What to expect at the time of the Home Inspection..?

The home inspector should be fully equipped with necessary tools including electrical testers, a carbon monoxide detector, ladder, inspection mirror, flashlight, level, and other home inspection tools.

It is okay, and encouraged by SiteTech, to follow the home inspector and ask us questions. No questions are foolish, learn as much as you can from us about your potential investment. After all, isn't that what you are paying for in the first place..?

Be sure that all of the following points are fully covered. There's nothing more important than knowing that the home you are purchasing is structurally sound including the framing and foundations (that's an important reason for retaining the services of a  licensed home inspection company).

In addition, the condition of the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems should be thoroughly evaluated. The home inspector should determine the condition of the roof surface, the exterior facades, doors and windows. The land grading around the home should be examined, as well as the condition of attached decks, patios, porches, driveways and sidewalks.

The physical condition of the interior of the home should be evaluated searching for tell tale signs of problems. The inspector should determine if there are indications of past water penetration into the attic or lower levels of the home and whether the home is susceptible to water intrusion in these areas.  The home inspection should include an inspection for wood destroying insects and other intrusive vermin.

The home inspector should inspect all the key electrical and mechanical components of the home and look for aluminum electrical distribution wires, electrical systems that are not adequate for modern usage, lead and galvanized steel water supply pipes, aged and inefficient heating and air-conditioning systems, etc.

Where applicable, consider additional testing of underground storage tanks, testing paint for lead, testing drinking water for lead, testing well supplied drinking water for bacteria, testing for radon gas in air, etc. These tests are not considered a part of the standard home inspection, but may be recommended by your inspector depending upon their applicability to the area or the inspector's observations during the actual inspection.

Wear on a roof may be readily apparent if the wear is very advanced but a roof that is starting to age is a more subtle defect that the inspector can uncover. Resurfacing a roof costs thousands of dollars, and will cost much more if the existing roofing surface needs to be removed prior to re-roofing. If a roof will need to be resurfaced in the foreseeable future, this may be a negotiable item. Similarly, the siding of the house should be carefully inspected because residing a house can also cost thousands of dollars. Replacement of old defective windows can cost thousands of dollars, and you would not want to miss this potential defect. Eliminating problems before they start is smart, for example, the inspector should look to see that the land around the home is properly graded to divert water away from the home, this will help to reduce the possibility of water penetration into the home.

If there's one defect you don't want to find out about after you move in, it's a basement that floods. The basement areas of the home should be thoroughly checked for signs of water intrusion, such as water stains, mildew, odor of dampness, efflorescence on the walls and floors, damaged and cupping floors. In addition, the inspector should look for water proofing systems, sump pumps, etc. in the basement; these systems can help to reduce the risk of water flooding into the basement but may not be able to eliminate water intrusion under all conditions. If a house needs water proofing measures, the cost can run into the thousands.

Proper insulation and ventilation in a home should not be overlooked; proper ventilation in a home is more important than most home buyers are aware. Inadequate ventilation in an attic can result in accelerated deterioration of the  roof deck; if this occurs, a major expense will be incurred to remove and replace the roofing shingles and roof deck, and in extreme cases, the roof rafters. This is one concern that should not be underestimated.

The condition of the paint surface on homes constructed prior to 1978 may contain lead paint which can be a problem if there is wide spread deterioration of the paint surface; your home inspector may suggest an evaluation of the paint surface for lead content. If you are planning renovation of walls, etc. after you move in, lead paint is an issue to consider.

Bulges, deflections, and other irregularities in the roof, exterior wall framing, and interior framing, or cracks in the foundation wall may indicate a serious structural problem that may be the result of poor structural design, poor construction techniques, improper structural alteration, foundation settling, water damage, or termite damage. Jacking up a house to replace damaged structural components, or underpinning a defective foundation wall is a major expense. The home  inspector has the experience, education and expertise to evaluate structural problems; this is one of the reasons why retaining the services of a licensed rofessional inspector to conduct your home inspection
is in your best interest.

ELECTRICAL  SYSTEM                                           
First, the inspector should determine the size of the service to determine if it meets current standards; bringing an upgraded electrical service into a home can cost well over a thousand dollars. The electrical system should then be checked by removing the cover from the electric service panel. Once the wiring is exposed,  the home  inspector looks for problems in the electrical panel such as burned wiring, overloaded  or improper circuit fusing, improper wiring connections, openings in the panel (where a child can put their finger in the panel, ouch!), "handy-man" installed wiring, etc. In addition, electrical switches and convenience outlets in the house are randomly checked for open ground and wiring reversal conditions. Homes wired in the mid 60's to mid 70's may have aluminum wiring and if so, the inspector should determine if an approved retrofit has been installed at the wiring connections; if not, a potential fire safety hazard exists. If the home is very old, it may have knob and tube wiring, this is ancient wiring and may be hazardous. Extensive wiring replacement can cost thousands of dollars.

PLUMBING SYSTEM                                        
First, the home inspector should determine the type of pipe that supplies water to the house from the municipal main in the street. The replacement of old lead and galvanized steel water supply pipes can cost thousands of dollars. A good inspector checks the piping distribution in the house for the type of material and condition, looking for deterioration, incompatible piping materials and leaks. Your inspector should evaluate any suspect plaster or wall board on the ceilings and walls for water leaks; replacing the piping network in the walls and ceilings is a major expense that can cost thousands of dollars. A trained inspector checks all of the fixtures and faucets for proper operation, and also checks tiled bathtub and shower enclosures for integrity. Replacement of tiling in a bathroom, or replacement of a shower pan can cost a couple of thousand dollars.

The inspector will check out and report on that old clunker that used to fire coal, it will consume fuel faster than you can feed it; plan on replacing it with a modern efficient heating system. Other problems include defective furnace heat exchangers, this type of problem is not always easy to uncover and could mean that the furnace will require replacement, costing three to four thousand dollars. Boilers that are starting to leak will also require replacement and a typical cost is three to five thousand dollars; a well trained inspector looks for these major defects. In addition, your inspector should be sure that the heat distribution is satisfactory and that the heat distribution piping or ductwork is in good condition. Safety concerns such as malfunctioning controls, inoperative emergency switches, and evidence of past failures and carbon monoxide emissions must be carefully investigated by the inspector. Other concerns include special problems associated with radiant floor heating and other less common systems.

The inspector should advise you to have underground oil storage tanks tested for integrity; a leaking underground oil storage tank can cause thousands of dollars of environmental damage. Another environmental concern is the existence of insulation that may contain asbestos and is especially hazardous if the material is friable. The inspector should advise you to have any suspect material laboratory tested.

The home inspector should test the central air-conditioning system to be sure that it is cooling properly; replacement of an air-conditioning compressor can cost two to five thousand dollars.

The inspector should report where deferred maintenance is clearly evident; if a home has been poorly maintained and there are obvious problems,
this is a sure sign that your investment may be larger than you anticipated.

Homes where there is obvious plumbing and electrical work, as well as structural additions and renovations, that were not professionally installed can cost thousands of dollars to bring into proper condition. The message here is we don't want you to be put into a position where you end up writing checks for work that the seller did not want to pay for.

It is preferable to retain the services of a home inspector who issues a full written report detailing what is wrong, why it's wrong, and an idea of needs to be done to correct the uncovered defects. A good home inspection company's door is open for future questions about your inspection.

SiteTech Home Inspection provides pre-purchase or pre-sale home inspections for Rochester New York and surrounding areas. Purchasing a home is often the single largest investment you will ever make. Your decision to buy should be based on solid facts provided to you by a highly qualified home inspector. Virtually every property has defects that may be unknown to the seller or overlooked by the  buyer. Our job is to bring these conditions to light so that our customers can make an informed decision about their investment. SiteTech meets or exceeds the (ASHI Standards of Practice) and adheres to the N.Y.S. Code of Ethics. and Regulations for Home Inspectors.

SiteTech Home Inspection will catalog and describe any deficiencies in an easy to understand, very detailed report, including a summary page highlighting key aspects of the inspection. Whether you are moving across town or across the country, whether this is your first home or your fifth, we can help provide you with the necessary information you need to make an informed decision about the property you are considering.

Inspected Items Include:

  • Foundational Integrity

  • Roof & roofing structure

  • Attic and Insulation

  • Electrical Systems

  • Plumbing Systems

  • Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

  • Interior and Exterior

  • Site Drainage and Runoff Issues

  • Porches and walkways

  • Attached decks and additions

  • Radon Testing (optional, but highly recommended)

SiteTech knows what needs to be done and has the training, tools and licenses to make it happen. Why wouldn't you take advantage of our professional services to reduce the risks associated with such a major investment...?

What happens during a home inspection?
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