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Infograph: What is a Home Inspection?

Home Inspections -- a necessity that often causes stress and worry for home-buyers, home-owners, and realtors alike. Phil Thornberry, from Security Home Inspections, provides information on what is assumed to be on a Home Inspection report, versus the information actually provided.

 

What Inspectors Think: A home inspection is a report of the general condition of the structural and mechanical components of a home. It is not an exhaustive list of defects or a scope of work document. Its purpose is to give information, so the client can make an informed decision. If significant defects are discovered, repairs may need to be made.

What Clients Think: Until you (the realtor) or we (the inspector) tell them differently, most clients believe the home inspection will cover all components and be inclusive of all defects large and small. They may also believe that all home inspections include warranties. Below are some of the items and components that are not required to be inspected by the Indiana Home Inspector License Law. The list will surprise you. As for warranties, none are required to be provided by home inspectors. Some inspection companies do provide them and some do not.

What Realtors Think: The answer varies widely, but together, we can help educate the client and set reasonable expectations. Letting them know there are exclusions and limitations is the first step. It is much easier to explain this up front than try to explain it to them after the fact.

Items not required to be reported on in a Home Inspection:

  • Wood destroying insects
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Mold
  • Asbestos
  • Radon
  • Lead Based Paint
  • Oil Tanks
  • Appliances
  • Central Vac Systems
  • Carpeting
  • Paint/Wallpaper
  • Audio/Video Equipment
  • Awnings
  • Window Treatments
  • Shutters
  • Screens
  • Low Voltage Lighting Wells
  • Sprinkler Systems
  • Septic Systems
  • Water Conditioning Equipment
  • Fences
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Humidifiers
  • Electronic Air Cleaners
  • Solar Equipment

Most inspectors go above the minimum standards and include at least some of the above items. Some charge extra fees for specific specialty inspections. The additional training and time warrant these fees. Knowing what the chosen inspector does and does not do is good information. Create a simple questionnaire, and send it to the inspectors on your list. Spas, Saunas, Steam Baths Out Buildings Sea Walls, Docks Swimming Pools Codes, Regulations, Laws or Ordinances.

Article by Phil Thornberry, Security Home Inspections