Inspection Information

Are all inspectors equally qualified ?

A new home is a very important purchase decision and you need a report that discloses details on what was found, not just a recommendation to call in a contractor.  My reports provide much more information than just the minimum needed to decide on a purchase.  I average 45 reported issues on houses, most inspectors report considerably less items and only look for certain items.  My detailed report can be used now as leverage in negotiations or later as a guideline for making repairs so that when you sell your home it will not have to be discounted due to issues present.  Some of the issues that many inspectors will not report or tell you about are Zinsco panels, FPE stab-lok panels, old worn out equipment, improper electrical work and polybutylene piping.  Most inspectors just pass the buck to a contractor which could cost you much more in the long run.  My reports explain the findings when possible and teach you about issues so that you can proceed armed with knowledge.

When do I receive the inspection report?

The report is sent within 12 - 24 hours, typically that same night.   Email is the preferred (PDF file) report method. 

Should I be present for the inspection ?

The client is welcome to attend the inspection.  The inspection agreement must be read, signed and faxed to the inspector before the inspection can begin due to insurance requirements.  My inspection reports are detailed, so if you can not make it to the inspection do not worry about missing anything, I will make sure you have all the information in the report.  I have Supra key access (activekey) for Charlotte and York County areas.  You can be assured of a high quality inspection and report even if you can not attend.

What information does the inspector need to figure the exact inspection fee?

Address of property, heated square footage, type of foundation
(under floor crawlspace, basement or slab)  and house age.
Properties in very poor condition must be disclosed to me.

What type of inspection report do I receive ?

The report was designed and copyrighted by the inspector and is
the result of extensive research. It is easy to read, consists of data, explanations, summary, details and is available via email, fax or mail.  Any pictures necessary are included.  My reporting includes advice on older roofs, older heating and air systems and older water heaters which is NOT required by the state and not done by the regular inspectors.

What do I need to do before the day of the inspection?
Read and sign agreement, fax to inspector for scheduling.
Obtain inspection fee, check or cash.
Payment can be made on the cost page through PayPal.
Arrange access to the property and ensure utilities are on.
Inspections can not be performed without a signed agreement.
All faxed agreements need to be confirmed to ensure your appointment is scheduled. 

What the inspector needs to know when you call:
Address of property, heated square footage, house age,
house vacant or occupied and the desired start time of inspection.
Also, if the property is in distressed and poor condition, this must be disclosed to obtain the proper fee.

What to bring with you to the inspection:
Inspection fee, check or cash.
Key(s) if needed.   I have Supra key access for Charlotte and York County areas.
Credit card payments can only be made on this website,
see the Cost for Inspection page.

If the house is vacant and the electrical power or gas is not turned on, how does this affect the inspection ?

It is recommended to have the utilities turned on and the gas appliance pilot lights on also. If this is not done the inspector will inspect all of the items as fully as is possible within the scope of the agreement. If the client would like to have those items inspected further at a later date the inspector will quote a fee based on the items to inspect and the location of the home.  Be advised that agents do not like to do the work involved with getting the utilities turned on. One of their recent tricks is to say "the water is legally on".  This means that its really off and that someone may have an account still open.  Especially on foreclosures, you must make the agent guarantee in writing that everything is turned on and operating inside the house or actually check it yourself.  If you are there when they turn the water on, make sure its not leaking from the laundry hookups, bottom valve on water heater, TPR valve on water heater, fridge ice maker line, exterior faucets or running into the crawlspace under the house.  It is a good idea to check each bathroom and the kitchen to make sure nothing is leaking.   There are frequently leaks in vacant/foreclosures and that is one of the reasons no one wants to turn the water on.  Another problem that is found with homes that have been winterized is that people go in there and turn on the circuit breakers which will fry the top element in empty electric water heaters.  If the house is older and has not been updated there will be many plumbing problems anyway so in some cases you can go ahead and get an inspection with just the power and gas turned on and decide if you want to proceed and then get the water turned on later.

What if it begins to rain the day of the inspection ?

Depending on the amount of rain and the location of the home, the inspector may perform the inspection anyway. If an additional trip is required due to weather conditions no additional fee will be charged unless distance is a factor.  Rain during an inspection is actually a good thing.

Can you have the Septic System inspected ?

The best approach is to find out when the tank was pumped out last and then consider having it pumped out and inspected at the same time.  I do not recommend any septic inspections be performed except by a company that specializes in this.  Some inspectors will flood the system with large amounts of water, this can ruin the system as it was designed for only normal use.  Scheduling help is available.

Can you help obtain a termite and radon report ?  
Yes, I will schedule these from a reputable company when the home inspection order is confirmed with a faxed agreement.  Typically $75 termite and $175 radon.

Do you test the well water ?

I can provide instructions for you to collect your own sample to save money if you are an inspection customer.

Note:  if the lender requires a water test, you will need a certified lab.

What about mold inspections?
It should be understood that some people are very sensitive to some molds  and some are not.   All houses have mold of some sort since it is present in the air.  Mold has to be verified by a lab so the inspection does not technically include this but recommendations are made when readily obvious.  

What is the difference between a walk-through inspection and
a regular home inspection?

A walk-through inspection is typically done by a buyer on a new home to go over incomplete and cosmetic issues with the builder.  Those types of inspections are only about three percent of the items inspected during a regular inspection.  It is advised to have a regular inspection performed a few days before your walk through.  The other type of walk-through inspection is done by the buyer or their inspector the morning of the closing to ensure that no damage or missing items are discovered.  

Should I have a new home inspected?

Yes, I typically find many problems with the typical new home.
The county does not inspect new construction thoroughly. It is highly recommended to have a pre-drywall inspection performed, the framing and systems will no longer be fully visible after the insulation and drywall are installed.  It is very important to obtain a ready date from your builder in writing confirming that the water valves, power and gas pilot lights are all on and ready for the final inspection.

What if my builder says an item meets code that is reported as incorrect?

Codes vary from area to area and are interpreted and misinterpreted in different ways.  Any item that has manufacturer instructions should be installed as per the instructions.  Many codes are not strictly enforced and a consultation with the local code enforcement person may be necessary.   I do not get involved in code inspection issues.  I am licensed and trusted by the state to issue a fair opinion.  If a builder can show you a code book or manufactures instructions that indicates the reported issue is allowed as is then this will be an easy process for him.  If he can't show you this then it should be obvious that my report should be relied on as is.
So far, all reported issues were found to be correct as I reported.  The actual confusion with the builder was found to be where the builder was allowed to make the mistake or it was just overlooked by the government inspectors.  In some cases, the builder had been allowed to do things wrong for decades.  Its hard for builders to keep up with all the manufactures requirements and opinions will vary in this business.  This is why I study this business and consult with several experts from all over the country on a regular basis.  Homes are not really built by the builders, they have employees and sub-contractors that rely on the quick government inspection process.  This is a seriously flawed process and a few good builders recently have learned to hire their own private inspector to help produce a quality product that results in less call backs and problems in the future.

Bruce King   803 417 - 2116  or 704 301 - 3207

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View  for  New Home  Sample Inspection Report

View for Older home   Sample Inspection Report

View for Pre-drywall Sample Inspection Report


Special Inspection Documents:

Click to obtain a Pre-drywall Agreement

Click to obtain a commercial Inspection Agreement

Click to obtain the regular Inspection Agreement