How Do I Get the Most Out of My Home Inspection?
Simple, talk to your agent to make sure the Sellers have the house ready for inspection. This means getting all systems up and running (all appliances, gas fireplaces, etc.) and fully accessible for the inspection. Learn more about getting the most out of your home inspection here.
What kind of report can I expect?
Our inspection reports include details of everything inspected. We include color photographs with custom labels calling out the precise problems. Our reports include action items: such as whom to call and what to do to get things fixed. Reports are usually 20 to 30 pages but we summarize all findings in one or two pages for easy understanding. Typically, home inspection reports are provided in 2 to 3 business days but for real estate transactions next-day reports are available. In all cases, we disclose findings verbally on-site so you know the condition of the property immediately.
I just got a home inspection and the home inspector found a problem with the foundation. The inspector recommended I get an inspection by a structural engineer. What do I do?
First off, the home inspector did the right thing. Most home inspectors are unqualified to assess structural problems. In fact, the only person who is legally allowed to conduct structural inspections is a licensed professional engineer. But we are! So call Kemp Home Inspections, we provide structural and foundation inspections specifically for this situation.
How long does a Standard Visual Home Inspection take?
It depends on the size and age of the home but Standard Visual Home Inspections usually take from 2 to 4 hours. Additional services such as termite inspections, lead-based paint testing, radon testing or mold inspections vary in time but typically take about 1 hour.
What preparations do I need to make before you conduct your inspection?
Read the standards of practice for a home inspection before you come. You can find them here. Also, it’s better if you limit the distractions during the inspection such as turning off the cell phone and having someone watch the kids. You will benefit the most by being an active participant in the process. You should also make efforts to ensure the Seller has provided sufficient access to key systems (see the FAQ later in this section for more details on this). Lastly, be well rested and well fed. It usually takes three hours and is a deluge of information!
Do you conduct inspections by specific appointment times or windows of time like between 8am and noon?
We’re not like the cable company! We schedule appointments for specific times. Generally we schedule inspections at 10 am or 2 pm, Monday thru Friday. Depending on the time of year and staffing, we may open up custom times or after hours/weekend slots.
Can you conduct inspections without me at the property?
Absolutely but we recommend you are present during the inspection because you stand to benefit the most by seeing firsthand what we are seeing. We are happy to educate out clients about all aspects of the home.
What do you inspect during a standard home inspection?
The standard home inspection is the starting point in evaluating a property. The purpose of a standard home inspection is to provide a general assessment of the primary parts of the home (structure, roof, attic, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc). Both Maryland and Virginia have strict standards of practice for what is included in a home inspection. Keep in mind some things are not included in a standard home inspection. Cosmetic issues such as aged hardwood floors, bad painting, and scratched counters are not part of the inspection. Other specialized or non-essential systems are also not included in a home inspection such as security systems, cable/internet/phone, satellite dishes, solar systems and backup generators. For all the fun details about what is included in a home inspection, go here.
What if the home is full of boxes and stuff? How can you see if there is a problem?
As a home inspector, we are not permitted to move a Seller’s personal items. It is an unavoidable limitation of the home inspection process. A Seller should provide reasonable access to various parts of the house, and they should absolutely ensure we have access to all the key systems such as the electrical panel, furnace, attic hatch, water shutoff, etc. But too often we inspect a property and a key system is barricaded by boxes. Often times, critical areas such as the furnace room is completely full of boxes. When this happens, we have to note in our report the system was not accessible for inspection and we recommend further evaluation. Unfortunately, this may mean additional expense for you to hire a contractor for additional evaluation. You can prevent this if you work with your agent to ensure the Seller provides proper access. You may consider putting specific language in your contract stating that costs for revisits due to insufficient access to key systems will be paid by the Seller.