What to expect from your home inspection:
At Executive Home Inspection Group, our primary objective is to provide you with a home inspection that is professional, pragmatic, and complete.
A home is a substantial investment and such, if you want to be savvy & proactive, invest in an experienced Certified Home Inspector.
Every home inspection we perform meets or exceeds the standards of practice set by InterNACHI.
During your inspection, we inspect the following systems and components of the home and property:
During the home inspection, we review the entire area surrounding the home or dwelling. This includes, but is not limited, to the following areas:
1. Control of surface water
Surface water can affect the integrity of your home’s foundation, footings, and supports. Quite simply mud, which is soil with a high level of moisture, is not able to support weight.
It’s vital that rainwater be drawn out and away from the home, instead of being drawn towards the home.
During the inspection we evaluate the slopes of the grades surrounding the home to ensure they are properly sloped. We visually confirm that drains and gutters work as intended. We point out any areas where soil is found over the top of the foundation or slab, as the moisture in that soil can penetrate and cause problems with the home’s walls.
2. Plants and Vegetation
Did you know that trees, shrubs and other landscaping elements can actually become detrimental to the home?
When plants grow too close to a home’s siding, they can scrape the paint or the siding’s surface. A plant lying against the home can reduce the available air flow to the siding and bring moisture to the sidng, resulting in mildew growing on the side of the home.
Trees can damage foundations. Tree branches can damage roof shingles and allow rodents to access the roof and attic. Dead trees can break and damage the home and/or safety of occupants.
During the inspection we point out areas where the plants and vegetation of the property may be of concern.
FOUNDATION, SUB-AREA, & STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS
Most people think of the foundation as the concrete poured during the beginning of new construction. But the foundation of the home — which can be either a slab or raised foundation, consists of any structural components which transfer the weight of the home to the ground.
Once a home is built, we are unable to visually assess most of the home’s framing or flooring as they are covered with drywall or with flooring materials. The good news is, there are areas in the home that are unfinished that give us an idea on how the rest of the house is.
Thus, during the inspection, we will go into the home’s crawlspaces, the sub-area, the attic, and any other unfinished areas to learn more about your home, look for water entry points, and other defects.
A roof that leaks can quickly cause a lot of damage, and roofs are expensive to replace or repair.
Walking on the roof is the best inspection method. If conditions are safe, we will use this method to evaluate the home’s roof. Otherwise we use a ladder at the eave edge to do the inspection with the assistance of visual aids, such as binoculars.
If there are any areas of the roof we cannot visually inspect due to height or pitch, they will be noted in the report.
The inspector cannot and does not offer an opinion or warranty as to whether the these components and systems may be subject to future leakage. The only way to determine whether a roof is absolutely water tight is to observe it during a prolonged rainfall. Many times, this situation is not present during the inspection.
However we do look for damaged areas and telltale signs: wear patterns, roofing material damage, ponding evidence, sagging roof lines, etc.
We review the roof style, height and pitch, and the materials used. The condition of the roof’s gutters and downspouts are evaluated: Are they free of debris and sloped properly? While assessing the attic, we also look at the underside of the roof, and at any areas in the roof that are penetrated (e.g. for skylights or vents).
On most homes, there is metal flashing installed where the roof terminates with the home or another system. For example, flashings are often used above the gutter to keep water from entering the home. During the inspection, we’ll evaluate the flashing’s condition, caulking, and functionality.
The exterior of your home is exposed daily to the elements. To prevent deterioration, the exterior’s condition must be checked on a regular basis.
1. Walls and Sidings
During the inspection we identify the type of siding and cladding. We also point out damaged siding and other maintenance related issues you need to be aware of.
If you decide to join us during the inspection, it’s our pleasure to show you what it is we notice along with practical options to fix any identified defects.
Please note, if we suspect there is asbestos in your home’s construction we will inform you on how to proceed.
We’ll let you know if the home is in need of a fresh coat of paint and/or additional caulking. It’s important to re-paint before the wood is exposed and being actively damaged.
2. Balconies, Decks, and Porches
Balconies, decks, and porches are often subject to the same loads as the interior of the home. However, unlike the home interior, they are also exposed and subjected to the weather and it’s elements.
During the inspection, your home inspector will assess these elements including, but not limited to: how they are attached to the home, if support columns have settled and are putting stress on other areas, if handrails and guardrails are the proper size and protective for children.
3. Windows and Doors
We inspect all windows and doors during the inspection. For exterior doors, we look at the security and safety factors: Do they open properly for egress? Do they close properly? Can they be secured and locked?
We can’t guarantee how efficiently these components work, but we do confirm they all open and close (function) as expected.
If your home has a fireplace, we inspect the chimney from three perspectives: the exterior, the interior, and in the attic. We’ll discuss more about what’s inspected when we review fireplaces and chimneys later.
Most of us use our garage to store vehicles, lawn mowers, gasoline, and other tools. There are safety issues to be aware of with the garage.
Your home inspector will document if the garage is attached or detached. We evaluate the garage doors: Are they functional? Are there safety considerations with the tension springs?
We will review the condition of the flooring of the garage, it’s slope, and if there is a fire separation between the garage and the main home (if attached).
If the garage houses gas burning appliances, like hot water heaters or furnaces, the inspector will check for appropriate impact barriers. These barriers prevent or reduce the damage that is done if a car bumped into that area of the garage.
Your attic is often overlooked on a day-by-day basis, but is an important part of the home inspection.
The attic allows your inspector to review framing and can allow the inspector to identify or confirm roof leaks that are hard to see during the exterior examination.
We identify the attic access points and then evaluate five categories while we are inspecting the attic: insulation, ventilation, framing, leaks, and pests.
All of these five categories are discussed in depth in the inspection report you receive by us.
As a professional home inspector, our job is to look for safety issues or defects at the trade level. The standards for proper electrical work are based on safety and fire prevention. We are not responsible for verifying that the home meets “code” as seeing behind walls is impossible.
All cables entering the dwelling for various services are reviewed. We note the location of the main electrical disconnect for the home, and document its amperage rating.
We critically and thoroughly examine the homes’ main and electrical subpanel. Every wire and connection is examined to verify that they match the attached fuse and circuit breaker. We look for appropriate workmanship, as substandard workmanship could cause a fire or safety issue.
During the inspection, we note where the home has GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupters) devices.
We inspect for the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and test if they are functioning as intended.
During the interior inspection, we look at each light switch and fixture in the home. We check the homes’ electrical outlets and receptacles.
HEATING, VENTILATION, AND COOLING (HVAC)
We understand that not every client has a background in the trades. If you join us during the inspection, we will take the time to show you how the HVAC system functions and the basic maintenance involved with these systems (replacing furnace filters).
All HVAC units are evaluated during the inspection.
We document the type of fuel used by the HVAC units, and if the fuel type is gas, we take time to review the gas supply piping. We review the systems exhaust vent systems, combustion air, and how condensate drains.
We look at the systems involved with distributing the conditioned air, and check to see the state of any air filters. Weather permitting, we test the adequacy of the A/C unit and furnace.
Most of us spend the majority of our time inside our homes. Our job, as professional home inspectors, is to assess the condition of each room.
We look at the materials used and the condition of the ceiling, walls, and floors of each room. We test windows and doors for functionality. We check electrical receptacles to ensure they’re wired correctly, and visually inspect ceiling fixtures.
In bathrooms, we check the caulk and grout.
There are safety considerations we check and document, such as, are there working windows in each bedroom that can be used to exit the home in the event of a fire.
If your home has stairs, we identify trip hazards and other safety concerns.
If your home has a fireplace, it is evaluated to the California Real Estate Inspectors Association (CREIA) Standards of Practice. We review any visible areas of the chimney’s exterior, the spark arrester, the firebox, and the condition of the flue and damper.
Let’s face it. No one wants to experience plumbing problems in their home.
We document what type of materials are used to supply water and remove sewer from the home. We identify the location of the main water shutoff, and we measure the water pressure and verify it it’s within the acceptable pressure range.
Within the home, we operate all plumbing fixtures. We are looking for functional flow, leaks, and we verify that both hot and cold arrive as expected where applicable. We verify that sinks and toilets are installed and secured correctly.
We inspect the installation and condition of the hot water heater and verify there is appropriate combustion air
We also inspect how the water leaves the home. This is called the drain, waste, and vent system. We confirm each sink, tub, and shower drain functionally. Plumbing systems have required venting in place for sewer gasses, and we verify the presence of and document the type of materials used.
If your home is on a septic tank, we will assess and inspect the septic tank.
We proudly go above the association standards and check all built-in appliances of the home for proper operation. This includes the food disposal, dish washer, stove top, oven, microwave, trash compactor, etc.
We check that all vents and fans associated with built-in appliance work as expected.
Additional aspects to consider
To fully utilize the inspection, we encourage you to join us.
The home inspection is intended to be an educational experience for the client. We recognize that each client has a unique background and comfort level with construction and general home maintenance.
What separates an average home inspector from a great home inspector is being able to explain their findings to the client, in a way they can understand.
The great home inspectors have the heart of a teacher and exemplary communication skills. At Executive Home Inspection Group, we consistently work at becoming a better inspector.
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned investor, a handy person who fixes minor repairs yourself or if you have no experience or skills in that area, our job is to speak to you, at your level.
We focus on what’s important. During buyer inspections, we purposefully do not document every single cosmetic issue we come across – such as paint blemishes or drywall dings.
There are some inspectors who put every issue they come across in the report. They do this to make the report appear more substantial.
But the true intention of a home inspection is to find critical or costly defects. We feel that by focusing on extremely minor cosmetic issues to bloat the report, we may miss out on what actually is important.
A bigger and longer report does not necessarily mean you received a more comprehensive inspection. Plus, a larger report means there’s more for you to read, comprehend, and prioritize.
As with many areas in life, quantity does not mean quality.
That said, we do document cosmetic issues in new construction inspections. You’re buying a new home, not a used one, and in that specific case, the workmanship should reflect that.
We’ll tell you if you need a second professional opinion. Very occasionally we come across a potential defect that’s above our skill set as an inspector.
We’re experienced and confident in what we do.
But if we come across an issue that requires an expert’s assessment or opinion, we do not hesitate to refer you to a licensed engineer or contractor, trusted plumber, or professional electrician.