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Home Inspections – Are They Worth the Money?

The cost of a home inspection can be the cheapest money ever spent on your part. The $ 300 to $ 500 it might cost for an inspection could easily save you thousands of dollars in repairs and maintenance cost you could incur after you have bought the house and moved in. It is not to say that homes should not or do not have maintenance issues or repair problems, most do. This is where the home inspection comes in, to identify the various maintenance issues or repair problems, and make them known to the perspective buyer. The buyer can take this information and use it as an integral part of his decision-making process.

A thorough home inspection by a certified home inspector will examine the many components of a home. He will visibly examine:

1. The site for hazards, water drainage, vegetation that may adversely affect the structure, signs of soil instability, and various hard surfaces.

2. Inspect the visible foundation, floor framing, roof framing, and other support structures that may be applicable.

3. The exterior inspection should include wall coverings, coatings, and sealants around wall penetrations, stairs, decks, handrails, and soffits.

4. The roof may be examined from the ground or ladder where it is unsafe to walk on the roof due to the slope of the roof or unsafe slippery conditions. The roof inspection includes roofing materials, flashings, gutters and downspouts, and any roof penetrations.

5. Plumbing components include visible water supply and waste lines, vent lines, fixtures and faucets, and water heating equipment.

6. The electrical system panel, wiring, circuit breakers, safety devices where required such as GFCI receptacles, and lighting fixtures will all be inspected closely for proper operation and safety hazards.

7. The HVAC system components that are inspected include the fuel source, furnace, ductwork, flue pipes, chimney, venting, and operating controls such as thermostats. The air conditioning may not be tested if the ambient air temperature has not been above 60 ° F for a minimum of 24 hours.

8. The interior walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, stairways, and handrails are examined for condition, operation, and safety. Fireplace dampers are operated, fireboxes inspected, and gas logs operated.

9. Attic spaces are entered when safe, type and amount of insulation is checked, roof structure is inspected, and exhaust vents checked for exhausting to the outside.

10. Crawlspaces and or basements are entered when possible. Adequate ventilation is checked, support posts, footings, intermediate wall support, vapor barrier, and cracked foundations. Conductive conditions for wood destroying organisms are checked, including the presence of standing water, earth-wood contact, wood or cellulose debris, and plumbing leaks. Finally, Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO) and damage from WDO's is inspected. WDO's include termites, Carpenter ants and Moisture ants, Anobiid Beetles, and rot fungus that is generally referred to as dry rot.

Yes, I think a home inspection fee is well worth the money it costs. A home purchase is generally the largest investment a family makes, and like any investment, surprises are not welcome.