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What does a home inspection involve?


There are four basic steps to the home inspection: The inspector explains what is going to take place and asks about any special questions or requests. While the inspection agreement is being reviewed, the inspector will make a quick assessment of the property to get a general estimate of the scope of the inspection. There will be an in-depth walk-through inspection with the client. This involves inspecting all visible areas and reviewing all accessible items and areas. This includes the interior plumbing systems, electrical systems, heating system, central air conditioning system, the roof, attic space (where applicable), walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, basement, and the foundation and all structural components. All questions or items of special interest regarding a particular system or structural component would usually be addressed at this time. A final check of the entire property is made for verification that the condition of the property remained the same since the beginning of the inspection. With the conclusion of the inspection, the inspector will prepare a hard copy of the inspection report. All of the deficiencies are entered onto the summary sheet for the client.


How long do inspections take?


An average home inspection by our  Home Inspectors will take between 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the house. Larger and more complex houses usually take longer for inspectors to completely and accurately evaluate. Also, the condition of the components at the property may affect inspection time because if they have not been properly maintained, it will take additional time for the inspector to explain to the buyer what options they have to either maintain or replace the items.


Why do I need a home inspection?


The purchase of a home is the largest investment for most people throughout their lifetime. Being informed and educated as much as possible when making this investment can save a lot of money, time and headaches. A home inspection provides this education. Also, most mortgage lenders highly recommend that home inspection be performed before the purchase and sale of a home.


A home inspection lets a buyer know the exact condition of a property. Any repairs or modifications needed will be assessed before you buy, allowing you to make an informed purchasing decision. After the inspection, you will have a much better understanding of the property you intend to purchase.


A home inspection is also valuable for homeowners (sellers) for identifying any potential problems that may need tending to. If you intend to put your house on the market, a home inspection will identify items that would be called out on a buyer’s inspection, which allows to you to make prior repairs and modifications, putting your house in a more sellable position.


Can I do it myself?


Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and years of expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction and remains completely objective and unemotional about the home.


Why do I need a home inspection on a house that I'm building?


An inspection on a new home is very important for the buyer to level the playing field so that builders and contractors do not take advantage. This is because, as in any job, there are shortcuts and tricks of the trade that are easy to miss for someone who is unfamiliar with them. A home inspector is trained to see these nuances and will offset the builder’s and contractor’s interest.


There is usually an inspection of the house before the drywall is installed, known as a “pre close-in" inspection. It provides a level of quality assurance for the buyer that many builders don’t usually provide for their contractors. This inspection gives you a great chance of identifying and correcting problems when they are much easier and less expensive to fix.


What is the cost of a home inspection?


The cost of a home inspection for a single family home varies due to the geographical location, as well as its size and age. The cost also varies when additional inspection services are requested, such as mold, asbestos or radon testing and inspections. However, you shouldn’t let cost be a factor in determining whether or not to have a home inspection performed. You should consider the money spent as an educational investment if nothing is found, and if something is found the inspection covers its fee many times over in money, time and headaches.


Do I need to attend the inspection?


It is not necessary that you attend the inspection. However, Ott Home Inspection Services strongly recommends that you or a representative for you attends the inspection so that you are properly informed of the investment that you are considering. It’s recommended that you attend because you will be able to follow the inspector around and visually learn about the condition of your house, how the various systems operate and how to properly maintain them. You will also have the opportunity to ask the inspector about the contents on the report. Who should have better knowledge of a home than its next owner?


Is the inspector licensed or certified?


All of our inspectors have gone through training and are fully licensed and carry general liability insuarance.


What are the estimated life spans of all the systems in my house?


Due to factors including the geographic area, the physical location of the units and the climate and weather it is very hard to determine an accurate estimation.


On the other hand, there is an estimated design life when a property or component is built. The following is a list of different components with their respective estimated design life span.


System     

Component

Estimated Design Life

Roofing

Asphalt Composition Shingle

18 - 22 Years

Asphalt Composition Rolled Roofing

10 - 15 Years

Built-Up Roofing

10 - 15 Years

Elastomeric / Rubber Roofing

10 - 15 Years

Wood Shakes / Shingles

15 - 25 Years

Clay / Terra Cotta Tiles

25 Plus Years

Concrete / Asbestos Cement Tiles

25 Plus Years

Slate Roofing

50 Plus Years

Metal Roofing (flat, standing-seam, corrugated)

Indefinite

Plastic / Fiberglass corrugated panels

15 Plus Years

Glass Panels (sun rooms, etc.)

15 Plus Years

Gutters and Downspouts

15 - 20 Years

Heating

Boiler (Steam / Hydronic)

25 - 40 Years

Forced Air Furnace - Gas / Oil

15 - 35 Years

Forced Air Furnace - Electric

15 - 25 Years

Electric Resistance, Baseboard

15 - 25 Years

Cooling

Heat Pump

10 - 15 Years

Central Split System

10 - 15 Years

A/C Compressor

10 - 15 Years

Window A/C Unit

10 - 15 Years

Evaporative (Swamp) Cooler

10 - 20 Years

Plumbing

Water Heater - Electric

12 - 18 Years

Water Heater - Gas / Oil

10 - 15 Years

Solid Waste Pump

5 - 10 Years

Sump Pump

5 - 8 Years

Submersible Well Pump

10 - 15 Years

Shallow or Deep Well Jet Pump

10 - 15 Years

Kitchen / Appliances

Dishwasher

5 - 10 Years

Garbage Disposal

5 - 10 Years

Cook Top - (Electric / Gas)

15 - 20 Years

Range / Oven

15 - 20 Years

Refrigerator

5 - 25 Years

Trash Compactor

5 - 10 Years

Ventilator / Draft Hood

8 - 12 Years

Washing Machine / Clothes Dryer

8 - 12 Years

Miscellaneous

Chemical Termite Treatment (subterranean)

5 Years

Fumigation for Drywood Termites

2 Years

Radon Mitigation System

Life of the fan