Home inspections are part and parcel of homeownership. Having an experienced, skilled home inspector can give homeowners and realtors important information about the condition and repair of a home. If you’re building a home from the ground up, you may hire a home inspector to be your eyes and ears during specific construction phases, so any issues can be found before they get expensive.
If you’re new to home inspections, here are questions you might want to ask before you schedule a home inspection.
- What types of general home inspections do you offer?
Home inspectors can specialize in residential and commercial inspections. If you’re unsure, just ask. The following are most common among residential homebuyers.
- Pre-purchase inspections: These home inspections are ordered before the sale of a home. This protects the buyer and the mortgage lender from potential costly issues that may affect the value or safety of a home.
- Pre-listing inspections: A pre-listing home inspection is ordered by a home’s owner before the home is ready for sale. Homeowners, investors, and realtors use these kinds of inspections to prioritize renovations and to offer a property for the right price.
- New construction inspections: These home inspections are typically conducted during the construction process of a new home to ensure that the property is being built to code and to identify any potential issues before they become major problems. They can happen in three distinct phases. The pre-drywall inspection is one of the most common new construction inspections.
- Periodic inspections: Home inspections can be ordered at regular intervals to assess the overall condition of the property and identify any renovations or repairs that may be needed.
- Specialized inspections: Specialized inspections are focused on specific systems or components of the home, such as the roof, plumbing, or electrical systems. These inspections are often conducted to address specific concerns or issues with a particular aspect of the property.
- What specialized inspections do you offer?
Home inspectors often offer more specialized inspections, especially for the detection of wood-destroying insects (WDI), like termites. Others that can be offered can include more in-depth examinations of a pool or spa, water well, or septic or sewer system. Some inspections can be done to rule out safety issues, such as radon, lead paint, asbestos, and air and water quality.
Tradespeople can be engaged if you suspect more involved issues with the heating and cooling system, roofing, plumbing, or electricity.
- What is your home inspection process and how long will it take to schedule?
Home inspectors understand that if you’re requesting an inspection that timing can be everything. When you get in touch, explain any timing constraints before you schedule the inspection. It’s a good idea to learn about the inspector’s process and find out how long it will take to schedule, conduct the inspection, and receive the final report. Most properties can be inspected in a few hours, but that could vary depending on the size of your property.
- What does your home inspection cover?
Home inspectors should be able to tell you in general about all of the home’s components and systems they will be able to evaluate. They may have specialty tools, such as infrared thermometers they can use to assess insulation or whether an electrical outlet is charged. They may use a drone to better safely assess the roof and second story.
According to the Maryland Department of Labor: “Home inspection means a written evaluation of one or more of the components of an existing residential building, including the heating system, cooling system, plumbing system, electrical system, structural components, foundation, roof, masonry structure, exterior and interior components, or any other related residential housing component.”
- What training, memberships and accreditation does a home inspector hold?
Home inspectors in the state of Maryland “must complete a 72-hour on-site home inspector training course approved by the Commission and pass the National Home Inspector Examination” according to the Maryland Department of Labor. Continuing education is also required.
It’s also a good idea to ask a home inspector if they hold any extra accreditations and memberships to professional home inspector associations, such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors® (InterNATCHI). For example, InterNACHI requires that certified inspectors:
- Pass the InterNACHI® Online Inspector Exam
- Meet pre-certification training requirements
- Abide by the InterNACHI® standards of practice
- Abide by the InterNACHI® code of ethics
- Earn 24 hours of continuing education each year
- Do you allow homeowners to attend the inspection?
Most home inspectors not only allow homeowners or home buyers to attend an inspection of their home, they encourage it! This is the time to learn more about your home, ask questions, and understand more about what an inspector sees. Whether the issue they uncover is large or small, they can give you their perspective about what it means, how it can affect safety, and how it can be remedied.
- Do you have a sample report and how will it be delivered?
Some inspectors can share a sample report to give you an idea of what a report might look like for your home. They may include outlines of how your home is organized, photos, and videos. It’s also a good idea to inquire how the report may be delivered – such as electronically or by mail?
- What will a home inspection cost?
A home inspection is not one size fit all. Each home and property is different, which is why the cost may be a little different. A smaller property will take less time to evaluate than a two-story residential property. Your location can also play into the cost of the inspection if an inspector charges travel time. A home inspector can tell you what factors go into the price of the inspection.
- Will an inspector share their expertise and references?
It can be revealing to ask an inspector how they decided to become an inspector. You can learn about their passion for the field and more about their training. You can also ask for references and look up online reviews.
Searching for a Maryland Residential Home Inspector? Call Us
Shore Inspection Services LLC owned by Chad Sims is based in Preston, Maryland and serves the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Read more about the company and call or text Chad at 410-476-8144 today to learn more and set up a residential home inspection.