What is a residential home inspection?
A home inspection is a thorough methodical visual observation and evaluation of the property usually performed in the presence of the client (the buyer or the seller.) Clients attending the inspection have the advantage of asking questions and this visual reference helps to read and interpret the final written report.
The inspection process takes approximately 3 hours (more or less depending on size or age) and includes grounds, access walks, exterior coverings, roofing, doors, windows, and the mechanical systems such as heating, plumbing and electrical. Normal operation of accessible doors, windows, electrical outlets and switches, plumbing fixtures (inflow and drainage) and heating and cooling systems (conditions permitting.) Proper ventilation from a moisture perspective and a safety perspective relative to heating mechanicals will be observed.
This visual process is performed in such a way as to assure the safety of the home inspector and the client. Actions which would result in danger or damage to the inspector, client or property being inspected will not be performed.
Standards of Practice (SOP) outlines which areas of a home are typically observed and not observed. There situations such as recent or current weather which may limit the inspection process. Required and not required activities are outlined. SOPs have been published by a number national home inspection organizations such as ASHI, NACHI and states requiring licensing may have published customized Standards of Practice.
Code of Ethics (CoE) is another matter for you to consider. A home inspector is not the "fix-it" guy. One of the greatest assets of a good home inspector is objectivity. A home inspector should be isolated from the solution phase of the conditions noted.
The end result of this process is a written report listing the observed defects/conditions and general recommendations as to the type of qualified professional to consult to resolve the described issues. The report is a confidential document between the inspector and the client. The client decides if the report is to be viewed by any other party. Actions not performed due to safety or other conditions such as the weather will be noted.
Arlington Beacon Clinton Fishkill Highland Hopewell Hyde Park Kingston Lagrange Lagrangeville Marlboro Millbrook Milton Newburgh Pawling Pleasant Valley Poughkeepsie Rhinebeck Staatsburg Stormville