Before the Inspection
So you’ve found the home of your dreams and the seller has accepted your offer. You typically have a 10 day option period in which to have the home inspected, learn as much as possible about the property and make any amendments to the contract before you are locked in. The clock is running… Now is the time to have the home professionally inspected to ensure that it will still be the home of your dreams, after the sale. You should do this well before your option period expires so that you have time to assess the inspection findings, do any necessary follow-up research and make any desired amendments. The time will go by much faster than you expect.
Protect yourself with the best inspection and best report that you can obtain. Find the inspector who is going to find as many of the defects as possible — every house has plenty — and will communicate them to you in a way that enables you to determine what items are really important to you in your inspection and what things you can live with. No house is perfect or ever will be. What is important is that you have the defects that exist in your prospective home communicated to you in a manner that enables you to prioritize and make informed decisions about the defects and the house, in general. A really good inspection will almost always produce savings that far outweigh the inspection fee, while a poor inspection may produce little or nothing of value, so shop for the best value, not just the lowest price. Value is determined by the return on your investment, not the smallness of the investment. Make sure that you get the information that you need out of your Houston home inspection.
Roof shingles with no nails
Look for an inspector who is willing to walk the roof and go the places that aren’t easy to get to. An inspector who doesn’t venture up on the roof or venture off the decked part of the attic is leaving a lot of your house under-inspected. There are a lot of roof defects which are undetectable unless you’re on the roof. Don’t let anyone tell you that they can inspect a roof equally well from the ground with binoculars, a drone or a camera on a stick. The more challenging an area is to get to, the more likely some worker decided to take a shortcut.
Look for an inspector who is willing to have you present at the inspection and is willing to explain the characteristics of the house and his/her inspection process. Pass on any inspector who is unwilling to have you attend the inspection.
Once you’ve scheduled the inspection, it’s important for you to notify your agent so that they can coordinate the schedule with the listing agent and seller.
During the Inspection
Some of our clients like to actively participate in their inspections
Be there for the inspection, if at all possible. If you can’t be there for the whole inspection, at least try to be there for the last portion and to debrief with the inspector. There is so much that you can learn about your prospective home during the inspection process and the walkthrough helps you understand where specific defects are located when you see them in the report. It also helps to put things in their proper context a lengthy report talking about all the things wrong with your prospective home can be pretty daunting without being able to discuss items with your inspector and put things in perspective. Some inspectors discourage clients from attending because it adds time to the inspection. However, the client gains more knowledge, information and value by attending, which is the whole reason we’re there anyway. We always encourage our clients to attend and participate, we have nothing more important on our agenda the day of your inspection than meeting your needs. this is your chance to ask questions, learn about the house, how your inspector goes about inspecting and gain maintenance tips, it’s also a chance to witness first hand, just how hard your inspector is willing to work for you.
We like to wrap-up our inspections with a slide show type walkthrough of the photos taken during the inspection. This way we can virtually walk you through the attic and over the roof from the safety of the ground. It also helps that when you see the written report, you have already had a chance to see and ask questions about the photos, understand what they convey, where the shot was taken and at what perspective. There is also an opportunity to view key defects, in person, while still at the property. An in-person debriefing makes the content of the report, much easier to process.
After the Inspection
Following the inspection, we will compose your inspection report, similar to the examples that you see on this website. We will incorporate descriptions of observed defects and deficiencies, include relevant photos and in many cases diagrams displaying normal examples. As appropriate, we will provide references and citation to authoritative sources to support our observations and opinions. These authoritative sources may include references to model building codes, manufacturer installation standards, international standards (e.g., ASTM, AAMA, NETA, etc.), industry association standards, etc. Keep in mind that we are consultants to our clients. We are not part of any code enforcement and we do not declare “code violations”, which is the domain of the authority having jurisdiction. We do not pass or fail a house. We do not compel anyone to correct any defect, no matter how severe it may be. We are consultants dedicated to assisting you in making informed decisions about your home purchase.
We do not prepare or deliver our reports on-site. There simply is not adequate time to prepare the type of detailed reporting that is our standards, while at the inspection. Our reports typically take several hours to prepare, sometimes nearly as long at the on-site portion of your inspection. Our standard commitment is to deliver our home inspection reports by the end of the following day or before Monday in the case of a Friday inspection. We typically have our reports ready by morning on the workday after the inspection.
We urge you to read the report in its entirety as soon as possible. We are always willing to assist you in understanding what is in the report, along with the potential implications of individual defects, however, we cannot make decisions for you. Only you can determine what is acceptable to you in your future home.
Long After The Inspection
Hang onto both your inspection report and our contact information. The report will contain a great deal of useful information about your house. Some of the items in the report will be low-level items which may have ongoing maintenance implications or may not be worth the effort or cost to repair them by themselves. However, it may be worthwhile to take care of them if you’re already working on the system or you have a trades-person onsite. We call these “might-as-well” items. Anytime you are having work done on the house, pull the report and check to see if there are any items that you “might-as-well” deal with while you already have someone out on a service call.
Also, as clients, we offer ongoing support for your home related questions via telephone or email. Your questions do not need to be related to the inspection in any way, nor is there a time limit. We don’t mind hearing from you. Anytime, you have questions about your home, something doesn’t seem to be working right, you’re hiring a contractor and want to know where they tend to take shortcuts in bidding your project (we’ve seen most everything you can imagine), feel free to contact us.
We look forward to hearing from you.