What exactly is a Home Inspection?
A Home Inspection is a through, non-invasive, visual inspection of the home and its accessible installed systems.
The accessible structure, roof, attic and interior of the home will be inspected. To the extent that they are readily accessible, the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems will be inspected.
The various systems and components of the home will be inspected according to the NACHI Standards of Practice
The inspector will provide you with a written report detailing the issues he observed. In most cases he will indicate that there appears to be a deficiency or damage that needs to be addressed or evaluated by a licensed contractor.
Even more important, What A Home Inspection Is NOT
A home inspection is not a technically exhaustive inspection. This would involve many licensed contractors and would cost 10 or more times what you are charged for a home inspection.
A home inspection will not discover every possible problem you may experience with the home. Some things will not be easily seen due to lighting conditions, weather, or accessibility.
A home inspection is not a code compliance inspection. Likewise it does not in general address cosmetic, design or decor issues.
A home inspection is not an invasive inspection. Holes will not be cut into the wall to check plumbing pipes. No disassembly of systems or devices will occur.
What do you do after the Inspection
The inspection has been completed and you have the report. Now what?
First of all don't panic. No home is perfect and all of them will have some items that need to be addressed. As your inspector I will have already pointed out the deficiencies I have noted in the report and told you what, if anything, you need to deal with right away. Yes, there will be other things on the report but they are mostly not critical issues. These are often things such as smoke detector locations that were acceptable when the home was built but do not meet current regulations
Assuming that there are no major structural problems, pay attention to the items that will be expensive to repair, interfere with your moving into the home, affect your ability to obtain insurance or will prevent you from enjoying the home. These issues should be brought to the attention of the seller to see if you can get them to make the repairs or reduce the sales price to allow you to have the repairs done.
Remember, the seller may be as surprised to learn of the issues as you are. Usually an agreement can be reached. If the seller is unwilling to make any repairs, then you need to decide if you still want the home enough to buy it and make the repairs yourself.
If you find that you do not remember exactly what some of the items mentioned in the report are, call me. If it has only been a few days, I can probably answer the question over the telephone.