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What's an Inspection?
So What do we Inspect as part of a home Inspection ?
All inspections will be performed in accordance with the standards of practice as defined by
New Jersey state standards N.J.A.C. 13:40-15-16.
The technical definition is; The scope of the inspection is to report the general condition of the visible portions of primary buildings on the property and to inform the buyer of major visible deficiencies as they exist on the date of the inspection.
OK, so what does that mean ?
The inspection includes an evaluation of the following major components:
Foundation: We inspect the foundation for structural integrity (cracks, bows, shifting), evidence of water entry. If its a home with a basement or a crawl space we enter it.
Framing: Although most of the framing is covered over with drywall or plaster. We enter the attic and inspect the visible roof framing and sheathing. We also enter the basement and crawl spaces and inspect the floor framing, main beam, supports and sub-flooring. We check for damaged items, improperly installed items and items that may be a concern in the future.
Heating and Air Conditioning: The HVAC system is operated and checked for age, flame pattern, venting, condition of filters, proper safety features, maintenance items, proper installation. Boilers are checked for age, pressure gauge’s, back flow preventer's, pressure reducing valves, flame pattern, circulaters, maintenance items, safety devices, proper installation. Air Conditioning systems are checked for age, temperature differential, proper size wiring and breakers or fuses. Central A/C systems can not be operated if the outside temperature has been below 65 deg.. Operating the system in low temperatures can damage the unit.
Electrical: All electrical outlets are checked for proper wiring with the use of a testing device, all switches are operated. The main electrical panel cover is removed and all interior wiring and breakers in the panel are inspected for proper sizing and condition. All GFCI outlets are tested and interconnected outlets and we inform you where the GFCI outlet is and any outlets that are connected to it.
Plumbing: The main plumbing supply piping and all visible interior plumbing is inspected. We inform you as to the location of the main water shutoff valve for emergency situations. All visible drain piping is inspected. Hot Water tanks are inspected for age, proper venting, proper installation, T&P valve extensions and we instruct you on how to adjust the water temperature, how to light the unit if the pilot goes out and how to shut the tank down and drain it should it ever leak.
Bathrooms: All fixtures are operated and checked for leaks and any pressure loss. Integrity of the tub/shower walls is checked. Integrity of the flooring is checked. Proper bathroom ventilation is evaluated. GFCI outlets if present are tested with the use of a testing device. If no GFCI outlets are present we recommend installation for safety.
Interior items: All exterior doors are inspected for locking and proper weather stripping. All interior doors are inspected for functionality. All windows are operated for functionality, bedroom windows are means of fire egress and must be fully operational. Interior walls and ceilings are inspected for cracks and bows which could indicate structural issues with the building. All stairways are inspected for proper rise to run ratio, handrails and guardrails.
Kitchen and Laundry: All appliances are operated. Kitchen cabinets and counter tops are inspected for proper installation. Stoves are checked for anti-tilt brackets. GFCI outlets are tested with the use of a testing device, if none are present we recommend installation for safety. Flooring is inspected. Proper clothes dryer venting is inspected.
Exterior Items: Sidewalks and driveways are inspected for condition and trip hazards. All exterior finishes, siding, brick, stone, stucco are inspected for proper installation and difficiences. Soffits and facia are inspected. Gutters are evaluated for proper installation. Decks are inspected for proper installation, stairs, handrails, guardrails, proper attachment to the house and flashings. Grading around the foundation is inspected for proper slope away from the home.
Roof: Roofs are inspected by walking on the roof (weather conditions permitting). If we can not walk the roof then the surface is inspected at the edge on a ladder or the ground with binoculars. The number of roof layers are reported along with the estimated age of the roof and any items needing repair.
Garages: Attached and detached garages are inspected. Attached garages are inspected for proper installation of fire separation walls, ceilings and house entry doors. Floor slope is inspected to insure fuel spills will flow toward the garage door opening. Attached and detached Garage doors and openers are operated, safety reverse feature on door opener is inspected.
Attics and Crawl spaces: These areas are entered and inspected for proper insulation and ventilation along with inspecting all framing.
The above description of the items inspected during a inspection is only a brief outline of the things we inspect during a inspection.
You are encouraged to attend the inspection and Take notes. Bring along anyone you wish. While attending the inspection you will receive a seminar on the the many mechanical and electrical systems of the home and maintenance information. Feel free to ask me any questions during the inspection.
OK, How Long will the inspection take ?
Most inspections take 2 to 3 hours. These times may vary depending on the size, age and condition of the building.
What type of report will I receive ?
A narrative typed report with photos along with a summary letter will be E-mailed or faxed to yourself your real estate agent and attorney within 24 hours of the inspection. We do not use a check box type report that you have to shuffle through to determine what definition applies to that check box. Our reports are clearly written and easy to understand.
Other inspection companies do on site reports, do you offer this service ?
We do not offer on site reports. We feel that it is more important to dedicate our time to insure that you have a total understanding of the condition of the property, orient you to the home and to answer any questions you have. The inspection process is a very organized system, we feel that having to stop, run to the computer enter information, possibly being distracted by a computer glitch is not fair to you. We will take the time to prepare your report in our office and insure it is correct.
Additional Services: Mold Inspections, Environmental Air Sampling (Radon)