What is a home inspection?
An inspection is a visual examination of the structure and systems of a building. Our through inspection provides you with a complete report on the status of the property from top to bottom, inside and out. Safe and Sound inspectors evaluate and report the condition of:
- Structure - Doors
- Foundation - Ceilings
- Plumbing - Electrical Systems
- Central Air Conditioning - Landscaping and Exterior
- System - Drainage
- Windows - Appliances
- Roof - Crawlspace/Basement
- Heating System - Floors
- Visible Insulation - Fireplaces
- Walls - Attics
Do I really need an inspection?
The purchase of a home is one of the largest single investments that you will ever make. To avoid unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards, you should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for major repairs before you buy.
There is no such thing as a home that is too new or too well built to benefit from a professional inspection. Anyone advising against an inspection is doing a disservice to the buyer. Even the most experienced builder or homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of the trained, unbiased, and objective professional inspector.
Safe and Sound inspectors are continually educated in the critical elements of construction and building practices, on both new construction and existing structures. Many problems encountered after the buyer moves in, are a routine discovery for our qualified inspectors. Our inspectors will identify potential problems and recommend preventative measures, which might avoid future expensive repairs.
Can a building “FAIL” the inspection?
No. A professional inspection is an examination into the current condition of your prospective real estate purchase. It is not an appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection.
Safe and Sound inspectors do not pass or fail a building, but bring to your attention items that are in need of repairs or replacement, and safety issues discovered in and around the structure. If we do find problems in a building, it does not necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to make repairs or negotiate the sale price. Then again you may not wish to become involved with future repair work and decide that this is not the property for you. Safe and Sound enables you to make a well-informed decision. The choice is yours.
When do I request an inspection?
The best time to consult the inspector is right after your offer has been accepted. Ask your agent or the seller to include an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase contingent upon the findings of a professional inspection.
Prior to the inspection we do recommend that all the utilities be turned on (water, gas, electric) so a complete inspection can be conducted on all the systems.
Call Safe and Sound as soon as your offer has been accepted. We will promptly schedule your inspection and work diligently for you to ensure that your inspection will be performed in a timely manner.
Do I have to be present during the home inspection?
No, but Safe and Sound highly recommends that you be in attendance at some point so we can go over the inspection report and show you any problems or deficiencies that we have discovered. For our clients that are relocating from another state, and can’t be in attendance we provide you with as many digital photos, faxes, e-mails and phone consultations as needed to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your new property.
How long does a home inspection take?
Each inspection varies uniquely, based on the size, age and condition of the property.
Safe and Sound inspectors take whatever time is necessary to ensure not only a thorough, complete inspection but also that you fully understand the condition of the property and its equipment and systems. You deserve to know exactly what to expect -- both indoors and out -- in terms of needed and future repairs and maintenance. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property that you are about to purchase, and be able to make your decision with confidence.
When do I receive my report?
Safe and Sound provides you with three copies of your inspection report on site as soon as we have completed your inspection. We do not release any results or information of your inspection to anyone but you unless you have given us the authority to do so.
How much will a home inspection cost?
At Safe and Sound our pricing is based on the square footage and location of the home. There are no hidden add-on fees for the crawlspace, attic, or the age and condition of the home. You can rest assured that our prices are competitive and fair. We will always take whatever time is necessary to provide you with a thorough, complete inspection and to answer any and all of your questions or concerns.
Avoid price shopping. A home is one of the most expensive commodities you are likely to purchase or sell in a lifetime. One defect missed by your inspector could cost 100 times what you save with a bargain inspection. The best method of price shopping is to shop for quality. It’s the experience, training, and service level of your inspector that matters most. Considering the high cost of real estate, an inspection is a small price to pay. It can save thousands of dollars and years of regret.
What is a maintenance inspection?
A maintenance inspection is conducted for the owner of the property to identify potential problems and recommend preventative measures. Most people tend to adhere to the adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We visit our doctor and dentist for check-ups; we routinely take our vehicles to mechanics for maintenance; but we usually overlook our homes. By the time a preventable problem requires our attention, the solution has escalated into a costly ordeal. Damage in one area of the home can, and usually does, affect other areas of the home.
Owners of newly constructed homes especially benefit from a maintenance inspection. A thorough inspection can disclose defects or deficiencies that can be settled with the builder before any warranties expire.
Safe and Sound inspectors know what to look for. We recognize the “red flags” that are indicators of current and potential problems. Let us put our years of experience to work for you and your family!
What is a Phase inspection?
A Phase inspection (or “in-progress” inspection) is an independent, third party inspection to ensure that the work is in compliance with plans, specifications and the construction schedule. Once a home is built, many conditions that could have been observed during construction are now covered and are no longer visible for an inspection. Often a poorly installed/constructed condition that could have been visually reviewed during a Phase inspection becomes covered or concealed later in the building process and causes a potential financial burden for the property owner. For these reasons, it is important that a home be inspected during construction by the buyer’s representative so that defects can be corrected before completion and transfer of title.
It’s brand new…what could be wrong?
No home, regardless of how well it is constructed, is totally free of defects. The construction of a house involves thousand of details, performed by many different individuals. No general contractor can possibly oversee every one of these elements, and the very nature of human fallibility dictates that some mistakes and oversights will occur, even when the most talented and best-intentioned trades’ people are involved. It is also an unfortunate aspect of modern times that some builders/developers do not stand behind their workmanship and may not return to repair or replace defective components after the sale is complete.
The Municipal Code inspector already approved it.
Often the builder/developer will state the home has been built to “code” and that it was inspected at different stages and signed off by the local jurisdiction. However, building codes are frequently “minimum in nature”-that is, the primary intent of regulations (codes) is to provide reasonable controls for the construction, use and occupancy of buildings. The builder is responsible to meet minimal standards at best--you may want higher standards applied for your dream home. Also, it is an unfortunate fact of the hectic pace of construction, the local building department inspectors may be overbooked which results in their spending a minimal amount of time at the construction job site and important details may be overlooked. Finally, jurisdictional code inspectors are not concerned with workmanship as long as all the systems and components in a new home meet minimum code requirements.
Safe and Sound has years of experience dealing with contractors and subcontractors. We know what to expect. As your representative, we take whatever time is necessary to evaluate every readily accessible feature of your new home and provide you with an accurate report of the construction work in progress. This, in turn, can be a “fix-it” list that can be brought to the attention of the builder. You have peace of mind knowing that you took the extra step to secure your investment by being made aware of any overlooked defects.