The Scope and Purpose of a Home Inspection
Purchasing property involves risk
The purpose of a home inspection is to help reduce the risk associated with the purchase of a structure by providing a professional opinion about the overall condition of the structure. A home inspection is a limited visual inspection and it cannot eliminate this risk. Some homes present more risks than others. We cannot control this, but we try to help educate you about what we don’t know during the inspection process. This is more difficult to convey in a report and one of many reasons why we recommend that you attend the inspection.
A home inspection is not an insurance policy
This report does not substitute for or serve as a warranty or guarantee of any kind. Home warranties can be purchased separately from insuring firms that provide this service.
A home inspection is visual and not destructive
The descriptions and observations in this report are based on a visual inspection of the structure. We inspect the aspects of the structure that can be viewed without dismantling, damaging or disfiguring the structure and without moving furniture and interior furnishings. Areas that are concealed, hidden or inaccessible to view are not covered by this inspection. Some systems cannot be tested during this inspection as testing risks damaging the building. For example, overflow drains on bathtubs are not tested because if they were found to be leaking they could damage the finishes below. Our procedures involve non-invasive investigation and non-destructive testing which will limit the scope of the inspection.
This is not an inspection for code compliance
This inspection and report are not intended for city / local code compliance. During the construction process structures are inspected for code compliance by municipal inspectors. Framing is open at this time and conditions can be fully viewed. Framing is not open during inspections of finished homes, and this limits the inspection. All houses fall out of code compliance shortly after they are built, as the codes continually change. National codes are augmented at least every three years for all of the varying disciplines. Municipalities can choose to adopt and phase in sections of the codes on their own timetables. There are generally no requirements to bring older homes into compliance unless substantial renovation is being done.
This is just our opinion
Construction techniques and standards vary. There is no one way to build a house or install a system in a house. The observations in this report are the opinions of the home inspector. Other inspectors and contractors are likely to have some differing opinions. You are welcome to seek opinions from other professionals.
The scope of this inspection
This inspection will include the following systems: exterior, roof, structure, drainage surrounding the primary residence and detached garage, foundation, attic, interior, plumbing, electrical and heating. The evaluation will be based on limited observations that are primarily visual and non-invasive. This inspection and report are not intended to be technically exhaustive.
The overall goal of a home inspection is to help ensure that your expectations are appropriate with the house you are proposing to buy. To this end we assist with discovery by showing and documenting observations during the home inspection. This should not be mistaken for a technically exhaustive inspection designed to uncover every defect with a building. Such inspections are available but they are generally cost-prohibitive to most home buyers. Any recommendations for further evaluation made in this report should be addressed during the inspection contingency period.
Your participation is requested
Your presence is requested during this inspection. A written report will not substitute for all the possible information that can be conveyed verbally by a shared visual observation of the conditions of the property.
How to Read This Report
Getting the Information to You
This report is designed to deliver important and technical information in a way that is easy for anyone to access and understand. If you are in a hurry, you can take a quick look at our "Summary Page” and quickly get critical information for important decision making. However, we strongly recommend that you take the time to read the full Report, which includes digital photographs, captions, diagrams, descriptions, videos and hot links to additional information.
The best way to get the layers of information that are presented in this report is to read your report online, which will allow you to expand your learning about your house. You will notice some words or series of words highlighted in– clicking on these will provide you with a link to additional information.
This report can also be printed on paper or to a PDF document.
Chapters and Sections
This report is divided into chapters that parcel the home into logical inspection components. Each chapter is broken into sections that relate to a specific system or component of the home. You can navigate between chapters with the click of a button on the left side margin.
Most sections will contain some descriptive information done in black font. Observation narrative, done in colored boxes, will be included if a system or component is found to be significantly deficient in some way or if we wish to provide helpful additional information about the system or the scope of our inspection. If a system or component of the home was deemed to be in satisfactory or serviceable condition, there may be no narrative observation comments in that section and it may simply say “tested,” or “inspected.”
All narrative observations are colored, numbered and labeled to help you find, refer to, and understand the severity of the observation. Observation colors and labels used in this report are:
The Summary Page is designed as a bulleted overview of all the observations noted during inspection. This helpful overview is not a substitution for reading the entire inspection report. The entire report must be read to get a complete understanding of this inspection report as the Summary Page does not include photographs or photo captions.