636-391-0091 Manchester (West St. Louis County) or 636-282-8800 Jefferson County

FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you have any other questions that we haven’t answered please contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and major mechanical systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation, per ASHI’s Standards of Practice.

What does a home inspection include?

Everything that is visible and accessible in the home. Our inspections meet and/or exceed the ASHI standards of practice. The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components. Some items not covered by our inspection include private systems (i.e., alarms, sprinklers, swimming pools, hot tubs). Similarly, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as termite, sewer lateral camera review, radon testing and septic inspection and well water testing. If you have any questions about specific systems in the home or fees, please call us. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) publishes a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report.

Why do I need a home inspection?

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 working order. 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.

What will it cost?

The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as termite, sewer lateral camera review and radon testing. Do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection or in the selection of your home inspector. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Use the inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, and compliance with your state’s regulations, if any, and professional affiliations as a guide.

Why can't I do it myself?

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.

Can a house fail a home inspection?

No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.

What is ASHI?

Since 1976, ASHI has worked to build consumer awareness of home inspection and to enhance the professionalism of its membership. The ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics serves as a performance guideline for home inspectors, and is universally recognized and accepted by many professional and governmental bodies.

Who belongs to ASHI?

ASHI is an organization of independent, professional home inspectors who are required to make a commitment, from the day they join as Candidates, to conduct inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which prohibits engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity. Candidates work their way to Member status as they meet rigorous requirements, including passing a comprehensive, written technical exam and performing a minimum of 250 professional, fee-paid home inspections conducted in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Mandatory continuing education helps the membership stay current with the latest in technology, materials and professional skills.

What if the report reveals problems?

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.

If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?

Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will have that information for future reference.

Should I be present when the home inspection is performed?

Whenever possible, you should be present. The inspector can review with you the results of the inspection and point out any problems found. Usually the inspection of the home can be completed in two to three hours (the time can vary depending upon the size and age of the dwelling). The Home Inspector must give you a written report of the home inspection. The home inspection report is your property. The Home Inspector may only give it to you and may not share it with other persons without your permission.

How long will the inspection take?

The average inspection takes two to three hours depending on the size, age, and condition of the property. However, commercial and residential inspections are different.

It's brand new, do I need an inspection?

It is not good business to forego a home inspection on a newly constructed house, regardless of how conscientious and reputable your homebuilder. No home, regardless of how well it is constructed, is totally free of defects. The construction of a house involves thousands of details, performed at the hands of scores of individuals. No general contractor can possibly oversee every one of these elements, and the very nature of human fallibility dictates that some mistakes and oversights will occur, even when the most talented and best-intentioned trades-people are involved. It is also an unfortunate aspect of modern times that some builders/developers do not stand behind their workmanship and may not return to fix or replace defective components installed after the sale is complete.

Is there anything I can do better to maintain my home?

Inspection reports often identify the same neglected maintenance items. Performing some basic maintenance can help keep your home in better condition, thus reducing the chance of those conditions showing up on the inspection report. To present a better maintained home to perspective buyers follow these tips. Most of these items can be accomplished with little or no cost, while the benefits of selling a well maintained home can be worth the effort.

  • Clean rain gutters, roof debris and trim back excessive foliage from the exterior siding
  • Divert all water away from the house (for example rain-gutter downspouts and sump pump discharge locations), and clean out garage and basement interiors
  • Clean or replace all furnace filters
  • Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding (preferable 6-8 inches of clearance)
  • Paint all weathered exterior wood and caulk around trim, chimneys, windows, doors, and all exterior wall penetrations
  • Make sure all windows and doors are in proper operating condition; replace cracked windowpanes
  • Replace burned out light bulbs
  • Make sure all of the plumbing fixtures are in spotless condition (toilets, tubs, showers, sinks) and in proper working order (repair leaks)
  • Provide clear access to both attic and foundation crawl spaces, heating/cooling systems, water heater(s), electrical main and distribution panels and remove the car(s) from the garage
  • And finally, if the house is vacant make sure that all utilities are turned on. Should the water, gas, or electricity be off at the time of inspection the inspector will not turn them on. Therefore, the inspection process will be incomplete, which may possibly affect the time frame for removing sales contract contingencies
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