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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Home Inspection?


It is predominately a visual inspection of the systems of the house. Inspectors do not conduct invasive, destructive inspections. We do not have x-ray vision and don't cut open walls to inspect. No inspector can find every hidden issue, but an experienced inspector has the skills to find clues to uncover many hidden issues. A good inspector understands the interworking relationship between systems of a home and recognizes how failures in one system can impact the others. This knowledge and experience helps reduce your risk in purchasing a home and provides you with more insight into your investment.


What do you inspect?

Everything I can access and evaluate including:


The Roof

  • The roof-covering materials

  • The gutters

  • The downspouts

  • The vents, flashing, skylights, chimney, and other roof penetrations

  • The general structure of the roof from the readily accessible panels, doors or stairs



The exterior wall-covering materials, flashing and trim

  • All exterior doors

  • Adjacent walkways and driveways

  • Stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps

  • Porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports

  • Railings, guards and handrails

  • The eaves, soffits and fascia

  • A representative number of windows

  • Vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and grading of the property, where they may adversely affect the structure due to moisture intrusion


Basement, foundation, crawlspace & structure

  • The foundation

  • The basement

  • The crawlspace

  • Structural components


Heating and cooling systems

  •  Evaluated using normal operating controls


  • The main water supply shut-off valve

  • The main fuel supply shut-off valve

  • The water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing

  • Interior water supply, including all fixtures and faucets, by running the water

  • All toilets for proper operation by flushing

  • All sinks, tubs and showers for functional drainage

  • The drain, waste and vent system

  • Drainage sump pumps with accessible floats



  • The service drop

  • The overhead service conductors and attachment point

  • The service head, gooseneck and drip loops

  • The service mast, service conduit and raceway

  • The electric meter and base

  • Service-entrance conductors

  • The main service disconnect

  • Panel boards and over-current protection devices (circuit breakers and fuses)

  • Service grounding and bonding

  • A representative number of switches, lighting fixtures and receptacles, including receptacles observed and deemed to be arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI)-protected using the AFCI test button, where possible;\

  • All ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles and circuit breakers observed and deemed to be GFCIs using a GFCI tester, where possible

  • Smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors



  • Readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys

  • Lintels above the fireplace openings

  • Damper doors by opening and closing them, if readily accessible and manually operable

  • Clean-out doors and frames.


Attic, Insulation & Ventilation

  • Insulation in unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas

  • Ventilation of unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas

  • Mechanical exhaust systems in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry area


Doors, Windows & Interior

  • A representative number of doors and windows by opening and closing them

  • Floors, walls and ceilings

  • Stairs, steps, landings, stairways and ramps

  • Railings, guards and handrails

  • Garage vehicle doors and the operation of garage vehicle door openers, using normal operating controls

Can I or should I be with you for the inspection?


I encourage my clients to be with me for the inspection. We can discuss our findings as we go through the house as well as discuss future considerations and maintenance schedules while we evaluate the systems.


What about the report?


Reports are generally delivered via email within 24 hours following the inspection. My reports are written in a clear, concise format with pictures for clarification. They include a key that corresponds to the seriousness of any condition found, the impact those conditions may have, and recommendations for remediation. My inspections are very thorough and detailed. I write reports that contain all pertinent information, but I do not fill pages with irrelevant information that only make them cumbersome and difficult to read.


Why do I need a home inspection?


Buyers: Knowledge is power. I will provide you with a general evaluation of all accessible systems and their components so you have a better understanding of the house and its overall condition. This knowledge will enable you to be better prepared to make an informed decision.


Sellers: In an increasingly competitive real estate market many informed sellers are now hiring home inspectors to evaluate the house prior to listing. This gives you the opportunity to correct problems in the home that may be an issue for buyers and give your house a competitive edge on the market. 


What is a home inspection?
What do you inspect?
Can I be present?
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