As a professional home inspector, I often find myself getting asked about the scope of the inspection. To answer this, I tell clients that a home inspection is a non-invasive, visual assessment of a home's key systems and structures. This includes examining the roof, electrical systems, plumbing, heating and cooling, structural elements, and siding, among others. My goal is to determine if these systems are operating correctly and to identify any visible signs of failure or unsafe conditions.

To clarify, non-invasive means that our examination is purely visual. We do not dismantle systems or components, nor do we move the homeowner's belongings like furniture, boxes, or ceiling tiles. Our ability to inspect is limited to what we can see. It's crucial for homeowners and buyers to understand that a home inspection is a limited snapshot in time, documenting the visible condition of the home's major systems. With that, issues hidden within walls, behind furniture, or under insulation could be missed.

To help give clients the thorough home inspection they deserve, I have an extensive collection of advanced tools and technologies, including moisture meters, thermal imaging scanners, scope cameras, and even a crawl bot, so I can inspect hard-to-reach areas of the home and accurate evaluate the condition of the home.

Even the most thorough inspection can not reveal every problem in a home. It's designed to reduce, not eliminate, the risks for home buyers when purchasing a new property. For instance, we can't move objects blocking access to areas like attics or crawl spaces. Power sources or utilities that are not turned on won’t be able to be checked either. Furthermore, as inspectors, we do not provide repair services or quotes, ensuring our assessments remain unbiased and focused solely on the condition of the property - My main interest is the health and safety of the client.

How to Prepare for an Inspection

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To allow the home inspector to effectively do their job and reduce the need of having to come back and perform a Re-Inspection, it’s important that the home is ready for the inspection. A well-prepared home not only facilitates a smoother and more effective inspection, but also reflects positively on the maintenance and care you've given your home. Here are a few tips that I share with clients on how to effectively prepare their home for an inspection:

Ensure Accessibility: Ensure that key areas such as the attic, basement, crawl spaces, and utility rooms are easily accessible. Remove any clutter blocking access to these areas. This also includes ensuring that the inspector can easily access the electrical panel, furnace, water heater, and air conditioning units.

Clean the House: While inspectors focus on the structure, systems, and components of your home, a clean and tidy house does make it easier for the inspector to do their job as they can navigate the space easier and not disrupt your home as much.

Replace Light Bulbs: Check all light fixtures and replace any burnt-out bulbs. This helps the inspector easily verify that the electrical systems are working properly.

Prepare for Roof and Exterior Inspection: Ensure that your roof is clear, and gutters are clean. Trim any tree limbs or shrubs that may obstruct access to the roof or siding.

Prepare Documentation: Have any documentation available for repairs or maintenance work done on the house. This could be helpful for the inspector and shows a history of home care.

Put Away Pets: Make arrangements for pets to be out of the house during the inspection to avoid distractions or disruptions. Similarly, if possible, it's best for children to be elsewhere during this time.

Leave Utilities Connected: The inspector will need to check the stove, dishwasher, furnace, and light fixtures, so leave the utilities connected even if the house is vacant.

Provide Space and Time: Be prepared to leave the inspector alone to do their work. It's usually best for sellers to not be present during the inspection to allow the inspector to focus and the buyers to freely discuss the property.

Non-invasive home inspections are effective ways for home buyers to understand the home’s condition without causing disruption or damage. They are essentially a snapshot in time, providing valuable insight while respecting the property and limitations of our role. Understanding these boundaries helps both sellers and buyers prepare effectively for the inspection process.

If you have any questions regarding the inspection process, feel free to contact us anytime.