Frequently Asked Questions
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from foundation to roof. A home inspector is trained to be a detective in regard to the construction and working parts of houses.
home inspection for home buyers only?
Home inspections are not just for purchasers of a resale house. If you are planning to sell your house, or if you are just interested in the current condition of your property, you may wish to get a "pre-listing" inspection or a maintenance inspection, which can inform you of what concerns and repairs may be necessary before placing your home on the market, or just to let you as the owner know what items need attention to keep your home in good condition. Also, owners of new houses may want a 10th or 11th month inspection to help determine if there are any concerns that need to be brought to the builder's attention prior to your one year warranty expiration.
What a home
inspection is NOT.
A home inspection is not a warranty, guarantee, appraisal or certification. Nor does a home inspector have X-ray vision. He cannot see inside walls, floors, ceilings, appliances, under ground, or see items or conditions intentionally blocked from view. The home inspector does not disassemble items or components, or do anything to cause damage to things. To avoid possible damage or personal injury, the home inspector does not light gas pilot lights, open or close water or gas valves, start systems that are turned off, or reset tripped circuit breakers. The home inspector does not move furniture, boxes, or personal possessions to access areas or components.
you do a radon test?
Yes, we do offer radon testing at an additional charge.
Do you do
No, this inspection requires in-depth knowledge and training to do it properly with accurate results.
We'll be glad to refer a company to do this inspection.
Do you do
There are currently no industry standards for mold inspectors. There are widely different methods for collecting samples (and the customer's money), but there are no standards that all governing bodies can agree upon. We can tell you this: if you can detect a damp or musty smell, that is mold. Until there are recognized standards and procedures, we recommend that a Certified Industrial Hygienist be consulted for any mold concerns.
How do I get the most benefit from a home inspection?
Plan on attending the inspection, as the report will make more sense if you were there as the concerns were found and documented. A normal home inspection usually takes at least two hours, and may last as much as five hours. This will vary depending on the type of house, it's size, age, condition and whether the house is occupied or vacant.
|Ensure that access/entry is available to the inspection property, including the attic and crawl spaces, and that no personal possessions block important areas and components.|
|Verify that all utilities, systems, and appliances are on and functioning. This includes water, electricity, gas, furnaces and air conditioning systems. Copies of any service records or ongoing service agreements for systems and components would be helpful.|
|Understand what a home inspection is and is not. Therefore there will be less chance of misunderstandings during and after the inspection.|
|Take notes on items that are beyond the scope of the inspection, such as regular maintenance and cosmetic items.|
|Follow up on recommended action on specified concerns that require specialists, such as HVAC repair contractors, professional engineers, electricians, plumbers, etc.|
Do I need to be present for the Inspection?
You will learn a lot more if you are present for the entire inspection, but you do not absolutely have to be. You will need to read and sign our inspection contract prior to the start of the inspection, as mandated by the State of North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board. It contains the scope of what we will be doing and not doing, and our liabilities and their limitations. Our standard procedure is to email you an inspection contract for you to read, sign, and scan or fax back to us prior to the inspection.
I have questions after the home inspection?
If you have any questions regarding the home inspection or report, please contact us.
Should I just use the home inspectors that the
Many home inspectors market aggressively to real estate firms, in hopes of getting agents to give referrals, Sometimes, though, a home inspector who is "too picky" and jeopardizes too many of the agent's sales may not be recommended, even though the clients were happy with the inspection. The majority of our business comes from personal referrals and from real estate agents who are truly looking out for their clients and want a highly detailed home inspection. Your inspector will take his time to find everything he can, big or small, as that is what you are paying us for.
Won't using a
big firm with a big ad get me a better inspection?
Your home inspection will only be as good as the inspector who performs it. We promise individual attention by taking our time on each and every home inspection, and we strive for quality not quantity.
Do you walk every Roof?
Simply put, No. There are many roofs that should not be walked at all such as Tile, Clay, Slate, Wooden Shingle and Shake roofs, as special precautions are necessary to prevent possible damage to these roofs and to prevent possible personal injury during repair. Metal roofs or steeply pitched roofs are dangerous even for professional roofing contractors to access. All roofs are dangerous to walk on when wet or have debris covering them, and roofs that are extremely hot or cold can easily be damaged by walking as well. Your inspector will make a determination on a house by house basis whether it is prudent and safe to walk the roof.
miss things by not walking every roof?
Most concerns can be detected by the experienced eye, as usually roofs show evidence of problems with signs visible in the attic, under the eaves, on the soffits or trim boards, or maybe on the upper level ceilings. The most difficult roof to determine if a deficiency exists is a roof with no readily visible indicators of problems, but has potential problems anyway that only a roofing professional would find.
Will you match the price from another home inspector?
No. Unfortunately there are home inspectors out there who offer quick and cheap home inspections, and some even offer discounts and coupons. It is smart to shop around by price for identical products, but it is not a good idea to shop for service by price alone. A professional home inspection is no place to cut corners, as a house and property are a large investment, and the client needs to have the best information possible to make an informed decision. We feel that First Step Home Inspections, Inc. provides home inspections that are fairly and competitively priced, and reflect the client service being provided.
contact us for any additional questions you may have
First Step Home Inspections Inc.
6229 Tryon Road, Cary, NC 27518
Ph: 919-858-9930, Fax: 919-851-0477