Booking home inspection services is an essential part of the home-buying process, but what should be included in your home inspection? Are there additional inspections you need to consider? As licensed home inspectors, we can break down what you should expect from a home inspection.
How Long Should a House Inspection Take?
This truly depends on the size of the home and sometimes on the age of the home. Larger homes will take longer to inspect, and older homes can be a bit more complicated as they might include older plumbing and electrical systems. In general, it takes about two to four hours to complete a home inspection during which we take many photographs as well as take careful notes.
How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?
We charge a flat rate of $350 for a full home inspection. If you decide to also book a sewer scope inspection ($250), we do offer a combination deal where we knock $50 off the total price.
Should I Attend the Home Inspection?
This is always highly recommended, and we also recommend bringing along your real estate agent, as well. Take your own notes along the way and talk to your realtor about any issues we find, as they can help you negotiate a better sales price or negotiate that the sellers have to fix certain issues before you purchase the home.
When Will I Receive My Report?
In general, you should expect to receive your home inspection report within about 24 hours from the time of inspection. We always do our best to produce reports as quickly as possible and we always recommend that you read the summary of our report carefully as it quickly provides the most helpful information about issues we found during the inspection.
Additionally, if you have any questions about the report, please give us a call. We are always happy to answer questions, provide some insight and clarify anything that is on your report.
What To Look for With A Home Inspector
It’s always best to hire licensed home inspectors with several years of experience, but what does this actually mean? To meet licensing requirements in Washington, successful completion of at least 120 hours of board-approved inspection training instruction is required.
New inspectors also must complete at least 40 hours of field training with a licensed inspector that will act as a mentor. A passing score on the state’s written home inspector exam also is required and, of course, inspectors pay a licensing fee.
Our licenses also expire every two years, and, to renew, a certified home inspector must complete 24 hours of continuing education for license renewal. This keeps us up to date on changes in the law as well as new techniques and best practices for quality home inspections.
What We Inspect
During our inspection, we will go from the top to the bottom, inspecting every part of the home and all of the home’s systems, inspecting more than 150 specific items, including.
The roof inspection includes all of the components that help maintain a healthy, leak-proof roof including the actual roof coverings as well as the gutters and downspouts. We also look throughout the home for evidence of any leaks. In a rainy region such as western Washington, a solid roof is just about worth its weight in gold.
The attic can tell us many things about the general condition of the house as well as the condition of the roof. Here we look for signs of rodent damage and well as moisture and mold. We also inspect the insulation, as a well-insulated attic can greatly reduce your heating and cooling costs.
Many houses in Washington don’t have a basement, but if there is one, you can bet we will give it a thorough inspection. The basement and foundation tell us a great deal about the integrity of the structure in general. If the home has a crawl space, we definitely will crawl into that area and inspect it carefully to ensure that it has proper insulation and waterproofing in place.
Moisture and mold or evidence of water damage can indicate that the basement or crawlspace was not waterproofed properly, and this can cause settlement issues. It also might indicate that the yard doesn’t have proper drainage.
When it comes to looking around the yard, we are checking the drainage system as well as the general grading of the yard itself. We check to see that there is adequate drainage and that the drains flow away from the house and down to the street.
Without a proper drainage system and if the slope of the yard doesn’t lead away from the home, this can be a source of foundation issues. Additionally, if the yard includes a deck, we also will inspect this carefully looking for signs of wood rot, insect infestation or structural issues.
There are three levels of chimney inspection, and it might surprise you to know that homeowners actually are supposed to have a Level 2 chimney inspection before placing their home on the market. Your real estate agent can ask for a copy of this report, but we also can provide this level of chimney inspection during the home inspection process.
A Level 1 inspection simply means an inspector checks all of the easily visible parts of the chimney’s exterior and interior, which can provide us with some solid information about the condition of the chimney.
With a Level 2 inspection, we dive a little deeper, usually with a camera, to ensure that there are no cracks or other types of damage in areas that aren’t visible to the naked eye. A Level 3 inspection usually is only needed if we see signs of serious damage.
Heating & Cooling Systems
Replacing an HVAC system is pricey, so we make sure that these systems are working properly, and we check your water heaters, as well. We look to see that water heaters are properly tethered with earthquake straps, as well.
Electrical issues also can be costly to fix, so we do a thorough inspection of the entire electrical system in the home. This includes checking all of the outlets as well as the service drop, mast, meter and base as well as grounding.
We check every faucet, sink, tub, shower and toilet to make sure everything seems in good working order as well as looking at the shut-off valves. We look for signs of leaks, as well. Even a tiny leak can increase your water bill and cause issues such as mold, mildew and wood rot. We also check the water pressure, as very low water pressure can be a sign of slab leaks.
General Interior Inspection
As we walk around the interior of your home, as well as the garage, we will look for general signs of disrepair. We might notice a patch of uneven drywall, which could indicate that there was a leak. We also make note of any cracks in the walls or doors that don’t open or shut properly. We also will inspect the windows, flooring and the general condition of any built-in appliances, such as the dishwasher, oven, etc.
What Other Inspections Should I Consider?
With most homes, especially those 20 years or older, we always highly recommend a sewer scope inspection. Sewer lines easily can become clogged or damaged by tree roots and ground movement. A basic plumbing inspection can showcase many problems, but a complete sewer scope inspection truly gives us a look at the health of the entire plumbing system in a home.
Thermal imaging is another type of inspection that you might consider. For this, we use a special infrared device, and this device can show us problems invisible to the naked eye. For instance, we can spot signs of moisture and mold inside your walls as well as electrical faults and structural issues. The good news for our clients is that thermal imaging is included in our home inspections.
If you are purchasing an older home, one built before 1980, we recommend testing for asbestos. This material was banned officially in 1989, but most homebuilders ceased using asbestos in the 1980s.
With older homes, you also might want to have the home tested to determine if lead paint was used, and we can provide this service. We also can provide you with mold swab testing and air quality testing, which can be a good option to consider, especially if any of your family has asthma, allergies or immune system issues.
Additionally, if your home includes an in-ground swimming pool, we highly recommend contacting a pool inspector and leak detection expert. You will want to inspect for leaks, but also determine the overall condition of the pool equipment as well as pool lights. This is a separate service from what home inspection companies typically provide.
We also recommend that you have a termite and pest inspection, as pests can do a great deal of damage to the structure of a home and their damage is not always easily visible. Some home buyers also hire someone to do a soil impaction or geologic inspection, especially if there is any evidence of structural issues in the home.
Contact Titan Anytime!
As licensed home inspectors, we are available for home inspection services seven days a week and often on very short notice. Our experienced, certified inspectors have earned Titan more than 1,400 5-star ratings on Google and other review sites. We serve the Seattle metro area as well as all of western Washington and beyond. Give us a call today at (206) 260-0314 to schedule an inspection.