Most homeowners are familiar with the home inspection process as part of a new-home purchase. But did you know that professional home inspectors can inspect your home at any time? This is especially valuable for homeowners who are about to undertake a major remodeling project or add-on, or if a remodel has recently occurred. Here are the ins and outs of home inspection and what you need to know before hiring a professional.
The American Society of Home Inspectors, established in 1976, and the National Society of Home Inspectors, established in 1987, were established in order to address the growing concern of homeowners not fully understanding the condition of the home they were about to purchase. A professional home inspector checks everything in, on and around the home and gives an objective report assessing the state of the house. A certified professional is trained to look for potential problems and issues with a home, issues that may not be visible to the homeowner or potential buyer. They can also give professional opinions about what it might entail to fix the problem (i.e. does the entire roof need replacing or just one particular area?). The National Association of Building Inspectors, established in 1986, is a training program that helps people interested in becoming certified.
Before buying a home it is recommended to hire a certified professional home inspector of your choosing. In fact, most real estate professionals insist that prospective buyers utilize a certified home inspector prior to purchasing a home, regardless of the age of the home. The full report generated from this inspection will give you the information you need to make qualified decisions. Knowing what you are purchasing is important as usually after buying a home, homeowners start upgrading or renovating. A certified professional can also test soil and other materials.
A typical home inspection will take around 3-4 hours and will involve every part of the home, from the foundation to the roof. The ASHI Standards of Practice highlights a full list of everything that will be covered in a home inspection. The cost of this full inspection varies and will depend upon your location and the size and scope of the home. A home cannot “fail” an inspection: the report will help a homeowner better assess the current condition of the home in question and cite issues or problems that may not be obvious. It is recommended that you accompany the home inspector during his or her assessment, so you can learn more about any issues or ask questions.