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Home Inspection Basics

By Gordy Haynes

1. What is a home inspection, and what is included?

A home inspection is a visual inspection and opinion performed in accordance with accepted Standards of Practice for Professional Home Inspectors as defined by the State of Florida and/or other inspection organizations and is intended to provide an opinion, through observation, as to the apparent general condition of a building's components, systems or parts thereof, including the identification of significant observable deficiencies as they exist at the time of the inspection. The home inspection will include hundreds of items, but the main categories are; General grade and drainage, driveway and sidewalks, roof and exposed flashings and penetrations, electric service entrance, grounding and bonding, exterior walls, siding, windows, doors, HVAC system, main electric panel, GFCI & AFCI, smoke & carbon monoxide detectors, sample outlets and switches, plumbing system, existence of appliances, water heater, visible structural components, floors, walls and ceilings, insulation and ventilation, garage door, opener, anti-reverse and photo-eye sensor, and many other items.

2. What isn't included in a standard home inspection?

The home inspection is limited to what the inspector sees and makes reference to of certain fixed components and systems of a property. The inspector will include in his contract any specifically non-included items. Any area which is not exposed to view, is concealed, or is inaccessible because of soil, walls or wall coverings, floors or floor coverings, ceilings, furnishings, etc, will also not be included. Items not identified in the report are to be considered not inspected and not included. The inspection does not include any destructive or dismantling testing. It is usually NOT a warranty, guarantee or insurance policy. Keep in mind also that the more experience an inspector has, the more likely they are to find more items.

3. What other inspections might a homebuyer need in addition to a standard home inspection?

In most cases the buyer will need a termite inspection, also known as a WDO inspection. Sometimes special inspections from licensed tradesmen will be required, for items discovered during the standard home inspection but which are outside the scope and/or qualifications of the home inspector. Very often the buyer or homeowner will need an insurance 4pt inspection report. Additionally, if high humidity or moisture intrusion is found, a mold assessor inspection may be necessary. Ancillary inspections may also be desired, which could include lawn irrigation, pool, fencing, accessory buildings, etc.

4. How long does a typical home inspection take, and how much will it cost?

The typical time frame for a 2000 sq/ft home in good condition is between 2.5 and 3.5 hours. However, a small condo or single family residence of 2 bedrooms/2 baths may take only 2 hours. After the inspection, the process time to prepare and deliver the home inspection report is another 2 to 3 hours. An insurance 4pt inspection will take about an hour, plus 20 minutes to process and email the report. Costs can vary, and price quotes are sometimes required (depending on the size or age of the home), but our price for the inspection of an under-1500 sq/ft home is $250.00. See OrlandosBestHomeInspection.com for further price details.

5. How can I become a Florida home inspector?

There are three ways that someone can become a Florida home inspector:

  1. Examination
  2. Endorsement
  3. Grandfathering
For more details, visit OrlandosBestHomeInspection.com. At the bottom of the home page is a link detailing all the requirements. Note that the current grandfathering option will expire July 1st, 2012.

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About The Author

Gordy Haynes is committed to Excellence and Customer Satisfaction with all his Orlando Home...

Phone: (407) 461-8825

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