FHI Home Inspections
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Frequently Asked Questions

Request an Inspection

What does your inspection cover?

The inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable requirements in your state if applicable and will comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.

How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?

The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the inspection.

Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?

Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.

Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?

No. The standards of practice of the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board (NCHILB) prohibits its licensees from doing repair work on properties they inspect. This assures that there will never be any conflict of interest by the inspector. Our purpose is to provide an unbiased, objective third party report on the condition of the home.

How long will the inspection take?

The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is 2 to 4 hours depending on the condition and size of the property. Anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings.

How much will it cost?

Costs vary dramatically, depending on the level and type of inspection, the property floor area, property geographical location and the inspector’s qualifications. A typical range might be $275 – $500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Inspection cost does not necessarily reflect quality.

How will a home inspection benefit me?

With nearly every inspection I've conducted, I've found enough issues that permitted the buyer to get a significant reduction on the price of the house, many times much more than the cost of the inspection. So the inspection nearly always pays for itself -- many times over.

Consider the following repair/replacement costs:

  • Foundation: $525 - $5,000
  • Mold Remediation: $500 - $6,500
  • Mold (Structural Damage): $10,000 - $30,000
  • Electrical: $10,000 - $15,000
  • Plumbing: $500 - $2,500
  • HVAC: $1,700 - $13,000
  • Windows: $300 - $700 each
  • Flooring: $5,000 - $10,000 (includes structural repairs)

Do you have any associations with Real Estate Agents, Banks, and Builders, or are you completely independent?

We consider ourselves to be completely independent and impartial. We are not in partnership with any builder or bank. We spend very little time marketing directly to Real Estate Agents. We do have agents that highly recommend us to their clients, but we do not hold ourselves accountable to them in any way. You are our customer, and you are our only responsibility. If your agent accompanies you to the inspection, they may be impressed with our service and refer us to their future clients as well. This is generally how we come to meet and have association with Real Estate Agents.

What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?

Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector's reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection but NCHILB standard of practice allow 3 business days.

Will I be able to attend the inspection?

Yes. While you aren't required to be there for the inspection, we highly recommend that you be present. Its a valuable learning experience for most people and will help you get the most benefit from the inspection. By following the inspector you can ask questions directly and the inspector can explain maintenance tips for specific areas. We feel you'll be able to best understand the finished report and get the most benefit from it by having been there during the inspection. This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.

Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?

There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate.

Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

One can never know it all, and the inspector's commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training. North Carolina requires continuing education to renew the inspecto's license each year.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a professional, complete visual examination of the all the systems and physical structural elements of a home. Our emphasis is on identifying existing or potential problems that would affect a purchasers buying decision.

Why do I need a Home Inspection?

A home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. It only makes sense to find out as much as you can about the house you are interested in before you buy. That way you can avoid costly surprise repairs and problems with your new home. Our report will also advise you of what maintenance is required to keep your home in top condition. A professional inspection will give you a clear picture of the many systems and structural elements that make up the property. If you are selling your home, a listing inspection will point out any potential problems that might be uncovered later by the buyers inspector. Finding them early will allow you to address them before listing your home, making for a faster and smoother sale.

What does a Home Inspection include?

Our standard inspection report covers all the major systems and structural elements of the house. This includes the condition of the homes heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, foundation, attic and visible insulation, walls, doors, windows and all visible structures.

Can a house fail a home inspection?

No. A home inspection is an examination of the current condition of the home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local codes and standards. The inspection report will describe the physical condition of a property and indicate what may need repaired or replaced.

Does a newly constructed home need an Inspection?

Absolutely. A professional inspection of a new home is important. We can spot potential problems early, while they are still easy to correct. It's especially valuable to arrange an inspection before the interior walls are finished. As building professionals, we may find problem areas where the builder has taken shortcuts or substandard work.

Why can't I do the Inspection myself?

Chances are that even if you are very familiar with home construction, you still don't have the knowledge, training and experience of a professional Home Inspector. We've inspected hundreds of homes. We are not only familiar with all the systems of a home, and how they work and need to be maintained, but we also know what to look for to tell us that they are getting ready to fail. But beyond the technical expertise and experience a professional inspector brings, it is important to remember that the inspector remains an impartial third party. If you are involved in buying or selling a house, its impossible for you to remain completely unemotional about the house, and this may cloud your judgment. The professional inspector will provide an objective outside reporting of the facts.

What if the Home Inspection uncovers problems?

Our report will tell you the condition of the house, including needed repairs and estimated expenses. No house is going to be perfect. It is up to you to decide how any problems the inspection uncovers might affect your decision to purchase. If major problems are discovered, you may want to try negotiating with the seller to have them repaired before closing the deal. Or perhaps the seller will lower the price, or offer more favorable contract terms. In the end, the decision rests with you, but knowing about potential problems, before you buy, gives you the power to negotiate and make the best decisions.

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