How to choose your building inspector...
Home inspections are an important part of the pre-purchase routine when buying a house. You do not want to end up with faults that you had not anticipated. Choosing a home inspector can be a difficult process. It is important to consult with family and friends to find a reliable inspector that has good references. You should also contact several inspectors in your area and interview them in advance to ascertain their qualifications. Be sure to do your own independent investigation of the inspectors' qualifications.
Questions to ask your potential home inspector.
- How long has the inspector been in business AS A HOME INSPECTION firm?
- Is the inspector specifically experienced in RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION?
- What does the inspection include? Inspections should include visual inspections covering exterior, structure, garage, plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical, interior, insulation and ventilation. Extras include radon testing, a pest infestation survey or inspection of septic systems or wells. Be sure the inspector will provide a written report.
- How much will it cost? Determine fees up front. Inspections cost from as little as $200 to as much as $1,000 depending on the size of the home and which inspection services are requested.
- How long will the inspection take? The time depends on the size and age of the home: The average is 2 to 3 hours. Anything less isn't enough time to do a thorough inspection but many inspectors take a full day to thoroughly inspect your prospective purchase.
- Does the inspector encourage the client to attend the inspection? This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal means you should look for a better qualified inspector.
- Bluntly ask what educational and/or training facility the inspector attended. Does the inspector participate in continuing education programs to keep his/her expertise up to date? Ask to see the inspector's papers. When hiring a company, ensure your home will be inspected by a registered professional.
- Does the company offer to do any repairs or improvements based on its inspection? This might cause a conflict of interest. We do not recommend that you deal with these firms.
- Do they belong to an association that will investigate a consumer complaint?
- Do they carry errors and omission insurance?