Everything is covered in snow. Can you still inspect the house?
Yes, we can still inspect the house, but there will obviously be a few limitations, the largest being the roof covering. When roof coverings are buried in snow, they can’t be inspected. It’s a lot more work for us to inspect houses when there’s a lot of snow on the ground, but it’s OK. We don’t charge any more for the inspection when we have to trudge through the snow.
How much of a discount do you offer when things are snow covered?
We don’t offer a discount, but we also don’t charge any more, despite the fact that it’s more work.
How much do you charge?
We charge a little less for a home inspection than most of our competition. But don't get to thinking that we are a bargain company. We just understand many new home buyers are already scraping for pennies and we don't want to raise our prices just because our competitors keep raising theirs. For home inspections, our price is based on the size of the home being inspected. For commercial inspections, the price is based on the size and type of building. We usually need to ask a few questions before quoting a price.
How much time does a home inspection take?
On average, between two and four hours. We typically spend another one to three hours typing each report off site.
When are you available?
In 2014, we’ve been booked out one to three business days. For the fastest scheduling, please call our main office number.
What do you inspect at the house?
For a buyer’s inspection, we inspect the major items that most buyers want to know about. For a full list, please visit our Buyers Inspections information. Any halfway reputable home inspection company will cover all of these items; it’s a pretty standard list. What sets us apart is our knowledge, experience, attention to detail, inspection report, and passion for our work.
Do you inspect commercial buildings?
Yes. We offer inspections of office buildings, restaurants, churches, apartment buildings, warehouses, and other commercial buildings.
Are you licensed?
Licensure is required in Wisconsin and yes, Brian has been licensed since 2003. His license number is 1745 if you would like to look him up.
How will you get into the home?
We’ll set up the inspection with the listing agent or seller, typically. We’ll get the lockbox combination from them.
I’m getting an FHA loan. Can you do the FHA inspection?
FHA loans require FHA appraisals, which are often confused with home inspections. FHA appraisals require the appraiser to look for obvious defects with the house, but the appraiser never requires repair of these items – the underwriter does. Trying to figure out exactly what might require repair is a bit of a guessing game, and often has much more to do with the people doing the appraisal and the underwriting than it does the property itself. Nevertheless, here is a partial list of some common defects that get flagged:
Chipping / Peeling / Flaking Paint
Electrical outlets or switches that are defective
Non-functional heating plant or AC
Roofs with less than two years of life left
Missing or badly damaged floor coverings
Obvious structural problems
The furnace is really old. Should I hire a furnace guy to look at it?
We typically don’t recommend hiring any other inspections right from the start; isn’t that what you’re hiring us to do? If we find a crack in the heat exchanger of a furnace, we’ll tell you to replace it; we won’t tell you to hire someone else to look at it. If we suspect a crack but we can’t prove it, we’ll recommend a leak seek test by an HVAC contractor, but we’ll be specific about our concern, and we’ll write it out in our report. We’ll also include a photo if we can.
As you read through our inspection report, you’ll see that we don’t leave you with a silly ‘CYA’ list of a dozen recommendations for ‘further evaluation.’ Again, isn’t that what you’re hiring us to do? There are certainly some situations where we might recommend further evaluation of a specific condition, but we don’t make those recommendations lightly. We appreciate the fact that these inspections cost a lot of time and money,so we only make those recommendations when we need to.
What if it’s a newer stucco house?
Ok, that’s the one exception where we might recommend another inspection right from the start. If you’re buying a stucco home that was constructed in the late ’80s or newer, we’ll probably recommend you have invasive moisture testing performed by a company that specializes in this service. To learn why, click here: Stucco testing
Will you get on the roof?
As long as we can safely do it, yes. We carry big extension ladders on our trucks for inspecting two-story roofs. A lot of Victorian homes and other older homes in the region have roofs that can only be accessed this way.
Do you offer mold testing?
Yes, we offer mold testing. It takes two to three days to get the results. A mold test will identify what types of mold were present and the spore count at the exact moment in time that we took the test, and in that exact location. It does NOT say that mold is harmful or if there is a harmful level of mold present. A small percentage of the population has a severe reaction to certain types of mold but most people have no reaction at all. There are no EPA guidelines for the presence and levels of mold.
What if mold is present?
Have it removed. More importantly, fix the conditions that are causing the mold. If you can see mold, you have a moisture problem. A large portion of our home inspections are focused on looking for moisture problems.
Can I see the inspection agreement before you do the home inspection?
Yes, we email the inspection agreement to our clients at the time we book the inspection, and we ask our clients to fill out the inspection agreement online ahead of time. Click here to view our inspection agreement.
Can I schedule the home inspection via email?
It’s been done before, but it usually doesn’t work well. Here’s the problem we usually run in to with email scheduling: we receive an email asking about our next opening for a home inspection; between the time the email was sent and the time we read the email, we’ve already booked several inspections via phone. We reply with our next available opening, emphasizing it’s first come, first served. We book several more inspections via telephone, then receive an email asking for a time that is no longer available. It’s frustrating for everyone. The best way to schedule an inspection is via telephone.
Can I be there for the inspection?
Definitely. We encourage our clients to attend the entire inspection, if possible. To read why, click here: The Buyer Should Be There
What time should I meet you?
See above. We’d love to have you there for the entire inspection, if you have the time.
When will I receive the home inspection report?
We’ll email a link to the inspection report either later the same day or very early the next day.
Why don’t you provide your inspection reports on-site?
It takes us a long time to type up our reports. We don’t produce generic reports with three ring binders; we actually sit down at the computer and take the time to write out our reports in plain English. We’ll often spend more time writing the report than we do inspecting the house. We provide a lot of detail in our reports, and we try to write them for you the same way we would for a friend or family member. After you read one of our inspection reports, we think you’ll understand why we don’t produce the reports on site.
Can my dad come to the inspection?
Sure, but he has to let us do most of the talking and explaining. No chest puffing allowed.