What is involved in a home inspection?

The most common phrase I hear when I am done an inspection is: “Wow! This covers far more than I thought.” Or: This is far more thorough than my last inspection.”

Many Inspectors along with their reports are good, some are not so good, and some are downright a waste of time and money.

I recently did an inspection for a client that has used me multiple times over the last few years. After I reviewed the report with him, he immediately pulled out a report the vendor supplied to him that was done about a week previous.

He told everyone present this is why he got “his Inspector” even though he was given an inspection report. We reviewed the other inspection right there.

It was 50 pages long. This was a bit long for my thinking on a 40 year old 1500 square foot house, but some houses are in a condition that may take more writing or describing.

This house was actually in pretty good condition, so I wondered why such a long report.

5 pages were of the limitations the Inspector may encounter.

10 pages entirely were only the “Standards of Practice” that the Inspector worked to.

22 pages were diagrams of components of a house. Items such as 2 pages alone on how parts of an AC unit go together and it operates at. 2 pages of plumbing and venting stacks. The one I was really astounded at was 5 pages of different types of furnaces. High-Efficiency, Mid-Efficiency, Lo-Efficiency gas, one oil and one electric.

After a quick review of it, it became apparent that only 7 pages were actually a “report” of the house itself. Looking at those pages was another surprise.
All but one page had descriptions of 2 items, the last page actually had 3 items listed.

1 item read : Deck, not to code
Next item read: Windows, not to code.
Next item read: Electrical, not to code
Every thing (only 15 items) was listed as ‘Not to code” except the kitchen faucet. It was written: Loose, recommend repair or replace.
Even the smoke detectors were written as: Older, replace. Not to code, they are not in the kitchen.

I definitely think this was the poorest report I have seen to date, although 1 Realtor told me the “Inspector” did write a few pages of sticky notes and passed them to the client as a report.

Sometimes we do see some issues that a Homeowner creates that make us shake our heads, but no matter what a professional report is definitely needed in our day and age.


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