What Is Included in a Home Inspection?
Different Home Inspectors market themselves in different manners, and at different price points, depending on the services they offer and what they include in their inspections. Most home inspectors even have an a-la-carte menu of ancillary inspection items and services. One thing that should always remain the same, whether the home inspector is in San Antonio, New Braunfels, or any other part of Texas (or the US for that matter), is the basic, standard inspection.
Determine What Items Need to Be Inspected
The first thing that makes up a home inspection is determining the needs of the client and the specific items to be inspected.
Of course the main house will be inspected, but what about a guest house present on the property? All inspectors will charge an additional fee for detached conditioned space, while some inspectors will require an entirely separate report for the guest house.
Some inspectors may include items like the sprinkler system in their basic inspection, although most will not. It is up to the inspector to ask it the client wants these items inspected or to state that they are included in the inspection. We also recommend the client know ahead of time what exactly they want or need to be inspected on a home.
The Main House Inspection
In San Antonio and Texas as a state, all home inspectors follow a set of minimum standards laid out by the Texas Real Estate Commission. This means that all of the most common and most important items are going to be inspected, such as the foundation, roofing, plumbing, electrical, etc.
We’ve gone over this in-depth in other areas of the site and recommend readers desiring more information on exactly what a Texas Home Inspection is comprised of.
What may or may not be included in the standard home inspection depending on each individual inspector is what specialty tools they use to inspect the property. The TREC standards of practice specifically state that no inspector is required to use “specialty tools” to perform the home inspection, and that gives a lot of breathing room to the less-thorough, minimalist inspectors to cut corners and save time.
We recommend confirming that your inspector uses an aerial drone to inspect two-story roofs and has a thermal camera to use when the situation calls for it (although not necessarily include a complete thermal imaging of the house in their basic home inspection).
The House Inspection Report
The inspection report for any house is probably the most crucial product of the entire home inspection process, as the report puts the inspector’s findings into a tangible, readable document that can be used for negotiation purposes as well as creating a “to-do” list and “watch” list for home-owners.
As of 2020, a vast majority of all home inspectors use inspection reporting software to document their findings throughout the inspection and generate a report afterwards automatically, typically with pictures. Some home inspectors, typically guys that have been in the business too long and should retire, will still use hand-written reports, but the time it take to produce these reports as well as the increased possibility for errors and difficulty of including accurate pictures makes this a very rare practice.
There are many different inspection reporting software programs available to inspectors, and no one product dominates the market. The readability of the inspection report depends on the inspector and the software that they use, but all house inspection reports in Texas are required to follow the same basic format with little variation allowed. This means that, just like all home inspectors in Texas are required to perform a house inspection to the same minimum standards, all home inspectors are required to generate a report following the same basic format for user readability and consistency.
One final note about the house inspection report is the time-frame that a client will recieve a report in. Technically, reports are required to be delivered to a client in one way or another (email, text, by mail) in 72 hours, but most inspectors know that you won’t be in business very long if it takes you 3 days to get a report to a home-buyer. Most option periods are typically 7-10 days, with some as little as 3 days, so your home inspector should get you the report ASAP! We think that 24 hours should be the absolute maximum amount of time for a report to get sent out, and our personal standard at Ensure Home Inspections is that you receive your report by midnight or sooner.
The Consultation or Walk-through
We firmly believe that this is a very important part of the home inspection service, although it is by no means required by any standards of practice or law.
In a best case scenario, the client should be at the home towards the end of the inspection so that the house inspector can walk the client through their findings first-hand. This ensures that there is no confusion as to where defects were observed, how serious they are, and if they client has any questions this would be the perfect time to ask them.
Again, this service is not technically required, so we recommend asking your prospective house inspector if they provide any consultation after the inspection. Many of the more established home inspectors that have piles of realtors willing to refer them don’t provide this level of service, because they don’t see the need. They often expect the realtor to perform the advisement and neglect the fact that realtors themselves don’t always have the knowledge and experience to best advise a client on the condition of a home.
In the cases where an on-site meeting is not available, the inspector should make themselves available to answer any questions that the client may have after the inspection. While the inspector is supposed to remain objective throughout the inspection, we at Ensure don’t hesitate to warn a client if we found any safety hazards or serious issues that need to be address immediately in the body of the email that we send with the report.
Ensure You Know the Facts
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Contact Your Home Inspectors
Home Inspector Kyle D. Scott
TREC # 23813 - TDA # 0819063
Ensure Home Inspections provides thorough inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations at affordable prices in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas to Homebuyers, Homesellers, and their realtors. Offering WDI/Termite Inspections, Thermal Imaging, Drone Roof Inspections, Foundation Elevation Survey and more!
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