky faucet or broken down chimney fixed can shorten your to-do list after moving in.
Some home inspectors provide additional services, such as mold and radon tests. These are usually extra, but they can be useful if you are concerned about health problems. Home inspectors should be licensed by the state where they work. In they should meet the criteria outlined by the Department of State. They should be members of a professional organization such as the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors.
A home inspector should look at the space directly below a roof, also known as an attic. Attics are often forgotten spaces that may harbor major problems, such as water leaks or rodent infestations.
Many homeowners use attics as storage areas. Some use the space to create extra bedrooms, studios or offices. However, storing flammable items like lighter fluid and paint thinner in the attic can be dangerous because of the varying temperatures that cause fires. Additionally, storing old photographs, antiques or important documents in an attic can be damaging because of humidity and pests.
Typically, attic flooring is covered by insulation, and the walls are made of drywall. In some homes, the attic may be built with trusses instead of a rafters. Trusses are less expensive, but they restrict the space and aren’t a good choice for converting to a living area because of their lack of structural strength.
If a house has a truss attic, it can’t be renovated into a livable space without adding a staircase and meeting building code requirements for head room, which means you’ll have to pay to raise the roof or lower the ceiling. If a truss attic is used for living, it will need to be rewired and have plumbing, electricity and heating.
Home inspectors look at a property with a fresh set of eyes. Faulty light switches and GFCI outlets that constantly trip aren’t part of their normal lives, but they can point out how those improvements might be made to improve the home’s safety or help it sell for what its owner wants it to.
When examining the bathrooms, a home inspector will be on high alert for leaks or visible signs of water damage. They’ll also check for proper ventilation and make sure that the toilets are secure in their mounts. Without adequate ventilation, mildew can build up, and wood cabinets may warp.
When evaluating plumbing, a home inspector will make sure that the water pressure is normal and identify the kind of plumbing the house has. They’ll also check for visible leaks, examine the condition of the water heater, and test the functionality of the drains and faucets. They’ll identify the location of the main water shutoff valve, too. When a home inspection reveals that a bathroom needs major repairs, it’s important for the homeowner to understand how much those fixes might cost and whether they can afford them. A licensed home inspector can provide an estimate and a list of the most common repairs that would be required.
Kitchens are another area where a home inspector will check for safety, functionality and cleanliness. They will look at all appliances including stoves, ovens, dishwashers and garbage disposals. They will make sure everything is working properly and looking for signs of damage, such as water leaks or stains.
A home inspector will also test all electrical kitchen equipment. They will check for proper voltage and that all outlets are properly wired.
In addition to the standard home inspection, other services that a home inspector can provide include a radon inspection, asbestos inspection and lead-based paint inspection. These additional services are meant to help a buyer make an informed decision about purchasing a property. They can also help a buyer shorten their to-do list after moving in, as they will know what to expect and what repairs are needed.