Why this might be the most important question to ask your home inspector.
Home inspectors are regularly asked what will be included in the inspection. Top quality home inspections in Philadelphia, PA, help buyers make smart home buying decisions, save money, and have peace of mind about their new homes. Understanding what will be included is an important part of that process. But equally important is knowing what will not be included in the home inspection. Asking this question provides the following benefits:
- It puts everyone on the same page. Talking specifically about what will and will not be covered by the inspection avoids miscommunications and prevents critical concerns from slipping through the cracks.
- It helps home buyers understand what to expect.
- It prompts buyers to ask questions about issues that are important to them.
- It helps buyers choose an inspector. While every inspection company is required to meet a set of uniform standards, that still leaves a lot of room for differences. For example, some inspectors may include pools in their report while others won’t. Asking what’s not included will guide buyers to an inspector that’s right for them.
To understand more clearly, let’s take a closer look at minimum inspection requirements and a list of things that are generally not included in a standard inspection.
At a very high level, home inspectors do the following:
- Visually inspect the components of the home that are visible.
- Operate appliances in one mode
- Inspect operating equipment using ordinary controls and typical settings
- Conduct an inspection of the visible portions of the structural, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems
- Deliver a written report within threes days. Photos and videos are not required.
You can find a more detailed list of what the inspector will cover on their website.
Things that are Generally Not Covered
Inspectors will generally not do the following as part of a standard home inspection:
- Inspect things that are not readily visible or accessible, including components that are blocked, buried, or hidden.
- Connect or enable things in order to inspect them. For example, an inspector will not necessarily light a pilot light in order to inspect a gas fireplace.
- Inspect smart home devices
- Examine outdoor concrete
- Operate and inspect sprinkler systems
- Inspect swimming pools, spas, or hot tubs
- Inspect septic systems
- Perform a thorough roof inspection
- Identify the presence of pests including termites or other insects
- Ascertain whether or not mold or mold-like substances are present
- Use specialized equipment such as gas detectors, moisture meters, thermal imaging cameras, or scopes.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list nor a definitive list. Every inspection company is unique and may choose to offer some of these services to differentiate themselves from the competition. If you have concerns about any area of the home, it’s best to ask specifically if it will be covered in the inspection.
And remember this: you always have the option to hire a specialist to provide an inspection for any area of concern.
The bottom line is this. Don’t assume anything. Ask what will and will not be included in your inspection so you can get all the information you need about your new home.