FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. How do I prepare for the inspection? 
A. It’s the seller’s responsibility to get the house ready for the inspection. Work with your real estate agent to:
• Confirm with your agent that the 4 hour inspection time is scheduled according to the agreed date and time.
• Have all utilities turned on (water, electric and gas).
• Have all gas appliances ready to run with pilot lights turned on.
• Clear access to areas like attics, crawl spaces, electric panels and furnaces.  Request to have all ceiling panels (if any) detached from areas that you would want inspected.  This is especially important in basement areas.
• Unlock areas such as storage closets, fence gates, electric panels and crawl space hatches.
• Remove pets from the property, or secure them so they are not free to roam.

Q. Do home inspectors check for code compliance?
A. Building codes are constantly being revised. Houses built thirty years ago would not necessarily pass present-day building codes. This does not mean that older homes are necessarily unsafe. The purpose of a home inspection is to determine the condition and safety of a home, as it is at the present time, not whether it meets past or present codes.

Q. What are the limitations to an inspection?
A. Keep in mind that a home inspection is not technically exhaustive – we can’t see through walls. We’re getting a snapshot of your house for a few hours and reporting on everything we find. But we can’t damage the property. A home inspection is not an appraisal or a building code compliance inspection. We’re not testing for environmental hazards or contaminants, or insects and rodents.
See the inspection agreement and the InterNACHI Standards of Practice for more information on the limitations of an inspection.

Q: Why do I need a home inspection?
A: Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.

If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.

If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

Q: Why can’t I do it myself?
A: Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail. Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.

Q: When do I call a home inspector?
A: Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

Q: How long will the Inspection take?
A: Most Inspections take about three to four hours. These times may vary depending on the size, age & condition of the home.

Q: Should I be present during the Inspection?
A: PowerHouse Home Inspections, Inc. prefers to have the first 3 hours uninterrupted. The client is encouraged to arrive thereafter for a final hands on walk through with the inspector. During this walk through your inspector will address all your concerns and answer your questions.

Q: What if the report reveals problems?
A: No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.

Q: What if I have questions after the inspection?
A: You can call us and discuss all the aspects of your new home whenever you like. Our service is a long-term investment.

Q: When is payment required?
A: Your inspection payment is collected on site or can be pre-paid on our web site. Personal checks should be made out to PowerHouse Home Inspections, Inc. (see Fees & Services for details).