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  • What You Should Expect From Your Home Inspector

    While home inspection requirements vary from state to state, but the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has a Standards of Practice page that outlines minimum and uniform standards that you should expect from an inspection. They include the following:

    • Structural elements: Construction of visible foundation, evidence of sagging or bowing of the structure, and window alignment
    • Safety: Operating fire and carbon monoxide alarms, fire sprinklers, condition of stairs, hand and guardrails, and garage door openers.
    • Grounds: Leaks from septic tank, proper drainage, and condition of the house’s driveways, fences, and sidewalks
    • Roof: Condition of shingles, any repairs/patches to flat roofs, clear vents, damage to chimneys, and properly working gutters
    • Exterior surfaces: Correct clearance between ground and siding material, condition of exterior paint or siding, and properly working lights and electrical outlets
    • Attic: Sufficient insulation, proper ventilation, and any sign of leaking or water damage
    • Interior plumbing: No damaged or leaking pipes, proper hot water temperature, as well as functioning toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers
    • Electrical system: Up-to-code condition and type of visible wiring, and proper function of circuit breakers, outlets, light fixtures, and fans
    • Appliances: Proper function of stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, washer and dryer, and all other appliances
    • Heating and cooling systems: Condition of furnace, air conditioning (temperature permitting), water heater, chimney, and fireplace
    • Basement: Solid foundation, walls, and floors, with no signs of water intrusion or damage
    • Garage: Solid foundation, windows, ceiling, framing, and roof; working garage door opener; up-to-code electrical system; and proper function of outlets

    What Home Inspectors Typically Will Not Inspect
    While home inspections vary from state to state and from company to company, here are areas that are not typically covered by your home inspection. If you feel you have questions or concerns about any of these areas below, consider hiring an expert in those fields to come to the house and have a formal evaluation completed by a certified specialist:

    • Pest control (Keep in mind that General Home Inspection does perform a pest inspection service for an additional charge)
    • Radon gas (Keep in mind that General Home Inspection does perform a radon inspection service for an additional charge)

    Like other home inspectors, we do not test for the following:

    • Lead paint
    • Swimming pools
    • Toxic mold
    • Asbestos

    First, make sure you are 100% comfortable with your choice of your home inspector. They can help you inspect and avoid major issues in your home buying process. It’s a great idea to interview candidates over the phone and/or in person before making a decision. That’s when you learn about their experiences, training and areas of expertise. In some areas, home inspectors are affiliated with the state real estate commission and must be licensed and comply with state regulations and procedures. In addition, get references from prior clients, and seek out testimonials from previous clients as well. Not sure where to find a qualified home inspector in your area? Talk to your realty professional; they frequently work with local home inspectors and know exactly which ones to recommend for you. Ask around, your neighbors, your family, your friends, many of them may have used a home inspector in the past and know who they like and trust well. And if nothing else, look online for accredited affiliations, like ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Institute of Building Inspectors. They have a list of certified home inspectors for your area, who are already members of one of these two associations.