A home inspection is a non-invasive, comprehensive visual assessment of the systems and components of a house. The purpose is to obtain detailed information for a client, usually the buyer, about the home. This information focuses on the "defects" observed so the client is not surprised by any problems after the sale. A report is prepared in an unbiased manner and presented to the client with recommendations on how to proceed.
Obviously, it is going to vary quite a bit just as houses vary quite a bit. A typical residence in Louisville is going to be in the $300 to $500 range. The actual price will be based on square footage. A bigger house is going to take more time to inspect, so naturally it will cost more than a smaller house.
Of course it is! I believe it is the best value a consumer gets in the entire home buying process. Remember, the cost is based on size of the house, not the cost of the house. Realtor commissions are usually in the range of 6-7% of the sale price of the house. If the price of the home is $100,000 that means the real estate agents split at least $6000. Don't get me wrong, real estate agents provide a valuable service and I don't recommend buying or selling a home without one. But for comparison, a home inspection that cost $400 for that same $100,000 house is 0.4% of the price of the home. That's less than one half of one percent! In other words, in this example the realtor commission is 15 times the inspection fee. The real estate agent finds a house that meets your criteria and the home inspector tells you about the quality of the house
That is our goal, but unfortunately we cannot see everything. A home inspection is very thorough, but it is limited to what we can see. No one would be happy if we ripped out drywall to see what condition the frame and insulation is in! We look at and test everything we can within a strict standard of practice. If a defect can reasonably be detected, we will report it to the client.
It could take 2-3 hours for a small to average sized house and 3-5 hours for a large home. We try to be as thorough as possible and will never rush an inspection.
I always encourage the client to be present for as much of the inspection as they want. At the very least, it is a good thing to meet me at the conclusion. This gives me the opportunity to go over the most critical findings with you in person. You will still receive a detailed report with photos, but being there to discuss and ask questions is the best way to maximize the value of your home inspection.
Yes, but with limitations. It is OK to bring a trusted advisor such as a dad, good friend or your agent. Under no circumstances should you bring small children. This is not the time to bring a relative to "see" the house either. Keep in mind that at the time of the inspection, the house is someone else's home and we should respect that. There are elements of the inspection that I will not allow the client to take part in for their safety, such as the roof and crawl space. The more people present, the more difficult it is to maintain critical safety awareness. So, if you want an advisor with you, let's try to keep it to one person.
I respect home builders and greatly admire the skill it takes to do it. But let's be honest, mistakes occur and it is not unheard of for a builder to cut some corners, especially if they are pressured by deadlines. You must also realize that a house is a complex combination of "systems" that must work together in harmony. Each system, such as plumbing, electric, HVAC, etc. is installed by different specialists. They are good at what they do, and install their system according to the building codes that govern their craft. Unfortunately, they are not always aware of other codes that their installation may be compromising. An example would be a plumber drilling or notching structural lumber to run piping. This is perfectly acceptable, but there are strict guidelines on size and location of holes and notches to protect the strength of the lumber. Home inspectors are trained to look for these types of defects.