Customer Expectations

 

One of the greatest challenges between home buyers and home inspector are the expectations a buyer thinks or expects a home inspection service will provide. What a home inspection includes or does not included must be communicated and expressed clearly. Usually, this can be found in the standards of practice and the inspection agreement which can be provided. It is recommended that a client take the time to ask any questions and convey any concerns so the inspector can address them. 

 

The Inspection agreement should be read carefully before signing it so there is a clear understanding of what is included and what is not included in the home inspection. 

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We must keep in mind that the property being inspected is not owned by the client or home inspector, and as such, only a visual inspection can be conducted. We must respect the home, personal items and space of the seller. As a result, home inspectors do not move items such as furniture or other personal items and this can result in limited access to certain areas or rooms of the house.

Examples of some of the limitations include but are not limited to: walking on certain types of roofs, moving furniture or personal belongings, stored items and boxes, moving or pulling out any appliance, operating specialized window treatments, moving or displacing attic insulation, turning on anything that is turned off or unplugged, dismantling air conditioning systems and installed devices etc.

Some items & components excluded and NOT part of a home inspection would be the following:

  • Detached buildings and structures ( including sheds).

  • Outdoor kitchens & barbecues, tiki huts.

  • Low voltage systems, timers, surveillance cameras, alarms, smoke alarms, smart home systems, etc.

  • Ceiling fans & timers, lighting timers, communication systems, outdoor lighting, bidet toilet attachments, motorized toilet seats.

  • Dusk to dawn or motion sensing lighting fixtures, digital controls, switches and receptacles.

  • Central vacuum system, water softeners, steam makers, window coverings/blinds ( manual & motorized).

  • UV lights, smart vents, climate control HVAC systems, Humidistats.

  • Heat recovery systems, electronic air filters, water filters, hot water dispensers.

  •  Retaining walls, underground drainage & pipe systems, catch basin or concealed sump pumps.

  • Wells, septic tanks, sea walls, docks, boathouses.

  • Swimming pools, pool heaters, spas, hot tubs or saunas.

  • Soil stability ,erosion control, ponds, water features, waterfalls.

  • Irrigation or yard sprinkler systems, sport courts, playgrounds recreation or leisure equipment, invisible fencing, timers.

  • Retractable awnings, hurricane panels & protection systems.

  • Solar panels and Solar Photovoltaic systems.

  • Generators, fire sprinkler systems.

  • Elevators, Chair lift systems, Car charging stations.

  • Mosquito control systems & components.

  • Mold, Lead, Asbestos.

  • Chinese Drywall & Radon Gas.

  • Termites & Pest.

 

Additionally, areas such as the wall cavities, behind walls and or floor to ceiling spaces are usually enclosed and non-accessible. These spaces are also used to convey utilities such as water supply pipes, drain pipes, and electrical lines. At times there could be issues such as a water leak or other damage inside these wall spaces which cannot be inspected or tested. There are no standard tools or methods in which to inspect these areas without invasive procedures. As such, these areas are beyond the scope of a standard home inspection. Furthermore, it must be understood that an issue such as a water leak or a roof leak can develop an hour, day, week, or months after an inspection. Appliances and systems such as a dishwasher and the HVAC system all have moving parts which can fail at any time. A home inspector cannot predict the future.

 

A home inspector does not pass or fail a home. He or she is merely reporting and documenting on the condition of the home and its systems and components at that moment in time.

 

It is beneficial to all parties involved, to have a full understanding of the benefits and limitations of the home inspection before the home inspection begins. The buyer is always encouraged to be present during an inspection so any questions and concerns can be addressed and the inspection report can be discussed.