Home Inspections

Homeowners may closely review the condition of their property from time to time to keep it well-maintained and to avoid significant repair issues from developing. In addition, home buyers often inspect a home before making an offer to buy a specific property. However, in many cases, a homeowner or home buyer only conducts a cursory or superficial review of the home on their own. Remember that many components of the home that are critical to its overall condition are hidden from view or may be difficult for the average person to detect. If you want to learn more about the true condition of your existing home or about a home that you are thinking about buying, ordering a home inspection report from Rocket City Home Inspections is an excellent idea. When preparing to take this step, it is wise to learn more about what you can expect from a home inspection.

What Is a Home Inspection?

Before you order a home inspection from Rocket City Home Inspections, you may wonder why you need to order a specialized report at all. After all, an inspector will not tear down the walls or open up sections of pipes to discover what may be hidden deep inside the home. While this is true, a trained and experienced home inspector can use knowledge, experience and specialized equipment to identify problem areas that you need to know about. A home inspection report is very detailed, and it often is numerous pages long. This is not a general overview of the home, such as what you may complete when you spend a few minutes walking from room to room.A typical home inspection may take at least a couple of hours to complete based on the size of the home and its age. The inspection report details each specific component of the home that was reviewed. It outlines suggested maintenance tasks, minor repair issues and urgent repair issues that may affect the life and safety of inhabitants or that may be in violation of current building and safety codes. This provides you with much more information about the condition of the home and urgent issues that require prompt attention than what you may be able to determine through your own brief inspection.

Who Should Order a Home Inspection?

Many people order a home inspection before buying a home. This may be based on the recommendation of a real estate agent or simply because it is the expected step for a buyer to take. In reality, a home inspection is usually optional rather than required. While it may be optional for home buyers, it can provide you with an incredible amount of information about the home that you are preparing to buy. Just as you would not buy a used car without a mechanic looking under the hood, you also should not buy a home without knowing what its issues are.In addition to home buyers, homeowners can also benefit from a professional inspection. It is important that you keep up with all of the repair and maintenance issues on your home, so you may use a home inspection report as a to-do list. The report can focus your efforts properly so that you keep your home maintained in excellent condition over the years. Some homeowners also order a home inspection before listing their property for sale so that they can tackle any major items before they become an issue in a negotiation with a prospective buyer.

Why Do You Need a Home Inspection?

As mentioned, a home inspection is an option for homeowners and home buyers in most cases. The fee for the inspection is based on the age of the home and its size in most cases. Some buyers negotiate for the seller to pay for this expense. If you are faced with paying the fee on your own, you may be thinking about saving money and simply inspecting the home on your own. This may sound like a smart idea at first glance, but keep in mind that an inspector walks through the home room by room inspecting all aspects of it from floor to ceiling. Special equipment is used to test amps, check water pressure and more. In addition, the inspector will examine the exterior of the home as well as any other structures on the property. This is a thorough inspection that most homeowners and home buyers are not properly skilled or educated to complete.What Aspects of the Home Are Reviewed by an Inspector?

Before you order a home inspection, you may be wondering what components and systems are reviewed by a home inspector. An inspector will physically inspect the structure inside and out to look for signs of possible foundation issues. This includes opening and closing doors, looking for cracks in walls, flooring or outside patio areas. He will also look for signs of a pest infestation, water damage and other warning signs that may dictate the need for a more specific type of inspection. All appliances are checked for proper functionality or signs of repair and maintenance issues. A thermometer is used to test the heating function of the oven. The home inspector will even venture into the attic to look for signs of damage to support beams, from pests and more.The output and air pressure of the HVAC system is also reviewed during the home inspection process. Signs of leaks and other issues may be noted in the inspection. In addition, the hot water heater is inspected to determine if repair issues are present. All light fixtures and power outlets are also inspected. Any non-functioning electrical elements are reviewed. The home is also inspected to ensure that it complies with all building codes and ordinances, including those that may have been instituted after the construction date of the home.

The exterior of the home is checked for signs of pest damage as well. The roof is inspected in many cases, but there may be instances when the inspector cannot access the roof. Any signs of leaks or damage around doors and windows is noted. Keep in mind that cosmetic damage may also be noted. For example, if the garage door is dented but functional, the cosmetic damage will be noted as a non-urgent issue in the report.

What Areas of the Home May Not Be Reviewed by an Inspector?

There are instances when a home inspector from Rocket City Home Inspections has noted a potential issue but lacks the specialized skills and equipment required to determine how severe the issue is and what the cost to remedy the situation is. For example, if signs of a foundation issue are present, the inspector may recommend a full foundation report from a licensed service provider. If a leak is noted around the HVAC system, the inspector may be able to tell what the cause of the issue is in some cases. In other cases, the inspector may recommend that the homeowner or buyer reach out to an HVAC company for more information. The roof is one of the more common areas that a typical home inspector will not review or may only partially review. However, Rocket City Home Inspections uses drone imaging to inspect the roof as a special service to clients in the local area.Do Home Inspectors Provide Other Services?

Each home inspection company is unique, and some offer specialized services for the benefit of their clients. Rock City Home Inspections, for example, offers residential, commercial and investor property inspections. In addition, radon inspections are also available upon request. Radon is a naturally occurring gas, but it also can be lethal. When present, it can enter the home from the soil underneath the home. High levels of radon can easily be detected with an inspection, and the inspection can give you important information that is necessary to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious or even fatal consequences associated with radon gas exposure.What Are the Qualifications for a Home Inspector?

A home inspector must comply with state requirements before working in this field, including in the areas of education and experience. These are fairly minimal requirements, however. For example, in Alabama, an inspector only needs to take a course and pass an examine to be qualified to complete home inspections. Some inspectors, however, have substantial industry experience, such as from previously working as a contractor, a plumber or another related industry job.What Should You Look for When Hiring a Home Inspector?

The two most important things to consider when hiring a home inspector are licensing and insurance. The inspector should be able to provide you with documentation showing that his license and insurance policy are both active. More than that, it may be helpful to look for a guarantee or warranty on the results provided in the inspection. For example, Rocket City Home Inspections offers a 90-day guarantee on all inspection work completed.The experience and education of the inspection team also should be reviewed. While all inspectors have passed the minimum education requirements for the license, many have more profound experience that they can draw from when inspecting your home. Expertise and specialization may benefit you in many cases. Excellent reviews and recommendations may also be helpful. You can look for reviews online, and you can also ask friends or neighbors for recommendations. Price is also an important factor for many people. However, remember that it is most important to obtain a thorough and accurate home inspection report than to skimp on quality to save a few dollars.

What You Can Do After Receiving a Home Inspection Report?

A typical home inspection may take a few hours to complete, and the inspector will need additional time to type up a written report. Shortly after the site visit and home inspection, you will receive a written copy of the inspection report. Any accompanying photos that may be used as photographic evidence may also be included in the report. This can help you to more closely or accurately identify problem areas that were noted in the inspection.After you have thoroughly reviewed the inspection, feel free to ask the inspector for any clarification about the findings. It is important that you have a comprehensive understanding about the condition of the home so that you can act appropriately. Many homeowners will use the inspection to identify substantial problem areas that require immediate attention, such as a broken support beam in the attic that holds the weight of the roof. Minor or less important to-do items may also be handled as time allows to keep the property in great shape.

Home buyers often use the report initially to decide if they want to buy the property. Some substantial repair issues may seem serious enough that the buyer decides to walk away and look for another property. In other cases, a buyer may ask the seller to address significant issues before closing or to provide funds for the buyer to make the repairs after closing. Home buyers should understand that a lived-in home will always have some signs of wear and tear. It is not reasonable to expect a used home to be in like-new condition. Some minor issues should be overlooked as wear and tear, but significant or expensive issues may need to be negotiated in some way based on your comfort level and the recommendation of your real estate agent. After all, while minor repairs are to be expected, significant damage is not expected.

As soon as you order a home inspection, the site visit and generation of the report will occur very quickly. While you may not have time to waste, you also need to ensure that you order the right report and that you consider the benefits of ordering an additional radon inspection. In addition, choosing a skilled and experienced inspector to do the work is equally important. Spend a few minutes today selecting an excellent inspection company to hire, and relax knowing that you will soon learn about the true condition of the property.